‘Colourful Colorado’ is known for its natural beauty, outdoor adventures and 300 days of sunshine. Whether you are looking to go hiking, skiing, mountain biking or just explore the great outdoors, Colorado has something to whet your appetite. Here is why we believe Colorado should be top of your USA travel list.
Colorado is an all-year-round destination. With 300 days of sunshine a year, Colorado’s weather is one of its greatest attributes. When you should visit really depends on what you are looking for. In Autumn, the leaves turn red and yellow, making it one of the most beautiful and colourful times to visit the state. Autumn soon gives way to Winter, and the place is transformed into a snowy wonderland that is perfect for skiing. In spring, the trees and wildflowers begin to bloom making it a great time to go hiking and explore the mountains. Summer is great because the warmer temperatures make it a great opportunity to explore some spectacular scenery and enjoy the great outdoors.
Colorado’s four national parks are home to some of the most stunning natural landmarks and scenic landscapes in the USA. Colorado’s landscape is incredibly diverse and has everything from rocky mountains with snow-capped peaks to dramatic canyons and sand dunes.
Rocky Mountain National Park
The Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the United States with around 3.4 million visitors a year. Despite its popularity, the park still manages to provide a sense of solitude. Steeped in grandeur, the park offers an impressive range of mountain environments with everything from meadows and alpine lakes to soaring mountain peaks. The area is also abundant with wildlife making the park a showcase of nature at its finest.
Summer is the busy season for the national park with popular activities including hiking, wildlife viewing camping, fishing and horseback riding. In winter the park takes on an otherworldly beauty as the lakes freeze and the area becomes covered in snow.
Great Sand Dune National Park
The landscape of the Great Sand Dune National Park isn’t something you are probably expecting to find when you travel to Colorado. Reminiscent of a Star Wars movie, the park is home to some of the tallest sand dunes in North America with the largest standing 750-feet tall. This colossal sand box offers a wealth of activities with everything from camping, picnicking to scenic four-wheel drive adventures and of course sand sledding.
Mesa Verde National Park
An hour's drive from the town of Cortez, lies the Mesa Verde National Park, a place rich in the history of the Ancestral Puebloan people. If you are a history buff, this is the place for you. Take a Ranger-led tour around the park’s crown jewel, Cliff Palace and explore the incredibly preserved ruins of a former cliff dwelling. The site tells the story of the Ancestral Puebloan people who inhabited the area for over eight centuries.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Over millions of years, the Gunnison River has carved and sculpted its way through the rock to form the steep vertical surfaces that are now known as the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The result is a narrow and dramatic canyon that is remote enough to give you the feeling that it’s undiscovered. The canyon gets its name because it is often shrouded in shade giving the rock a black appearance.
Pike National Forest
Pikes peak, in the Pike National Forest is one of the Southwest’s famous ‘Fourteeners’ (a mountain peak over 14,000 feet in elevation). This is one of the most visited mountains, second only to Mount Fuji. The summit is easily accessible by driving, but for a more scenic trip — take the Pike Peak Cog Railway.
Garden of the Gods
The Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is a true geological wonder. This registered national natural landmark features a landscape that is covered with jagged stone towers that shoot up to 300 feet out of the ground. Walking trails, most of which are short and easy, allow you to explore the dramatic landscape and get up close and personal with the rock formations. The area offers an abundance of outdoor adventures like hiking, climbing, cycling and even horseback riding.
Put On Your Dancing Shoes
Colorado is home to many amazing live music venues with Denver and Boulder regularly playing post to world-class acts. The most famous venue is Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Over 300 years, massive, slanting, red rocks rose out of the ground to form an acoustically ideal natural amphitheatre that is now considered to be one of the top music venues in the world. Over the years, notable artists such as U2, The Beatles, John Denver and Daft Punk have graced the stage at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Explore The Open Air
There's a reason the state is called 'Colourful Colorado' - when it comes to the great outdoors, Colorado has so much to offer. With hiking trails for all abilities weaving their way across the landscape, including across the state’s 54 ‘Fourteeners’, a hiking adventure is a must-do! Summer and Autum (Fall) are a great time to go hiking thanks to the warmer temperatures but fall is a particularly beautiful. The leaves turn red and yellow making it the most colourful time to explore Colorado. Other popular activities to do at this time of year include, camping, four-wheel driving, horseback riding and even mountain biking.
As winter rolls around, the place is transformed into a snowy wonderland. The ski resort towns of Vail and Aspen are some of the best places to experience winter in Colorado. With seemingly endless runs for people of all levels, these are a great place to go skiing and snowboarding. Ssnowshoeing, ice skating and snowmobiling are also fun activities for visitors.
The Wild, Wild West
Colorado is rich with history. Embrace your inner cowboy and ride on horseback through the land or dive into the states Old West history. Find remnants of the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush or take a scenic tour of the 1850’s mining hotspots.
Colorado is the gateway to the west and is incredibly easily accessible. The state is home to one of the largest airports in the country, Denver International Airport. The state is also accessible through several highways making it a great place for a road trip.
With over 200 craft breweries across the state, one thing is for sure – Colorado loves its beer. They even have their own festival to celebrate the beverage. The Great American Beer Festival is the largest domestic beer festival in the United States and has the largest selection of beer on offer for public tastings.