5 Outdoor Activities You Can Do in Colorado with Little to No Gear
Trip Recommender

Find Your Perfect Adventure

5 Outdoor Activities You Can Do in Colorado with Little to No Gear

things to do in colorado

There are a lot of things to do in Colorado if you use your imagination, but if gear and imagination are something you’re lacking at the moment, please let us plant a couple Colorado adventure seeds in there for you.

colorado geocaching

Geocaching – Geocaching is an old-fashioned scavenger hunt, updated for modern times. The whole family can participate in this activity throughout the Rocky Mountains. Using only their eyes and a hand-held GPS (Global Positioning System), players hunt for hidden treasures. The rules of geocaching are simple: take something from the cache, leave something in the cache, and record it in the logbook. You will typically find low-priced trinkets like toys, random souvenirs, or books. 

You can find geocache locations by visiting the official Geocaching site. 

Before you leave on your hunt, make sure you have extra batteries for your GPS unit, appropriate clothing (layers are great due to changing weather,) and snacks. Also, bring a map and compass and check the geocaching terrain for difficulty ratings. 

When you arrive at the park, use your GPS to find the cache. Before you start, mark your car as a waypoint to ensure your safe return. 

Once you reach the coordinates, search the area for a cache. Remember that distances can be deceiving—a geocache can take longer to find depending on trails, rivers, and other obstacles. 

When you find the cache, take something from the container and leave something you’ve brought with you. Sign the logbook and return the container to its hiding spot for the next finder. 

Tread lightly. Geocachers are encouraged to practice minimum impact behavior at all times. 

fall leaves colorado

Enjoy Fall Colors – Hunting for changing leaves is a time-honored tradition in Colorado. To find the best fall colors, check the Park Finder for current conditions. Each park will give you tips on how to find the most striking colors. You can enjoy the fall colors by taking a car trip or finding a strategically-placed cabin or campsite. For car, trips check out the Gold Rush, Colorado Style page from Colorado Parks & Wildlife. You can also explore the beautiful Rocky Mountains by bicycle, fall is often the perfect time to enjoy some outdoor cycling. Check out the fall leaves with one of our exclusive zipline or via ferrata courses!

gold panning colorado

Gold Panning – Gold Panning is an activity that you can get started in without a lot of equipment. Some parks will lend you a gold pan, or you can purchase a gold panning kit for $20 – $50 depending on what’s included. You’ll also want a shovel and a guidebook. Waders come in handy especially as the water gets colder. All told, you should be able to gear up for under $100 at most outdoor stores or online.  

To find a great location, choose a creek or stream with calm, slow waters to ensure your own safety. Start by filling your pan with sand, then sift. Check for large chunks or nuggets by running the contents of your pan through the sifter and catching it in the bottom pan. Don’t be discouraged if all that’s left in your sifter is rocks. Toss them and go back to the pan of smaller particles. Separating requires some patience. It’s nice to find a place to sit. Place the pan of sand barely in the water so that heavier pieces (like gold) will sink to the bottom and the sand itself will lift out over the edge of the pan. Allow it to drift out little by little, watching carefully. The process should be slow – you don’t want to miss anything! Once you’re down to just one layer of the heaviest particles, look carefully for shimmering gold flakes.  

If you’re into gold mining history, come experience the river and town where it all started on one of our Gold Rush rafting and adventure trips.

ice skating colorado

Ice Skating & Sledding – whether you live near Denver or on the Western Slope, there is a state park nearby where you can play on a frozen pond or snow-covered hill. Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Eleven Mile State Park reservoir, and Highline Lake State Park are all great places to go ice skating. 

Sledding can be found all over the Rocky Mountains includingGolden Gate Canyon State Park, Roxborough State Park, Cherry Creek State Park, Mueller State Park ,  and Sylvan Lake State Park . Now if you need gear, you can always visit our friends at Breckenridge Ski & Sport for the best rates on skis and snowboards.

Stargazing – Beginners can start off with books, binoculars, and planispheres to get going in identifying constellations and celestial bodies. Even if scientific identification isn’t for you, stargazing is a wonderful way to connect with nature and gain some perspective on our human existence. You can visit any state park that allows visitors after sunset. You’ll want to bring a blanket, bug repellant and some warm clothing – Colorado gets chilly after sundown. You can also try out our stargazing zipline tour just 30 minutes away from Denver.

Jackson Lake State Park in Morgan County was designated as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association. Other great stargazing locations include Ridgway , Eleven Mile, Pearl Lake (located north of Steamboat,) Rifle Gap State Park, and State Forest. 


About the Author

Tiffany Weber 

Tiffany is a contributing member of the Sales & Marketing department. She resides in Georgetown, CO with her fiancé and two 14-year-old dogs. They like to go for walks along Clear Creek and Georgetown Lake as well as the hiking trail located just behind the house. She also enjoys true crime podcasts and visiting with her parents up in Fort Collins.