Colorado is a state that offers something for everyone, from outdoor enthusiasts to history buffs and culture seekers. With its stunning natural scenery, charming towns, and world-renowned attractions, it’s no wonder that Colorado is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. Whether you’re looking to hit the slopes, hike a mountain trail, or explore the state’s rich history, Colorado has it all. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the top-rated tourist spots in Colorado, from national parks to quaint mountain towns.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most popular destinations in Colorado, and for good reason. This stunning park encompasses over 415 square miles of breathtaking scenery, including towering peaks, alpine lakes, and meadows filled with wildflowers. Visitors can explore the park on over 350 miles of hiking trails, from easy strolls to challenging backcountry treks. Wildlife abounds in the park, including elk, deer, moose, and bighorn sheep, and birdwatchers can spot over 300 species of birds. Other popular activities include fishing, camping, and scenic drives.
- Address: 1000 US Hwy 36, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA
- Phone: (970) 586-1206
- Website: https://www.nps.gov/romo/index.htm
Rocky Mountain National Park is open year-round, although some roads and facilities may be closed during the winter months. The park entrance fee is $35 per vehicle and is valid for 7 days. Annual passes and other entrance fee options are also available. The park has a variety of campgrounds and backcountry camping options, as well as lodging and dining options in nearby towns.
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is a unique destination that offers visitors a glimpse into the ancient history of the American Southwest. The park is home to over 5,000 archaeological sites, including some of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America. These dwellings were built by the Ancestral Puebloan people over 700 years ago, and visitors can explore them on ranger-led tours. In addition to the archaeological sites, the park also offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and canyons, as well as hiking, camping, and wildlife watching opportunities.
- Address: 52 W. North Street, Cortez, CO 81321, USA
- Phone: (970) 529-4465
- Website: https://www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm
Mesa Verde National Park is open year-round, although some roads and facilities may be closed during the winter months. The park entrance fee is $30 per vehicle and is valid for 7 days. Annual passes and other entrance fee options are also available. The park has two campgrounds, Morefield Campground and Mesa Verde RV Resort, as well as lodging and dining options in nearby towns. Ranger-led tours of the cliff dwellings are available, although some tours may be seasonal or require advance reservations.
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods is a stunning geological formation located in Colorado Springs. This natural wonder is characterized by towering red rock formations, some of which rise over 300 feet high. Visitors can explore the park on hiking trails, which range from easy walks to more challenging climbs. Rock climbing is also a popular activity in the park, with routes available for all levels of experience. In addition to the natural beauty, the park also has a visitor center with interactive exhibits that teach visitors about the geology and history of the area. Garden of the Gods, one of the most stunning natural wonders in the world, is just one of the many incredible tourist spots in Colorado waiting to be discovered.
- Address: 1805 N 30th St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904, USA
- Phone: (719) 634-6666
- Website: https://www.gardenofgods.com/
- Admission to Garden of the Gods is free.
- The park is open year-round from 5am to 11pm.
- Guided tours, hiking trails, and rock climbing routes are available.
- Visitor facilities include a visitor center, gift shop, and cafe.
- The park is located in Colorado Springs, which has a variety of lodging and dining options.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is a unique destination that offers visitors a chance to explore the tallest sand dunes in North America. These dunes rise over 750 feet high and cover an area of over 30 square miles. Visitors can explore the dunes on foot or by sandboard or sled, and can also hike in the surrounding mountains or swim in the nearby Medano Creek. The park also has a visitor center with exhibits on the geology and ecology of the area, as well as camping and stargazing opportunities.
- Address: 11999 State Hwy 150, Mosca, CO 81146, USA
- Phone: (719) 378-6399
- Website: https://www.nps.gov/grsa/index.htm
- The park entrance fee is $25 per vehicle and is valid for 7 days.
- The park is open year-round, although some roads and facilities may be closed during the winter months.
- The park has a variety of campgrounds and backcountry camping options.
- Hiking trails, sandboarding and sledding, and soaking in nearby hot springs are popular activities.
- Visitor facilities include a visitor center, gift shop, and campground store.
- The park is located in southern Colorado, which has a variety of lodging and dining options in nearby towns such as Alamosa and Monte Vista.
Telluride is a picturesque mountain town located in southwestern Colorado. The town is nestled in a box canyon surrounded by towering peaks, and is known for its stunning scenery, outdoor activities, and rich cultural offerings. In the summer, visitors can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and fly fishing in the surrounding mountains, as well as music and arts festivals. In the winter, the town transforms into a world-class ski destination, with over 2,000 skiable acres and a charming historic downtown area. Telluride also has a vibrant food and drink scene, with a variety of restaurants, bars, and breweries to choose from.
- Address: Telluride, CO 81435, USA
- Phone: (888) 605-2578
- Website: https://www.telluride.com/
- Telluride is a historic mining town located in southwestern Colorado.
- The town is known for its stunning mountain scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities, including skiing, hiking, and mountain biking.
- Visitor attractions in Telluride include the Telluride Ski Resort, Telluride Historic District, and the Sheridan Opera House.
- The town also hosts several annual festivals, including the Telluride Film Festival and Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
- Lodging and dining options are available in the town of Telluride, as well as in nearby Mountain Village.
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a historic train ride that takes visitors through the breathtaking scenery of southwestern Colorado. The train follows a narrow-gauge track that was originally built in the late 1800s to transport silver and gold from the mines in the San Juan Mountains. Today, visitors can ride the train on a 45-mile journey through the Animas River Valley, past towering peaks and through steep canyons. The train offers a variety of classes of service, from standard coach to luxury parlor cars, and also offers special events like wine tastings and murder mystery dinners.
- Address: 479 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301, USA
- Phone: (970) 247-2733
- Website: https://www.durangotrain.com/
- The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a historic narrow-gauge steam railroad that travels between Durango and Silverton, Colorado.
- The train follows a scenic route through the San Juan National Forest and the Animas River Canyon.
- The train operates seasonally from late May to late October, with additional winter and holiday-themed rides available.
- The train offers a variety of seating options, from standard coach seats to first-class and luxury options.
- Additional visitor attractions in Durango include the Durango & Silverton Railroad Museum, historic downtown Durango, and nearby outdoor recreation opportunities such as hiking, biking, and skiing.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a breathtaking natural wonder located in western Colorado. The park is characterized by its deep, narrow canyon, which is over 2,000 feet deep in some places. Visitors can explore the park on hiking trails, which offer stunning views of the canyon and surrounding mountains. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including elk, mule deer, and black bears. In addition to hiking, visitors can also go fishing or take a scenic drive along the canyon rim.
- Address: 102 Elk Creek, Gunnison, CO 81230, USA
- Phone: (970) 641-2337
- Website: https://www.nps.gov/blca/index.htm
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a deep, narrow canyon located in western Colorado.
- The canyon is known for its steep cliffs and dark rock walls, which create a dramatic and unique landscape.
- Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, and scenic drives throughout the park.
- The park also offers ranger-led programs and educational opportunities.
- Lodging and dining options are available in nearby towns such as Montrose and Gunnison.
Pikes Peak is a famous mountain located in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, near Colorado Springs. The mountain is over 14,000 feet high and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can reach the summit of Pikes Peak by hiking, biking, or driving up the Pikes Peak Highway, which offers panoramic views along the way. The summit is home to a visitor center and gift shop, as well as a variety of outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, and fishing.
- Address: Pikes Peak Hwy, Cascade, CO 80809, USA
- Phone: (719) 385-7325
- Website: https://www.pikes-peak.com/
- Pikes Peak is a 14,115-foot mountain located in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.
- Visitors can reach the summit of Pikes Peak by driving, hiking, or taking the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.
- The mountain offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including the city of Colorado Springs and the Great Plains.
- The Pikes Peak Highway is a scenic drive that winds up the mountain, with several viewpoints and pullouts along the way.
- The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is a historic train that travels to the summit of the mountain, offering a unique and memorable experience.
- Visitor facilities at the summit include a gift shop, restaurant, and observation deck.
From the towering peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park to the red rock formations of Garden of the Gods, Colorado is a state that never fails to amaze visitors with its natural beauty and endless adventure opportunities. Whether you’re looking for outdoor recreation, cultural experiences, or simply a relaxing getaway, Colorado has something for everyone. By visiting the top-rated tourist spots in Colorado, you’ll discover why this state has become a beloved destination for travelers from around the world. From the majestic Rocky Mountains to the vibrant cities and charming towns, the tourist spots in Colorado offer a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers. So pack your bags, hit the road, and start exploring all that Colorado has to offer.
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