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Camping

Plan your Colorado Camping Trip

With spectacular scenery and mild summer temperatures, there could be no better way to experience the outdoors than camping at one of the many Colorado campsites. Read about some of our campground recommendations.

Colorado’s outdoors has something for every camper’s taste, from the desert of the Colorado National Monument to serene Mountaintop lakes, rushing rivers, and grassy plains. Colorado’s many destinations offer idyllic, untouched wilderness, cool summer weather, and boundless outdoor opportunities. You only need to choose your style.

camping at lake campsites

Explore Campsites

Camping in Colorado doesn’t mean roughing it. There are many ways to enjoy the serene outdoors and pamper yourself with life’s little extras. Whatever your style, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the state.

Places to Camp in Colorado

  • Colorado’s State Parks: There are 42 parks throughout the state. Most center around a spectacular mountain lake, while others feature land, trails, and nature. Many feature both. State parks have various amenities such as RV hookups, rental cabins, tent campsites, access to water sports, and more. Each park is unique, so you need to check out the State Parks Guide for more information.
  • National Forests and Grasslands: there are 11 National Forests (13,234,380 acres) and 2 National Grasslands in Colorado, The Pawnee (193,060 acres), east of Fort Collins, and the Comanche National Grassland in the SE corner of the state. Dispersed camping is allowed (not to exceed 14 days) in the National Forests and Grasslands; however, some exceptions exist (no dispersed camping) in high-traffic areas such as trailheads, campgrounds, and picnic sites. Campgrounds on National lands do require reservations. Please beware of dispersed camping regulations before you head out.
  • BLM Lands: Dispersed camping is allowed on Colorado’s BLM Lands (8.3 million acres); the same rules apply. BLM campgrounds require a fee, and reservations can be made at recreation.gov.
  • Wilderness: Colorado has 44 federally protected wilderness areas with over 3.5 million acres. Camping in wilderness areas usually requires a permit or signing in at the trailhead. Visitors must follow wilderness regulations and any signage along the route. Wilderness areas are generally surrounded by the National Forest.
  • Private Campgrounds: private campgrounds are found throughout the state and often offer the best-case scenario for RV hookups and other amenities.

Choose Your Camping Style

Now that you understand Colorado’s different places to camp, you can choose how you will camp. Recreational Vehicle (RV) and Cabin camping will be the most comfortable. You can bring whatever you want, and you will have access to bathrooms, kitchens, beds, and other amenities. Car camping or backpacking on public lands outside a designated campground is a rougher experience; however, this is the way to go for those who want to experience nature’s solitude and beauty.

Recreational Vehicle (RV) Camping

A very popular way of experiencing Colorado is by RV. The freedom of traveling by RV gives you access to any destination the road will take you. Experience high mountain vistas and travel through quaint mountain towns. Stop at local farmer’s markets and musical events. Find out-of-the-way campsites. Learn more about RV camping in Colorado. Most campsites that facilitate RV campers do require reservations. However, BLM is always open to RVs, and some National Forest locations are available too.

Rent a Rustic Cabin

Finding a tucked-away cabin in Colorado is a very popular way to experience the effervescence of Colorado. Cabins in Colorado are usually surrounded by majestic mountains next to a lake or a hot springs, in a state park, or on a private guest ranch. Renting a cabin is a great way to experience the wonders of that particular place. That said, there are often several Colorado activities to choose from within your location, plus the cabin’s roominess to keep all your stuff safe and ready.

Pitching a Tent

Camping by way of a tent. If you are serious about getting remote, pitching a tent is the way to go. Even if you choose to car camp with a tent, your options of finding campsites without a reservation go way up. If you find your favorite campground full, look for a nearby National Forest. Although there are National Forest campgrounds, you don’t have to camp in a designated area. The National Forest is open to the public, but please be mindful of packing out whatever you bring in and read through these rules for forest visitors.

Backpacking

Going backpacking is the best way to experience Colorado’s wilderness. Backpacking allows trekkers to get close to all the beauty and wonders of Colorado’s remote areas. Colorado has some of the most scenic and challenging trails in North America. However, backpacking in Colorado is really for the seasoned enthusiast. To begin with, you need to be hiking-fit and able to carry a heavy backpack. If you are a total newbie, find someone experienced to accompany you. Backpacking is the opposite of RV camping, as all your essentials need to be scaled down to a minuscule size or completely left behind. It’s best to do a couple of overnight trips before heading out for several days. This will help you understand your equipment and how to organize for a longer trip. You need to be comfortable with maps and a compass as well. Spend time hiking with a map so you get a feel for navigation. That being said, backpacking is the most exhilarating and refreshing way to experience the wilderness.

Dispersed Camping

Dispersed camping refers to finding campsites outside of designated campgrounds; however, there are rules to follow. Tent camping or Backpacking through public lands such as the National Forest, BLM, or wilderness is considered dispersed camping. However, the wilderness has additional regulations.

Bring Along the Essentials

Colorado temperatures fluctuate dramatically from day to night, and wildlife is plentiful. Always remember to be smart about food storage and be prepared with essentials like sunscreen, maps, first aid kits, proper clothing, drinking water, or a water filtration system.

For information on forest service campgrounds, including location, availability, reservations, and services, visit the National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov or www.recreation.gov. Consider a Colorado State Park for your next trip.

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Family Friendly

Family Friendly Colorado Vacations

Colorado is full of family friendly activities. We are here to help you find all sorts of fun for kids, grown-ups, and everyone in between. No matter where you travel within Colorado, there are always plenty of things for kids to do. The wide selection of activities ranges from natural attractions and wildlife to amusement parks and museums. Use the FREE itinerary planner and start adding to your family vacation list today.

A Quick List of Family Friendly Activities

Family Nature Recommendations

If nature is a priority on your family vacation, Colorado’s natural beauty will impress and keep the kids entertained. Explore the Historic Fairy Caves in Glenwood Springs, hike Rocky Mountain National Park and admire the wildlife in Estes Park, or enjoy the Children’s Playland at the beautiful Royal Gorge Bridge & Park in Cañon City.

Educational Experiences for the Whole Family

Looking to include a little education on your trip? The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery offers many programs for kids of all ages, including musical performances and hands-on science labs. You can also visit Keystone Science School and learn about Colorado waterways.

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Colorado Casinos

Colorado Casinos

Limited-stakes gambling is a popular pastime in Colorado, with three cities bursting with casino fun. These casino towns are part of the National Historic District and have preserved their boomtown-era look from the mid-1800s. Visiting one of these towns is a step back in time, as many casinos are housed in historical buildings while others have more modern setups. There’s more to do than gambling, such as touring museums, scenic train rides, theaters, art exhibits, historic mine tours, scenic byways, and more.

Cripple Creek Casinos

Cripple Creek, west of Colorado Springs, has 16 casinos, nine of which are all within walking distance along the historic Bennett Avenue. You will find plenty of unique and exciting table games and slot machines. Plus, you can watch your favorite game on big screens throughout Cripple Creek and place bets as you like now that Colorado gaming laws allow sports betting.

Cripple Creek Colorado Casino Standouts:

  • Bronco Billy’s – named the “Best Casino” in the Gazette and the Colorado Springs Independent for several years.
  • The Brass Ass Casino – noted for its location in one of the city’s most historic buildings. Featuring old town ​​street scene décor.

Black Hawk Casinos

Black Hawk is the nearest Colorado casino town to Denver and Boulder, featuring historic casinos and modern styles. These casinos combine gaming, entertainment, lodging, restaurants, bars, and the spa experience all within the unique town of Black Hawk. It is easy to get to Black Hawk via their many bus routes, or take your own car and enjoy the scenic drive.

What to Expect at Black Hawk Colorado Casinos

Black Hawk has over 1,500 quality hotel rooms, more than 30 restaurants, and over a dozen casinos that all feature slots, live tables with Blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, baccarat, and sportsbooks.

Central City Casinos

Central City is a historic mining settlement founded during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush era of 1859. The town is lined with beautifully preserved historical buildings facilitating six casinos. You will also find an affluent art scene that includes fine and performing arts.

Colorado Casinos in Central City

  • Central City Casinos
  • Grand Z Casino & Hotel
  • Dragon Tiger Casino
  • The Famous Bonanza Casino
  • Easy Street Casino
  • Dostal Alley Casino
  • Century Casino & Hotel
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Colorado Summer

Colorado Summer Vacation Planning

Colorado Summer Vacation Planning, the best season

If you're planning a Colorado summer vacation, you have come to the right place. A Colorado summer vacation is the best time of year to visit this glorious state. The Mountain West is the most geographically diverse region in the United States, and with that comes natural wonders to be explored. A Colorado summer road trip starts with finding destinations that meet your expectations, planning scenic routes through the mountains, and locating all those fun family activities along the way. Use our FREE itinerary tool to start planning and organizing your summer vacation.

Colorado National and State Parks

Colorado has 42 state parks, 4 National Parks, 11 national forests, and 42 wilderness areas, each showcasing different parts of our great state, from the eastern plains to the highest peaks. That adds up to 43.3% of Colorado classified as public land, and what amazing land it is! These parks and forests are popular attractions during the Colorado summer, and fortunately, they are spread out across the state. You can easily visit one or more during your scenic road trip. State Parks offer various amenities for camping and feature attractions such as a gorgeous mountain lake, hiking trails, and much more. Learn more about National and State Parks.

Colorado summer vacation Alpine Events

Colorado Summer Culture, Festivals, Local Events

As you travel through the state, you will encounter many cultural events and festivals (events calendar).

  • Check the concert calendar and find an outdoor concert or nearby live music. Red Rocks Amphitheater is always a fantastic place to watch a show.
  • Consider a brewery tour such as the Coors Factory Brewery Tour in Golden or the Breckenridge Brewery Tour. Winery tours are also popular.
  • Catch a game at the Coors Field, home of the Rockies, in Denver.
  • Many mountain communities have regular art walks or exhibits going on.
  • The Colorado Pro Rodeo Tour is a popular cultural event with scheduled rodeos throughout the state.
  • Stop at a nearby Farmers Market. Beyond all those mountains lie very fertile valleys. Colorado produces many fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, and artisan crafts. Palisade peaches are a favorite.
  • If you enjoy participating in local athletic events, search your favorite mountain community for whatever type of race or event you would like to participate in. You will surely find something (mountain biking, running, golf tournaments…, etc.).

colorado summer vacation things to do with kids

Family Fun Colorado Vacation Planning - things to do with kids

If family fun is what you’re after, Colorado is the place to be. You might say that family entertainment is the state’s specialty. Mountain resort towns (ski resorts) are your-round these days, featuring gondola and chairlift access mountain biking and hiking trails. You will also find mountainside adventure parks in these same locations, adding to the fun with various kids activities such as bungee trampolines, put-put golf, adventure park-type challenge courses, mountain slides, and more. Nearby mountain communities have even more fun things to do with kids such as guided tours, state parks, and dedicated adventure parks.

Whitewater Rafting, Lakes, Water Parks, Adventure Parks and more

Getting wet during the Colorado summer season is widespread and easily attainable. With abundant mountain lakes, whitewater rivers, and water parks across the state, you can easily add this to your vacation planing. The popularity of adventure parks has created variations that include adventure packages, which combine water fun with other types of adventure.

  • Whitewater rafting is a super fun family adventure. You can easily find rafting companies that provide trips to match the group size and ability level.
  • Try ziplining across Colorado’s stunning landscape. Many zipline companies now offer adventure packages.
  • Water parks are another great summer way to cool down. Check out Elitch Gardens and Water World, both in Denver, which are super fun.
  • Stop at the Frisco Adventure Park, located in Frisco next to Lake Dillon. It is a family-friendly center with lots of family activities.
  • Visit one of Colorado’s many lakes. The larger lakes have marinas with boat rentals, allowing activities like water skiing and jet skiing, sailing, SUPs, fishing, and more.
  • Take a guided horseback ride. Horseback riding is found near mountain resorts or popular destinations like Estes Park.
  • Schedule a group off-road tour, a great way to build memories and see the fantastic sights.
  • Visit a state park. Parks are found throughout the state. These unique parks feature family entertainment such as beaches, picnic sites, boat rentals, fishing, hiking & biking trails, and more.

Colorado Summer Vacation Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience

Dinosaurs and Historical Vacation Planning Stops

Colorado Summer Dinosaur Sites

Colorado is rich in history and has many interesting historical sites worth visiting along your family's summer road trip. If you’re planning to visit the Royal Gorge Region, add a stop at one of these exciting dinosaur fossil preserves or museums:

  • The Royal Gorge Regional History Museum, see fossils, dinosaur bones, and a complete Stegosaurus replica skeleton.
  • Garden Park Fossil Area - a 3,600-acre area rich with fossils.
  • Indian Springs Trace Fossil Site - see tracks left by prehistoric creatures.
  • Include Skyline Drive as part of your summer road trip - view fossils and more tracks.

Dinosaur National Monument in NW Colorado is a unique geographical place with dinosaur remains from 100 million years ago. This area is rich in fossils and early pioneer history.

Historical Colorado Road Trip

Many of Colorado’s mountain towns developed during the Gold Rush era, coinciding with the cattle companies' open-range days. These two significant Western development events are seen in the Colorado we know today. Check out the local mountain town museums to learn more about how early settlers lived and made a living.

Denver Museums

Dever has 51 unique museums, ranging from children-focused to more traditional centers, such as the Museum of Nature & Science, Black American West Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

Colorado Summer Vacation georgetown loop train

Sightseeing a Perfect Family and Friends Activity

When you arrive in Colorado, sightseeing begins, as the mountain landscapes will instantly captivate you. However, getting deep into roads less traveled or passing through dramatic landscapes can be done in various ways. Sightseeing tours are a wonderful way to share memories with family and friends. If getting an eye full is what you’re after, here are some recommended sightseeing options:

  • Take a scenic train ride. Not only will you pass through dramatic mountain landscapes, but you will also learn about Colorado’s mining era. These trains are perfect activities for kids as they often feature hands-on mine exploration, storytelling, and special holiday trains.
  • Sign up for an off-road tour. Guided jeep tours will travel on original mining roads (maintained) through rugged terrain and pass by dramatic vistas—a fun family and friends activity.
  • While in one of Colorado’s resort towns, you can buy a ticket for a gondola ride or a chairlift ride and get a bird's-eye view of the forest and surrounding landscapes. You can also hike or bike at the top and stop in for lunch.
  • Include a scenic byway in your Colorado summer road trip. Stop at historical sites, check out ghost towns, and camp along the way.

Summer Vacation Rest and Relaxation

A Colorado summer vacation can be a chance to rest and rejuvenate your soul. Health and wellness retreats and experiences are growing in popularity. Visiting one or several of Colorado’s natural hot springs is a favorite place to recharge. The soothing, hot mineral waters will revitalize your being. Many of these natural springs have been developed into full-service spas that combine experiences such as massage, meditation, and spa services and provide on-site lodging.

Colorado Summer Vacation Hot Springs

Some of Colorado’s favorite places to explore and enjoy your summer vacation are places that have big attractions such as:

  • Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is a favorite national park with various camping options, extensive hiking trails, and educational experiences.
  • Estes Park is a beautiful mountain town beside RMNP, the gateway to Trail Ridge Road, Grand Lake, and Lake Granby.
  • The Royal Gorge Region has attractions like the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, Royal Gorge whitewater rafting, and the Royal Gorge Scenic Train.
  • Mesa Verda National Park in southwest Colorado offers a spectacular look into the Ancestral Pueblo people. Visitors can call, walk, drive, or take a tour through the park.

A Colorado Summer Vacation Planning and more

There are many more amazing places and things to do on your Colorado Summer Vacation, and hopefully, you will make discoveries along your journey. Planning your summer vacation starts with finding destinations and activities that interest you and crafting your summer road trip route to facilitate these visits. If finding kids activities is a primary focus please check out this article specifically about kids activities in Colorado. Please use the free itinerary tool as you will find it indispensable for organizing your trip.

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Group Events – Travel

Colorado Group Events

Group Events - Weddings, Reunions, Business Meetings

Colorado is here to facilitate weddings, reunions, business meetings, or whatever group events and travel means to you. Colorado has developed into a world-class destination on many levels, including lodging choices ranging from the most exquisite custom homes to brand-name hotels and more out-of-the-way lodges. For many, Colorado means adventure and fun. With so many types of activities, everyone in your group will be satisfied. Venues for your event are also plentiful. We suggest contacting a professional planner to make your group event the best it can be.

Group/Event Organizers

Organizing and managing group events is no small task; hiring a professional is best. Experienced event organizers are available in Colorado’s popular resort towns and larger metropolitan areas, such as Denver, Boulder, or Colorado Springs. These companies are familiar with towns, travel, and amenities. They will help you find and select the best facilities for your group's needs.

Colorado Summer Littleton

Recreation and Entertainment

Colorado is all about recreation and entertainment. The state’s top resort towns have developed into experts in accommodating the recreational needs of guests. With various recreational organizations and venues to draw from, the recreational expectations of groups of all types will be satisfied.

Group Recreation Ideas:

  • Skiing and Snowboarding - beginner through advanced, with programs and schools.
  • Non-skier activities - a long list of alternatives.
  • Adventure Parks - onsight resort parks or off-site specialty adventure parks.
  • Sightseeing - gondola and chairlift rides, balloon rides, and other tours.
  • Scenic Train Rides - several choices across the state.
  • River activities - whitewater rafting and river boating.
  • Lakes - sailing, SUP, motorboating, beaches, and more.
  • Fishing - guided fishing trips.
  • Pools and Hot Springs - onsite pools, hot tubs, and near by natural hot springs.
  • Spas and Wellness centers - onsite certified staff.
  • Golf
  • Group Tours - hiking, biking, ski touring, snowshoeing, horseback tours, wagon and sleigh rides, nature tours, historical tours, jeep tours, snowmobile tours, hot air balloon tours, and more.
  • The Arts - performing arts venues, exhibits, retreats, classes, etc.
  • Music venues - music festivals and events, local bars, and dedicated venues.
group events lodging

Lodging

Resort Town Lodging

Popular resort communities such as Vail, Beaver Creek, Telluride, Aspen/Snowmass, Steamboat Springs, and the like offer the broadest range of accommodations, including hotels, custom homes, estates, and neighboring guest facilities.

Luxury Hotels

Colorado has over 200 luxury hotels to choose from. Some examples are The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, The Little Nell in Aspen, The Ritz-Carlton at Bachelor Gulch, and several in the Denver area. All of these luxury hotels are well-appointed and include various guest facilities.

group event wedding chairlift

Guest Ranches

Guest Ranches for Group Events

Colorado has hundreds of guest ranches, also known as dude ranches. These ranches provide a more out-of-the-way experience, as most are tucked away in remote Colorado locations. Guest ranches, for the most part, are Colorado’s historical cattle ranches modernized. Like cattle ranches from the Old West, guest ranches are all-inclusive. Often, lodging is within a bunkhouse, a main lodge, or private cabins scattered about the property. Meals are served at the main lodge, either restaurant-style or family-style, and western BBQ setups are common, too.

Guest Ranch Activities

Guest ranches generally have an old-west theme of western horseback riding and cattle activities. However, many guest ranches are revolutionizing what is offered at ranches. More and more guest ranches are becoming luxury experiences with four and 5-star ratings. In addition to the traditional western horseback trail riding and round-ups, it’s not uncommon for the following activities to be available:

  • Event hosting - weddings, corporate retreats, seminars.
  • Wagon and Sleigh rides.
  • Pools and hot springs.
  • Complete spas and wellness classes - traditional spa activities and sometimes health and wellness-trained staff.
  • River and lake access - river, lake, and fishing activities.
  • Hunting - seasonal guided hunting.
  • Skiing & snowshoeing - cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sometimes snowcat access downhill skiing.
  • Mountain biking & snow biking - designated trails.
  • Hiking and walking paths - access and guided tours.
  • Tennis courts and other outside game setups.

Transportation

Colorado Transportation

Getting to Colorado is easy via Denver International Airport (DIA). This airport is the 10th business airport in the world and is rated the best-run airport in North America. DIA is also a hub for travelers whose destination is one of Colorao’s resort towns or adjacent communities. Colorado has over 13 regional airports that are served via DIA. Making traveling to your mountain town destination fast and easy. Ground transportation, such as trains and shuttle services, also reside from DIA and within Colorado’s communities. However, your group visitors, coming from any direction, will find getting to and around Colorado a stress-free endeavor.

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Travel Resources and Community Information

Travel Resources and Community Information

Below is a list of helpful community information and travel resources to help you plan your Colorado vacation or event. Having all the little details taken care of can mean the difference between a great vacation and one filled with frustration.

Travel Resources

Airports

Colorado has an excellent network of airports throughout the state. Denver International Airport (DIA) is a hub for the United States and Colorado. Regional airports serve Colorado’s smaller mountain towns and facilitate private planes and jets. DIA is usually the connection hub to regional airports.

Transportation – travel resources

Colorado has a shuttle service travel resource if your final destination involves ground transportation. Colorado’s popular mountain communities have a DIA shuttle service facilitating additional on-route stops.

Vehicle Rentals – travel resources

DIA and many smaller resort airports provide vehicle rentals. Of course, you can rent 4-wheel-drive vehicles that come with ski racks or fully equipped SUVs, large party shuttle service vans, and more. Off-road adventure touring is very popular throughout the state. In addition to regular transportation rentals, you can rent any off-road vehicles you desire.

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Train Travel Resources

In addition to the popular narrow gauge scenic train rides, two train lines are scenic and used for transportation. The Amtrak Zephyr Train, which originates in Chicago and runs to San Francisco, passes through Colorado and makes several stops in Colorado along the way. In Colorado, this train is called the Winter Train, as it frequently picks up passengers at Union Station in Denver and transports them to Winter Park. Another popular train is the A-Line Train, which originates at DIA and transports riders to Union Station in Denver.

Community Information and Resources

Colorado’s towns that promote tourism and business development have chambers of commerce. These organizations are excellent community resources that can help with business development and answer questions about the community.

Event Venues – Community Information

Colorado’s resort communities are experts at facilitating weddings, corporate retreats, family reunions, or just girls’ or guys’ nights out. Along with the development of gorgeous mountain communities, event centers designed with group activities in mind have also developed. These beautiful event centers are usually set in the mountains and finished with the utmost appointments.

Weddings

Many couples dream of a Colorado wedding. With so many fond vacation memories or special moments experienced while in the mountains, having a wedding in Colorado is just par for the course. Finding an event venue or, even better, hiring a wedding planner is possible and something the Colorado service industry excels at. Your wedding will be one of those dreamy Colorado experiences that will not be forgotten.

Childcare

Planning your Colorado getaway? The kids are coming along, too. Colorado’s resort towns are more than familiar with this scenario. You will discover that resort towns have childcare centers, and if they happen to be seasonally closed, ask about alternative options. These “kids centers” cater to infants and teenagers, but each is unique, so you must inquire. Many of these centers are near the resort’s kids’ adventure center. Hopefully, you get the picture.

Pet Care/Boarding

Colorado is a very pet-friendly state. However, there are rules regarding your dog in public places or at public dog parks. Resort towns have answered the demand for care and boarding facilities; just ask your concierge.

Education – Community Resources

Colorado has a wealth of education systems, from primary schools to the highest graduate degrees and wilderness schools of all sorts. Learn more about Colorado’s schools and educational opportunities within our mountain towns.

Worship Centers

Colorado has as many variations of religion and worship centers as there are religions worldwide. Colorado’s eclectic population has attracted every type of religion known to mankind.

Real Estate – Community Resources

There’s something about spending time in Colorado that makes you want a piece of it for yourself. Hopefully, your real estate vision and pocketbook can align. If so, you can find every imaginable type of housing, farm, or land for sale in Colorado due to the diversity of terrain in this state.

 

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Canon City

Travel to Canon City, Colorado

Tucked into the folds and bluffs of the Arkansas Valley in south central Colorado, Canon City boasts the nickname of “The Climate Capital of Colorado” due to the mild climate. The relaxed pace of the region’s quaint small towns, spectacular scenery, year-round outdoor activities, The Royal Gorge Park & Bridge, and The Arkansas River, which flows through the region, make this the perfect vacation destination. Request a FREE Vacation Guide.

Favorite Things to Do in the Royal Gorge Region

  • Royal Gorge Bridge and Park – a must-see and do experience. Cross America’s highest suspension bridge and participate in the other features offered at the park.
  • Whitewater rafting through the Royal Gorge Canyon – a very popular way to see and experience all the wonders of the Royal Gorge Canyon and the Arkansas River.
  • Jeep Tours – The Royal Gorge Region is an amazing place to travel through. Featuring a high alpine desert landscape and a plethora of off-road routes.
  • Royal Gorge Scenic Train – climb onboard the original transcontinental passenger train from the early 1900s.
  • The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – voted “Best Front Range Tasting Room” by Colorado Vine. The wine-tasting room is open daily.
  • Mountain Biking & Hiking – are understated activities but many exceptional miles of trails await.

Cañon City Downtown Canon City

About Canon City and Regional Attractions

Family fun starts with a memorable ride on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, one of the most scenic train rides in the world. The historic tracks follow the Arkansas River through the Royal Gorge Canyon, with views of the bridge from below. The whole family will enjoy exploring the unique rock formations and historic dinosaur sites. Leisure seekers will delight in the one-of-a-kind galleries, renowned antiquing, wine tasting, golfing, and fishing.

Canon City is home to The Royal Gorge, which has a width of 50 feet at the base of the gorge and a few hundred feet at its top, with a depth of 1,200 feet; the 10-mile-long canyon is a stunning natural wonder. 1929, one of the world’s highest suspension bridges was built over the Grand Gorge. The Royal Gorge Bridge has a quarter-mile long span and hangs 1,053 feet above the gorge. The bridge is one of Colorado’s most popular attractions.

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summer activities

Colorado Summer Activities

Summer Activities

There is a long list of summer activities in Colorado. Many now-local Coloradans will tell you that “they came for the winter but stayed for the summer.” In other words, if you think winter in Colorado is super fun, you can’t get enough of it. Well, wait until you discover all the summer in Colorado activities. If finding kids’ activities is a big part of your travel planning, here’s a robust list of things to do with kids in Colorado. Check the events calendar to find a concert or other exciting events to attend between activities.

Your Passions Are Here

Colorado is definitely more than snowy mountains, long ski runs, powder snow, and dream-come-true terrain parks, but that works for many. Actually, Colorado is a fantastic place year-round. Here are some interesting Colorado summer activities and attractions:

  • Colorado has more than 4,000 lakes – Some of these lakes are rather large reservoirs, while others are entirely natural. Most lakes allow paddle sports, sailing, and fishing. While others include power craft, water skiing, and jet skiing. Learn more about popular lakes in Colorado.
  • Colorado has 42 state parks, most of which feature a lake or large area of land—combining water sports, land recreation, and camping. Many state parks have marinas, swim beaches, access to hiking and horseback riding trails, and more. Each park is unique so check out our Colorado State Parks Guide to find a location and amenities to match your needs.
  • Gold medal fishing – Home to 322 miles of it.
  • Hiking – One of the most popular summer activities, Colorado has over 39,000 miles of trails to explore; travelers come from around the world to hike the centennial state’s beautiful trails.
  • Off-road and Jeep tours. Another great way to explore some of Colorado’s 24,906 miles of unpaved roads and see the mountainscapes.
  • Scenic Train Rides – a fun way to share memories, see spectacular sights, and learn about history.
  • Mountain Biking—Colorado has 6,821 miles of mountain bike trails and counting. Plus, all popular winter resorts offer lift service access to designed trails. You can rent a bike, sign up for a lesson, or explore the trails on your own.

Summer Activities Littleton

Colorado Summer Activities List Keeps Going

The list of summer activities in Colorado is super long. Colorado is a place that attracts eclectic, outdoorsy type folks. If you can think of something you want to do, it’s probably happening in Colorado.

  1. The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park – check out America’s highest suspension bridge and the onsight adventure park.
  2. Estes Park and Trail Ridge Road – stop by Colorado’s favorite National Park and travel over the highest pass in Colorado along the way.
  3. State and National Parks – learn more about Colorado’s parks and offerings.
  4. Colorado Hot Springs – explore Colorado’s many natural hot springs.

More Summer Activities in Colorado Ideas

Suppose you need more summer activities. Here are some more suggestions.

  • Adventure Parks—Colorado is ubiquitous with outdoor adventure. However, adventure parks continue gaining popularity and are popping up all over Colorado. Most resort towns and similar locations have some variation of an adventure park, which combines man-made features with Colorado’s natural setting.
  • Aerial Parks – ziplining in Colorado is a thrill and a fantastic way to get a birds-eye view of the mountainous terrain.
  • Golfing – with over 200 courses throughout the state and within resort towns.
  • Horseback Riding is a favorite way to experience the outback. Guided trail rides are available in popular vacation destinations.
  • Kayaking, Canoeing & SUP – a favorite summertime activity. Rental shops are near any popular lake location.
  • Marinas & Boating – boating is big in the landlocked state of Colorado.
  • Whitewater Rafting – all those mountains full of snow turn into some of the best whitewater rafting you can find.
  • Rock Climbing – find a rock climbing location.
  • Skydiving & Hang Gliding – not for the light-hearted but more of what Colorado has in store for you.

Nearby any of these major attractions are pro shops which will provide equipment rentals and lessons.

Use our Free itinerary tool to schedule all your summer activities.

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snowmass village snowy mountain

Snowmass Village

What Makes Snowmass Village Special

Snowmass Village is renowned for its welcoming, family-friendly, yet adventurous atmosphere. A village surrounded by a world-class ski resort that welcomes like-minded mountain adventurers is here to make mountain ambitions come true. Year-round opportunities are available for the young and old; find groups, guides, lessons, and more while visiting Snowmass Village

Snowmass Village Attractions

Snowmass Village festivals, activities, and on-mountain fun are the hallmarks of this scenic destination resort. Snowmass Village and the town of Aspen has an on-going roster of races, concerts, parties, cultural events, and more. Check the events calendar and make your visit even more full of reasons to have a great time.

Snowmass Village Winter :: Snowmass Village Summer

Winter at Snowmass

Snowmass village winter

Wintertime at the Village

Winter at Snowmass will keep the whole family happy with epic ski terrain parks, pipes, wide-open groomers, bumps, and big mountain skiing. Enjoy 95% ski-in/ski-out lodging convenience to more than 3,332 ski-able acres, accompanied by several stylish and trendy options for dining, entertainment, and shopping. Take a closer look; what you don’t know may surprise you. Snowmass offers a variety of fun for your entire family!

Winter Activities at Snowmass Village

In addition to the huge ski/snowboarding resort and terrain parks. Here are some popular winter activities:

  • Cross-country skiing – North America’s largest, FREE groomed Nordic trail system, connecting Aspen and Snowmass via the Owl Creek Trail, includes varied, entertaining ski trails. More about Nordic Resorts.
  • Snowshoeing – follow a marked trail on Snowmass Mountain or sign up for a guided tour with a local naturalist.
  • The Breathtaker Alpine Coaster – is a fun, safe, year-round adventure activity for the whole gang. Wind your way down on the coaster track through a scenic alpine forest.
  • Snow Tubing – a multi-lane tubing facility with lift access and lights for evening fun.
  • Ullr Nights – on select nights during peak season, join in on the wonderland party celebrating Ullr, the Norse God of Snow.
  • Snowcat Dinner Rides – jump on board a modern snowcat with your party and have a fantastic dinner in a mountaintop cabin.
  • Naturalist Snowshoe Tours – join a guided snowshoe tour with a knowledgeable naturalist.
  • Nastar – check out your alpine skiing skills on a designed course by Nastar.
  • Aspen Powder Tours – explore the backcountry with an experienced guide and find some of the best powder stashes.
  • Gondola Sightseeing Tickets – explore the mountains via a scenic gondola or chairlift ride.

Summertime – The Lost Forest

snowmass village lost forest

Summer at Aspen Snowmass

Visiting Aspen Snowmass in the summer invites you to explore even more ways to enjoy mountain activities and lifestyles.

  • Hiking – of course, there’s plenty of hiking.
  • Explore the Lost Forest – a mountain version of an adventure park that includes an extensive zipline canopy tour, a ropes challenge course, the Alpine Coaster, a climbing wall, hiking trails, a trout pond, and a disc golf course.
  • Snowmass Bike Park – for mountain bike enthusiasts, this park facilitates beginners through advanced rides on designed downhill trails. Trails cover 2,897 vertical feet.
  • Sightseeing Gondola & Chairlift Rides – quickly climb the mountain, take in views, and access free outdoor activities, miles of trails, and delicious on-mountain dining.
  • Camp Aspen Snowmass – a summer camp for ages 5 – 15. Fostering a love for the outdoors and crafts.
  • Paintball – it can get crazy, but have fun with an outdoor paintball campaign. Participants each have 300 washable and biodegradable paintballs to take out the opposition with.
  • Climbing Wall – check out the Rugged Ascent Climbing Wall, which has 14 lanes with various routes and difficulties.
  • Mountain-top Yoga – rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit with an all-level mountain-top yoga class.
  • Visit the Maroon Bells – this is a popular must-see. Learn more about how to visit this pristine area.

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rodeo

Colorado Rodeos

Colorado Rodeos

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Colorado rodeos are a mainstay of summer excitement, the size, and scope ranging from small town to nationally prominent. More than two dozen events are held throughout the state during the summer. Of course, there’s the National Western Stock Show each January at the National Western Complex in Denver, with all its pageantry and rodeo thrills.

Colorado rodeos

Colorado Rodeo Schedule

Highlighted Colorado Rodeos and Fairs

Various Colorado Rodeos and fairs are going on throughout the West. Here are some of our favorites:

Cowboy Up in Kiowa – SE Denver

Celebrate the American rodeo in Kiowa, Colorado. This rodeo takes place on the 28th and 29th of JuneLearn more.

LOCATION:  Elbert County Fairgrounds, which is located southeast of Denver.

Arapahoe County Fair & Rodeo – Aurora, west of Denver

heritage fair that includes 4-H events, a livestock auction, entertainment, a craft brew fest, a kick-off dinner, and more. The fair runs from July 25th – 28th for 2024.

LOCATION:  Arapahoe County Fairgrounds in Aurora, CO.

The Greeley Stampede Rodeo Series

The Greeley Stampede takes place June 26th – July 7th and draws upwards of a quarter-million attendees. Attractions include the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Rodeo, a carnival, the Big Buckle Ball, art exhibits, and a Fourth of July parade. Cattlemen’s Days in Gunnison started in the 1800s when ranchers got together between spring calving and summer haying to take a much-needed break. They competed with each other in riding and roping, and today, the event includes a PRCA rodeo, livestock exhibits, a parade, a dog show, a carnival, and a dance. 

LOCATION:  These events are held at the Greeley Stampede Grandstand in Greeley, CO. Greeley is east of Loveland and southeast of Fort Collins.

Royal Gorge Rodeo

One of the oldest rodeos in Colorado is the Royal Gorge Rodeo. This rodeo features all the traditional rodeo events and more. This gets underway May 5th – 6th.

LOCATION: The rodeo is held at the Jack Merris Arena just south of Cañon City, CO.

True Western Roundup Series – Durango

This series has 10 scheduled rodeos and 3 Special events lined up for this summer and fall. The first rodeo is scheduled to start May 29th and continues through August 7th. Find all the details here. Their mission is to promote the sport of rodeo and preserve the Western heritage in a positive family atmosphere.

LOCATION: La Plata County Fairgrounds, Durango, CO. Durango is located in southwest Colorado.

Top of the World Rodeo – Cripple Creek

Known as the highest-elevation rodeo in Colorado. This rodeo has established itself as a premier event in the CPRA Association with the highest added-money purses. You can anticipate watching some of the West’s best participants. This rodeo takes place the second weekend of June – 12th – 14th; more info.

LOCATION: Cripple Creek Fairgrounds just west of the Town of Cripple Creek. Cripple Creek is located west of Colorado Springs and north of Cañon City.

North Park Never Summer Rodeo Series – Walden, North Central CO

Join in on the fun at the “biggest little rodeo in Colorado.” The town comes alive with a parade, BBQ, Street Dance, Rocky Mnt Oyster fry, and more. This rodeo takes place the last weekend of June 23rd – 26th.

LOCATION: Jackson County Fair Grounds just outside of Walden, CO. Walden is in northcentral Colorado.

The High Country Stampede Rodeo Series – Fraser

This rodeo series begins in July 6th and continues through August 17th. Learn more about the High Country Stampede Rodeo series. Gates open at 4 pm, kicking off with the western BBQ.

LOCATION: John Work Arena, Fraser, CO. Fraser is north of Winter Park.

Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series

The Steamboat rodeo series is every Friday and Saturday, June 23rd – Aug 26th, including July 3rd and 4th. Gates open at 5:30, starting with a BBQ. The rodeo is a heritage event for Steamboat dating back to somewhere around 1898.

LOCATION: Brent Romick Rodeo Arena, right in the heart of Steamboat Springs, CO.

Plateau Valley Heritage Days Celebration – Collbran

Celebrate the American spirit over the 4th of July at the Plateau Valley Heritage Days Celebration. This long 4th of July weekend begins July 2nd and goes through the 4th. With a Fireman’s breakfast kicking off the 4th of July, followed by a full day of events, a parade, kids carnival, BBQ & Fish Fry, entertainment, and the evening rodeo.

LOCATION: Collbran Fairgrounds in Collbran, CO. Collbran is on the western slope, north of the Grand Mesa.

Mesa County Fair & Carnival – Grand Junction

The Mesa County Fair & Carnival is a Western slope heritage fair and carnival event held over the 4th of July weekend—beginning July 7th and running through July 15th. You can expect a full lineup of 4-H events, carnival rides, art shows, kid zone, entertainment, monster trucks, rodeo, and more. This event prides itself on being a clean and healthy source of family entertainment.

LOCATION: Held at the Mesa County Fairgrounds in Grand Junction, CO.

Park County Fair & Rodeo – Fairplay

Visit South Park Colorado, and celebrate in true American spirit at the Park County Fair & Rodeo. This event is ongoing from July 12th through the 21st. You can expect a full line-up of 4-H events, a parade, an open shoot, art, photography, culinary specialties, entertainment, rodeo events, and more.

LOCATION: Park County Fairgrounds, in Fairplay, CO.

Caffee County Fair – Poncha Springs

Check out the Caffe County Fair this September. The fair is ongoing from July 26th through August 3rd. Expect 4-H events, local garden harvest, photography, arts & crafts, Christmas corner, livestock, and a rodeo. Plus a carnival and a demolition derby with several categories of vehicles.

LOCATION: Caffee County Fairgrounds just east of Poncha Springs

San Miguel Basin Rodeo – Norwood, CO. west of Ridgeway in SW CO.

Come check out some real western rodeo’n. The San Miguel Basin Rodeo is the last weekend in July. Traditional rodeo events will be exhibited, followed by an afterparty on the 29th.

LOCATION: San Miguel County Fairgrounds in Norwood, CO.

Phillips County Fair – Fairplay

This County Fair and rodeo takes place every year on the first weekend of August. Events include horse races, car races, a concert, food vendors, 4-H, rodeo, and carnival.

LOCATION: Phillips County Fairgrounds in Fairplay, CO.

Flying Heels Rodeo Series – Granby

This rodeo series starts June 1st and is a weekly event through July 27th. All the traditional rodeo events are held, plus a special 4th of July event and festivities (July 4th – 6th).

LOCATION: Flying Heels Arena in Granby, CO.

Montrose County Fair & Rodeo – Montrose

Come check out a traditional fair & rodeo at the Montrose County Fair & Rodeo events are ongoing and begin July 19th – July 29th. This event will host all the traditional 4-H events, a junior livestock auction, horse show events for both English and Western riders, a tractor pull, a parade, a rodeo, and more.

LOCATION:  Montrose County Fairgrounds in Montrose, CO.

Fremont County Fair – Florence, east of Canon City

The Fremont County Fair is a series of events, carnivals, and rodeos starting July 27th and going through August 23rd. The official Fremont County Fair begins July 29th. The fair and ongoing events include rodeos, carnivals, a junior livestock sale, car races, arts & crafts shows, and more.

LOCATION: Fremont County Fairgrounds in Florence, CO.

Middle Park Fair and Rodeo – Kremmling

The Middle Park Fair and Rodeo features 4-H events, arts & crafts, several horse shows, and a junior rodeo. This late-season fair begins August 3rd and runs through the 11th.

LOCATION: Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce, Kremmling, CO.

More Colorado Rodeo Information

View the entire Colorado Pro Rodeo series schedule. Make plans to attend one of these exciting events.

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