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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 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. The free itinerary tool is indispensable for organizing your trip.

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Wild Horse Gravel Bicycle Ride

Wild Horse Gravel Bicycle Ride

Back for 2021, Wild Horse Gravel showcases the unique high desertscape of the Western Slope. Hosted on the luxury High Lonesome Ranch, riders will be treated to a country cook-out, campfire, cabins, camping – or glamping – and the best local music. In short, there will be a Colorado country party to accompany the ride.In addition to being hidden well, well off the beaten path, The High Lonesome Ranch and its surrounding area isn’t open to riding year-round, so participants benefit from exclusive access to this secret stash of wild-west gravel. You’ll only be disappointed if you were hoping for a bunch of auto traffic on the route.We have two routes to choose from, and riders can decide which one on the day – even mid-ride. Feeling strong when you get back to the ranch? Then turn and head back out for another lap. Feeling like 45 miles is plenty? Then rest your legs at the ranch. Totally your call.
There are two timed segments that you can take as seriously or as frivolously as you like — the name of the game is doing a big gravel ride with friends new and old. Even those that hammer away at maximum speed will stop to regroup, taking in the views and the delicious local goodies at the well-stocked feed station. As with all Roll Massif Sportives, you’re going to want to bring your camera.

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Snowy Colorado Mountains

Colorado Destinations

Unique Colorado Destination

Colorado’s cities and towns are as diverse and beautiful as its landscape.

The culturally rich city of Denver and the quiet mountain escape of Aspen are all attractive Colorado destinations. Colorado has a vacation destination for everyone. Are the high mountain peaks calling your name? Get to know Colorado and plan your trip to check off everything on your bucket list. Rafting, skiing, hiking, art shows, concerts, mountain biking, cycling, dining, fishing, mountain retreats, exploring nature, and much more. Coloradoinfo.com has divided Colorado into 3 regions. Each of these regions represents unique characteristics and proximity.

View our interactive regional map of Colorado to take a closer look and find the locations you want to visit.
Order a free Colorado vacation planning guide to help you find the perfect vacation spot!

Colorado destinations - Gunnison National Forest

The Central Mountains

The heart of the Rocky Mountains spans the state north to south, and is home to the highest elevated cities and towns in the country, which feature over two dozen ski resorts. This region is Colorado’s gem for world-famous ski areas, mountain lifestyle, and activities.

The Rockies Playground, recently named by the Colorado Tourism Office, is the most central region of the Rocky Mountains and includes some of Colorado’s most famous resort towns. Due to their close proximity and popularity as ski resorts, the name was chosen to appeal to potential tourists. This region’s towns include Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge, Winter Park, Glenwood Springs, Dillon and Leadville. However, significant resort towns lie north and south of the playground region, including Steamboat Springs in north-central Colorado. Resort towns in south-central Colorado include: Crested Butte, Monarch, Del Norte, Powderhorn and Wolf Creek. The Central Mountains region captures almost all of the mountain towns north to south, aside from Telluride and Durango.

The Central Mountains region includes several spectacular national forests.national forest in Colorado

All of which include amazing mountain scenery, wildlife, trail systems, nearby camping and towns. From north to south:

The Front Range & Plains

A way of referring to how the plains of Colorado meet the eastern slope of the continental divide.

If you want to watch a Broadway show or enjoy a museum exhibit, you will have the most options in the Front Range. The urban cities of Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs are well known for their performing arts, museums, and cultural festivals.

Don’t Miss Front Range Colorado Destination

The Front Range region includes notable attractions such as Estes Park, the eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Pikes Peak, a whole family mountain attraction, lies just west of Colorado Springs. Featuring a scenic train, rafting, horseback riding and much more.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre, an amazing music venue in the foothills west of Denver.

Colorado’s Western Slope

A general way of referring to Northwest and Southwest Colorado. 

The Western Slope is a much more remote experience. Grand Junction is the largest city in the area and is often referred to as a city with a small-town feel. This high plains region is rich in agriculture, canyonlands, and warmer weather. Offering up a distinctively unique variety of Colorado destinations.

Northwest Colorado, or The Great West

Features of this area are the national parks such as Dinosaur National Park, the remote Brown’s Park, and the wild horses of the Sand Wash Basin. This area is popular with outdoor enthusiasts offering a variety of camping, RV parks, off-road vehicles, horseback riding, rafting, cycling and exploring in general. While the mountains are melting down, northwest Colorado is in full bloom.

Southwest Colorado, or The Mountain Mesas

Another very diverse region of Colorado with a mix of Colorado destinations and ski resort towns such as Telluride, and Durango. Complemented by Montrose, a very agricultural community but also rich with adventure. In the very southwest corner of Colorado is Cortez. Surrounded by big attractions such as  Mesa Verde National Park, Monument Valley . Cortez is also the gateway to the Four Corners and the Canyonlands of Utah

 

 

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Parachute

Parachute, Colorado

Located about halfway between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction in western Colorado, the small town of Parachute and its sister community of unincorporated Battlement Mesa are at the confluence of the Colorado River and Parachute Creek.

Though the town is not a mecca of amenities, it does have an info center.

Things to Do in Parachute:

  • Fishing at Harvey Gap Reservoir and Rifle Gap Reservoir. These two reservoirs are year-round fishing waterways and produce some of Colorado’s largest bass, perch, crappie, catfish, rainbow trout, and northern pike. 
  • Ice climbing at Rifle Mountain Park. This park features 80-foot canyon walls and is considered the best location in the country for limestone sport climbing.
  • Skiing and snowboarding at Powderhorn Resort.
  • Snowmobiling on the Grand Mesa, which has over 500 square miles of winter wonderland to explore.
  • Hunting and rafting are also popular in the Parachute area, and its proximity to Glenwood Springs and the famed hot springs is a draw. It’s also close to Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction.

Around Parachute, the primary lifestyle is cattle ranching, and some of the working ranches have opened themselves to visitors who want an up-close glimpse Western lifestyle.

There are two lodging choices and two dining options in town.

Parachute Battlement Mesa

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Colorado Winter

Colorado Winter

Colorado's central location and 25 world-class ski resorts attract skiers and snowboarders from around the world. With convenient non-stop flights, regional airports, discount travel packages, and other means of getting around the mountains, snow enthusiasts are quickly placing Colorado at the top of their must-visit lists. Colorado's ski areas span the state, covering more than 40,000 acres of terrain beginning at the sky-scraping Continental Divide and unfolding north, south and west deep into the Centennial State's majestic mountain ranges. Learn more about skiing and snowboarding in Colorado. Colorado's world-renowned resorts and accommodating ski towns beckon travelers of all backgrounds, ages and interests, with every ski resort offering something different. From the family of four looking for lessons and a laid-back day on groomed runs to the hardcore backcountry hike-it crowd, there's a resort that will exceed expectations

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