Touring Great Sand Dunes National Park on horseback
Serene day paddling on the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs
Winter fat tire biking in the mountains surrounding Telluride
Fly-fishing in a crystal-clear stream near Snowmass
Downhill skiing on excellent powder at Vail Resorts
Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park
Soaking in the warm waters of Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs
Red rock formations among the lush foliage of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs
Two elk wandering the snow-covered landscape on a winter day in Estes Park
Checking out the views from aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
- Major Airports:
- Denver (DEN)
- Centennial State
Four seasons of adventure and recreation
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. Those needing a bit of assistance loading up a travel itinerary with adventures can seek advice at 10 official Colorado Welcome Centers across the state. 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.
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
Maroon Bells, just outside Aspen, are the most photographed mountain peaks in North America.
Photo: Osamu Hoshino
The world's largest natural hot springs pool is located in Glenwood Springs.
Photo: Visit Glenwood Springs