30 Ways to Experience Colorado Summer

Experience Colorado Summer

The Colorado summer means long sunny days, serene lakes and forests, waterfalls and wildflowers, festivals filled with every kind of food and music you could ask for, and so many outdoor adventures that you’ll wish for more hours in the day. Here are 30 ways to experience Colorado summer this season. Experience Colorado Summer

Colorado Summer Activities

1. Hiking

Choose from mellow family hikes to hardcore multi-day treks along trails lacing 42 state parks, four national parks, 13 national forests, and dozens of 14ers (peaks topping 14,000 feet).

2. Rock Climbing

Eldorado Canyon, Estes Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and Canon City are all excellent climbing destinations with outfitters on tap to show you the ropes.

3. Horseback Riding

Saddle up for a taste of the Wild West at one of Colorado’s dude ranches or family-owned stables.

Colorado Summer Horseback Riding4. Whitewater Rafting

Colorado is known for epic river rafting, with guided trips spanning half-day to multi-day, mild to extreme. The Arkansas River, Cache la Poudre River, and the Colorado River never disappoint.

5. Biking

There are many options when cycling in Colorado. From road to mountain to downhill, whichever type of wheels you prefer, Colorado has designated terrain to keep you pedaling.

6. Golf

Do those little white balls fly farther in the thin mountain air? Find out at gorgeous courses in Breckenridge, Colorado Springs, Wolcott, and beyond. Golfing in Colorado, make it a part of your next vacation.

7. Ziplining

Aerial adventure parks dot the state, providing plentiful opportunities to soar between mountains and over dramatic landscapes. At Royal Gorge you can zipline and white water raft on the same day.

8. Boating

Pontoon across high alpine lakes, discover placid sailing stretches and motorboats around wide reservoirs. Discover Colorado's lakes.

9. Kayak

Flat-water lake paddling or whitewater river wrangling, Colorado spools out miles of kayaking excitement.

10. Jeeping and Four-Wheeling

Access some of Colorado’s most rugged and remote terrain on an off-roading excursion.

9. Waterfalls

Summer is prime for waterfall viewing. Head to Steamboat Springs’ Fish Creek Falls, Alberta Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park, or the famous Bridal Veil Falls near Telluride for freefalling wonders.

10. Beaches

Landlocked Colorado serves up an impressive number of sandy spots. Try Blue Mesa Reservoir (the state’s largest body of water), Chatfield State Park, and Grand Lake for beautiful indigo waters.

11. Shopping

Pick up Colorado-made jewelry, woodwork, clothing, gear, and souvenirs from locally-owned boutiques and retailers.

12. Road Tripping

Discover red rock formations, deep canyons, lush woodlands, Front Range fun, wild rivers, and unbelievable vistas along Colorado’s 26 scenic and historic byways.

13. CampingColorado Summer Camping

Rustic, riverside tent sites, fully equipped RV grounds, private yurts, and cabins—Colorado is built for nights under the stars.

14. Fishing

Cast into ample rivers and lakes with a fly or reel rod and see if you can pull in one of Colorado’s legendary rainbow, cutthroat, or brown trout. Or try your luck during the winter ice fishing is popular, learn more.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gage Railroad15. Ride the Rails

Scenic train rides in Leadville, Georgetown, Durango, Cripple Creek, and more put riders in the middle of iconic scenic and historic backdrops.  

16. Adventure Parks

These man-made attractions combine nature and adrenaline-focused activities such as ropes courses, high-flying rides, and scenic trams.

17. Hot Air Ballooning

Take to the sky on a balloon ride with outfitters in Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Longmont, and Lafayette.

18. Water Parks

Hot summer days call for thrill rides and big splashes. Hit Elitch Gardens and Water World in Denver, Pirates Cove in Littleton, The Splash at Fossil Trace in Golden, and more.

19. Soaking

Nearly two dozen naturally healing hot springs occur in Colorado, many combining plush lodging and spa treatments with relaxing pools.

20. Breweries and Distilleries

Cheers to the state’s many talented brewers and distillers on a tour culminating in a tasting or taproom.

Colorado Summer Festivals, Parks, and Events.

Colorado summer is the season to check out local events and parks and stop by a local farmer's market for the afternoon barbecue.

21. Farmers Markets

Bountiful harvests and handmade wares come to life at farmers' markets statewide. Check out the Colorado Farmers Market Guide to find one near you.

22. Outdoor Concerts

Colorado draws big-name artists while nurturing homegrown talent. Find everything from country to indie on stages as large as Red Rocks Amphitheatre and as intimate as Planet Bluegrass.

23. National and State Parks

Colorado’s 42 state parks and 10 national parks and monuments are jam-packed with camping, fishing, hiking, water sports, and plenty of room to roam.

24. Dinosaurs

View fossils and see where these massive creatures once wandered at Dinosaur National Monument, Florissant Fossil Beds, and Fruita’s Dinosaur Journey Museum.

25. Catch a GameColorado Rockies

Pro sports teams light up summer evenings. Head to Coors Field to see MLB’s Colorado Rockies and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for Colorado Rapids soccer matches.

27. Festivals

Colorado fests revolve around music, food, beer, and wine. Don’t miss Crested Butte’s Wildflower Festival, the Colorado Brewers’ Festival in Fort Collins, Telluride Blues and Brews, and the Taste of Colorado in Denver.

29. Rodeos

Small town round-ups and nationally recognized competitions, Colorado’s rodeo scene is one of the best. Check the Colorado Rodeo Calendar, and be sure to catch one of these exciting events during your trip.

30. Endurance Competitions

High mountain passes, winding trails, and a built-in uber-athlete population make this home to highly sought marathons, triathlons, biking, and long-distance running events.

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