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Colorado State Map

  • April 30, 2023 March 26, 2024

The interactive Colorado State Map below will be helpful for visitors coming from any direction, solo or with a group. Getting to and through Colorado is a stress-free endeavor. The majority of the state’s resorts and attractions are located within an hour of any airport, and shuttle services stand by to make the trek to the high country even easier.

Denver International Airport (DIA) is the 10th busiest airport in the world and has been rated the best-run airport in North America.  DIA is the state’s largest airport and directly connects to regional airports .  Numerous airports also directly serve larger Colorado communities.

More Helpful Travel Resources

  • Colorado State Map of all Ski Resorts
  • cDOT Webcams
  • Ski Resort Webcams

Click the icon on the below interactive map to learn more about each destination.

International Trivia Night

The ever-popular International Trivia Night will be held from 6-8 pm Tuesday, April 30, at the Global Village Museum of

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237 Virginia Avenue

May 02 - May 19

SYNOPSIS When Eric, an overeducated and underemployed professor, begins researching the history of his father Rex’s pr

colorado travel map

Maria Schneider Orchestra

The seven-time Grammy award-winning Maria Schneider Orchestra has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magi

colorado travel map

Pack Rats at Heart: The Joys of Collecting

With over 60 years of adventures collecting artifacts, Gary and Carol Ann Hixon will present Pack Rats at Heart: The Joy

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Desert Highlights Trail Camp

May 10 - May 13

Join us for a long weekend in the colorful desert landscape of Western Colorado! This year, we have partnered with Gemin

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Resplendent Rachmaninoff – Fort Collins Symphony

Our season closes with music that has captivated audiences in concert halls, movie theaters, and figure skating arenas f

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Run to the Shrine

May 18 - May 19

Join us on Saturday, May 18 or Sunday, May 19, 2024 for Run to the Shrine, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s annual fundraiser r

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Chalk Lines and Vines

Save the date for Arapahoe County’s fourth annual spring wine and chalk art festival, held outdoors at the Arapahoe Co

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Learn to Curl with the Broadmoor Curling Club

The Broadmoor Curling Club is holding a Learn to Curl Clinic 25 May 24. We welcome those who have never tried curling an

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Outside Festival

Jun 01 - Jun 02

The first-ever Outside Festival will take place in downtown Denver from June 1-2, 2024. This new event is a one-of-a-kin

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Foraging Food Wild Strawberries

8 Delicious Foods to Forage in Colorado

For some Coloradans, the double payoff of being out in nature and having the ability to round up incredible things to eat is a major selling point of living in the Centennial State. Foraging locally offers the opportunity to track down and harvest everything from mushrooms professional chefs pine to cook with to an array …

8 Delicious Foods to Forage in Colorado Read More

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6 Thrilling Lakes for Jet Skiing by Denver

From local lakes in the metro area to alpine spots a couple of hours drive, there are plenty of terrific places to jet ski close enough to Denver. Some of these lakes and reservoirs even boast on-site marinas that will rent out jet skis. Denver is lucky that its dry climate means its summers here …

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Colorado’s Best Beaches

It’s true, that Colorado is what people call a land-locked state, but if you look inside its borders you will find many lakes and reservoirs with miles of shoreline to enjoy. So, cool off this summer and discover some of Colorado’s best beaches. If you’re looking for a beach vibe, consider the following lakes spread …

Colorado’s Best Beaches Read More

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Are there Bald Eagles in Colorado

Since bald eagles are America’s National Bird, the numerous natural lands in Colorado that provide habitat for them can be thought of as being especially patriotic. These majestic birds are found throughout North America during specific times of the year. However, the areas in which bald eagles can live year-round and raise their young are …

Are there Bald Eagles in Colorado Read More

Uncover Colorado Travel Guide

From world-class ski resorts to primitive natural hot springs, Colorado caters to everyone. And since there are so many sunny days to see it all, we created this free online Colorado travel guide to help you out.

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Use our travel guide to plan activities , events , towns , hotels , restaurants , and transportation . We also showcase made-in-Colorado products , perfect for that gift or souvenir from your favorite state. They are either entirely made locally, partially made, or just the company is based here. Our travel blog is updated regularly with valuable posts on all things CO.

Are you excited about an upcoming Colorado trip? Let our colorful online guide be your itinerary assistant. We publish original blog posts and expand our travel guide pages regularly. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram , to stay updated on the latest shenanigans.

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Join our community of thousands of Colorado adventurists! Receive a monthly roundup of the latest posts, fun festivals, rare deals, and travel tips. Discover possibly the most life-changing, radically great stories + free guide on free attractions in CO:

Things To Do This Month

Look for fun things to do this month and upcoming ones. Plan and make yourself an adventure to go on. Each month offers activities, especially terrific for its time of year.

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From the epic highs of the Rockies to the rolling prairies and bluffs of the east, Colorado is a land of contrast and opportunities for adventure. This is a look at all the favorite activities available here, such as skiing, hiking, visiting a haunted ghost town or soaking in natural hot springs.

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Famous annual events like the X-Games, Telluride Film Festival and National Western Stock Show bring fans from all the country and world. There are a wide array of festival types, including Art, Beer, Film, Food, Heritage, Holiday, Music, Sport and Wildlife.

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Everybody needs a place to lay their head at night when visiting a new place. This is a curated look at Colorado’s top hotels, cabins, vacation rentals, B&Bs, and other unique accommodations. Each one is clean, comfortable and special enough to provide the memory and home base you desire.

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We all gotta eat, so might as well make it a fun memory. These iconic Colorado restaurants are worthy of your tastebuds. Experience local delicacies like Palisade peaches and Pueblo green chile, available at markets during the season, or visit one of the state’s many home-grown restaurants.

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Colorado’s public transportation is improving every year. Hop on a train from Denver International Airport and get all the way to downtown Denver, or continue to California via an Amtrak if you wanted. Methods include airports, buses, bikes, trains, taxis, ride-hailing, car rentals and private shuttles.

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Spring is a terrific time of year in Colorado. By the third week in March, most locals are ready for spring and the coming heat. Go for a spectacular hike or visit far-off hot springs. There’s so much to do and see in Colorado and spring is a special season full of change. Make use of the state parks  during the weekdays for more seclusion.

After the spring equinox, on Tuesday, March 19th, 2024, spring is officially underway. There are warming temps in the Rockies and snow that’s melting and fueling the rivers in the high country. Once you visit, it’s easy to see why most locals cherish their springtimes, it’s an unmatched wonderland. This travel guide shows you all the most popular pastimes for your itinerary planning.

Our digital publication highlights the most popular pastimes for your itinerary planning. Sort by tourist attractions or outdoor recreation .

It’s spring! Time to toast the season and savor the changing weather. Find top things to do this season. While the warming weather is upon us, take advantage of these fun activities to enjoy.

Probably Colorado’s Best Travel Blog

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Colorado’s a broad topic with so much beauty to uncover. We publish exciting, new articles on our travel blog throughout the week. Topics range from the best ski towns or hot springs, to how to find free camping. There is so much to see and do in Colorado that you’ll never be short on adventure.

Stay tuned for regular updates on our Colorado travel blog. The Colorado Travel Blog showcases local: attractions, recreation, entertainment, lodging, dining, transportation, companies, and everything in between. Learn some fun facts about Colorado . We have a talented writing team of regular contributors from across the state, and beyond. Each one has a knack for sharing the travel wisdom that they’ve learned.

Iconic adventures are just around the corner in Colorado. Be inspired to get out there and try something new, like tent camping in the Rockies, or spending the night at a historic hotel. All year round you can find a special event or reason to visit a particular Colorado gem. This spring, try something you’ve never done before and cross something off your bucket list.

Visiting Colorado? Plan with our free trip resources

Our complimentary travel resources cover a wide range of Colorado vacation planning. Find exciting things to do, towns to visit, hotels to stay in, public transportation, and restaurant recommendations. Get started here…

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An Epic Colorado Road Trip: The Perfect Colorado Itinerary

Planning a Colorado road trip? Don’t miss this step-by-step 10 day Colorado itinerary – complete with everything you need to know, practical tips and maps to help you plan your trip.

Errrmagawd people. Can we talk about Colorado? I’ve just returned from an epic Colorado road trip with Visit Colorado and am already itching to go back.

It’s no surprise really is it – from the urban hipster chic of Denver to the foodie paradise of Fort Collins and a big dollop of national parks and forests (including that little-known range called the Rocky Mountains), Colorado has a hella lot going for it.

So… that’s the why you want to go deal with then (if I didn’t make it clear enough, the WHY is because it’s epic – a word that you better believe that I don’t use lightly).

Now’s time to look at the how.

IMHO a road trip is the best way to tackle seeing some of Colorado’s biggest sights (as well as a few offbeat inclusions too) – there’s the joy of being on the open road and the opportunity to explore the Centennial State at your own pace.

I’ll level with you – ten days is pretty tight for a Colorado road trip.

Given my own way, I’d dedicate at least two to three weeks to discovering the state but hey, this is the real world, with pesky little things like holiday allowance and budget to consider – so a 10 day Colorado itinerary it is.

Rocky Mountains

That’s also why we are pretty much going to stick to the area of Northern Colorado: I don’t want you haring around the whole state clocking up the miles at the cost of the actual experience.

I will, however, include a couple of smaller stops on this Colorado road trip planner that I think really give you a peek into a different side of Colorado life (ahem did anyone say hanging out on a DUDE RANCH).

Be warned, this isn’t your bog standard Colorado road trip, but then again, you’re not bog standard kind of people are you?

Kick back and enjoy the ride, it’s time to set off on an epic Colorado road trip.

Colorado Road Trip Map

10 Day Colorado Road Trip Itinerary

Colorado road trip days 1 + 2: denver.

Larimer Square Denver

You’re about to kick off your Colorado itinerary in Denver.

Denver seriously took me by surprise – in the absolute best way possible.

Blending hipster cool, an incredible food scene, cultural attractions and a ridiculous number of craft breweries, it’s the perfect introduction to Colorado.

It was clear from the moment I stepped outside that Denver is a city that loves the great outdoors – pretty much a given seeing as you can see the Rockies looming high from most points in the city.

Cool Things to do in Denver on Your Colorado Itinerary

Discover denver’s popping street art scene.

Street Art in Denver

Love street art? I have one word for you. RiNo.

Denver’s street art scene is on another level (the only place I’ve seen to rival it is Shoreditch in London ) but as you’re short on time, you should head to the RiNo district, which boasts the biggest concentration of pieces.

Local names such as Pat Milbery and Detour 303 sit alongside international street art stars like Obey Giant (the dude who designed that iconic Obama poster in 2008) and Mr Cenz (a long-standing favourite of mine).

It’s colourful and straight up awesome.

Fair warning though: CRUSH Walls, which sees a huge mural festival takeover in RiNo each year, is coming to an end. CW holds the right to decorate the area until 2023, and then after that, they’re parting ways. 

Who knows what will become of Denver’s street art scene? Sniff. Check it out while you still can.

Read More: Finding the Best Street Art + Urban Murals in Denver

Take E-Tuk Tour of the City

Denver is pretty spread out, so I’d recommend starting your time in the city with a tour.

Not just any tour though, the cool Denver e-tuk tours not only whizz you around the city in their eco-friendly and rather quirky contraptions, but just so happen to have some of the funniest guides I’ve ever met. ROFL funny meets a wealth of history and unique insight into some of Denver’s coolest spots? I’m sold.

Explore Denver’s Museums

Denver has a lot of museums.

I’ll be honest, as we only had a couple of days in the city, I skipped visiting most of the museums in favour of mooching around RiNo and goggling at street art.

However, if you’d prefer to head to a museum instead, I’ve heard rumour that the Denver Art Museum has a cool collection of Native American art, while the Clyfford Still Museum is an impressive showcase of the works of the abstract expressionist artist of the same name.

See the Big Blue Bear and More ‘Grammable Spots

Big Blue Bear in Denver

There’s a tonne of public art in Denver thanks to a programme that requires each new construction project in the city to donate 1% of the proceeds to a public art fund. How cool is that?

We saw a lot of art on the e-tuk tour but if you only have time to see one it has to be the Big Blue Bear (actual name I See What You Mean ) by Lawrence Argent.

The bear represents the outdoors sitting right on Denver’s doorstep – pretty fitting given the city’s location.

Gorge on the City’s Farm to Table Cuisine

Breakfast at Mercantile

Can we take a moment to pay homage to the good chefs of Denver keeping the city’s inhabitants and visitors fed in the best way possible.

Thank you people. My stomach thanks you. My tight jeans, not so much.

Farm to table is kind of a big deal in Denver – no wonder when there is such a wealth of local ingredients for chefs to use in all kinds of inventive and wonderful ways.

Mercantile in the iconic Union Station serves fresh flavours and innovative contemporary American cuisine – book ahead – it’s very popular (deservedly so).

Denver Central Market in RiNo has numerous traders serving great food from around the globe.

I also loved El Five, whose quirky Mediterranean dishes came with a side of some of the best views in the city.

Explore Denver’s Different Districts (And Have a Giggle at their Names Too)

Denver Central Market in RiNo

LoDo (Lower Downtown), RiNo (River North), SEEmo (OK, the last one’s a joke), Denver has a lot of districts with some rather amusing nicknames – so much so that there’s even a South Park episode mocking the locals with the made-up SoDoSoPa.

Funny as their names might be, Denver’s districts each have a distinctive vibe of their own – take as much time as you can hanging out in each of them.

RiNo totally captured my heart though, if only for the epic street art.

Where to Stay in Denver – The Sheraton Denver

The Sheraton Denver – The Sheraton Denver is one of the biggest hotels in Denver and where I stayed during the Denver leg of the trip.

It’s everything you’d  expect from a Sheraton – high-end, comfortable and a great location downtown (plus beds so comfortable that you never want to get out of them).

Colorado Road Trip Day 3: Loveland

colorado travel map

Loveland is a cool little spot with a compact downtown that you can explore in the matter of a morning and a nice contrast to Denver.

It’s one of those spots that you could pass through as you rush to get to the Rockies – but you’d be missing out if you did.

Though the downtown is pretty and has plenty to keep you entertained Loveland is really a place where you need to get out and explore.

Put on your hiking boots and attack the stunning Devil’s Backbone trail – a ridge of rocky outcrops that comes complete with views of the Rocky Mountains.

Cool Things to do in Loveland

Visit sweetheart winery.

Sweetheart Winery

A winery in Colorado? Surely I’ve got it confused – do I mean California? Nope.

Sweetheart Winery was one of my fave stops in Loveland and a welcome shift from the craft breweries that dominate the state.

The winery was started by a wine enthusiast who honed his craft, he turned to selling the wine he produced at independent wine fairs – turns out that the wine started winning more than a few awards and he took the leap (along with his wife) into starting a full winery.

That’s a story and a half right? Wait until you try the wine.

Hike the Devil’s Backbone

colorado travel map

No, not the film by Guillermo del Toro (creepy AF), this Devil’s Backbone happens to be a cool 12-mile Colorado hike along a series of impressive rock formations that looks (you guessed it), like the Devil’s sinuous and scaled backbone.

The hike isn’t tough and the trail is well marked – go as far as you wish before turning back to do the return hike but I would recommend going at least as far as The Keyhole. This an opening in a rocky outcrop through which you can peek at the Rocky Mountains on the horizon.

Your Insta will thank you for it.

Visit one of Loveland’s Sculpture Gardens

Menage a Trois Benson Sculpture Garden

Away from its mega-cute name, Loveland sits at the heart of the American sculpture scene.

The town itself has over 380 pieces of public art, many of which are located in its sculpture gardens: Benson Sculpture Garden and Chapungu Sculpture Park.

Benson is the biggest of the two and the one I visited during my stay – it opened in 1985 and has been showcasing the best pieces in local and international sculpture ever since.

It’s pretty cool – with a range of styles and mediums that I just wasn’t expecting to find – I still am not sure which of the 148 pieces currently displayed was my favourite.

This piece “ Menage a Trois ” was certainly a close contender.

Chapungu Sculpture Park is just as cool (I’ll be heading there on my next trip fo’ sho), boasting more than 80 stone sculptures with themes like the spirit world and village life playing a huge role in the park.

Have a Cheeky Night out on the Town

Loveland is pretty sprawling but the compact downtown area is where it’s at when it comes to keeping you out of (or getting you into) trouble of an evening.

Start with dinner at Door 222 – where the dishes display a masterful balance of flavours familiar and unusual.

Think tapas but with an international twist – embodied by dishes such as shaved brussels sprouts with a maple and sherry glaze, bacon-wrapped dates – followed up by hearty mains including Gold Canyon Flatiron with grilled asparagus and lemon hollandaise.

Plus the cocktails are pretty ace too #justsayin’.

Post-dinner, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention that local arcade The Flipside and Wicked Tequila Room are mere paces away from each other.

I’m flat out not spilling the tea on that particular night (what happens in Loveland stays in Loveland) but I’ll leave it by saying you might not want to schedule too early a start the next morning if you do decide to have a cheeky night out.

Where to Stay in Loveland – The Courtyard by Marriott

I was pretty much ready to flop and drop by the time we checked into the Courtyard by Marriott in Loveland – it’s a new hotel with spacious bedrooms and (most importantly) ridiculously cosy beds.

There’s a gym (not sure you’ll need it if you’ve been doing this itinerary) and a hot tub (that’s more like it) and comfortable love-seats in-room for you to nestle up on and enjoy the views.

Colorado Road Trip Day 4: Fort Collins

Parklife in Fort Collins

Fort Collins is a quirky city with a vibrant heart. Even though it’s actually pretty big, it’s maintained the welcoming feeling of a small town – in no small part thanks to the fact that it is home to Colorado State University.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Fort Collins after having fallen for Denver and Loveland so hard but it totally won me over.

Where Denver is hectic and sprawling, and Loveland has its low-key vibe, Fort Collins feels like a sip of cool water – complete with boutique shops, independent bookstores and (yet more) locally-sourced and totally delish food.

Cool Things to do in Fort Collins

Discover the ghost signs of times past trail.

Ghost Coca Cola Sign

Where Denver has street art, Fort Collins has ghost signs. What’s a ghost sign? This should give you a clue.

Alright, I’ll tell ya. Fading retro posters from the yesteryears plastered on the sides of buildings.

There are nine of the signs hidden on old walls around town advertising famous brands like Coca Cola to local gems like Damm’s Bakery, and the oldest one dates from the 1880s. Go hunt them out!

Cycle the Experience Platinum Route

Fort Collins is an outstanding place to explore on two wheels, with miles and miles of cycle trails that take you through the city and its beautiful surrounding areas.

I’ll be honest. I’m always a bit touch and go on a bike. Of course I can ride a bike (just about) but there’s only so much coordination a notoriously klutz-bound girl like me can pull out on the fly.

All of that is to say that I was a bit nervous before we set off on the 7 mile Experience Platinum path.

It turned out there was no need to worry at all.

The route takes you alongside the state’s only designated wild & scenic river (I can confirm that it was both wild and scenic) and into the heart of the city.

If you’re nervy – don’t be. The terrain is pretty flat in town and the bike lanes are generous. Take it slow and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

We rented e-bikes, which was totally the way to go.

Indulge in Fort Collins’ Fabulous Foodie Scene

Food at The Exchange

Fort Collins might not look like the likeliest contender for a shipping container street food market but I’ll let you in on a little secret…. The Exchange is one of the coolest places in town.

There’s craft beer (of course there is, this is Colorado after all) from the Crooked Stave, insanely moreish spicy chicken bites from Chick’n’Cone, pizza from The Pizza Press and OMG, the most delicious doughnuts and ice cream from Foco Doco and Old Town Churn respectively.

The best part of being an adult? There’s no one there to shout at you to tell you to eat some veg or not to go straight to dessert.

Ginger & Baker

Have some cash to splash? Make a beeline for Ginger & Baker for a feast of locally-sourced high-end cuisine.

There’s a reason why this is one of the biggest names in town. Opt for the tasting menu for a culinary journey of Colorado’s finest flavours.

Sample the Local Drinks

Old Elk Distillery

Fort Collins has more than its fair share of craft breweries (man, I had not realised how much Coloradans love their craft beer) but there are also a few distilleries dotted about too.

If you know me, you’ll know that a good whisky is a pretty direct way to my heart (there’s a reason I go to the Islay Whisky Festival every year) – so it’s no surprise that I was ridiculously keen to try out the tipples at Old Elk Distillery .

Not satisfied with making an unbelievably smooth bourbon, they also make gin and vodka. Of course they do.

Where to Stay in Fort Collins – The Armstrong Hotel

The Armstrong Hotel

I’m a total sucker for a gorgeous boutique hotel and The Armstrong gives it just the right amount of strong quirky-comfy-chic vibes.

From the art-filled reception downstairs (keep your eyes out for the Napoleon Dynamite portrait – YAS) to the high-end suites, this isn’t the kind of hotel you forget in a hurry.

Colorado Road Trip Days 5 + 6: Sundance Trail Dude Ranch

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch

I’ve been dipping into the great outdoors on this Colorado itinerary – but you’d better know that sh*t’s about to get REAL.

The next five days are about exploring the varied terrains and spectacular landscapes that Colorado has to offer.

I hope you’re ready – this is going to leave you exhilarated, exhausted and your eyes stuffed with wonder*.

*yes, I absolutely stole that phrase from Ray Bradbury

There are a couple of places on this itinerary that you’ll find plastered everywhere.

It’s not exactly a revolutionary statement to suggest that if you’re going to Colorado you should stop off in Denver or the Rockies. But our next stop is somewhere really special – Sundance Trail Guest Ranch .

Do you ever find a place where the moment you set down your bags, you know it’s a home away from home?

Where you segue into its rhythm of life without any effort – as if you were meant to be there all along. Sundance is that place.

Riding at Sundance Trail

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact appeal: I think it’s a combination of so many elements rather than one individual thing.

The welcoming owners, Dan and Ellen Morin, the communal dining – tables sinking under the weight of good ol’ American cuisine, the numerous activities to get you outdoors – from campfire songs, square dancing and axe-throwing – or last, but certainly not least, the horseback riding.

This is the place to learn to become a rootin’ tootin’ whip-crackin’ cowboy and explore the local surrounds – including the Roosevelt National Forest, on horseback.

I love riding but no fear if this is your first time on a horse, Sundance will make you fall in love with the freedom of horseback riding into the wild on a trusty steed.

Each day we’d saddle up (my horse, Mouse, was just the right combination of personality and calm to make him a pleasure to ride) and set off for a new destination.

We meandered through valleys, to panoramic outlooks – all the while accompanied by the friendly and impossibly cool ranch hands (if ever I had serious job envy, it was of those guys).

You’d think that after a day in the saddle, your day’s work would be done.

“ You’re supposed to fall exhausted into your bed at the end of the day, ” Dan cheekily told us on the first day – safe to say that is exactly what happened.

Don’t know how to square dance? You will do by the end of your stay (as an aside, I will say that this was a hell of a lot more fun than I thought it could possibly be).

We even learnt to forage the local flora in the capable hands of a brilliant local couple before settling around a campfire, singing traditional cowboy songs and making s’mores.  

It was magical and I cannot recommend it enough.

Singing Cowboy songs at the Campfire

Dude Ranches are an alien concept at home in the UK, but they form the backbone of rural frontier Colorado life in times present and past – it was the point where I felt most immersed in a culture so distinct from London life, and I loved it. You will too.

Read More: Why You Need to Plan Your Colorado Dude Ranch Vacation

Colorado Road Trip Days 7 – 9: Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park , The Rockies, RMNP – whatever you want to call it, the end result is still the same. One of the spectacular national parks on the West Coast and a great place to try glamping in Colorado .

Let’s face it – the Rocky Mountain National Park is no secret – last year it received over 4.5 million visitors, making it the third most visited national park in the US.

By all accounts, the park is heaving in the summer months so the best time to visit is spring or autumn to beat the crowds.

I’m always aware of the danger of us loving the world’s beautiful places to death – literally – so please be aware and take care to leave no trace when you’re visiting so that future generations will also be able to marvel at the beauty of this treasured destination too.

Preachy pedestal aside, this is the place to get outside and explore.

Strap on your hiking boots and hop onto one of the hundreds of hiking trails – if you’re travelling in peak months, start early or late to avoid the biggest crowds.

A Few Cool Spots in Rocky Mountain National Park

We were pretty limited for time in Rocky Mountain National Park , so didn’t have as much time to explore as I’d have liked (I pretty much could have stayed there for two weeks and still whinged that I didn’t have enough time though to be fair).

Here are a couple of spots I visited – rest assured there are endless more – as many as you will ever need to fill your time in the park.

Rainbow Curve

Rocky Mountains Colorado

Standing at 10,875 feet (that’s 3,300 metres to my metric peeps), Rainbow Curve is one of the outlooks that you can drive to using the Trail Ridge Road.

It’s about 13 miles from the Beaver Meadows Entrance to the park and a great place for a striking overview of some of the park’s peaks.

You can see nine peaks from the lookout, as well as the Hidden Valley and Horseshoe Park below. I might have gotten RIDICULOUSLY excited when I saw the lookout. I mean, you’ve got to be a bit dead inside not to.

It was still snowing and the road was closed, so we got to frolic along the road taking arty pics without being ploughed down by oncoming traffic. Win.

Hike to Nymph Lake

Standing at Nymph Lake

This is a short hike in Rocky Mountain National Park but big on views.

First up you park at the Bear Lake Trailhead (this is serviced by the park shuttle – recommended in high season) and make your way to Bear Lake – this section takes a couple of minutes.

You could leave it there, but where’s the adventure in that?

So it’s on to Nymph Lake, which is only a mile further along the trail. I say it’s only a mile further but depending on the time of year, it can be snowy – it was when I did it – cue display for my best Bambi vibes as I tried to stay upright and not land on my ass.

All that skittling and baby-stepping was worth it though – I turned the last corner to see the frozen Nymph lake with Hallet Peak peeping out in the background. Pretty brilliant right?

Estes Park

Don’t be fooled by the name – Estes Park is actually a town – and pretty much the best place to base yourself for your Rocky Mountain National Park adventures if you’re not camping within the park itself (you’ll need to book a whopping six months ahead if you want to give that a try).

It’s got a quaint downtown area, filled with all manner of indie shops – including, somewhat bizarrely, three Christmas shops. At Christmas-time the area boasts ice rinks and markets galore – heading back here during the festive season is near the top of my Colorado bucket list.

There’s also a tonne of choice when it comes to places to eat – The Bird & Jim sources produce from local farms and transforms them into sustainable and healthy dishes that are full of flavour.

Kick back afterwards at The Barrel , which has mead, cider and kombucha on tap – as well as a diverse wine-list.

I was more than a little excited to see a malbec from of my favourite Argentine wineries Bodega Colome pop up, so of course, that’s what I went for (to put it into context, I’ve only ever seen this once outside of Argentina itself).

Where to Stay in Estes Park – The Evergreens on Fall River

Hanging at the Hot Tub in Evergreens

The Evergreens on Fall River offers suitably rustic lodges with gorgeous views overlooking the Fall River.

It’s the perfect base for exploring the Rocky Mountain National Park – and when you get back from a long, sweaty day on the mountains, the hot tub beckons – I certainly couldn’t resist.

Colorado Road Trip Day 10: Boulder then Back to Denver

Boulder, Colorado

It’s almost time to go home.

I know, I know – who knew a 10-day Colorado road trip would go so fast? If you have enough time, I’d recommend popping into laid-back Boulder, which is certainly having a real heydey at the moment.

I did pop into Boulder and had a lovely walk around the town, plus a few chill cups of coffee and glasses of wine (when in hipsterville…), but I will be honest and say that I really didn’t do it justice.

If you have more time, spend an extra day or two here – walk along Pearl Street, which sits at the heart of the town before venturing out to explore The Flatirons – those huge sandstone outcrops that dominate the town’s vistas or meander your way along Boulder Creek Path.

There are breweries, distilleries, hiking paths, cycling paths – basically all the things you could need to make you fall in love with Boulder’s small-town vibes.

The University of Colorado’s Boulder Campus is also home to the Fiske Planetarium and the Museum of Natural History, which is perfect if you’re desperate to get inside after spending the best part of ten days hiking, riding, and climbing. Not to mention that both of these museums are stuffed with fascinating history and cool facts.

Once you’re done, hit the road and truck on back to Denver to finish this Colorado road trip back where we started. Enjoy!

Additional Colorado Road Trip Ideas and Destinations

I’ve tried to keep things relatively simple for this Colorado road trip itinerary.

Changing destinations every night can be pretty exhausting, but if you want to up the pace, or you have more than 10 days to play with, you can also add these cool Colorado road trip ideas to your list.

Colorado Springs and the Garden of the Gods – CS is a cool town with iconic highway snaps. Garden of the Gods is a nearby sandstone formation park with impressive views – you can take a chilled-out (and relatively easy hike) or kick things up a notch with guided rock climbing excursions and Segway tours.

Mesa Verde National Park – Known for boasting amazing cliff dwellings and petroglyphs carved out of the rocks by the Ancestral Pueblo people, this is one of the top national parks in Colorado and I highly recommend you allot some time to see it. For gorgeous panoramic views head to the Sun Point Overlook, or embark on the Petroglyph Point Trail to spot carvings.

Great Sand Dunes National Park – Located in South Colorado, the national park boasts sand dunes on an unbelievable scale. But it’s much more than just an incredible photo spot, the national park is home to incredible hikes and various ecosystems (many of which you’ll get to gawk at during a visit).

Aspen – The ski hounds and snow bunnies among you need no introduction to Colorado’s chi chi winter sports haven. There’s no better place in Colorado to indulge in snowsports – and a whole lotta Apres Ski. Aside from the slopes, make sure to check out the impressive Wheeler Opera House.

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre – Ten miles west of Denver lies an amphitheatre carved into soaring red rocks. It’s still used for performance today and is one of the most impressive sights in Colorado.

Planning Your Colorado Itinerary: Practical Tips

  • Stay hydrated – they don’t call Denver the mile-high city for nothing and the elevations just get higher – plus the air is incredibly dry. There were points in the Rockies where I could barely walk and breathe at the same time because the altitude was so high. All of this means that it is incredibly important to drink lots of water and stay hydrated.
  • If you show signs of altitude sickness, go to a lower elevation and take it easy. If it’s serious, seek medical help. This isn’t likely to be an issue in Denver but altitude sickness can come into play in other parts of the state like the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Denver is well served by national and international flights (including direct flights from the UK) – hence why I’ve chosen it as the place to start and finish the Colorado road trip.

Check flights to Denver on Skyscanner.

Renting a Car

Chances are you’re planning to rent a car for your road trip – here are a few good options.

  • Hertz – Hertz is an international car rental company that has a variety of cars available to hire. Go for something sturdy and rugged rather than a muscle car – practicality is more important than looks here 🙂
  • Sixt Rent a Car – Sixt has great car rental prices too.
  • Enterprise Rent a Car

Colorado Packing List

Your packing list for your Colorado road trip itinerary is going to vary seriously from season to season, but it pays to be aware that the weather in Colorado is changeable and fluctuates between extremes quickly.

Want an example? Well I’ve just returned from my trip a few days ago (in May) – it snowed the week before we arrived, was gorgeously sunny for the duration of my trip but the state has just experienced a huge snow dump again this week – as in Denver airport is currently closed kind of snow.

So, just like the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, it pays to be prepared when you’re packing for the Colorado road trip.

Colorado Road Trip Packing List

  • Light jacket / heavy jacket depending on the season. I recommend a windproof softshell as the lighter jacket.
  • Hiking boots
  • Trainers / sneakers
  • Sunscreen / suncream
  • Insect repellent
  • Reusable water bottle (there are places to refill everywhere, don’t be that person still using disposable bottles when it’s completely unnecessary).
  • Swimsuit (for that sweet hot tub action).

PS: Still not sure? Read My Ultimate Road Trip Packing List or my Torres del Paine Hiking List for hiking in the Rockies (same same, but different).

Discover More Colorado Road Trip Guides

  • C ool Things to do in Colorado
  • The Best Airbnbs in Colorado
  • Why you HAVE to go Horse Riding at a Dude Ranch on Your Next Vacation
  • Street Art in Denver
  • Time to Explore Fort Collins
  • Time to Explore: Loveland
  • The Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Unmissable Things to do in Denver

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An Epic Colorado Road Trip: The Perfect Colorado Itinerary

I was kindly hosted by Visit Colorado on this trip but as ever, all of my thoughts and opinions are very much my own. As if you couldn’t tell.

I’m Julianna Barnaby - a professional travel writer and geek extraordinaire. I started The Discoveries Of to help you to discover the best of new destinations from around the world.

Discovering new places is a thrill - whether it’s close to home, a new country or continent, I write to help you explore more and explore differently.

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County Road 26 opens to limited travel on Monday due to U.S. Highway 50 bridge closure

US 50 bridge.png

GUNNISON — This weekend, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Gunnison County officials have been working together to speed up improvements to County Road 26 so it can open on Monday.

Once open, this county road can be used for limited travel between Montrose and Gunnison.

According to a press release from CDOT, engineers are continuing to perform safety inspections of the U.S. Highway 50 bridge.

This bridge closed on Thursday, April 18, after an inspection revealed a crack in one of the girders.

WATCH: CORRECTION: A crack causes a bridge to close between Gunnison and Montrose

CDOT says that they recognize that the U.S. 50 bridge closure creates a significant detour for those looking to travel between Montrose and Gunnison which is why they have been working to get this shorter access route opened up.

They also say that their partnership with Gunnison County will continue as the county road is fortified with gravel and traffic is mangaed to a level that the road can safely withstand.

Starting Monday, April 22, pilot cars will lead passenger vehicles along the county road two times a day in each direction.

Because CR 26 is an unpaved, high-mountain road that was not built to accomodate the same amounts of traffic as the U.S. 50 bridge, travel times will be limited to

  • 6:00 to 6:30 a.m. & 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. for westbound travel
  • 7:00 to 7:30 a.m. & 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. for eastbound travel

Those looking to travel westbound can meet the pilot cars near the intersection of CO 149 and CR 26. Those looking to travel eastbound can meet the pilot cars near the intersection of U.S. 50 and CR 26. The travel time using this access route is expected to be 30 minutes or more.

Commercial vehicles over a 16,001 gross vehicle weight are prohibited from using this route.

County Road 26 will only be available for essential travel and only during the timeframes listed above.

During all other times the road will remain closed due to the ongoing restoration work needed to make sure that the road remains safe to travel.

The recommended detour for northbound travel continues to be via Interstate 70. The recommeded detour for southbound travel continues to be via U.S. 160.

These detours add six to eight hours of travel time.

For additional information about this project, you can

  • visit the project website
  • call the project team at 970-648-4423
  • email the project team at [email protected]

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Williams' new trans-continental map of the Pacific R.R. and routes of overland travel to Colorado, Nebraska, the Black Hills, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, California and the Pacific coast / Henry T. Williams.

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U.S. 50 bridge failure shows fragile state of Colorado infrastructure, Axios analysis finds

Data: National Bridge Inventory; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

Each day in Colorado, an average of 281,000 vehicles travel on bridges in "poor" condition, a new Axios analysis finds.

Why it matters: Last week's closure of a critical bridge over the Blue Mesa reservoir — along with the bridge collapse in Baltimore last month — is directing attention to the state of America's infrastructure .

Threat level: Colorado counts 32 bridges in "poor" condition and is directing millions a year toward their repair, faring better than most states , our analysis of the National Bridge Inventory found.

  • That's a fraction of the 3,000-plus bridges the Colorado Department of Transportation oversees.
  • But roughly 60% are in "fair" condition, just a measure better and at risk of further deterioration, according to federal data.
  • 35% of the state's bridges are rated "good."

Zoom in: The U.S. 50 bridge that closed at the reservoir was listed as "fair" in the federal data and wasn't on a separate list for state repairs. But a recent safety inspection found a 3-inch crack developed in a steel support beam.

  • The timeline for reopening is unclear and the state transportation department is vowing to give it all resources possible.
  • The detour is so long that students are taking a boat across the reservoir to get to class.

Between the lines: Colorado's dedicated money for bridge repair comes from a series of fees on motorists dating back to the 2009 FASTER program . The effort received an additional boost from fees on delivery services put in place in 2021, agency reports show.

  • The bridge repair account is $159 million, or about 8% of the transportation department's budget.
  • This year's state budget will infuse an additional $5.8 million.

Data: Federal Highway Administration ; Map: Will Chase and Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Yes, but: Even as the money grows, so does the problem . 162 structures are in the queue for repairs, agency documents show , which is the most in at least six years.

  • Another 33 structures are in design phases while 33 are currently under construction.

How it works: A bridge in "poor" condition is not at risk of imminent collapse. The National Bridge Inventory has three grades below poor which indicate structural issues may necessitate bridge closures.

  • Few bridges are currently rated in "serious" or "critical" condition. Bridges that reach those levels are typically fixed or closed.

By the numbers: The average year of the "poor" bridges built in Colorado is 1953, and the vast majority have been labeled as such for more than 10 years.

  • The county with the worst bridges is El Paso, the state's largest, with six in "poor" condition. Adams, Eagle, Larimer and Park counties all have three, the latest data shows.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Denver.

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US 50 bridge closed west of Gunnison due to safety concerns

Travel advisory.

US 50 bridge crossing the Blue Mesa Reservoir near Dillon Pinnacles that is now closed

Gunnison and Montrose Counties  — A safety closure is in place for a bridge on US Highway 50 located west of Gunnison. The Colorado Department of Transportation is closing the bridge at the urging of the Federal Highway Administration and state bridge engineering experts due to the findings of an ongoing safety inspection, which identified anomalies in the bridge on Thursday, April 18. The closure is in place between US 50 Mile Point 131 (intersection with Colorado Highway 92) and MP 138. Local traffic will be allowed through the closure point to reach residences. Motorists should use COtrip to plan an alternate route. See below for more information about the northern and southern recommended alternate routes. CDOT has set up an incident command and will coordinate with local, state and federal agencies in order to respond as quickly and effectively as possible. CDOT has been conducting a special inspection for high-strength steel bridges for the Blue Mesa bridges as required by the Federal Highway Administration. This inspection was required because of known issues with similarly constructed bridges elsewhere in the country. A defect was observed during an early investigation of the bridge at approximately Mile Point 136.3. CDOT immediately brought in a second inspection crew with resources to perform another method for testing whether the defect posed a safety hazard on the bridge. The second inspection took place on Thursday, April 18.  CDOT is continuing to assess the safety of the bridge and to quickly determine options for interim and permanent fixes – and will keep the public informed as soon as more information is available. The bridge closure is located between Gunnison and Montrose. It is located east of the US 50 Little Blue Creek Canyon project, which is currently in a planned winter shutdown.

Recommended Alternate Routes

This closure will create a significant detour for commuters between Montrose and Gunnison. The recommended detour route for through traffic is via Interstate 70 to the north or US 160 to the south. CDOT understands the inconvenience that this creates and is rapidly evaluating options to improve options for residents, businesses, and travelers on the western slope. The northern route is 354 miles and requires approximately six hours of travel time. The southern route is 331 miles and requires nearly 7 hours of travel time. CDOT and local partners are exploring whether it is feasible at this point in the season to clear local seasonal routes that may be able to significantly reduce the detour time for local travelers. 

Know Before You Go

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

  • Road conditions and travel information:
  • Download the COtrip Planner app:
  • Sign up for project or travel alerts:
  • See scheduled construction lane closures:
  • Connect with @ColoradoDOT on social media: Twitter , Facebook , Instagram and YouTube

Remember: Slow For The Cone Zone

The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

  • Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.
  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.
  • Watch for workers. Drive with caution.
  • Don't change lanes unnecessarily.
  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.
  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.
  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.
  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.
  • Be patient!

Download the COtrip App!

The new free COtrip Planner mobile app was designed to meet the growing trend of information on mobile and tablet devices for the traveling public. The COtrip Planner app provides statewide, real-time traffic information, and works on mobile devices that operate on the iOS and Android platforms. Visit the Google Play Store (Android devices) or the Apple Store (iOS devices) to download!

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Video shows Tornado in southeast Nebraska Friday afternoon as severe weather hits area

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A tornado was spotted on the ground in southeast Nebraska where several warnings have been placed for the western portions of the Omaha metro area.

The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado north of Waverly, Nebraska that was moving to the northeast shortly after 3 p.m. local time Friday. Officials urged those in the area to seek shelter immediately.

A massive tornado intercept was seen north of Lincoln, also in Lancaster County, footage posted on X (formerly Twitter) by SevereStudios weather videographer Nick Gorman shows.

See more videos of damage: Photos, videos show destruction left behind by Midwest tornadoes in Nebraska, Iowa

Tornado warnings were set Friday afternoon for an area near Interstate 80 between Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska State Patrol said.

Nebraska weather map

Tornadoes reported in kansas, wyoming, colorado.

At least three other tornadoes have been reported since Thursday including one near Bird City, Kansas, one in Yoder, Wyoming and another near Akron, Colorado, according to the National Weather Service.

Other storms are expected to develop on the eastern side of the Plains on Friday, bringing more possible tornadoes and hail. The threat of more severe weather is possible by Saturday with storms causing frequent lightning, severe wind gusts over the middle Mississippi Valley and central and southern Plains.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued a state of disaster emergency proclamation due to the severe weather.

"I encourage all Kansans to have an emergency kit and a family plan in preparation for a tornado," Gov. Kelly said. "Stay updated on local weather conditions by listening to a NOAA weather radio or local TV and radio stations. Once a warning is activated, it is important to take cover."

US weather watches and warnings

National weather radar.


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  23. County Road 26 opens to limited travel on Monday

    The travel time using this access route is expected to be 30 minutes or more. Commercial vehicles over a 16,001 gross vehicle weight are prohibited from using this route.

  24. Collared Gray Wolf Activity Map Released for April

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  29. Video shows tornado on ground in southeast Nebraska amid storm warning

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