I have lived in Colorado my entire life. I have only skied once, won’t ever do it again. I have been to the top of Pikes Peak five times and I have never been to the Stanley Hotel (yet). Let’s check out what experts say is the top five places to visit in Colorado!
Sit back and relax! If you have visited and want to share your experiences, please comment below.
1. Black Canyon of the Gunnison – I’ve been here and can’t wait to go back!
What: The Gunnison River formed the Black Canyon over 2 million years, cutting its way through the canyon forming sharp cliffs and steep spires. Don’t miss out on the chance to experience raw nature like you’ve never seen it before.
The Black Canyon was designated as an International Dark Sky Park in September 2015. These National Parks preserve some of the darkest skies in the country and In some areas it’s possible to see more than 15,000 stars throughout the night! Great for meteoroid showers! Love camping? Come and sleep under those 15,000 + stars, look for the Milky Way, planets and shooting stars!
Entrance Fee? $20 per vehicle and valid for seven calendar days!
Where: Located in north-central Colorado between Estes Park and Grand Lake. Neither of which I have been to.
What: Rocky Mountain National Park and is one of the most popular national parks in the U.S. The headwaters of the Colorado River are in the northwestern part of the park. AND!!! it is considered a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations.
With the high mountain peaks, blue alpine lakes, meadows, forests, and abundant wildlife (there is even an Elk fest in September) this is nature at its best. Included in the park: more than 100 peaks over 10,000 feet, including Longs Peak, the highest in the park, at 14,259 feet. But is it the highest peak in Colorado? Stay tuned
3. Mesa Verde – Never been, sort of on my bucket list
Where: Southwestern Colorado, located near the towns of Cortez and Manco
Mesa Verde (which means green table in Spanish)
Deemed a national park in 1906 by Theodore Roosevelt. It is a national park and World Heritage site which preserves ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings and is great for history fans and nature lovers!
Here you’ll find the park has been inhabited since 7500 BC by nomadic tribes and experts estimate that the first pueblos were built in 650 AD. Come see the impressive Cliff Dwellings which were built in 1200 AD.
Cost: $5 per person for guided tours of some of the dwellings, however you are free to explore the rest of the Mesa Verde National Park
Where: Colorado Springs, Colorado.
This is a designated National Natural Landmark, which sometimes overflows with visitors from all over the world! When the sandstone formations were discovered by surveyors, they decided the rocks had merged the Great Plains’ grasslands with the woodlands of the Southwest and mountain forests of Pike Peak and were then declared it resembled a garden fit for the gods.
5. Vail – been through several times, not on my bucket list
Where: Nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the tiny town is at the foot of the Vail Mountains and nestled in the White River National Forest.
Vail is one of the top ski resorts in Colorado and draws huge crowds in the winter, however, it is pleasant place to visit any time of the year. You can find chalet-style restaurants, shop and hotels which make you feel you are in the heart of the Alps. Vail doesn’t fit in everyone’s budget, especially during high season (winter), however there are several small towns that are more affordable.
Just a “fun” fact. Many celebrities have lived or live in Aspen.
Final answer…Mt. Elbert is the highest mountain in Colorado
This vast mountain rises just 14,440-foot (4401.2 m) above sea level is one of the fourteeners (a mountain peak with an elevation of at least 14,000 ft) and is the highest peak in the Sawatch Range and the second-highest summit in the contiguous United States after Mount Whitney. Mount Elbert is located in San Isabel National Forest, just southwest of the City of Leadville in Lake County, Colorado.
Follow me on Pinterest
*this post contains photos which are not mine, no copyright infringement meant* Disclaimer