Top Colorado Cities
📍 Colorado Springs
📍 Fort Collins
📍 Estes Park
Known for world-class ski resorts, high peaks, and top national parks, Colorado is the outdoor lover’s paradise.
Here you can find adventure for every person. Explore incredible alpine lakes through day hikes in the summer or thru-hike the almost 500 miles on the Colorado trail. Hit the slopes with one of the longest ski seasons in resort in the country or raft down the rivers throughout the state. Or pick one of the 58 14ers (mountains above 14,000 feet) to hike and stand on top of the state.
Looking for something a little more relaxed? Enjoy exploring any of the 4 national parks or go check out some great craft beer. Car camp at any of the designated spots around the state or go onto BLM lands for a more secluded experience.
Best Time to Visit
Colorado is known for its year round adventure, so you can visit anytime and find something to do.
Summer – Those who like water sports, hiking, high mountain climbing, mountain biking, and off-roading will find unlimited adventure during the summer months, typically mid June through mid September. This is also Red Rocks season (a natural, outdoor ampitheatre), so if you like music, this is the best time to come.
Fall – Climbing is great during the fall. Mountain biking is also a popular past time, along with hiking and road biking. Peaks usually don’t have a ton of snow yet, depending on the year, so many will try to knock off a couple more summits during this time.
Winter – World renowned skiing dominates the winter sports, but there are others things to do in Colorado during winter. Snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice climbing are all popular pasttimes during the winter.
Spring– Known as ‘Mud Season’, spring is the least popular time to visit, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find something to do. From April to June the high country usually has melting snow so hiking will typically be out. But for climbers, mountaineers, and backcountry skiers, this is one of the best times to come.
Know Before You Go
Getting Around – Colorado may be known for many things, but its public transportation is not one of them. Colorado is a very large state, you can drive for more than 8 hours and still be in Colorado. Unless your trip consists of day trips around major hubs, typically Denver, you’ll need to have a car. If you stay in Denver, the Light Rail system is typically reliable.
Getting Here – The main airport is DIA in Denver, this is the only international airport, but there are 12 regional airports around the state. Colorado is connected to many states as well, so you can drive here from Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska.
Marijuana – Or weed, as most people call it. It is legal here, but where you can buy it depends on the county. Some don’t sell at all, others only sell to those with medical cards, and others sell to 21+, so check the dispensary before heading in if this is your thing.
Food – Colorado is not necessarily known for its cuisine, but you can get some pretty good Mexican food here. Denver and Boulder both are good places to go for foodies.
Drink – On the other hand, Colorado does have a very large selection of craft breweries and cideries around the state, so you will be sure to find a drink for anyone. There are also some kombucha bars and many coffee shops in the larger cities for those who prefer to stay sober.
Ski Areas in Colorado
There are 33 resorts and ski areas in Colorado as of 2020, ranging from 0 lifts (Bluebird Backcountry) to 25 lifts (Vail Resort). Some of these are local, single run ski hills, while others are massive mountains with thousands of acres of skiable terrain. Whatever you are looking for, there is something for everyone.
❄️ Arapahoe Basin
❄️ Aspen Highlands
❄️ Aspen Mountain Resort (Ajax)
❄️ Beaver Creek
❄️ Bluebird Backcountry
❄️ Buttermilk Mountain
❄️ Chapman Hill
❄️ Copper Mountain
❄️ Cranor Ski Area
❄️ Crested Butte
❄️ Echo Mountain
❄️ Eldora Mountain
❄️ Granby Ranch
❄️ Howelsen Hill
❄️ Kendall Mountain
❄️ Lake City Ski Hill
❄️ Lee’s Ski Hill
❄️ Loveland Ski Area
❄️ Monarch Mountain
❄️ Powderhorn Mountain Resort
❄️ Purgatory Resort
❄️ Silverton Mountain Ski Area
❄️ Ski Cooper
❄️ Snowmass Mountain Resort
❄️ Steamboat Ski Resort
❄️ Sunlight Mountain Resort
❄️ Telluride Ski Resort
❄️ Vail Ski Resort
❄️ Winter Park Ski Resort
❄️ Wolf Creek Ski Area
Colorado National Parks, Monuments, and Historic Sites
Colorado is home to 4 National Parks, 8 National Monuments, and 2 National Historic Sites. Rocky Mountain National Park is the most frequented in the state, and the 3rd most visited in the country, so expect it to be crowded, especially during the summer high season.
Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Brown’s Canyon National Monument
Colorado National Monument
Chimney Rock National Monument
Canyon of the Ancients National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Hovenweep National Monument
Mesa Verde National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
Yucca House National Monument
Indigenous Peoples of Colorado
Like the rest of the United States, Colorado has a long and bloody history when it comes to the original inhabitants of the state. Today, there are two federally recognized tribes in the state, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and the Southern Ute Tribe. Both reservations are in the southwest corner of Colorado, and many people from other tribes live around the state. Other tribes originally inhabited Colorado too, including the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Apache, Shoshone, Pueblo, Comanche, Kiowa, and Navajo.
While exploring the outdoors in Colorado, particularly the south west region of the state, it is not completely uncommon to come across ruins, petroglyphs, and artifacts, such as projectile points and pottery sherds. Though much rarer, people do sometimes stumble across old burials and remains. It is illegal to pick any of these up, much less take, on federal lands. Care should be taken when exploring ruins and sacred sites. Don’t touch or climb on or around ruins. Many of these hold a cultural significance to their living ancestors so please respect the sites. It helps to protect a very important heritage, often over looked by many people, for future generations.