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Colorado | @12019/Pixabay
Colorado | @12019/Pixabay
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An Adventure Traveler's Guide to Colorado

Picture of Stephanie Harper
Updated: 6 November 2017
Colorado is full of outdoor adventure no matter the time of year. Whether you’re keen on hiking, camping or water-based activities, there are plenty of fun challenges to be enjoyed amidst the scenic beauty of the Centennial State, as our adventure traveler’s guide reveals.

Hiking

Whether you’re looking to summit your first “fourteener” or a scenic day hike, Colorado has something to offer. Enjoy thousands of miles of hiking trails through 41 state parks, 12 national parks and forests, 13 national forests and grasslands, and 53 mountains over 14,000 feet. The 500-mile Colorado Trail provides the ultimate hiking adventure for day hikers and thru hikers alike.

Colorado hiking
Colorado hiking | © 12019/Pixabay

ATVs and Jeeping

With thousands of miles of off-road trails, Colorado offers some of the most exciting rides for Jeep/4WD, UTVs, ATVs and motorcycles. Enjoy the scenery while flying through the fresh mountain air. Enjoy the Grand Mesa Trails near Grand Junction or 250-mile Wagon Wheel Trail System near Meeker.

Jeeping in Colorado
Jeeping in Colorado | © UnkownNet Photography/Flickr

Camping

With the abundance of state and national parks with over 4,000 campsites, camping is a great way to spend time enjoying the beauty of Colorado. If you’re looking for full amenities, try one of Colorado’s RV Parks, like the Elk Mountain Lodge and RV Park in Estes Park. You’ll also find sites throughout the state for tent camping and even back country excursions.

Camping at Rocky Mountain National Park, Moraine Park CG in Colorado
Camping at Rocky Mountain National Park, Moraine Park CG in Colorado | © Christian Collins/Flickr

Cycling

Cycling is a way of life in Colorado. In fact, the sport of mountain biking was invented in the Colorado town of Crested Butte. Colorado is also home of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Whether interested in urban trails, well-paved routes, or single-track mountain biking, you’ll find the ride of your life.

Cycling in Fruita
Cycling in Fruita | © Zach Dischner/Flickr

Water activities

Colorado is the headwaters for close to two dozen major rivers, including the Colorado River, Rio Grande, and Arkansas River. Whitewater rafting and kayaking are a popular way to explore the waterways. There are also over 2,000 lakes and reservoirs across the state, including Blue Mesa Reservoir and Lake Dillon, that provide excellent places for boating and water sports. And, with over 35 different species of fish, the fishing is bar none.

Whitewater rafting
Whitewater rafting | © Jim Kelly/Flickr

Winter Activities

27 ski and snowboard resorts provide some of the best powder in the country. Snowshoes or cross-country skiing opens up some of the best back country trails. For the more extreme adventurers, snowmobiling provides a thrilling tour through Colorado’s beautiful alpine environment.

Skiing in Colorado
Skiing in Colorado | © longneckerunlimited/Pixabay