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Royal Gorge Region

Welcome to the Royal Gorge Region

The Royal Gorge Region, is a great vacation choice among many beautiful and fun Colorado destinations. Base your adventure in Cañon City, the “Climate Capital of Colorado”! Where it is warmer, dryer and sunnier than Colorado Springs and Denver. Close and convenient, but without the crowds and traffic that can overwhelm other popular destinations.

Request a FREE visitors guide or email about the Royal Gorge Region.

AttractionsRoyal Gorge Region

Families and visitors of all ages will find there are loads of options to enjoy the area’s amazing scenery or participate in some real Colorado fun,

Many visitors consider the Royal Gorge and the Arkansas River the finest natural assets. America’s top destination for whitewater rafting and anglers relish the fact that it is the country’s longest stretch of Gold Medal Trout water. The trail networks offer something for every ability level, whether on foot or a bicycle. Up for a challenge? Check out mountain bike trails or world-class rock climbing. Try the exhilarating experience of ziplining across the gorge, plus classic and extreme courses above treetops and canyons.

Downtown Cañon City

Don’t forget to visit the region’s museums, history and heritage sites. Downtown Cañon City and Florence are both hidden gems offering quaint, locally-owned shops, farmer’s markets, restaurants, breweries, and annual festivals. Learn about dinosaurs that roamed this land 150 million years ago through outstanding indoor and outdoor exhibits and interpretive trails. Check out the Royal Gorge Dinosaur experience just north of Canon City. They have all kinds of fun for the kids including interactive exhibits.

Plan more than a day to experience all the Royal Gorge Region has to offer. The recommendation is to spend at least a night, or more. Options include hotels, motels, cabins, B&B’s, full-service and forest campgrounds, or even glamping! Enjoy your visit! Cañon City looks forward to welcoming you to the attractions and activities that await in the Royal Gorge Region. Safe travels.

Fremont County Tourism Council

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Vallecito

Enjoy Vallecito, Colorado

Sheltered in a secluded mountain valley 8,000 feet above sea level, Vallecito Lake is one of the largest and most beautiful bodies of water in Colorado. Vallecito, Spanish for “Little Valley”, and ancestral home to many of Colorado’s Ute Indians, became the name of the sparkling waters of the lake it surrounded. Located in the Southwestern part of the state just 18 miles from Durango, Vallecito provides a perfect base for enjoying the Four Corners area and its many wonders.

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What’s Happening Larimer County

Larimer County

In Estes Park, the calming effect of nature embraces you, and there’s always a new adventure waiting to be discovered.  This beautiful mountain town, surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains, is your gateway to the number one tourist destination in Colorado – Rocky Mountain National Park.

Nestled in the high mountain valley at just above 7,500 feet in elevation, Estes Park is one of Colorado’s year-round natural splendors.  This delightful mountain village welcomes visitors of all ages and activity levels with various festivals, cultural experiences, playgrounds, river walks, hiking and biking trails, and much more.

Downtown’s pedestrian-friendly streets invite you to stroll, window shop, or relax along the riverwalk with some homemade ice cream.  Grassy parks, Victorian lights, and sidewalk benches add an old-fashioned feel to the array of charming shops and restaurants.  More than 300 unique shops and galleries offer a selection of handcrafted art pieces, unique giftware and fine apparel.

There are restaurants galore with everything from fast food to trendy cuisine, casual and fine dining.  Take in the relaxed, comfortable atmosphere and you’ll quickly see why Estes is known as a top family destination.

Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or love to shop and dine, you’ll find more than enough to keep you entertained.  While here, we invite you to try fly fishing, hiking, biking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, river rafting and the thrill of viewing mountain wildlife.  Enjoy some of our rich historical tours, terrific golf courses, intriguing museum exhibitions, and many local art galleries.  You may not be able to do it all in one trip.  But, like most visitors to Estes, you’ll likely be back for more!

The Estes Park area offers organized events and a variety of activities to choose from throughout the year.  Such offerings include the Estes Park Music Festival, Jazz Fest and Art Walk, Rocky Mountain Brew Fest, Rooftop Rodeo, Heritage Days, the world-famous Scottish Highlands Festival, and so much more.

Estes Park’s beautiful dry climate attracts thousands of visitors each summer.  This dry climate makes hot summer days (the average high in July is 85°F) seem cool to those from other areas of the country.  And our brisk evenings (which can dip below 50°F at night) are extremely comfortable.  Summertime afternoon showers usually dissipate in time for the nightly display of stars.  Winters are surprisingly mild, with highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s.  Colorado’s 300 days of annual sunshine also softens the winter months.

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Amphitheater in Nottingham Park in Avon

Avon

Visit Avon, Colorado

The Town of Avon is more than a mountain town or a resort destination. It is a vibrant and diverse year-round, resort community defined by its spectacular surroundings and genuine local character. The small-town setting is inclusive and family-oriented, and also the gateway to world-renowned Beaver Creek Resort. It is a town that connects the shared values of both its residents and visitors, creating a one-of-a-kind place to visit, work, grow a business, raise a family, and play in a spectacular outdoor setting.

Avon Eagle Vail

Avon’s Pavilion and Parks

Throughout the year, Avon offers events and festivals with an expansive mix of music and cultural events at the Harry A. Nottingham Pavilion and on the Main Street Mall. Nottingham Park and the spectacular Avon Pavilion are prominent gathering centers for both everyday enjoyment and major outdoor events. Avon’s uniquely wonderful lake and beach are consistent draws to the park, where SUP and peddle boat rentals are available daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Lacrosse tournaments, Saturday yoga at the Pavilion, the open swim and Dunk-N-Dash series, plus Disc Dogs Competition and triathlon stagings, all bring vibrant participant and spectator occasions to the park.

Concerts and Music festivals 

Free concerts, including pop-up performances by string quartets, Spanish guitars and a mixed trio, take place throughout the summer and on various evenings, featuring both classical and contemporary music compositions. The Avon Live! Concert series offers four exceptional evenings of free live music, conversation, food and beverages, in the park during July and August. For more information about Special Events, visit www.avon.org/events.

Avon’s Mountain Community

Fed by the adventure found on the slopes of its neighboring ski resorts, at the edges of its sparkling rivers, and in the boundless open spaces that surround the town, Avon’s residents boast a lifestyle that most only dream of. The Town’s vision is unifying–a focus on strengthening its businesses, retail and service offerings, but it’s also a focus on connecting its neighborhoods with nature–bringing them all together on pathways and in gathering spaces that invite both visitors and residents to celebrate their surroundings. Residents here grow roots that sprout families and mountain lifestyle community pride.

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Cripple Creek

Discover Cripple Creek, Colorado

On the back side of Pikes Peak, snugged onto the hillsides of a once-rollicking and wildly rich gold camp, sits today’s Cripple Creek, a limited-stakes gaming town that draws visitors from around the world.

Like many of Colorado’s mountain towns, it was first home to the Ute tribe, which moved through the high country with the seasons, living off the abundance of game and fish.

When settlers discovered gold, the landscape changed dramatically. It was Bob Womack, who had searched in vain along the southwest slope of Pikes Peak for more than a decade before hitting paydirt in 1890. Ironically, his riches were found in a place known as Poverty Gulch, which eventually became Cripple Creek.

Thousands of prospectors and the ancillary businesses of merchants and ladies of the night came to the region, and between the time of Womack’s discovery and 1910, the region was hailed as the “World’s Greatest Gold Camp.” If you were assign a 21st century value to the 22.4 million ounces of gold extracted from more than 500 mines during Cripple Creek’s heyday, you’d have yourselves more than $11 billion.

Gambling Strike in 1991

Although gold production declined dramatically in a relatively short period of time, Cripple Creek hit it big again in 1991 with legalized gambling. Many of the historic buildings became refurbished casinos and hotels, and new edifices were erected where others once stood.

In 1995 an open-pit gold mine was opened at the site of the old Cresson Mine, and it continues to produce today.

Now for many the draw is the glitter of the casino and the sounds of the electric slots and the murmur of gamers at the tables. But for history buffs, the Cripple Creek Historic District, a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service, offers a wonderful glimpse into times gone by.

Many shops maintain the rustic ambience of old-time mining days, and the Cripple Creek Heritage Center offers hands-on displays that bring the past alive. Today, visitors to the area can experience the rich Cripple Creek, Colorado history through its shops, attractions and museums.

You can also tour 1,000 feet underground in the historic Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, and the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad provides another perspective on the area’s past.

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Boulder, Colorado

Boulder

Things to Do in Boulder, Colorado

If just one word were allowed to describe the Centennial State’s free-spiritedness, we’d choose “Boulder!” for any number of reasons.

University of Colorado Boulder

First, it’s home to the University of Colorado, where academics are lofty, football is passionate, and chillin’ is mandatory. The Hill and Pearl Street Mall are famed for their colorful shops, eateries, and galleries, and people-watching is unparalleled.
Boulder-downtown

Boulder Culture

Culturally, this town is the motherlode. For museum lovers, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA) features contemporary fare, and the Leanin’ Tree Museum & Sculpture Garden of Western Art is a stroll through all things Western. More than just the past comes alive at the Boulder History Museum with exhibits that range from tofu to rock music, and CU itself houses the University of Colorado Heritage Center in its Old Main building. The college also is home to the University of Colorado Natural History Museum.

Shopping and Dining

If you’re a shopper, this is your place. Boutiques, designer names, thrift, and thrills await. And dining is, to say the very least, a culinary adventure. We’re hard-pressed to think of a cuisine not represented in our town, and you’ll even have the opportunity to visit the farm of origin for some of the freshest fare around.

And don’t forget the breweries. Just sayin’…

Mountain Recreation

Outdoor recreation is limitless. In addition to having Eldora Mountain Ski Resort nearby, America’s #1 Sports town also gives you the chance to experience, in no particular order, hot air ballooning, kayaking, rock climbing, tubing, fly fishing, bike riding, golfing, cross-country skiing and/or snowshoeing. The beauty is you can do many of these things – yes, even skiing – all in the same day. That’s Boulder for you! Ahhhh!

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Carbondale

Explore Carbondale, Colorado

Is Carbondale a big little town or a little big town? We’re not sure, but one thing we do know is that it’s a beautiful setting for outdoor activities and a wonderful peek into the state’s rich history.

Sitting at the base of Mt. Sopris at the confluence of the Crystal and Roaring Fork Rivers, Carbondale is just 12 miles from Glenwood Springs and 30 miles from Aspen. The sun shines on average 295 days each year, and in addition to abundant vitamin D, this sweet little place also blesses its visitors with access to soothing geothermal pools at nearby Avalanche Ranch.

Fly fishing is a favorite pastime in the Roaring Fork Valley, and when you’re not wetting a line, you can venture off on a bike or hike along the Rio Grande Bike and multi-use trail.

Summertime is rodeo time in Carbondale, with rip-snortin’ thrills every Thursday night, and on the somewhat more refined side of activities, concerts and films are presented during June and July.

Golf? But of course! Scenic drives? Spectacular! Dining? Divine!

In short, historic big/little (or little/big) Carbondale is a not-to-be-missed gem.

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Basalt

Find Adventure in Basalt, Colorado

Where is Basalt

Located at the confluence of the Frying Pan and Roaring Fork Rivers, this jewel of a town offers an incredible array of outdoor activities for all seasons plus a variety of local parks to keep kids of all ages engaged. Learn more about Basalt at the Basalt Chamber of Commerce.

Nearby Ruedi Reservoir provides the perfect setting for summertime watersports and fishing, and the Gold Medal waters of the rivers are nirvana to anglers of all abilities.

Camping, hiking, hunting, rafting, golfing, four-wheeling, horseback riding – if it’s out of doors and fun, Basalt is where you’ll find it.

Basalt Culture, Art, Concerts, Shopping, and more…

There is also a healthy dose of culture awaiting visitors, with numerous galleries showcasing Western, Southwestern, contemporary and primitive art as well as photography and artisan wares. Live theater is part of the scene, as is the town’s renowned summer concert series.

Shopping options are plentiful, and there is no shortage of dining choices. And lodging is both affordable and plentiful.

Remember that you are within minutes (drive times variable according to season, of course) of Aspen and Snowmass.

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Basalt

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Ridgway

Explore Ridgway, Colorado

Snugged into the Uncompahgre Valley in western Colorado is the postcard-perfect little town of Ridgway, home to around 1,000 residents and one of the sweetest getaways in the entire state.

The scenery begs for superlatives, with the San Juan mountain range to the south jutting into the bluest of skies and the Cimarron peaks commanding a Standing O. Hill and vale are covered with pine and aspen, and cottonwoods dot the stream banks in the lower regions. And it’s all illuminated by an average of 300 sunshiny days each year.

Get the picture? It’s downright beautiful. But Ridgway is more than meets the eye, with a community that supports not only ranchers and farmers and other land stewards but also artists of all stripes. Studios and galleries provide outlet for painters, sculptors, artisans, potters, woodworkers, jewelry makers, photographers, weavers – if it’s beautiful, you’ll find it here.

There’s also an energetic musical force in town, with a popular concert series. And Sherbino Theater offers music, film showings and other cultural fare. Shopping is just as varied, with one-of-a-kind treasures and souvenirs ready to go home with you.

For history buffs, Ridgway has a colorful past. It was founded in the last decade of the 19th century to be headquarters for the Rio Grand Southern Narrow Gauge Railroad, which services the gold and silver mines as well as the farmers and ranchers of the area. A museum holds relics of those bygone glory days. And the area’s incredibly idyllic setting made it the perfect backdrop for 1969’s “True Grit,” for which John Wayne won the Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn.

While you’re soaking up the atmosphere, consider soaking up some of Ridgway’s food and drink as well. There are numerous renowned restaurants as well as a local brewery and distillery.

Accommodations to fit every budget and need are available in Ridgway and nearby Ouray, and the area is a great place to pitch a tent and get to know Mother Nature on a first-name basis.

Four seasons present endless possibilities for outdoor recreation, but a quick inventory shows the 1,000-acre reservoir at Ridgway State Park just a couple of miles from town. Fishing is great there and on the Uncompahgre, and the reservoir park is also an ideal place for camping, boating, waterskiing, wind surfing, picnicking, hiking and biking.

If a good soaking sounds good, Orvis Hot Springs offers several pools outside and one indoors. There’s also rodeo, golf, motorcycle and off-road tours, rafting, kayaking, hunting, birding, skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, scenic drives… Oh, the things you’ll do in Ridgway!

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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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