30 Ways to Experience Summer in Colorado

    30 Ways to Experience Summer in Colorado

    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 there were more hours in the day. Here are 30 experiences to help you make the most of the season.

    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. 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.


    3. 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.


    4. Waterfalls

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

    5. 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.

    Colorado Horseback Riding6. Horseback Riding

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

    7. 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.

    8. Biking

    Road to mountain to downhill, whichever type of wheels you prefer, Colorado has designated terrain to keep you pedaling.

    9. Shopping

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


    10. CampingColorado Camping

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


    11. 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.

    12. 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.

    13. Ziplining

    Aerial adventure parks dot the state, providing plentiful opportunities to soar between mountains and over dramatic landscapes.

    14. Soaking

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

    Durango & Silverton Narrow Gage Railroad15. Ride the Rails

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

    16. Boating

    Pontoon across high alpine lakes, discover placid sailing stretches and motorboat around wide reservoirs.

    17. Kayak

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

    18. Jeeping and Four-Wheeling

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

    19. Breweries and Distilleries

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

    20. Farmers Markets

    Bountiful harvests and handmade wares come to life at farmers markets statewide. Top summer market picks include Boulder, Vail and Pueblo.

    21. Adventure Parks

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

    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.

    26. 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.

    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.

    28. Hot Air Ballooning

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

    29. Rodeos

    Small town round-ups and nationally recognized competitions, Colorado’s rodeo scene is one of the best.

    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.