Endless mountain landscapes and sunny weather, Colorado is the perfect place to pack your backs and escape to for a few days. With an abundance of natural splendor, Colorado boasts a myriad of cities worthy of exploring. From luxury ski resorts to charming small towns and the world-famous Rocky Mountains, travelers are spoiled for choice with outdoor adventures. Get off the grid and soak in the crisp mountain air, where depending on the season, nature enthusiasts can hike through beautiful trails, go swimming in natural hot springs or hit the slopes. Cities filled with diverse wildlife and natural wonders, here are ten of the best weekend getaways in Colorado.
Above tree line, at approximately 11,000 ft (3,400 m), trees disappear and the vast alpine tundra takes over. Over one third of the park resides above the tree line, an area which limits plant growth due to the cold climate and strong winds. The few plants that can survive under such extreme conditions are mostly perennials. Many alpine plants are dwarfed at high elevations, though their occasional blossoms may be full-sized.
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Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses 265,461 acres (414.78 sq mi; 1,074.28 km2) of federal land, with an additional 253,059 acres (395.40 sq mi; 1,024.09 km2) of U.S. Forest Service wilderness adjoining the park boundaries. The Continental Divide runs generally north–south through the center of the park, with rivers and streams on the western side of the divide flowing toward the Pacific Ocean while those on the eastern side flow toward the Atlantic.
The Golden Triangle Museum District boasts eight of the city’s museums and the Denver Performing Arts Complex can provide ample entertainment. Outdoor activities include biking along the historic Greenway Trail, having fun at one of the several extreme sports parks, playing a round of golf, strolling through lovely parks and gardens, or visiting the Denver Zoo. Things to Do in Denver
The city of Vail was built to accommodate the Vail Ski Resort, which is the largest single-mountain ski resort in the country. With 193 marked skiing trails, Vail is one of the nation’s most popular ski resorts as well. The Tyrolean-style village is nearly as well visited during the summer. Nearby streams and lakes stocked with fish make Vail an angler’s dream, and opportunities for river rafting abound. Horseback riding, mountain biking, golf and hiking are other popular warm-weather activities.
The sun made us lazy, and after following Brian as he made his way upstream I found a wider expanse of sand and gravel, promptly plopping down on a pair of flip flops I had brought in my backpack as a make-shift seat. After identifying the northern harrier hawk over my head, and the savannas sparrows and red-winged blackbirds perched precariously on reeds across the water, I took out my knitting project. I didn’t have to worry about losing Brian; in the valley I could see for miles in both directions.