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Southwest Colorado Travel Guide

Plan Your Southwest Colorado Vacation

The reddish rocks found in much of the state, particularly in the southwest, give Colorado its name. The region’s terrain varies widely—from yawning black canyons and desolate moonscapes to pastel deserts and mesas, glistening sapphire lakes, and wide expanses of those stunning red rocks. It’s so rugged in the southwest that a four-wheel-drive vehicle or a pair of sturdy hiker’s

legs is necessary to explore much of the wild and beautiful backcountry.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Downhill skiing and snowboarding in Telluride There’s never much of a wait to take a lift up to the sweeping, groomed trails and challenging tree and mogul runs at this world-famous ski area, tucked among the highest concentration of 14,000-foot peaks in North America.
  2. Hiking the Colorado Trail Bike, hike, or photograph along the nearly 500 miles of volunteer-maintained trails traversing eight major mountain ranges, seven national forests, and six wilderness areas from Durango to Denver.
  3. Mountain biking in Crested Butte There’s a reason the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame resides here—the town is one of the birthplaces of fat-tire biking and it’s completely surrounded by up-close mountain scenery.
  4. Riding the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad This six-hour round-trip journey along the Animas River will take you back in time in trains mostly powered by coal-fired locomotives. The views include dramatic canyons and the sweeping panoramas of the San Juan National Forest.

When To Go

When to Go

Like the rest of the state, southwestern Colorado is intensely seasonal. Snow typically begins falling in the high country in late September or ea...

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Check historic weather for your trip dates:

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