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Things to Do in Colorado - page 2

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Rocky Mountain National Park
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5 Tours and Activities

Colorado is synonymous with the Rocky Mountains, and the activities and beauty of the Rockies comes together at Rocky Mountain National Park.

More than 350 miles (563 km) of hiking trails wind through the park, with wildlife-spotting opportunities including elk, bighorn sheep and moose.

Alpine wildflowers fill the valleys in spring, and cross-country skiers hit the slopes here in winter. Cyclists follow Trail Ridge Road, while hikers can walk to lakes following the Bear Lake Trailhead, Fern Lake trail and easy walks to Calypso Cascades and Gem Lake.

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Garden of the Gods
10 Tours and Activities

Colorado Springs’ Garden of the Gods is not an average city park with duck ponds and walking paths. Instead, this urban park—which is also a designated National Landmark—boasts 1,367 acres of unique wilderness, Great Plains grassland and juniper woodlands.

The most iconic section of the park is the towering ridge of sandstone formations that reveal 300 million years of geological history. Famous red rock formations include the Balanced Rock, the Gateway Rock and the Three Graces, and among the crags and overhangs, visitors can spot petroglyphs from the Native American Ute tribe that once roamed these lands. The park came to be in 1909 after landowner Charles Perkins requested that his property be donated to the city upon his death. In line with his final wishes, the park remains free and open to the public.

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Browns Canyon National Monument
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11 Tours and Activities

The Browns Canyon National Monument is an area around the Arkansas River that's long been a popular recreational area. The nearly 22,000-acre area of the Arkansas River that is contained within the Browns Canyon National Monument is the United States' most popular place for whitewater rafting. It is also popular for its hiking and fishing opportunities. Prior to becoming a National Monument in 2015, the area had also been popular with hunters. With the designation, animals such as bighorn sheep, elk, and golden eagles are more protected.

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More Things to Do in Colorado

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

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3 Tours and Activities
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Colorado Trail

Colorado Trail

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1 Tour and Activity
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Winter Park

Winter Park

1 Tour and Activity
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Dinosaur Ridge

Dinosaur Ridge

1 Tour and Activity
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Georgetown Loop Railroad

Georgetown Loop Railroad

The Georgetown Loop Railroad is a narrow-gauge heritage railroad that runs between the Rocky Mountain communities of Georgetown and Silver Plume. Completed in 1884, the Georgetown Loop was one of Colorado’s first tourist attractions, and it has been sold, removed and restored over its long history.

Today visitors can take a ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad during the summer months. Even though the straight-line distance between the start and end is only two miles, the track runs for 4.5 miles along a corkscrew route thanks to the rugged mountainous terrain. The thrilling train ride traverses the canyon over picturesque trestles, steep grades and bridges, including the towering Devil’s Gate High Bridge. Visitors can pair the train ride experience with the opportunity to spot veins of silver in the rocks at the Lebanon Silver Mine, which descends 500 feet into a 1970 mine shaft tunnel. Tours of the mine also include a visit to the manager’s office and tool shed.

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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

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Here’s a stat about Black Canyon of the Gunnison that likely will make you pause: the rocks found at the bottom of the canyon are nearly 2 billion years old, and date back to the Precambrian Era when Earth was first being formed. It’s walls rise over 2,000 feet from the Gunnison River below, and at many points the distance down is more than the distance across.

It’s a scenic, surreal, and special place on the North American continent, and one of America’s most underrated parks- considering the natural beauty. When visiting Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, drive the length of the South Rim Road and take in the cliff top viewpoints, many of which offer gulp-­inducing, sheer, vertical drops. To test your strength on the canyon walls, follow one of the zigzagging trails that lead to the floor down below, and experience the sensation of looking straight up at the canyon rim back above.

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Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak

Just outside of Colorado Springs, the towering Pikes Peak mountain stands as an American icon. Katharine Lee Bates wrote the song “America the Beautiful” after surveying the great western lands from atop this very mountain, and today, visitors can enjoy the same view that Bates did, looking down across the rolling plains and jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains. While 1850s gold miners once trekked to this area via covered wagon and made the climb by mule, modern visitors can enjoy the views while driving the scenic Pikes Peak Highway, which offers incredible views along the way to the 14,115-foot summit. On the mountain you’ll find interpretive programs along with great picnic spots and a handful of lakes that are ideal for fishing and hiking.

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