Destination Guides


Colorado

General   Weather   Airports   Attractions   Activities  

Introduction

Maroon Bells, Colorado ©Reimund Schuster

The best-known of the Rocky Mountain states, Colorado is essentially an outdoor paradise and owes its recognition to the majestic mountains that create spectacular scenery, panoramic vistas and an abundance of recreational possibilities. For most travellers, the essential appeal of Colorado is nature-based.


The Rocky Mountains are a year-round destination and boast stunning national parks and forests, scenic canyons, tranquil lakes, flowing rivers and towering peaks that provide opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, fishing and horse riding. Numerous winter resorts nestled in the mountains offer unrivalled skiing and snowboarding amid beautiful alpine scenery. The resort of Vail is considered to be one of the top ski destinations in the Americas and is the most popular, while Aspen is best known for its celebrities and glamorous apr├Ęs-ski scene.


The state capital, Denver, is the obvious starting point for a vacation and is the gateway to the mountains, ski resorts and spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park to the north. Home to many museums, parks, gardens and a lively downtown area, the city offers the comfort and culture of bigger cities like Los Angeles or New York, but at a more relaxed pace. Pikes Peak looms over the popular city of Colorado Springs, famous for the breath-taking views that were the inspiration for the lyrics of 'America the Beautiful' by Katherine Lee Bates. Just outside the city are the fantastic red sandstone formations of the Garden of the Gods.


The western part of the state comprises beautiful, remote desert canyons and the archaeological remnants of the cliff cities left by an ancient civilisation at Mesa Verde National Park, a stark contrast to the alpine wonders that attract most visitors to Colorado.


Climate Info

Most of Colorado has a mountain climate with hot summer days and cold, snowy winters, but the weather can be extremely changeable, particularly during spring. Thunderstorms occur in spring and summer with the most rainfall during July and August; but rain can fall at any time of year up in the mountains. Humidity is low throughout the year. The state receives a large amount of hail during the year, mostly during spring. Spring is also the windiest time of year. Winter is the peak resort season as the slopes come alive with skiers and snowboarders, but the pleasant summers attract hikers, horse-riders and climbers. The changeable and stormy spring is the least popular time to travel to Colorado.


Getting Around

The public transport system in Denver is excellent, with an outstanding, comprehensive bus network that is supplemented by a light rail line operating throughout the metropolitan area and outlying towns. Along the 16th Street Mall, hybrid vehicles provide a free service called MallRide. Taxis can be hailed on the streets, but it is better to find them at taxi ranks or to order them by phone. Cars are not necessary for downtown, and parking is expensive.


Denver International Airport (DEN)

LocationThe airport is situated 19 miles (30km) east of Denver and is the gateway to the Rocky Mountains.
Time DifferenceGMT -7 (GMT -6 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts

Tel: +1 303 342 2000.

Transfer terminals

The underground rail links the Jeppesen Terminal with concourses A, B and C.

Getting to city

The RTD bus services connect the airport to the city centre. Tickets cost $9 for a one day pass. The bus stop is located at the DEN Transit centre which may be accessed from the south end of the Jeppeson Terminal. Limousines and taxis are also available for hire. Airport shuttles provide door-to-door services to central locations. Travellers may also obtain ground transportation information at the Ground Transportation Information Counter located on Level 5 of Jeppesen Terminal. Car rental companies are also available.

Car Rental

Car rental companies include Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National and Thrifty.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available from outside the baggage claim area of the airport. The rate to the city centre starts from $55. Taxi operators include Denver Yellow Cab and Freedom Cabs Inc.

Airport Facilities

Foreign exchange bureaux and ATMs are available throughout the airport. Other facilities include bars, restaurants, duty-free shops, a post office, a massage centre and tourist information. Facilities for the disabled are good; those with special needs should contact their airline or travel agent in advance.

Car Parking

There is plenty of parking attached to the terminal. Fees start at $3 per hour for economy parking. Reduced rates are available in the off-site Pike Peak Lot, where the rates are $2 per hour and $8 per day. Shuttles run 24 hours a day, every 10 minutes. There is also parking next to the terminal for picking up and dropping off.

Websitewww.flydenver.com


Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (COS)

LocationThe airport is located six miles (10km) southeast of Colorado Springs.
Time DifferenceGMT -7 (GMT -6 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

There are buses to Colorado Springs and the larger region from the airport. Taxis, limousines, rental cars, and airport shuttles are all available at the airport, and some hotels in Colorado Springs offer pick-up services for their guests.

Car Rental

Car hire companies at the airport include Avis, Budget, Hertz, Alamo/National and Enterprise.

Airpor Taxis

Springs Cab and Yellow Cab offer taxis from Colorado Springs Airport. Taxis are metered.

Airport Facilities

Facilities at the airport include ATMs, a visitor information centre and multiple restaurants and shops.

Car Parking

Short-term parking costs $1 per 30 minutes up to $8 per day, and long-term parking costs $1 per hour up to $6 per day. There is a free, 24/7 shuttle service to the terminal.

Websiteflycos.coloradosprings.gov


History Colorado Center


Documenting the colourful history of Colorado and the stories of those who have lived here over the centuries, the History Colorado Center brings to life the world of cowboys and gunfighters, Native Americans, miners and gold panners, explorers, buffalo hunters, wagon trains and railroad
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Colorado History Museum ©Wirawan Purwanto



Denver Art Museum


Housing one of the largest Native American art collections in the country, the Denver Art Museum is a huge, seven-storey structure that also features the works of American Western artists, and art from Africa, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. The growing Native American collection displays
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The Denver Art Museum ©KM Newnham



Rocky Mountain National Park


The most popular attraction in Colorado is the spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park, with its snow-covered peaks, flower-flecked meadows, alpine lakes, thundering waterfalls and wildlife. These images of beauty have graced countless calendars and coffee-table books and are instantly
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Sprague Lake ©F Delventhal



Denver Mint


More US money is made in Denver than anywhere else in the country, and visitors can take a tour of the Denver Mint to see exactly what's behind that tiny 'D' on most US coins. The Denver Mint opened in 1863, and originally melted gold dust and nuggets into bars for the Federal Reserve. T
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The Denver Mint ©Larry D. Moore



Ski resorts


Boasting some of the world's top ski resorts, such as Vail and Aspen, to name two of the best, the main attraction of the Rocky Mountains has to be its plethora of ski resorts. Travellers looking for the ultimate winter ski holiday are spoilt for choice when they visit Colorado's Rockies
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Skiing in Vail ©Connor Walberg



Mount Evans


Mount Evans, with an altitude of over 14,000 feet, offers visitors truly spectacular views from its summit, as well as the opportunity to see various forms of Rocky Mountain wildlife (American Elk, mountain goats, marmots, big horn sheep) in their natural habitats. Just 65 miles (about 1
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Mountain Goats, Mt Evans ©Robertbody



Denver Museum of Nature and Science


The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is one of those rare attractions that is as entertaining as it is educational, and as suitable for kids as it is fascinating for grown-ups. The museum draws thousands of teachers and students each year, and countless more tourists, all of whom valu
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Denver Museum of Nature and Science ©Paul Hermans



Elitch Gardens Theme Park


This popular amusement park is conveniently located in downtown Denver, offering about 50 rides and attractions for families in Denver. Rides range from the thrilling ten-storey Twister II roller coaster, to the pretty hand-carved carousel that dates back to 1925. The connected Island Ki
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Elitch Gardens ©Bgtbbum



Boulder


A laid-back university town, located roughly 25 minutes northwest of Denver, Boulder is a sophisticated and artistic city. The large population of students from Colorado University gives Boulder a lively nightlife, a sense of fun, and a liberal attitude. Taking full advantage of its clos
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Boulder ©Hustvedt



Mesa Verde National Park


Mesa Verde National Park provides a glimpse into the Ancestral Pueblo culture (also called the Anasazi), a tribe which inhabited the area for over 700 years from the year 600 to 1300. The park contains thousands of archaeological sites, including hundreds of cliff dwellings. Travellers c
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Cliff Palace ©Andreas F. Borchert



Dinosaur National Monument


One of the best places to see prehistoric dinosaur fossils in the US, Dinosaur National Monument is home to the Carnegie Dinosaur Quarry, a famous archaeological site that still displays thousands of fossils for the public to see, along with exhibits on life during the late Jurassic peri
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Dinosaur National Monument ©InSapphoWeTrust



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