8 of the best outdoors destinations in Colorado
Colorado, winter or summer, boasts an amazing outdoors environment with plenty of great places to visit. It is a vast state of America, with many huge wilderness areas, so it’s worth choosing a few places to visit and then take your time to explore them.
You’ll also want to make sure you have applied and paid for an ESTA Visa before you travel. An ESTA is required by anyone who is visiting America from overseas and details your plans, your date of arrival and when you will leave the country. Most people travelling to Colorado from overseas will fly into the international airport at Denver.
8 great destinations in Colorado
1 Garden of the Gods
Located in Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods is a National Natural Landmark. The park is home to fantastic sandstone formations. There is a visitor centre where you can learn about the history and geography of the park – and from there many people will walk the trails and visit various viewing points.
2 Red Rocks Amphitheatre
A stone formation near the town of Morrison, and only 15 miles from Denver, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre is an impressive sight. It’s believed the location was once used by the Ute tribe – and these days it’s the perfect location for live music shows.
3 Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde means “green table” in Spanish and is situated in southwest Colorado. Since 1906, it has been designated a national park and it’s also a World Heritage site.
Mesa Verde has been inhabited since 7500BC by nomadic tribes and its estimated the first pueblos (cliff dwellings) were built in 650AD.
You will see a Cliff Palace, among other amazing sights, and you can visit the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum.
4 Great Sand Dunes National Park
In southern Colorado, these fabulous sandy dunes, including the iconic Star Dune, offer a great place to visit. You’ll enjoy amazing vistas and the backcountry Medano Pass Primitive Road winds through a canyon toward the Sangre de Cristo mountains.
5 Rocky Mountain National Park
I can’t see or hear the words without humming the famous John Denver song, Rocky Mountains High! The stunning mountain range in north-central Colorado is famous worldwide and much visited.
The source of the Colorado River is located in the park, too. There are plenty of hiking trails, mountain biking routes and, in winter, plenty of skiing options. Make sure you take your camera and snap as many photos as you can.
6 Crested Butte ski resort
There are plenty of skiing resort to visit, include the more famous Vail and Breckenridge, as well as Winter Park, Steamboat and Telluride. But on a trip earlier this year to the state, we most enjoyed Crested Butte. The resort is situated in the Elk Mountains of the Rocky Mountains.
There are ski routes for all abilities and one of the steepest in the world, Rambo. It’s a laid back and friendly resort that is far less visited ut highly recommmended. North America.
7 Strawberry Park Hot Springs
The natural springs near Steamboat are well worth a visit, whatever the season. The springs are a great tourist attraction set in a lovely country location. Sit in natural heated pools and enjoy nearby walks.
8 The Colorado Trail
The trail extends 486 miles across Colorado, from mouth of Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango. Its highest point is 13,271ft above sea level and most of the trail is above 10,000ft. Choose a section of the trail and explore on foot, or walk the whole route if you have the time, energy and experience.
Don’t forget about your ESTA
ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. It is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to America under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
It is recommended that ESTA applications be submitted at least 72 hours prior to travel although it is better to ensure you have the ESTA sorted out much further in advance. Travellers can apply as soon as they begin their travel plans or prior to purchasing airline tickets. The ESTA is valid for multiple trips over a period of two years. Filling out the ESTA form only takes a bout five minutes.
Also read: 27 things I learned about Colorado.