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Sensational Colorado
Sensational Colorado
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From Ancient Beginnings to City Amenities

Colorado’s earliest residents moved here centuries ago. Ancestral Pueblo people carved their homes into the sides of cliffs. The dwellings date to the 1190s. Get a glimpse of how they lived and farmed until about 1300 by exploring Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado. Go on a ranger-led tour to see places like the Balcony House, Cliff Palace and Spruce Tree House. From there, learn more about the state’s Wild West heritage just about everywhere you travel. Keep your eyes peeled for historic forts and railroads, ghost towns, mining museums and dude ranches. Who doesn’t want to go horseback riding and pretend to be a cowboy for a day or two? You’ll definitely want to head back to civilization for modern culture. In addition to Denver, spend time exploring Fort Collins’ historic district, scenic parks in Colorado Springs, wineries in Grand Junction and Western charm paired with hot springs in Steamboat Springs.


Gorgeous Outdoors and Year-Round Activities

In addition to Mesa Verde, Colorado is home to three more national parks – the state’s most popular, Rocky Mountain, in addition to Great Sand Dunes and Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Go hiking and fishing, see wildflowers and wildlife, and marvel at sand dunes towering 2,650 meters high. Reserve a campsite to gaze at stars twinkling in the dark skies, or sightsee from a seat in a train car on eight historic railroad routes. More Colorado marvels include nine national monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and 58 mountain peaks over 4,000 meters high (known locally as "fourteeners" for their 14,000-foot elevations). Those fabulous slopes earned Colorado’s reputation as one of North America’s premier snow sports destinations offering 28 ski areas and resorts. Summer activities also abound at the high-altitude resorts and towns – there’s never an idle day for those who like biking, golfing, ziplining and taking gondola rides. Among awesome places to stay and play, no matter what time you visit, are Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen/ Snowmass and Telluride.


Keeping Colorado Beautiful

Expect warm welcomes from Colorado’s residents, who love to share the state’s natural beauty with visitors. Colorado is a leader in sustainability, aiming to enlist travelers to help protect the qualities that attracted them to visit in the first place. Using the Care for Colorado Principles to inspire low-impact travel, the state encourages people to leave no traces of their visit behind. Doing so will help more than 900 species of wildlife and 750 types of flowers to thrive in the wilderness. Some simple ways to help include using refillable beverage containers, staying on marked trails, leaving natural items intact and putting trash in the proper bins.

Sensational Colorado
Sensational Colorado
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Fun Fact

Stargazing near Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado
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Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Alamosa is officially designated an International Dark Sky Park, making it one of the best places in the world to spend a few hours stargazing off-the-grid.

Photo: Colorado Tourism Office

The Maroon Bells in Colorado’s Elk Mountains
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Maroon Bells, just outside Aspen, are the most photographed mountain peaks in North America.

Photo: Osamu Hoshino

A steamy evening at Glenwood Hot Springs Pool
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The world's largest natural hot springs pool is located in Glenwood Springs.

Photo: Visit Glenwood Springs

Must see places

A colorful sunset over the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction, Colorado
Visit Grand Junction

Colorado National Monument

Just outside the town of Grand Junction awaits an otherworldly landscape where red rock spires rise into clear blue skies. Cruise down scenic motorway Rim Rock Drive for postcard views of spots like the Independence Monument or explore on foot to get a closer look at ancient petroglyphs and striking geological features.

Aerial view of Snowmass, Colorado
Jeremy Swanson

Aspen Snowmass

Four mountains surround Aspen Snowmass, where beginners can enjoy skiing lessons and bunny slopes while advanced skiers can take on the challenging Highland Bowl and Hanging Valley Wall. Once you’ve gotten a taste of Colorado’s unforgettable ski culture (including a cozy après-ski or two), check out some of the other 28 ski areas the state has to offer.

The sun shining over Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado
Marck Gutt/Don Viajes

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Carved out by the Gunnison River over the course of 2 million years, this natural wonder of cliffs, spires and narrows are packed with adventures. Hike the rim or go deep into the inner canyon.

Historic Union Station is especially inviting at night

Denver Union Station

This historic terminal building in Denver’s LoDo district is quite the scene: hip restaurants and bars, artisan shops and boutiques, and cool hotels reflect the spirit and the history of the city.

Cliff House, one of the ancient dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado
Travel Shooters

Mesa Verde National Park

At Mesa Verde, get an up-close look at how Native American tribes thrived in Colorado from AD 600 to 1300. Take a tour and explore amazingly well-preserved Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings.

The remarkable sand formations at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado
Colorado Tourism Office

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Located in southern Colorado, Great Sand Dunes National Park is home to the tallest dunes in North America. Hike along scenic trails to forests, wetlands and alpine lakes.

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad train

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

This 1-meter-wide heritage railroad operates 73 kilometers of scenic track with special events including brew and wine rides, cowboy poet rides, photographers’ rides and holiday-themed Polar Express rides around Christmas.

Full tilt in the electric glow of a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater
Red Rocks

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater

A stunning park located just outside Denver, Red Rocks is known for its large red sandstone outcroppings and naturally formed, iconic amphitheater that hosts big-name music acts. The venue is loved not only for its near-perfect acoustics, but also for its incredible views of Denver and the surrounding landscape.

Watching an elk while hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
Allen Ken

Rocky Mountain National Park

With 560 kilometers of trails, this iconic landscape is easy to explore. Less than two hours from Denver, drive the park’s scenic Trail Ridge Road to access some of the most scenic trails and views. Fishing and horseback riding are also popular pastimes here.

Horseback riding at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Loveland, Colorado
Joshua Hardin

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

Horseback riding, fly-fishing and whitewater rafting are among the activities available at this wilderness gem about an hour north of Denver in Loveland. After outdoor adventures, relax in your cozy cabin, soak in the heated pool or enjoy family-friendly games. Sylvan Dale is one of many outstanding dude and guest ranches in Colorado.

Gondola ride at Royal Gorge Bridge and Park in central Colorado
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Experience Colorado Tourism