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Destination Colorado

Travelers know Denver as the gateway to the Colorado Rocky Mountains, and a great place for all things outdoors. Colorado is also home to a fascinating history, including bygone mining towns and colorful characters such as Chief Ouray, Buffalo Bill and Molly Brown. Public lands abound in Colorado. In fact, there is so much here, it may be hard to decide where to start. Let us help guide you on your journey!

Learn more about visiting Colorado at Colorado.com. Also, be sure to check out Colorado Tourism's video below and see just some of the adventures Colorado offers!

Adventures In and Around the Denver Metro Area

Denver Museum of Nature and Science

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is the perfect place to experience the natural wonders of Colorado, the earth and the universe.

Denver Botanic Gardens

Near downtown, the Denver Botanic Garden's mission is to connect people with plants, especially plants from the Rocky Mountain region and similar regions around the world.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge


Located just minutes from Denver and open year round, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge was once a toxic chemical waste site, but is now a thriving wildlife habitat and birder’s paradise.

History Colorado Center

The History Colorado Center is packed with mining, Native American and Wild West exhibitions. This new museum is located a few blocks from downtown Denver.

Molly Brown House


The Molly Brown House contains Colorado state history and the fascinating story of Titanic survivor, the unsinkable Molly Brown.

Georgetown National Historic Landmark District

Take a trip up to Georgetown National Historic Landmark District and try a walking tour, or the loop railroad. From Georgetown, drive Guanella Pass Scenic Byway in the Arapaho National Forest.

Littleton Museum

Minutes from Denver and often called one of the top ten local history museums in the U.S., Littleton Museum has two living history farms.

The Northern Front Range

The Northern Front Range is a local term used to describe the area that stretches from the foothills of the Rockies (roughly around Boulder) east to the Pawnee Grasslands. The region contains the largest cities and the majority of Colorado's population and offers many opportunities to experience the outdoors.

National Center for Atmospheric Research

Stop by the NCAR center in Boulder and learn how scientists track and study weather patterns worldwide. 25 miles/40K from Denver.

Pawnee Pioneer Trails


This scenic byway offers short-grass prairie and rugged, remote scenery within the Pawnee National Grassland. Several campgrounds in the area offer reservations.

Cache La Poudre-North Park Scenic and Historic Byway

The cities of Loveland and Fort Collins are the gateways to the northern Colorado Rockies. Take a road trip on the byway where you will find an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunites including the Cache La Poudre River National Heritage Area winding its way through the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest. Camping, hiking and fishing are but a few of the activities you will find.

Rocky Mountain National Park


Situated between the gateway community of Grand Lake on the west and Estes Park on the east, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most visited national parks, yet with miles of less-traveled trails. Scenery and wildlife abound; check out one of the parks web cams for a taste. Aspenglen, Moraine Park, and Glacier Basin campgrounds all accept advance reservations for the busy summer season.

The Southern Front Range

The Southern Front Range generally describes the area south of Denver that stretches east from the foothills of the Rockies and includes cities such as Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Colorado Springs Area

The Pike and San Isabel are home to more "14ers" than any other of Colorado's National Forests, including famous Pikes Peak. While in the Colorado Springs area, see the Garden of the Gods—a registered National Natural Landmark, the US Air Force Academy and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. You can also reserve a campsite on the Pike and San Isabel National Forests.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes

In the Great Sand Dunes National Park you'll find the tallest sand dunes in North America (try sand surfing!) surrounded by jagged mountain peaks approaching 14,000 feet high. Pinyon Flats Campground is open year round. Reservations are recommended from spring into the fall.

Central Rockies

The central rockies spread from the front range west to Glenwood Springs, south to Gunnison and north to Steamboat Springs. They offer endless opportunities to explore the rugged scenery of high alpine scenic drives, hiking, mountaineering, winter sports and the history of this great state. Enjoy the natural hot springs at Glenwood Springs, the sheer beauty of the towns of Aspen and Gunnison or start your winter ski adventure in and around the historic town of Breckenridge.

White River National Forest

Maroon Bells (Kyle Hammons)

Visit the Birthplace of Wilderness, the Maroon Bells, as well as iconic ski resorts like Vail and Aspen. The White River National Forest offers numerous camping options that can be reserved in advance.

Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests

Arapahoe National Forest

Drive the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, hike Grays and Torreys Peaks, or recreate in Summit County. Check out our list of reservable campsites in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison exposes you to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock and craggiest spires in North America. The South Rim campground is open year round.

Curecanti National Recreation Area

Curecanti National Recreation Area is a series of three reservoirs along the once wild Gunnison River. The reservoirs that make up Curecanti today are a destination for water-based recreation high in the Rocky Mountains. Best known for salmon and trout fishing, Curecanti also offers opportunities for hiking, boating, camping and birding.

Southwest Colorado

Explore the historic mining towns of Durango, Telluride, Ouray and Silverton on a journey through time. Awe inspiring scenery, outdoor adventures, music festivals, winter sports, lodging and dining can be found throughout this spectacular corner of the state. And be sure to visit the Southern Ute Indian Reservation for exciting activities and a look into the southwest’s Native American influence.

Chimney Rock National Monument

Chimney Rock

America's newest national monument is also a place of unparalleled natural beauty. On a high mesa at the southern edge of the San Juan Mountains, the site protects an Ancestral Puebloan community inhabited 1,000 years ago. To help you plan your trip to Chimney Rock, read our Spotlight on Chimney Rock National Monument, and remember that the surrounding San Juan National Forest also has miles and miles of hiking, mountain bike riding and scenic driving. You can also reserve a campsite near Chimney Rock or at one of a dozen other campgrounds on the San Juan.

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site offers guided tours to historic cliff dwellings once inhabited by the Ancestral Pueblo people. Book your reservations in advance for guided tours into the spectacular backcountry.

The Western Slope

Mesas, Monuments, Memories. The Western Slope is the area of Colorado from Montrose north to the Wyoming border. The city of Grand Junction is a great starting point to explore western Colorado where the Rocky Mountains give way to the red rock country to the west. Enjoy alpine scenery and the eastern edge of the vast Colorado Plateau. The Grand Valley is also where you will find Colorado’s little known wine country.

Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument preserves one of the grand landscapes of the American West, but this treasure is much more than a monument. Towering monoliths exist within a vast plateau and canyon panorama.

Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway

The Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway is a "playground in the sky" that climbs from the rugged Plateau Canyon floor to the cool evergreen mesa forests, 11,000 feet up. Featured are hundreds of sparkling lakes, wildflower meadows and forests of shimmering aspen and pine. Take a side trip to Lands End Overlook where the Grand Valley unfolds below. Advanced reservations are recommended for camping during the summer season.

Gunnison Gorge National Landscape Conservation Area

Enjoy hiking, back packing, world class fishing and rafting in spectacular Gunnison Gorge National Landscape Conservation Area.

Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests are a combination of separate National Forests located on the western slope of the Colorado Rockies. These three combined Forests cover 3,161,900 acres of public land in the central and southern Rocky Mountains, an area that lies south of the Colorado River and west of the Continental Divide with some of the most spectacular scenery in the Rockies. Many campgrounds in the forest are available for advanced reservations in the summer season.

Dinosaur National Monument


Dinosaur National Monument provides visitors with a look back in time (dinosaurs once roamed here) and an outstanding variety of recreation. Today, fossil remains of dinosaurs are still visible in the rocks enclosed within the Quarry Exhibit Hall. Outside, the mountains, desert and untamed rivers that flow within the monument's deep canyons support an array of life. Advanced group camping reservations are available; other camping is first-come, first-serve.