Huge sand dunes and the Rocky Mountains. The Colorado River, deep canyons and lush forests.
Colorado is a beautiful state with a variety of outdoor adventure opportunities, whether it’s climbing granite rock formations or enjoying the 50 percent of land that is flat throughout The Centennial State.
Here are some adventurous ideas:
View from the Top
Ascend to 14,115 feet (wow!) by driving the 19-mile road that takes you to the summit of Pikes Peak, which along the way features attractions like North Slope Recreation Area, Summit House and Crystal Reservoir Gift Shop. Hiking trails, wildlife sightings (deer, elk, bighorn sheep) and Meet the Ranger programs are all part of the enjoyment.
Family-friendly snowmobiling excursions for all ages is available through Steamboat Snowmobile Tours, located in Steamboat Springs and known for its adventure routes through the Routt National Forest on the Continental Divide. A brief orientation is followed by you enjoying trips along mountain meadows and groomed trails.
Battle the Rapids
Colorado’s most visited whitewater rapids destination is along the Arkansas River in Buena Vista, where 12 miles of rapids passes through canyons and mountains. Rafters from around the world travel here to experience Zoom Flume, which stretches for a half-mile and provides amazing thrills throughout its raucous ride.
Fish the Hog Trough
Rainbow trout as large as 15 pounds can be caught in Gunnison on the Taylor River, especially below Taylor Park Dam in an area known as the Hog Trough. The biggest trout found in Colorado are here along 12 miles of public waterway downstream. Fly fishing seems to be the most popular way to catch these trophy trout.
Outdoor adventurers will be in their snow-powder glory with all the skiing and snowboarding opportunities available at Vail Mountain Resort. The vacation destination features about 350 inches of annually snowfall and has 31 ski lifts and more than 5,000 acres of accessible terrain. Great restaurants and cocktail bars are within easy walking distance.
Ride in a Jeep
An interesting 2 1/2-hour driving excursion called the Colorado Springs Foothills and Garden of the Gods Jeep Tour features guide drivers who showcase sites like Pikes Peak, Colorado waterfalls, the Southern Rocky Mountains and Garden of the Gods. The Jeep trip also passes through two high-elevation railroad tunnels that offer spectacular vistas of incredible landscapes below.
Zip Right Along
In Canon City is Royal Gorge Zip Line Tours, which offers 20 zip lines along two courses that each stretch more than a mile. The zip lines range from beginner to expert, and the views below are amazing. Also on site is a half-mile of hiking trails, Royal Gorge rafting and a White Water Bar & Grill.