Traveling to Colorado and not quite sure how to spend your time? CO is one of the best states in the US for rugged outdoor adventure. But just because you’ll be spending your days outdoors doesn’t mean you have to spend your nights that way as well. By booking one of the many luxury homes in Colorado for the length of your stay, you can have an awesome trip that combines outdoor adventure with indoor comfort and luxury.
Of course, that only takes care of one aspect of your trip. To find out how to best spend your days in the beautiful state of Colorado, here are some ideas to help you have the best adventures in one of the most amazing states in the U.S.
Explore Strange Landscapes
One of the best things about Colorado is the geographical diversity of the landscape. New visitors to this state will find dense forests, green mountains, snow-peaked mountains, deep-set canyons and even vast open plains and deserts. With all the choice, it’s hard to choose what to see first.
Luckily, you’re never far from adventure in CO. One of the most amazing landscapes to be explored is Star Dune in the Great Sand Dunes National Park. This place is home to the tallest sand dune in America, where 700ft (213 meters) tall sand dunes rise out of the blue, created over a million years ago by ocean waters and wind. The park is best explored in any season but summer, when the temperatures are far too high, this dune offers open-ended hiking and incredible views of the surrounding landscape.
One of the top hikes near Denver, CO that seems to make everyone’s list is the five-mile trail to Butler Gulch. Amazing alpine views dotted with wildflowers make this a favorite on many hikers’ bucket lists. Unlike many of the more challenging trails in the region, this one is relatively easy and short, meaning you can complete it in a day and still be home in time for a great dinner.
However, it is Pikes Peak that steals the spotlight. Rising above Colorado Springs, this 14,115ft (4,302 meters) summit is climbed by around 400,000 people each year. The climb is considered relatively easy, but then again, going up and down such a tall mountain is no easy feat. Also, the difficulty depends on the route, as there are trails for all levels, from beginners to advanced mountaineers.
Image source: Colorado Mountain School
Climbing is one of Colorado’s top outdoor sports, and with good reason. Mountains and rocks are literally everywhere in this gorgeous region, and climbers flock here during every part of the year to test their limits.
If you’ve never tried rock climbing before, you can begin by taking a lesson with one of the local mountaineering schools. If you’re already familiar with this incredibly challenging activity and have all the necessary gear on-hand, then you should definitely check out Garden of the Gods just outside Colorado Springs. This is one of CO’s top climbing areas and, with well-marked (and often even paved trails), it’s easy to find a great spot to spend the day exploring and climbing.
Go Mountain Biking
With all the mountains in CO, it’s no surprise that people have a lot of hobbies centered around getting up and down them. Mountain biking makes no exception, with whole groups, clubs, and even towns dedicated to the sport and its betterment. But one of the best spots in the state to check out mountain biking is in the Rocky Mountain town of Crested Butte. With an incredible number of trails, shops, and community members dedicated to the sport, there was never a better place to try out mountain biking for the first time or get to know other enthusiasts.
The abundance of canyons in CO means you can enjoy the thrilling outdoor activity that goes by the name of canyoning – going down canyons using specific equipment and a variety of techniques such as mixed climbing, jumping, scrambling, hiking, and rappelling.
Some of the best canyons in the state can be found in Black Canyon in the Gunnison National Park, the Mesa Verde National Park, and Colorado National Monument.
Try Trail Running
Trail running is another great way to explore the gorgeous Colorado outdoors on foot. The best part? With trail running, you can see more of the landscape than you would with pretty much any other outdoor sport, flying past a variety of mountains and geologic features unique to the area. With so many hiking trails and wide-open spaces, it’s easy to find the perfect trail running spot that suits your needs. Bring a friend and explore the local trails or visit one of the more distinguished parks in the state.
Go Fly Fishing
Colorado is also famous for its incredible fly-fishing. With rivers and streams galore, you’re never far from an ideal spot to cast out and try your luck. Hire a guide if it’s your first time, or just do your homework and hit up the local bait and tackle shop before you head out. Fishing in Colorado can be an epic adventure, and a rewarding way to bring a meal home to share with friends and family.
Hit the Slopes
It wouldn’t be a fair CO adventure list without naming the sport that the state is possibly best known for – skiing. With so many downhill and backcountry ski spots to choose from, it’s impossible not to test out the snow in CO at least once. Bring your own gear and head to one of the world’s top resorts or do your research and plan a backcountry skiing trip with friends. Either way, make sure you get out and explore all the CO has to offer with whatever adventure suits you best!