Colorado

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A playground for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, Colorado has majestic landscapes, raging rivers, and winding trails perfect for activities from biking to rafting. The heart of the Rocky Mountains has scores of snow-capped summits towering higher than 14,000 feet and trails from easy to challenging for exploring them—as well as roads offering spectacular drives. Skiers flock to the slopes here for the champagne powder and thrilling downhill runs. Need a break from the outdoors? Urban adventures await in cool cities like Denver, Boulder, and Aspen.

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Denver

You can tell from its skyline alone that Denver is a major metropolis, with a Major League Baseball stadium at one end of downtown and the State...

Vail Valley

If Aspen is Colorado's Hollywood East, then her rival Vail is Wall Street West. So popular is this ski resort with the monied East Coast crowd...

Boulder

No place in Colorado better epitomizes the state’s outdoor mania than Boulder, where sunny weather keeps locals busy through all seasons. The...

Rocky Mountain National Park

Anyone who delights in alpine lakes, dense forests, and abundant wildlife—not to mention dizzying heights—should consider Rocky Mountain National...

Aspen

One of the world's fabled resorts, Aspen practically defines glitz, glamour, and glorious skiing. To the uninitiated, Aspen and Vail might be...

Mesa Verde National Park

Unlike the other national parks, Mesa Verde earned its status from its ancient cultural history rather than its geological treasures. President...

Colorado Springs

The contented residents of the Colorado Springs area believe they live in an ideal location, and it's hard to argue with them. To the west the...

Steamboat Springs

Steamboat got its name from French trappers who, after hearing the bubbling and churning hot springs, mistakenly thought a steamboat was chugging...

Durango

Wisecracking Will Rogers had this to say about Durango: "It's out of the way and glad of it." His statement is a bit unfair, considering that...

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison River is one of Colorado's—and indeed the West's—most awe-inspiring places. A vivid testament to the powers...

Crested Butte

Like Aspen, the town of Crested Butte was once a small mining village (albeit for coal, not silver). The Victorian gingerbread-trim houses remain...

Telluride

Tucked away between the azure sky and the gunmetal mountains is Telluride, the colorful mining town–turned–ski resort famous for its celebrity...

Breckenridge

Breckenridge was founded in 1859, when gold was discovered in the surrounding hills. For the next several decades the town's fortunes rose and...

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Created by winds that sweep the San Luis Valley floor, the enormous sand dunes that form the heart of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve...

Grand Junction

Grand Junction is where the mountains and desert meet at the confluence of the mighty Colorado and Gunnison rivers—a grand junction indeed....

Pueblo

In 1842 El Pueblo trading post, on the bank of the Arkansas River, was a gathering place for trappers and traders. Today the trading post is...

Winter Park

Winter Park Resort is easily navigable from the small village at the base anchored by Zephyr Mountain Lodge and the Fraser Crossing and Founders...

Snowmass

One of four ski mountains owned by Aspen Skiing Company and one of the best intermediate hills in the country, Snowmass has more ski-in ski...

Glenwood Springs

Once upon a time, Glenwood Springs, the famed spa town that forms the western apex of a triangle with Vail and Aspen, was every bit as tony...

Ouray

The town of Ouray (pronounced you-ray ) is nestled in a narrow, steep-walled canyon in the shadow of the San Juan Mountains. It was named for...

Grand Lake

The tiny town of Grand Lake, known to locals as Grand Lake Village, is doubly blessed by its surroundings. It’s the western gateway to Rocky...

Leadville

Sitting in the mountains at 10,152 feet, Leadville is America's highest incorporated city. The 70 square blocks of Victorian architecture and...

Salida

Imposing peaks, including 14,000-plus-foot Mount Shavano, dominate the town of Salida, which is on the Arkansas River. Salida draws some of...

Buena Vista

Skyscraping mountains, the most impressive being the Collegiate Peaks, ring Buena Vista (pronounced byoo -na vis -ta by locals). The 14,000...

Gunnison

At the confluence of the Gunnison River and Tomichi Creek, Gunnison is an old mining and ranching community and college town. It’s been adopted...

Keystone

One of the region's most laid-back destinations, Keystone is understandably popular with families and, as the state's largest night skiing operation...

Trinidad

If you're traveling on I–25 and want to stop for a night in a historic town with character instead of a motel on the outskirts of a bigger city...

Silverton

Glorious peaks surround Silverton, an old mining community. The town reputedly got its name when a miner exclaimed, "We ain’t got much gold...

Colorado National Monument

Colorado's version of red rock is nowhere more spectacularly on display than at Colorado National Monument. Created between 65 and 225 million...

Georgetown

Georgetown rode the crest of the silver boom during the second half of the 19th century. Most of the impeccably maintained brick buildings that...

Cañon City and Royal Gorge

Cañon City is an undeniably quirky town. From its easy access to the nearby Royal Gorge, a dramatic slash in the earth, to its aggressive strip...

Copper Mountain

Once little more than a series of strip malls, Copper Mountain is now a thriving resort with a bustling base. The resort's heart is a pedestrian...

Idaho Springs

Colorado prospectors struck their first major vein of gold here on January 7, 1859. That year local mines dispatched half of all the gold used...

Dillon

Dillon can't seem to sit still. Founded in 1883 as a stagecoach stop and trading post for men working in the mines, Dillon has had to pack up...

Golden

Golden was once the territorial capital of Colorado. City residents have smarted ever since losing that distinction to Denver by "dubious" vote...

Cuchara Valley

If you want a true mountain rural setting, head to the Cuchara Valley. From here or La Veta you can go camping or hiking in the San Isabel National...

Palisade

Palisade is Colorado's version of Napa Valley, with the highest concentration of wineries in the state. It's an easy day trip from Grand Junction...

Frisco

Keep going past the hodgepodge of strip malls near the interstate and you'll find that low-key Frisco has a downtown district trimmed with restored...

Rangely

The center of one of the last areas in the state to be explored by European settlers, Rangely was dubbed an "isolated empire" by early pioneers...

Pagosa Springs

Although not a large town, Pagosa Springs has become a major center for outdoor sports. Hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing opportunities...

Craig

Craig is home to some of the best fishing in the area. Guided trips to the hottest fishing spots are available, as are horseback pack trips...

Grand Mesa

Small, quiet towns along the 63-mile Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway (Highway 65) provide just enough support for the plethora of outdoor...

Meeker

Once an outpost of the U.S. Army, Meeker is still a place where anyone in camouflage is in fashion. Famous for its annual sheepdog championships...

Palmer Lake

Artsy, and very sleepy, Palmer Lake is a magnet for hikers who set out for the evergreen-clad peaks at several in-town trailheads. There are...

Central City and Black Hawk

Changes to the gambling laws created a "gold rush" to Black Hawk and Central City, allowing the casinos to stay open 24/7 and offer craps and...

Cedaredge

Cedaredge is called the gateway to the Grand Mesa, the world's largest flat-topped mountain. An elevation of 6,100 feet makes for a mild climate...

Cripple Creek

One of Colorado's three legalized gambling towns, Cripple Creek once had the most lucrative mines in the state—and 10,000 boozing, brawling...

Montrose

The self-described "Home of the Black Canyon" sits amid glorious surroundings, but it’s otherwise a typical Western town with a small historic...

Creede

Creede, a flash-in-the-pan silver town, was known in its heyday as Colorado’s rowdiest mining camp. When silver was discovered here in 1889...

Cortez

The northern escarpment of Mesa Verde to the southeast and the volcanic blisters of La Plata Mountains to the east dominate the views around...

Redstone and Marble

About an hour’s drive from Aspen, Redstone is ringed by the impressive sandstone cliffs from which the town draws its name. The entire town...

Evergreen

Once a quiet mountain town, today Evergreen is a tony community filled with upscale, extravagantly designed homes. The downtown core remains...

Dolores

On the bank of the Dolores River, just downstream from the McPhee Reservoir, the tiny town of Dolores is midway between Durango and Telluride...

Dinosaur National Monument

Overlapping the border between Colorado and Utah, Dinosaur National Monument offers river runners and dinosaur enthusiasts a remote and magnificent...

Granby

The small, no-nonsense town of Granby (elevation 7,935 feet) serves the working ranches in Grand County, and you’ll see plenty of cowboys, especially...

Carbondale

The artsy, outdoorsy town of Carbondale sits under looming Mount Sopris (12,965 feet). Its Main Street is lined with century-old brick buildings...

Lake City

Lake City—with its collection of lacy gingerbread-trim houses and other Victorian buildings—has one of the largest National Historic Districts...

Ridgway

The 19th-century railroad town of Ridgway has been the setting for some classic Westerns, including True Grit (the original John Wayne version...

Del Norte

Del Norte is a tiny town, but there's an excellent honey shop on the main street, a regional history museum, and good hiking in nearby Penitente...

La Junta

For an easy day trip from Pueblo into Colorado's past, head east to La Junta. The Koshare Indian Museum is in town, and Bent's Old Fort National...

Alamosa

The San Luis Valley's major city is a casual, central base from which to explore the region and visit the Great Sand Dunes. ...

Basalt

At the confluence of the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers, Basalt has the laid-back feeling of a ski town without the lift. Walking down its...

Hot Sulphur Springs

The county seat, Hot Sulphur Springs (population 639), is a faded resort town whose hot springs were once the destination for trains packed...

Arapahoe Basin

Arapahoe Basin was the first ski area to be built in Summit County. It has changed—but not too much—since its construction in the 1940s, and...

Westcliffe

In a joint effort with neighboring Silver Cliff, this remote town at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains became the state's first...

Florissant Fossil Beds

Florissant Fossil beds is an excellent place to explore the nicely preserved fossils from the area. ...

Denver

You can tell from its skyline alone that Denver is a major metropolis, with a Major League Baseball stadium at one end of downtown and the State...

Vail Valley

If Aspen is Colorado's Hollywood East, then her rival Vail is Wall Street West. So popular is this ski resort with the monied East Coast crowd...

Boulder

No place in Colorado better epitomizes the state’s outdoor mania than Boulder, where sunny weather keeps locals busy through all seasons. The...

Aspen

One of the world's fabled resorts, Aspen practically defines glitz, glamour, and glorious skiing. To the uninitiated, Aspen and Vail might be...

Colorado Springs

The contented residents of the Colorado Springs area believe they live in an ideal location, and it's hard to argue with them. To the west the...

Steamboat Springs

Steamboat got its name from French trappers who, after hearing the bubbling and churning hot springs, mistakenly thought a steamboat was chugging...

Durango

Wisecracking Will Rogers had this to say about Durango: "It's out of the way and glad of it." His statement is a bit unfair, considering that...

Crested Butte

Like Aspen, the town of Crested Butte was once a small mining village (albeit for coal, not silver). The Victorian gingerbread-trim houses remain...

Telluride

Tucked away between the azure sky and the gunmetal mountains is Telluride, the colorful mining town–turned–ski resort famous for its celebrity...

Breckenridge

Breckenridge was founded in 1859, when gold was discovered in the surrounding hills. For the next several decades the town's fortunes rose and...

Grand Junction

Grand Junction is where the mountains and desert meet at the confluence of the mighty Colorado and Gunnison rivers—a grand junction indeed....

Winter Park

Winter Park Resort is easily navigable from the small village at the base anchored by Zephyr Mountain Lodge and the Fraser Crossing and Founders...

Pueblo

In 1842 El Pueblo trading post, on the bank of the Arkansas River, was a gathering place for trappers and traders. Today the trading post is...

Snowmass

One of four ski mountains owned by Aspen Skiing Company and one of the best intermediate hills in the country, Snowmass has more ski-in ski...

Glenwood Springs

Once upon a time, Glenwood Springs, the famed spa town that forms the western apex of a triangle with Vail and Aspen, was every bit as tony...

Ouray

The town of Ouray (pronounced you-ray ) is nestled in a narrow, steep-walled canyon in the shadow of the San Juan Mountains. It was named for...

Grand Lake

The tiny town of Grand Lake, known to locals as Grand Lake Village, is doubly blessed by its surroundings. It’s the western gateway to Rocky...

Leadville

Sitting in the mountains at 10,152 feet, Leadville is America's highest incorporated city. The 70 square blocks of Victorian architecture and...

Salida

Imposing peaks, including 14,000-plus-foot Mount Shavano, dominate the town of Salida, which is on the Arkansas River. Salida draws some of...

Buena Vista

Skyscraping mountains, the most impressive being the Collegiate Peaks, ring Buena Vista (pronounced byoo -na vis -ta by locals). The 14,000...

Gunnison

At the confluence of the Gunnison River and Tomichi Creek, Gunnison is an old mining and ranching community and college town. It’s been adopted...

Keystone

One of the region's most laid-back destinations, Keystone is understandably popular with families and, as the state's largest night skiing operation...

Silverton

Glorious peaks surround Silverton, an old mining community. The town reputedly got its name when a miner exclaimed, "We ain’t got much gold...

Trinidad

If you're traveling on I–25 and want to stop for a night in a historic town with character instead of a motel on the outskirts of a bigger city...

Georgetown

Georgetown rode the crest of the silver boom during the second half of the 19th century. Most of the impeccably maintained brick buildings that...

Copper Mountain

Once little more than a series of strip malls, Copper Mountain is now a thriving resort with a bustling base. The resort's heart is a pedestrian...

Cañon City and Royal Gorge

Cañon City is an undeniably quirky town. From its easy access to the nearby Royal Gorge, a dramatic slash in the earth, to its aggressive strip...

Dillon

Dillon can't seem to sit still. Founded in 1883 as a stagecoach stop and trading post for men working in the mines, Dillon has had to pack up...

Golden

Golden was once the territorial capital of Colorado. City residents have smarted ever since losing that distinction to Denver by "dubious" vote...

Idaho Springs

Colorado prospectors struck their first major vein of gold here on January 7, 1859. That year local mines dispatched half of all the gold used...

Cuchara Valley

If you want a true mountain rural setting, head to the Cuchara Valley. From here or La Veta you can go camping or hiking in the San Isabel National...

Palisade

Palisade is Colorado's version of Napa Valley, with the highest concentration of wineries in the state. It's an easy day trip from Grand Junction...

Frisco

Keep going past the hodgepodge of strip malls near the interstate and you'll find that low-key Frisco has a downtown district trimmed with restored...

Rangely

The center of one of the last areas in the state to be explored by European settlers, Rangely was dubbed an "isolated empire" by early pioneers...

Pagosa Springs

Although not a large town, Pagosa Springs has become a major center for outdoor sports. Hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing opportunities...

Meeker

Once an outpost of the U.S. Army, Meeker is still a place where anyone in camouflage is in fashion. Famous for its annual sheepdog championships...

Craig

Craig is home to some of the best fishing in the area. Guided trips to the hottest fishing spots are available, as are horseback pack trips...

Grand Mesa

Small, quiet towns along the 63-mile Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway (Highway 65) provide just enough support for the plethora of outdoor...

Central City and Black Hawk

Changes to the gambling laws created a "gold rush" to Black Hawk and Central City, allowing the casinos to stay open 24/7 and offer craps and...

Palmer Lake

Artsy, and very sleepy, Palmer Lake is a magnet for hikers who set out for the evergreen-clad peaks at several in-town trailheads. There are...

Creede

Creede, a flash-in-the-pan silver town, was known in its heyday as Colorado’s rowdiest mining camp. When silver was discovered here in 1889...

Cedaredge

Cedaredge is called the gateway to the Grand Mesa, the world's largest flat-topped mountain. An elevation of 6,100 feet makes for a mild climate...

Cripple Creek

One of Colorado's three legalized gambling towns, Cripple Creek once had the most lucrative mines in the state—and 10,000 boozing, brawling...

Cortez

The northern escarpment of Mesa Verde to the southeast and the volcanic blisters of La Plata Mountains to the east dominate the views around...

Montrose

The self-described "Home of the Black Canyon" sits amid glorious surroundings, but it’s otherwise a typical Western town with a small historic...

Redstone and Marble

About an hour’s drive from Aspen, Redstone is ringed by the impressive sandstone cliffs from which the town draws its name. The entire town...

Dolores

On the bank of the Dolores River, just downstream from the McPhee Reservoir, the tiny town of Dolores is midway between Durango and Telluride...

Evergreen

Once a quiet mountain town, today Evergreen is a tony community filled with upscale, extravagantly designed homes. The downtown core remains...

Granby

The small, no-nonsense town of Granby (elevation 7,935 feet) serves the working ranches in Grand County, and you’ll see plenty of cowboys, especially...

Carbondale

The artsy, outdoorsy town of Carbondale sits under looming Mount Sopris (12,965 feet). Its Main Street is lined with century-old brick buildings...

Lake City

Lake City—with its collection of lacy gingerbread-trim houses and other Victorian buildings—has one of the largest National Historic Districts...

Ridgway

The 19th-century railroad town of Ridgway has been the setting for some classic Westerns, including True Grit (the original John Wayne version...

Alamosa

The San Luis Valley's major city is a casual, central base from which to explore the region and visit the Great Sand Dunes. ...

Del Norte

Del Norte is a tiny town, but there's an excellent honey shop on the main street, a regional history museum, and good hiking in nearby Penitente...

La Junta

For an easy day trip from Pueblo into Colorado's past, head east to La Junta. The Koshare Indian Museum is in town, and Bent's Old Fort National...

Hot Sulphur Springs

The county seat, Hot Sulphur Springs (population 639), is a faded resort town whose hot springs were once the destination for trains packed...

Arapahoe Basin

Arapahoe Basin was the first ski area to be built in Summit County. It has changed—but not too much—since its construction in the 1940s, and...

Basalt

At the confluence of the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers, Basalt has the laid-back feeling of a ski town without the lift. Walking down its...

Westcliffe

In a joint effort with neighboring Silver Cliff, this remote town at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains became the state's first...

Southwest Colorado

The reddish rocks found in much of the state, particularly in the southwest, give Colorado its name. The region's terrain varies widely—from...

Boulder and North Central Colorado

With spectacular scenery and an equally appealing climate, north central Colorado contains a string of sophisticated yet laid-back cities and...

South Central Colorado

Stretching from majestic mountains into rugged, high desert plains, south central Colorado has plenty of 14,000-foot peaks, astounding natural...

Steamboat Springs and Northwest Colorado

Varied terrain attracts bold outdoors enthusiasts, and genteel towns are tucked among the craggy cliffs for those seeking quieter pursuits....

Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley

The Roaring Fork Valley—and Aspen, its crown jewel—is the quintessential Colorado Rocky Mountain High. A row of the state's famed Fourteeners...

Summit County

Summit County, a mere hour's drive from the Denver Metro Area on a straight shot up I–70, is Denver's playground. The wide-open mountain park...

Rockies Near Denver

If you ever wondered why folks living along the Front Range—as the area west of Denver and east of the Continental Divide is known—continually...

Outside Mesa Verde National Park

A onetime market center for cattle and crops, Cortez, 11 miles west of the park, is now the largest gateway town to Mesa Verde and a base...

Outside Rocky Mountain National Park

Estes Park, 5 miles east of Rocky Mountain, is the park's most popular gateway. The town sits at an altitude of more than 7,500 feet, with...

Outside Great Sand Dunes National Park

The vast expanse one sees from the dunes is the San Luis Valley. Covering 8,000 square miles (and with an average altitude of 7,500 feet), the...

Outside Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

While not totally out of the way, Black Canyon of the Gunnison and its two neighboring recreation playgrounds—the Curecanti National Recreation...

San Luis and Fort Garland Loop

To get a real feel for this area, take an easy driving loop from Alamosa that includes San Luis and Fort Garland. In summer, take a few hours...

Rocky Mountain National Park

Anyone who delights in alpine lakes, dense forests, and abundant wildlife—not to mention dizzying heights—should consider Rocky Mountain National...

Mesa Verde National Park

Unlike the other national parks, Mesa Verde earned its status from its ancient cultural history rather than its geological treasures. President...

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison River is one of Colorado's—and indeed the West's—most awe-inspiring places. A vivid testament to the powers...

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Created by winds that sweep the San Luis Valley floor, the enormous sand dunes that form the heart of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve...

Colorado National Monument

Colorado's version of red rock is nowhere more spectacularly on display than at Colorado National Monument. Created between 65 and 225 million...

Dinosaur National Monument

Overlapping the border between Colorado and Utah, Dinosaur National Monument offers river runners and dinosaur enthusiasts a remote and magnificent...

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Fodor's Colorado
Written by locals, Fodor's Colorado is the perfect guidebook for those looking for insider...

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Fodor's The Complete Guide to the National Parks of the West
Ready to experience the National Parks of the West? The experts at Fodor's are here to...

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