Welcome to Colorado
Spectacular vistas, endless powder runs and mountain towns with echoes of the Old West – Colorado is a place that has long beckoned people to adventure.
Rocky Mountain High
The best-known Rocky Mountain state, with the highest concentration of peaks above 14,000ft, Colorado owes its public adoration to the alpine behemoths that rise abruptly, crinkled and snowcapped, out of the Great Plains. Countless hiking and biking trails climb above the treeline to wildflower-strewn meadows, while a plethora of scenic drives wend their ways up hairpin turns to cross the Continental Divide. Even during the peak summer season, when millions of tourists flood the state, visitors can still find solitude by camping at a remote glacial lake, or peering down at the world from atop a craggy summit.
Ski Country, USA
The combination of light, soft powder and frequent blue skies has made Colorado winters the stuff of legend. Hares and mountain lions leave white tracks, boarders and skiers weave through pine forests and open bowls, and hearthfires roar in mountain lodges. With World Cup groomers, steep-and-deep terrain off-piste and legendary parking-lot BBQs, Colorado certainly has some of the best downhill skiing experiences on earth. Remarkable cross-country and backcountry terrain bring a whole other dimension to winter, one where lift lines don't exist. If you're among the hardcore, you can make turns from Halloween through July.
Deserts & Canyons
Colorado isn't all mountains, though. Mesas, canyons and high desert hills also make up much of the state, particularly in the south and west. Boaters paddle through the Arkansas and Colorado River gorges, mountain bikers cruise desert singletrack outside towns like Fruita and Salida, and rock climbers can get outside even in winter at Shelf Road and Boulder. Mesa Verde, Hovenweep and Chimney Rock provide a glimpse of what Ancestral Puebloan life was like hundreds of years ago on the Colorado Plateau, a monumental desert landscape that extends into New Mexico, Utah and Arizona.
If your Colorado playlist doesn't go beyond John Denver or U2 Live at Red Rocks, it's time for a reboot. A vibrant cultural scene has emerged in tandem with the thriving urban centers along the Front Range. Groups like the Lumineers, Tennis, and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats have brought national attention to Denver musicians, and Red Rocks and Boulder's Fox Theatre remain uniquely epic concert venues. Art museums and galleries in both Denver and Aspen continue to expand as well, providing a shot of urban street cred to pair with your outdoor adventure.