Colorado is a state located in the western part of the United States, known for its rugged landscapes, majestic mountains, and outdoor recreational opportunities. From skiing and snowboarding to hiking and rock climbing, Colorado offers a wide variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best places to visit in Colorado, including national parks, ski resorts, historic towns, and other popular destinations.
- Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is a breathtakingly beautiful park located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. With over 415 square miles of wilderness, this park offers visitors a wide range of activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The park is also home to some of the highest peaks in the Rockies, including Longs Peak, which stands at 14,259 feet tall. Visitors can take scenic drives along Trail Ridge Road or explore the park’s many trails, which range from easy strolls to challenging backcountry hikes.
- Telluride Ski Resort
Telluride Ski Resort is one of the best ski resorts in Colorado, offering over 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, including 127 trails and 18 lifts. The resort is known for its stunning views of the San Juan Mountains and its challenging terrain, which includes some of the steepest runs in North America. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, visitors can enjoy snowshoeing, ice skating, and sleigh rides.
- Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park is a unique destination in Colorado, featuring the tallest sand dunes in North America. Visitors can hike on the dunes, go sandboarding or sand sledding, or explore the park’s many trails. The park also offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, as well as opportunities to see wildlife such as elk and bighorn sheep.
- Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is a historic site located in southwestern Colorado, home to some of the most well-preserved cliff dwellings in the United States. Visitors can explore the park’s many ruins, including the famous Cliff Palace, which was built over 700 years ago by the Ancestral Puebloans. The park also offers opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
- Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods is a public park located in Colorado Springs, featuring stunning rock formations that were formed millions of years ago. Visitors can hike on the park’s many trails, go rock climbing, or take a guided tour. The park also offers stunning views of the nearby Pikes Peak, as well as opportunities to see wildlife such as bighorn sheep and mule deer.
- Breckenridge Ski Resort
Breckenridge Ski Resort is one of the most popular ski resorts in Colorado, offering over 2,900 skiable acres, 187 trails, and 34 lifts. The resort is known for its diverse terrain, including beginner-friendly runs and challenging expert terrain. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, visitors can enjoy snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice skating.
- Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a historic railroad that offers visitors a unique way to explore the stunning scenery of southwestern Colorado. The train travels through the San Juan Mountains, offering stunning views of the Animas River, the rugged mountains, and the historic mining towns of Durango and Silverton. Visitors can take a round-trip ride or opt for a longer excursion that includes hiking or a visit to a historic mine.
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a stunning destination in western Colorado, featuring a deep and narrow canyon that was carved by the Gunnison River over millions of years. Visitors can explore the park’s many trails, which offer stunning views of the canyon and the surrounding wilderness. The park is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, including black bears, mountain lions, and elk.
- Estes Park
Estes Park is a charming mountain town located at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities in Estes Park, including shopping, dining, and outdoor recreation. The town is also home to many historic buildings and landmarks, including the Stanley Hotel, which inspired Stephen King’s novel The Shining.
- Vail Ski Resort
Vail Ski Resort is one of the largest ski resorts in North America, offering over 5,000 skiable acres, 195 trails, and 31 lifts. The resort is known for its high-quality snow and its diverse terrain, which includes beginner-friendly runs and challenging backcountry terrain. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, visitors can enjoy snowshoeing, ice skating, and tubing.
- Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak is a 14,115-foot mountain located near Colorado Springs, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the plains below. Visitors can drive to the summit on the Pikes Peak Highway or take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, which offers a scenic and historic way to reach the top. The summit is also home to a visitor center and a gift shop.
- Crested Butte Ski Resort
Crested Butte Ski Resort is a charming ski resort located in southwestern Colorado, known for its laid-back vibe and its challenging terrain. The resort offers over 1,500 skiable acres, 121 trails, and 16 lifts, as well as opportunities for snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice skating. The town of Crested Butte is also home to many art galleries, shops, and restaurants.
- Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is a unique destination in Colorado, featuring the highest suspension bridge in the United States, which spans the Royal Gorge Canyon at a height of 955 feet. Visitors can walk across the bridge, take a gondola ride, or enjoy other activities in the park, including zip lining, rock climbing, and a scenic railway ride.
- Aspen Ski Resort
Aspen Ski Resort is one of the most famous ski resorts in the world, known for its luxurious amenities, high-quality snow, and challenging terrain. The resort offers over 5,500 skiable acres, 329 trails, and 42 lifts, as well as opportunities for snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice skating. The town of Aspen is also home to many high-end shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
- Great Divide Brewing Company
The Great Divide Brewing Company is a craft brewery located in Denver, offering a wide range of award-winning beers and ales. Visitors can take a brewery tour, sample the brewery’s many beers, and enjoy a meal in the tasting room. The brewery is also known for its sustainability efforts and its commitment to using local ingredients.
In conclusion, Colorado is a state with a wealth of natural beauty, outdoor recreational opportunities, and historic landmarks. Whether you’re a skier, a hiker, or a history buff, there’s something for everyone in Colorado. From the majestic peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park to the charming ski towns of Crested Butte and Aspen, Colorado is a destination that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list.