To ensure a successful and rewarding exploration of Colorado’s varied scenery, having a detailed guide to the state’s attractions is essential. From national parks boasting breathtaking vistas and rich history, to outdoor activities catering to every season, there is no shortage of experiences waiting for you in Colorful Colorado.
Throughout this blog post, we will delve into some of the most awe-inspiring national parks such as Rocky Mountain National Park and Mesa Verde National Park. You’ll also discover a plethora of outdoor activities suitable for both adrenaline junkies and those seeking serene relaxation.
For travelers interested in immersing themselves in local culture or exploring scenic drives through idyllic landscapes, our guide covers everything from small-town life with craft breweries and wineries, to unforgettable road trips like The Million Dollar Highway Experience. With so many things to do in Colorado spanning across all seasons, prepare yourself for an adventure that truly captures the essence of the Centennial State.
Table of Contents:
Exploring Colorado’s National Parks
Get ready to be blown away by the stunning beauty of Colorado’s four national parks. Each park presents a captivating experience that will astound you. From the majestic peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park to the ancient cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde, there’s something for everyone.
Rocky Mountain National Park: Hiking and Wildlife Watching
Rocky Mountain National Park has over 300 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging backcountry routes. Keep your eyes peeled for elk, bighorn sheep, moose, and other wildlife that call the park home.
Mesa Verde National Park: Ancient Puebloan History and Architecture
Step back in time and explore the fascinating culture of the Puebloan people at Mesa Verde National Park. Take a ranger-guided tour of the well-preserved cliff dwellings like Cliff Palace or Balcony House to learn about this remarkable civilization.
Great Sand Dunes National Park: Sandboarding and Dune Exploration
Great Sand Dunes National Park is a playground for adventure seekers. Try your hand at sandboarding or explore the massive sand dunes on foot. Either way, you’re in for a unique experience.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park: Dramatic Cliffs and River Adventures
The sheer walls of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park are a sight to behold. Hike, rock climb, or even go whitewater rafting for an adrenaline rush in this dramatic landscape.
Colorado’s national parks showcase the state’s diverse natural beauty and provide unforgettable experiences. Experience the thrill of a lifetime.
Outdoor Activities for Every Season
Colorado is a nature lover’s paradise, offering a wide range of outdoor activities throughout the year. No matter the season, Colorado provides an abundance of outdoor activities for all types of explorers.
Skiing & Snowboarding at World-Class Resorts
Colorado’s winter offers world-class skiing and snowboarding opportunities, from the renowned resorts of Aspen and Vail to more laid-back experiences at Monarch Mountain or Loveland Ski Area. From Aspen to Vail, there are plenty of options for all skill levels. For a more low-key experience, check out Monarch Mountain or Loveland Ski Area.
Camping & Waterfall Exploration in Summer Months
Summer is the perfect time to explore Colorado’s natural beauty through camping and waterfall hikes. With numerous campgrounds scattered throughout the state, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to pitch your tent. Don’t forget to visit some of Colorado’s highest waterfalls for breathtaking views and refreshing hikes.
Rafting Adventures Along Clear Creek River
- Beginner: If you’re new to rafting or want a more relaxed experience, try Clear Creek River near Idaho Springs. This scenic stretch is perfect for families with children aged six and up.
- Intermediate: For a bit more excitement, raft through the intermediate section of Clear Creek River. Suitable for ages 14 and up.
- Advanced: Experienced rafters looking for a challenge should tackle the advanced rapids along Clear Creek’s Upper Canyon. Recommended for ages 16 and up with previous rafting experience.
From a thrilling whitewater rafting experience to winter sports and summer adventures, Colorado offers something for everyone seeking an unforgettable outdoor journey. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable outdoor experience in this breathtaking state.
Scenic Drives Through Picturesque Landscapes
Take a journey through Colorado’s majestic scenery with one of the many scenic byways available, offering an array of terrain from towering peaks to lush forests and dramatic canyons. With over 20 designated scenic byways, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore diverse terrains, from towering mountain peaks to lush forests and dramatic canyons.
The Million Dollar Highway Experience
One such route that should not be missed is the iconic Million Dollar Highway. Stretching for approximately 25 miles between Ouray and Silverton, this highway offers unparalleled vistas throughout your journey. As you navigate its winding curves, keep an eye out for stunning views of cascading waterfalls, rugged cliffs, and vibrant wildflowers during springtime. While it’s important to exercise caution while driving along this narrow road with steep drop-offs, those who brave its twists and turns will be rewarded with unforgettable memories.
Fall Foliage Tours During Leaf-Peeping Season
If visiting Colorado during autumn months when leaves change colors into brilliant hues of reds, oranges, and yellows, consider taking a fall foliage tour along one or more scenic byways specifically designed for leaf-peeping enthusiasts. Some popular routes include:
- Kebler Pass: Located near Crested Butte town known as “The Wildflower Capital,” Kebler Pass showcases dense groves of Aspen trees turning golden yellow each fall season making it the perfect spot for witnessing nature’s colorful display.
- Peak to Peak Scenic Byway: As Colorado’s oldest scenic byway, the Peak to Peak route offers stunning views of the Continental Divide and Rocky Mountain National Park. Along this 55-mile drive, you’ll pass through picturesque towns like Nederland, Estes Park, and Allenspark while admiring vibrant fall foliage.
No matter which scenic drive you choose in Colorado, be prepared for an unforgettable adventure filled with awe-inspiring landscapes that will leave a lasting impression on your heart.
Explore Colorado’s natural beauty by taking one of its scenic drives, including the iconic Million Dollar Highway with stunning views of waterfalls and cliffs. During autumn months, leaf-peeping enthusiasts can take fall foliage tours along popular routes like Kebler Pass or Peak to Peak Scenic Byway for a colorful display of nature’s wonders.
Discovering Local Culture in Colorado’s Small Towns
Get ready to delve into the distinctive culture of Colorado’s small towns. From craft breweries and wineries to museums showcasing the state’s wild west heritage, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Exploring Craft Breweries and Wineries
Calling all beer and wine lovers. If you’re a beer or wine enthusiast, take advantage of Colorado’s burgeoning craft brewery and winery scene. Visit Fort Collins’ New Belgium Brewing Company or Avery Brewing Company in Boulder to experience a range of one-of-a-kind beers. For wine enthusiasts, explore the state’s diverse winery scene with vineyards located throughout regions such as Palisade and Grand Valley AVA.
Diving into Wild West Heritage at Local Museums
Step back in time and explore Colorado’s rich history at its many fascinating museums. Discover the life of one of America’s most famous frontiersmen at the Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave or visit Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site for a glimpse into early western trading posts. Experience living history events at locations such as Four Mile Historic Park, where interactive exhibits and demonstrations bring the past to life.
Celebrating Master Brewers at the Great American Festival
Beer enthusiasts won’t want to miss the annual Great American Festival, where master brewers from all around America come together to showcase their craft. Sample unique brews and celebrate the art of brewing with fellow beer lovers.
For those passionate about craft beer, wine, or history, Colorado’s small towns offer a unique opportunity to explore local culture. Take the time to explore these charming communities and discover all they have to offer for a truly memorable visit to this beautiful state.
Photo by Katie Musial on Unsplash
Winter Wonderland in Vail
Experience the world-class resort of Vail, offering a variety of winter sports and activities such as skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice skating, ziplining, and snowcat skiing. For those seeking tranquility amidst snowy landscapes, explore serene snowshoeing or cross-country trails.
Skiing & Snowboarding on Powder-Covered Slopes
Vail has over 5,000 acres of skiable terrain with diverse slopes catering to all skill levels. Beginners can learn from experienced instructors at the renowned Ski & Snowboard School, while advanced riders can challenge themselves on the legendary Back Bowls. With an average annual snowfall of 350 inches, you’re sure to enjoy some epic powder days during your visit.
Tranquil Snowshoeing & Cross-Country Trails
If downhill sports aren’t your thing or you’re looking for a more peaceful way to connect with nature in Vail’s winter wonderland, consider trying out snowshoeing or cross-country skiing trails. These well-groomed paths meander through picturesque forests and offer stunning views of surrounding mountain peaks. Guided tours are available for those who want expert advice on navigating these beautiful routes.
Other Winter Activities in Vail
- Tubing: Head over to Adventure Ridge at the top of Eagle Bahn Gondola for exhilarating tubing sessions down multi-lane tracks that promise fun for all ages.
- Ice Skating: Glide gracefully on the ice at one of Vail’s outdoor rinks, such as Solaris Ice Rink, or try your hand at curling for a unique winter experience.
- Ziplining: Soar above snowy landscapes with a thrilling zipline adventure from companies like Zip Adventures.
- Snowcat Skiing: For an exclusive skiing experience away from crowded slopes, book a snowcat tour that takes you to untouched backcountry terrain for some pristine powder turns.
No matter your preferred winter activity, Vail offers something for everyone in its enchanting alpine setting. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable destination during Colorado’s colder months.
Vail, Colorado offers a winter wonderland for all types of visitors. From skiing and snowboarding on powder-covered slopes to tranquil snowshoeing and cross-country trails, Vail has something for everyone in its enchanting alpine setting. Other activities include tubing, ice skating, ziplining, and snowcat skiing.
Spring And Summer Outdoor Adventures
As temperatures rise in Colorado during the spring and summer months, outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in various activities like rafting along rivers or hiking through picturesque mountain trails. Golfers can swing their clubs year-round across diverse terrains while anglers enjoy fly fishing opportunities.
Rafting Trips Along Clear Creek River
Clear Creek River, located just west of Denver, offers thrilling rafting experiences for adventurers of all skill levels. Clear Creek River offers a thrilling experience for all skill levels, with its fast-flowing waters and stunning canyon scenery providing the perfect adrenaline rush. Choose from half-day to full-day trips with experienced guides who will ensure your safety while navigating exciting rapids.
Hiking Through Scenic Mountain Trails
The Centennial State boasts a vast network of state parks and national forests, providing endless opportunities for hikers to explore breathtaking landscapes. From easy strolls around alpine lakes to challenging summit climbs up iconic peaks like Longs Peak or Pikes Peak, there is something for everyone. Don’t forget to pack your camera as you’ll encounter vibrant wildflowers, cascading waterfalls, and possibly even some local wildlife.
Year-Round Golf Courses Across The State
- Elevated Greens: Experience golf at new heights by playing on courses situated at high elevations such as Red Sky Golf Club in Wolcott or The Club at Ravenna in Littleton.
- Desert Links: For a unique golfing experience, try your hand at desert-style courses like the award-winning Twin Warriors Golf Club.
- Parkland Classics: Enjoy tree-lined fairways and rolling greens on traditional parkland courses such as the renowned Broadmoor Golf Club.
No matter your preferred outdoor activity, Colorado’s spring and summer seasons offer an abundance of adventures to suit every taste. Pack your things and get ready to discover the countless delights that Colorado’s spring and summer have in store.
Colorado offers a plethora of outdoor activities during the spring and summer months, including rafting along Clear Creek River, hiking through scenic mountain trails with picturesque landscapes and wildlife sightings, and year-round golf courses across the state. With experienced guides for rafting trips and diverse terrains for golfers to enjoy elevated greens or desert links style courses, there is something for everyone in this beautiful state.
FAQs in Relation to Things to Do in Colorado
What activities is Colorado known for?
Colorado is famous for skiing, snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, rafting, and fishing, as well as scenic drives and national parks to explore.
What are 6 major things Colorado is known for?
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Skiing & Snowboarding
- Craft Breweries
- Mesa Verde National Park
- Red Rocks Amphitheatre
- The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park
Why visit Colorado?
Experience outdoor adventures, breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and culture in Colorado, with world-class ski resorts in winter and countless trails during warmer months.
What to be aware of in Colorado?
Be prepared for altitude sickness when visiting higher elevations, follow Leave No Trace principles while exploring outdoors, and pay attention to local weather conditions including sudden storms or wildfires.
Looking for adventure in Colorado? Check out the state’s national parks like Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison for hiking, wildlife watching, sandboarding, and river adventures.
Hit the slopes in Vail for some epic skiing or snowshoeing during the winter months, or take a scenic drive along Million Dollar Highway for breathtaking views.
Spring and summer offer opportunities for rafting trips along Clear Creek River or hiking through scenic mountain trails, and don’t forget to visit local craft breweries and wineries for some tasty libations.
- Explore national parks like Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
- Hit the slopes in Vail for skiing or snowshoeing.
- Take a scenic drive along Million Dollar Highway.
- Enjoy rafting trips along Clear Creek River or hiking through scenic mountain trails.
- Visit local craft breweries and wineries for some tasty libations.
Colorado has something for everyone, so pack your bags and get ready for an adventure!