“A crystal-clear Colorado sky opens above us, a blue so deep it makes you dizzy. The occasional bright white wispy could dances across the firmament, punctuating the deep blue vault of heaven stretching over this paradise.” – author Neil Hanson
It’s not very often that one state can encapsulate so much of what America has to offer, and as author Neil Hanson remarks, perhaps this is what makes Colorado “paradise.”
Colorado’s beauty is undeniably shaped by its diverse biospheres; mountains, deserts, forests, high plains, plateaus, alpine tundra, mesas, and canyons all contribute to the state’s unique natural environment, and road-trippers across Colorado can experience this richness without leaving the state.
With so many landscapes to experience and unique places to visit, people across the nation and world flock to Colorado to explore the natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities this natural environment inspires!
No matter what type of outdoor adventure seeker you are, you can find it here in Colorado! Here are a few of the top outdoor activities people come to Colorado to enjoy.
1. Skiing and Snowboarding
One of the most popular activities for visitors from all over the world is skiing. From Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen or Copper Mountain, where our winter Olympians train, Colorado offers abundant ski and snowboard opportunities for all skill levels.
There’s nothing like “Shredding the Gnar” or testing your skills with back country skiing. Visiting this winter in Breckenridge and need some skis? Give our favorite local ski shop, Breckenridge Ski & Sport, a call, and they will help you out with all your ski and snowboard needs!
2. Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
Cross country skiing and snowshoeing present a unique way to experience the outdoors and get in some exercise! Ski or snowshoe groomed “Lake Loops” across the Dillon Reservoir in Summit County or head to one of our favorite snowshoe trails in Breckenridge with opportunities to traverse through forested and alpine terrain. While these sports may look easy from afar, they require much greater stamina and precision than regular hiking.
3. White Water Rafting
The beginning of snowmelt means time for rafting season! Because of the immense amount of snowfall this past winter (making for great skiing!), we also expect to have the best rafting season Colorado has seen in 5 years!
Colorado boasts Class II rapids all the way up to Class V for those not faint of heart. We have outposts 45 minutes from Denver or Breckenridge in Idaho Springs as well as outposts in Buena Vista and Kremmling. Check out AVA Rafting and Ziplining to see all our options for new and experienced rafters alike—we are sure there will be a Colorado river adventure for you!
4. Ziplining and Via Ferrata
We also offer cliffside zipline at our Idaho Springs and mountaintop zipline at our Buena Vista outpost! For those looking for a thrilling challenge, try a Via Ferrata at either location! Traverse across iron bars, ladders, cables, and bridges built into the mountainside and conquer the natural cliff face! Our Idaho Springs course includes a 70-foot rappel and three lines of the zipline course, and our Buena Vista adventure will take you above the Arkansas River Valley.
5. Hiking and Camping
With our awe-inspiring forests and 58 14’ers, hiking and camping are some of the best ways to experience Colorado. Colorado has numerous opportunities to hike across the state and to experience its varying landscapes. Explore our favorite hikes in Rocky Mountain National Hike or check out AllTrails to find a trail near you! Hiking the Colorado trail—485 miles between Denver and Durango—is also a bucket list item that adventurers from all over the globe come and test their skills.
Camping is another amazing way to experience Colorado’s outdoors, with opportunity to both adventure and relax. Check out our recommendations for camping near Buena Vista or an overnight rafting trip to fuel your wanderlust and sense of adventure! No matter where you choose to camp, be sure to check the type of site and if you need a reservation. Some campsites are first come first serve, while others require reservations and fill up fast! Colorado Parks & Wildlife is a great resource to find and reserve a campsite.
6. Ice Climbing
Although Colorado has many opportunities for outdoor climbing, ice climbing in Colorado can be a fun, unique adventure if undertaken safely and with the right equipment. The Georgetown area has opportunities to climb its impressive frozen waterfall to the top and rappel down, or click here to discover other areas in Colorado to test out your ice climbing skills! If you are new to ice climbing, be sure to read up on how to safely get started!
With so many wonderful options in our beautiful state of Colorado it’s easy to see why people come to enjoy the outdoors and have a great adventure!
Edited by Rosa Canales, Marketing Specialist