Colorado boasts thousands of miles of beautiful Rocky Mountains as well as lush forests, rivers, rolling hills and high plains. It’s scenic geography attracts millions of tourists each year seeking adventure around every corner of the land. With heaps of cities and towns boasting such mid-western charm, you may be wondering what cities to visit during your next visit. There are plenty of activities to experience all year-round; no matter what season you decide to visit.
During the winter season, it is important to remember that snowfall and winds can become very intense when you are traveling to higher altitudes, which can create dangerous avalanches depending where you are. Stay updated with local weather conditions before traveling to high altitude regions to ensure your safety. Also, always make sure to wear sunscreen and sunglasses even if it is cloudy and snowing outside. You may not realize through the chilly temperatures and snow, but the UV index can reach extreme levels by mid-day. Winter is a very popular season for all skiers and snowboarders alike. There are enormous mountain ranges all across the state, which include many of the well-known ski destinations. Some popular ski/snowboard destinations include; Aspen, Vail, Boulder, and Breckenridge. No matter which mountain you decide to take on, the slopes are epic for all ages and experience levels. Other activities include skating, backcountry boarding, ice climbing and hiking.
When spring has sprung in Colorado, the warm weather brings along blooming wildflowers and the rivers begin to flow once again from the melting ice of winter. Springtime is one of the best times to visit all walks of Colorado due to the slightly cooler but still comfortable weather. During the months from March to May is a splendid time to visit because this is the time the trees and flowers begin to paint the landscape with bright and beautiful color that will truly take your breath away. As the ice begins to melt from the winter months, waterfalls around the state begin to flow with greater strength.
Some must see waterfalls during the spring season include:
- Bridal Veil Falls, Telluride – 4 miles one-way
- Bear Creek Falls, Telluride – 2.3 miles one-way
- Cornet Creek Falls, Telluride – 0.25 miles one-way
- Fish Creek Falls, Steamboat Springs – 0.25 miles one-way
- Rainbow Falls, Manitou Springs – 0.5 miles one-way
- Hanging Lake, Glenwood Springs
The summer months are known to be the best season to hike and partake in some backcountry camping. It has been said that “climbing a 14er” is a “must do” activity while visiting Colorado. What is a 14er you might ask? It is literally described as climbing 14,000+ feet up one of the many fourteeners scattered across the state. Climbing to such an altitude is not easy but with a great deal of preparation you will be determined to mark this accomplishment off your bucket list. Summer months are also a time where the wild animals are the most active throughout the state. You might get lucky while hiking and see beautiful animals such as foxes, elk, moose, mountain goat, and bighorn sheep. Be aware of your surroundings and do not attempt to feed or touch the wild animals as this may disrupt their natural habitat. A popular getaway during the summer months with friends and family is camping! One thing to remember is that campsites in Colorado’s National Parks may be difficult to access without booking a reservation ahead of time. The good news is there are many free campgrounds available on BLM Land. Indian Peaks Wilderness, Lock Lomond, Sugarloaf Mountain, Arapahoe National Forest and Collegiate Peaks Wilderness are just some of the free camping locations around the state of Colorado.
The fall season in Colorado is filled with all the beautiful colors of fall. Many tourists opt to take an entire day and explore the many scenic drives across the state to witness the changing of the Aspens. Scenic drives through National Parks and forests along the highway are some of the easiest ways to witness the ever-changing landscapes and fall colors. Starting in September, Aspen trees begin to turn gold at higher elevations and later in the season, around October-November, you can see the beautiful colors cascading down the foothills and through the plains near Denver. Another thing to mention, the fall season is Colorado’s elk mating season. While hiking or camping, you may hear unusual noises as these elks perform their common mating rituals. Estes Park, on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park, is a town where elk activity is abundant, meaning you are sure to see a herd while passing through.
Besides the must-see attractions during a particular season, there are several other experiences to have depending on which part of Colorado you are visiting:
Rocky Mountain National Park: Located just a short drive from Estes Park, it is one of the most popular national parks in America. The Trail Ridge Road is the main scenic drive through the park where you are able to sightsee from your vehicle. There are also several turn-outs along the way for you to stop for a short hike.
Mesa Verde National Park: Known for its popular “Cliff Palace” that dates back to the 1300’s, this tourist attraction is only accessible by Ranger-led tours. A must see if you are into it’s history, hiking, and exceptionally preserved ruins.
Durango: This southern town holds a lot of history and has many well-restored buildings to stay in on your visit. During summer, The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gage Railway provides day trips to the mining town of Silverton. In the winter, Durango is transformed into a skiers dream town with cheap accommodations.
Glenwood Hot Springs: The hot spring resort is one of the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool. The hot springs have become a popular destination for health conscious visitors seeking its healing and therapeutic properties.
No matter the season you plan to visit the beautiful state of Colorado, you are sure to enjoy the many tourist attractions as well as the hidden gems found all across the state.