A year-round destination that awakens the imagination and energizes the soul with its spectacular landscape and natural beauty, Colorado is nothing less than extraordinary, with a diversity that ranges from the impressive Rocky Mountains to the rolling hills, high desert of the Colorado Plateau, rivers, and streams. Mountain towns are great places for relaxation and enjoy the mountain vibe. Drive along state highways and parks to see the amazing sites that the state has to offer and relax in Colorado’s best hotels and cabins in Colorado. This state is the best destination that will make you rethink your next travel getaways.
Rocky Mountain National Park
One of the most popular national parks in the United States, Rocky Mountain National Park is just a few miles from the town of Estes Park. The highest mountain peaks, lakes, forest, and plentiful wildlife showcase nature at its best. Rocky Mountain contains more than 100 peaks over 10,000 feet, including Longs Peak which is the highest in the park at 14,259 feet. It has also a large hiking trails system that ranges from paths of less than a half-mile to full-day and multi-day hikes. You might be able to see bighorn sheep, elk, deer, and other critters.
Busy season in this park is during summer, where you can try its most popular activities such as wildlife viewing, hiking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, climbing, and bouldering. During winter, some roads are open year-round, but other roads are closed sometimes due to the weather conditions. But you can still go here at this time of the year for snowshoe or cross-country ski, or try the ranger-led tour.
Mesa Verde National Park
Even if you haven’t seen cliff dwellings before, you’ll surely be blown away by Mesa Verde National Park. Cliff Palace, the centerpiece of the park, is one of the most stunning dwellings in the entire Southwest, with an awe-inspiring setting and unbelievable preserved ruins. You can also try the Ranger-led tours, and allow yourself to climb ladders right up into the center of the dwelling. This tour runs during the summer season. If you are not up for that intense type of activity, you can get a great of the site from a nearby overlook.
Cliff dwellings are the most picturesque among thousands of archaeological sites lie within the park. There are few hiking trails, lead to lookouts and amazing sites including petroglyphs which do not require a ranger tour. Mesa Verde is located near the towns of Mancos and Cortez. It can be reached by a long road that leads high up above the surrounding landscape. It will take you about 45 minutes from the highway. Near the highway, you’ll notice one of the visitor centers, where you can get information about the park and the condition of the road before driving up.
Garden of the Gods
A registered National Natural Landmark, Garden of the Gods is an exceptional landscape of rough stones towers and fins extended up 300 feet from the earth. Fifteen miles distant of mountain trails, allows climbers to see up close the dramatic rock formations and walk through the surreal scenery. Garden of God is a popular area for rock climbing, but you can also try other activities such as road biking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and Jeep and Segway tours.
Colorado National Monument
Colorado National Monument is not your typical mountain scenery. It’s a view of huge rock spires, canyons, cliff walls, and desert-like surroundings with scrubby bushes and small trees. Some people drive through the monument along Rim Rock Drive and stop at the lookouts that peer over the landscape below. You can also try a road biking in this area. There is a limited number of day hike access to some scenic areas of the monument.
Dinosaur National Monument
Located in Northwest of Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument is a combination of a stunning view of natural and cultural history creating Colorado’s most popular sites. Dinosaur remains visible in exposed rock walls, revealing as evidence of the dinosaur that once roamed these areas.
Quarry Visitors Center is the first stop going to Dinosaur National Monument, where you can access Quarry Exhibit Hall, the main attraction at the park. This park is not just about archaeological aspect, because of its diversity, the possibilities extend well. From a simple driving tour the monument to fishing, rafting, camping, and hiking, there are tons of activities you can try in this park.
Mountain Biking Trails Near Fruita
If you’re into mountain biking, Colorado is definitely a haven, with great trails all over the state. However, you need to consider the mountain climate, as it limits the seasons in many areas. But the town of Fruita has the climate that stretches out the mountain biking season thru the shoulder seasons and to the winter seasons. It’s also a little town with enough character to makes you want to stay longer and return over and over again. The mountain biking trails near Fruita are some of the best trails in the state. One of the top-rated trails are the 18 Road Trails and the Kokopelli Loops. This is a desert land, with trails that run along the top of mountain range with views over the Colorado landscape. This area becomes an alternative biking location to Moab, Utah for many mountain bikers. During the spring season, combining sports is even possible here, such as mountain biking in Fruita and skiing at Vail or Beaver Creek.
Photo by Ben Waardenburg