Enjoy A Northwest Colorado Getaway Any Time Of Year
Northwest Colorado features a dramatic landscape that ranges from majestic mountain peaks and world-class ski slopes to red rock canyons and alpine lakes. Many first-time travelers visit Aspen, Vail and Beaver Creek in winter, but summer offers activities like hiking, rock climbing, fishing, golf, horseback riding, river rafting and hot air ballooning. Ride the state’s longest alpine slide in Winter Park, navigate over 600 miles of mountain biking trails, or treat the family to a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Notable for its western heritage and summer rodeo, Steamboat Springs is also famous for challenging ski areas, soothing hot springs and an abundance of year-round recreation.
Visit Grand Mesa, the world’s tallest flattop mountain or examine fossils at Dinosaur National Monument. Take a walking tour of former mining town Breckenridge and view over 250 buildings listed on the National Historic Register. Grand Junction is home to 20 wineries, a charming downtown and award-winning golf courses. Soak in an outdoor mineral pool two blocks long at Glenwood Springs, or explore mountain caves at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. For easy access to Rocky Mountain National Park and scenic waterfalls nearby, stay at Grand Lake, the western gateway.
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Top Things to Do
Road Trips & Tours
Take a fun bike ride through wine country near Grand Junction. Enjoy tastings and tours at Garfield Estates Vineyard, Meadery of the Rockies and Maison Le Belle Vie. Palisade’s Peach Street Distillers and Palisade Brewing Company offer award-winning locally crafted spirits and brews. Fruita is a popular spot for ATV desert trails and rock climbing. Ashcroft Ghost Town, 11 miles south of Aspen, features year-round tours and spectacular views of wildflowers in summer.
Grand Mesa is one of the largest flat-topped mountains in the world. It offers miles of forest, mountain biking trails and more than 300 bodies of water. Take Hwy 82 east from Aspen to Independence Pass for the best photos of fall foliage. Ride the Silver Queen Gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain for views at over 11,000 ft., or visit Winter Park for a ride on the longest alpine slide in Colorado.
State Parks & Recreation
Elkhead State Park and Reservoir, north of Craig, offers water sports in summer and snowmobiling and ice fishing in winter. Hike scenic trails, go bird watching and biking, or horseback riding. At Colorado River State Park, hike to the Little Bookcliffs Range and view herds of wild horses roaming 30,000 acres. Stop at Rangely on your way to Grand Lake and see prehistoric rock art from the Ute and Fremont Tribes in Canyon Pintado.
Aspen is famous for its world-class downhill skiing but it also offers a variety of winter activities for all ages including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding. Snowmass boasts powdery slopes and more than 3000 acres of parks, pipes, glades, cliffs and steeps. Vail and Beaver Creek also feature diverse terrain for all ski levels plus activities like snowmobiling, tubing, and sleigh rides. Ride the Express ski train from Denver to Winter Park on weekends.
Colorado National Monument offers a diverse landscape of red rock canyons, clear rivers and desert vegetation. Savor the scenic views along Rim Rock Drive or take a stargazing tour. Dinosaur National Monument is a four-hour drive from Palisade. View fossil exhibits and enjoy rafting at Green River. Grand Lake is the western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Engage in hiking and wildlife viewing in summer and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter.
Steamboat Springs is famous for its Pro Rodeo Series held on summer weekends at Romick Rodeo Arena. A tradition for over 100 years, the rodeo features concerts, barbecue dinners and top ranked cowboys and cowgirls competing in bronc riding, barrel racing and other events. Meeker Range Call, held annually on July Fourth at Rio Blanco Fairgrounds in Meeker, is the state’s oldest rodeo. Events include a parade, concert and fireworks.