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5 Ways to Get Your Adventure on in Colorado

For adventure seekers, the state of Colorado—known as “Colorful Colorado”—can be a slice of paradise. From hitting the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park to climbing in the Garden of the Gods and mountain biking in the state where it all started, there’s a little something for every adrenaline junky out there.

This summer, if you’re looking for outdoor fun, these activities will ignite your sense of adventure as you uncover some of Colorado’s magic and push yourself in the best ways possible. 

Here are five ways to find your sense of adventure in Colorado.

Presented by the Colorado Tourism Office

1. Hiking and Backpacking

rmnp vs glacier national park
Rocky Mountain National Park. Image by Pablo Lara

Looking to summit a fourteener? Colorado has plenty. In fact, Colorado has the most fourteeners of any U.S. state, with more than 50 to choose from.

The tallest is Mt. Elbert at 14,440 feet. Other popular choices include Pikes Peak, nicknamed “America’s Mountain,” and Longs Peak within Rocky Mountain National Park. If you’re aiming for altitude, pick your poison with this complete list of Colorado’s 14ers.

Backpackers can rejoice, too, because there are plenty of opportunities to tackle long hikes, backcountry camp, and thru-hike in the state. Check out the Colorado Trail, which spans 500 miles from Denver to Durango. The Colorado Trail overlaps with the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail for about 300 miles through the state.

Arm yourself with knowledge and the right gear before heading into the backcountry to ensure a safe, fun time. Colorado has four national parks, 42 state parks, and millions of acres of national forests, so there’s no shortage of untamed wilderness to explore on your own two feet. 

2. Ziplining and Aerial Parks

Ziplining colorado
Zipping over canyons at Captain Zipline. Image courtesy of the Colorado Tourism Office

If you’re one of those people who dream about flying, ziplining is an excellent way to make that dream come true. Zipping above the treetops is a special experience made even more magical when you’re doing it in a stunningly beautiful location. 

Buena Vista and Salida in central Colorado’s Chaffee County offer three zipline tours and aerial parks nestled in the Rockies. The Colorado Adventure Center in Idaho Springs has a challenging ropes course with 60 obstacles, plus there’s eight ziplines offering nearly a mile of zips over Clear Creek.

With views this good no matter where you go, you can take your adventures up high and savor every moment.

3. Guided Adventures

You can always let the professionals take you to their favorite spots by signing up for an adventure tour during your trip to Colorado. Adventure tours are a great way to tap into guides’ insider knowledge, enjoy hidden gems without worrying about all the logistics, and meet like-minded adventurers.

Take on some Class III-IV rapids through Dinosaur National Monument, backpack a portion of the Continental Divide Trail with a group, or take a multi-sport guided trip that includes activities like horseback riding, hiking, rafting, fly fishing, rock climbing, and more.

4. Rock Climbing

rock climbing in Garden of the Gods Colorado
Rock climbing in the Garden of the Gods. Image by Alexis Gethin

Climbers in Colorado really can’t go wrong. There’s the Garden of the Gods by Colorado Springs, a geologically stunning area with divine views, not to mention Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, where you’ll never be short of climbing routes.

Also check out Castlewood Canyon State Park near Franktown and Eldorado Canyon State Park near Boulder. If you want to go extreme, experienced rock climbers can consider Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Montrose, which features some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and “craggiest spires” in North America (according to the National Park Service).

5. Mountain Biking

Colorado adventure
Image courtesy of the Colorado Tourism Office

They say that modern mountain biking was born in Crested Butte, Colorado, so why not bike at the sport’s birthplace? If rocky roads and miles of single-track are your thing, you’ve come to the right state. 

Check out Phil’s World, the top-rated mountain-biking trail in Colorado by users on SingleTracks.com, plus other local favorites like the Colorado Trail, Apex Park, the Monarch Crest Trail, and the Kokopelli Trail. There’s a whole world to discover on the dirt trails of Colorado, for those who are willing to get dusty.

Ready to Go?

If you’re looking for an adrenaline fix this summer, look no further than Colorado. It’s chock-full of stunning natural beauty—the perfect backdrop for your most memorable adventures yet.

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