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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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Alpine Sports

Alpine Sports ski, board and bike rental in Breckenridge, Colorado is a family owned ski, snowboard, bike and SUP rental company. Since 2002 we’ve specialized in Premier Ski and Snowboard rentals, Mountain and Path Bike rentals, and Stand-Up Paddle Board rentals. We have TWO very convenient locations in town to serve you fast. The newest location is on the corner of Airport Rd @ 435 North Park Ave, – just 2 blocks before the Breck Gondola coming from I-70, with lots of free parking available in the rear of the store.

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Cañon City royal gorge bridge

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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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.

Sign up to learn more Colorado Travel

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Summer in Summit County

Summer in Summit County, Colorado

Welcome to Summer in Summit County and one of  ‘Colorado’s Favorite Playgrounds!’ Blessed with a central location in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, Summit County encompasses the inviting towns of Keystone, Dillon, Frisco, Silverthorne, Copper Mountain, Heeney, and Breckenridge.

Summit County Summertime

Our historic towns have much to offer for all ages during the summer months. Celebrate the history of these National Historic Districts and stroll down our Main Streets while enjoying the one-of-a-kind architecture, unique shopping, and dining options.

Summer in Summit County Standouts

Find many unique lodging opportunities for romantic getaways, family vacations, and weekend adventures with friends. Summit County has many options to suit any family, group, couple, or individual.

summer in summmit county

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Summit Stage

Summit Stage

Bus service is available seven days a week, 365 days a year.  Buses depart Frisco Station from 6:00 am to 8:30 pm for destinations within Summit County.  A late bus departs Frisco for Lake County at 10:30 pm.  Buses depart Silverthorne Station from 6:15 am to 9:15 pm.  Buses depart Breckenridge Station from 6:45 am to 9:00 pm.  Please check full schedules on the Summit Stage website.

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All Aboard!

All Aboard!

All Aboard – it’s that time

Welcome to the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad! We’re glad you’ve chosen to visit. Whether you are new to experiencing this legendary railroad or have been a returning guest for years, we look forward to offering you the best in year-round historic train adventures presented today as they were in 1882! We invite you to hop aboard and relive the “Golden Age” on our railroad, which was voted “#1 Best Scenic Train in North America “ by USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice 2021 & 2022, “Best Historic Railroad of the West” 2021-23 by TrueWest Magazine Readers, and “Best Train Experience in the West” in 2016 by Sunset Magazine. Order a FREE All-Aboard Guide.

About D&SNGRR

Our family has dedicated decades to preserving the history surrounding this national treasure, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This railroad is designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service and an American Society of Civil Engineering Landmark.

When is the best time to visit the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad? Any time of the year!

During the winter, we offer exclusive round-trip train adventures deep into the heart of the San Juan National Forest to Cascade Canyon as well as the premier holiday family event train, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train ride.

If you’re visiting in the springtime, your train excursion may feature incredible waterfalls during the spring thaw season as you journey to Cascade Canyon.

All Aborad

All Aboard in the Summer

Summer is high season at the D&S with daily full day Durango to Silverton excursions May through October departing from Durango. We also offer daily 5-hour excursions on the Cascade Canyon Express seven days a week during the high season. These rail journeys also depart from the Durango Depot and travel to Cascade Canyon and are a perfect highlight reel of spectacular Rocky Mountain vistas for those with limited time.

Autumn offers you a unique way to experience peak leaf season from the comfort of the D&S train. Connect with family and friends as you explore the Rocky Mountains by historic railway. Sit back and allow yourself to be transported through a riot of blazing fall colors featuring the spectacular golden glow of aspens.

However you choose to relax and connect on the D&S train, and whatever adventure awaits you, we hope you have an inspiring journey where you create wonderful life-long memories!

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Heeney

Heeney

Visit Heeney, Colorado

The little community of Heeney is 8,000 feet above sea level and nestled between two spectacular mountain ranges, the Gore and Williams Peak.  This area, one of Colorado’s best-kept secrets, includes the Lower Blue River Valley, the Green Mountain Reservoir, and the popular Cataract Lake & Falls in the Eagles Nest Wilderness area.  Heeney is in Summit County and is only 30-40 minutes from Keystone, Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, and Copper Mountain ski resorts. The entire area offers unique scenery and peace from the big resorts down the road.

Heeney Green Mountain Reservoir

About Heeney and Green Mountain Reservoir

Heeney was established in the late 1930s as an offshoot of the construction of the reservoir or dam.  In the summer, the lake (Green Mountain Reservoir) is a boater’s playground – fishing boats, jet skiing, water skiing, and pontoon cruising are all popular.  The Lower Blue River is Gold Medal Trout Waters above the lake and Wild Trout Waters below the dam.  It challenges fly fishermen almost year-round.  Winter offers huge lake trout to the patient ice fishermen.  The surrounding area also has a lot to offer, as far as hiking, camping, off-roading, and awesome views.  Heeney has a small marina that provides a public boat ramp, dockside fuel, slip rentals, and boat rentals.  A small liquor store and tackle shop are also in the town.  At the south end of the lake, at the inlet, are cabin rentals and a small convenience-type store.

The area is a lot like it was 50 years ago, with beautiful hay meadows and grazing cattle.  There is still a lot of wildlife in the area, including elk and deer quite often seen grazing early morning or late afternoon.  Get away from it all in Heeney!

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backcountry-skin tour

Hut Skiing

Hut Skiing in Colorado

Colorado’s hut skiing is steeped in the traditions of ski touring in the Alps. Colorado’s version has evolved into the country’s largest array of backcountry dwellings. More than seventy huts belonging to 13 hut systems speckle the high country – an eclectic mix of rustic cabins, spacious huts, and nylon yurts. The most famous system of hut is the 10th Mountain Division. Both a historical icon (National Monument) and an amazing hut system that encompasses some of Colorado’s most majestic peaks.

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Cañon City royal gorge bridge

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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