Explore Colorado

14 Outdoor Adventures in Colorado

Spend the morning climbing steps that lead straight up the side of Pikes Peak just outside of Colorado Springs, stop by the reservoir at Chatfield State Park for a quick dip to cool off during summer months, and then wander along trails at Roxborough State Park where angled red rock formations stand tall and majestic. 

Outdoor escapades are in close proximity to city limits of Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs, giving adventure seekers plenty to conquer. Test your skills on the slopes while skiing or downhill mountain biking, keep balanced through the rapids of Colorado’s rivers, and summit one of the state’s “14ers”—these mountains aren’t for the faint of heart as each of the 53 peaks rises higher than 14,000 feet! 

Creating a list of outdoor activities in Colorado is like writing the first chapter of a great book. It’s the gateway to limitless potential, open to any and all who are game for a little adventure in Mother Nature’s backyard. Get started with these 14 ideas and see where the land takes you next.

Rocky Mountain National Park

The 265,769 acres of park contain varied landscapes, attractions including the Continental Divide and natural history museums, and activities ranging from scenic drives to extreme mountaineering.

Manitou Incline

Step-by-step, hikers climb the one-mile trek 2,000 feet upwards on what used to be a route for transporting pipeline materials up Pikes Peak. The trailhead is located behind the upper Pikes Peak Cog Railway parking lot. Park in the Barr Trail parking lot. 

Mount Falcon Park

Trailheads to the east and west with 11 miles of multi-use paths. Overlooks Denver with views to surrounding mountains. 

Chatfield State Park

Chatfield Reservoir attracts boaters and fishers, while the trails and campsites are perfect for hikers, bikers and picnickers.

Garden of the Gods Visitor Nature Center

When two surveyors discovered this park in 1859, one of them said it was a “fit place for the gods to assemble.” Now nature-seekers come to Garden of the Gods for the 300-foot-tall sandstone rocks and snow-capped Pikes Peak backdrop, as well as hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing and picnicking.

Red Rocks Park Amphitheatre

Anchored by two 300-foot sandstone monoliths, Creation and Ship Rocks, the naturally formed amphitheater at Red Rocks gives an ethereal quality to any performance on the stage. Concerts and special events occur almost daily from spring to fall. Winter months allow visitors for sightseeing.

Roxborough State Park

View the red rock Fountain Formation, Lyons Formation and Dakota Hogback steps from the visitors center, or navigate trails for upclose views.

Denver B-cycle

The nation’s first citywide bike sharing program launched on Earth Day 2010. A $9 24-hour membership fee gives anyone access to more than 700 bikes at 85 stations throughout Denver.

Liquid Descent Rafting Company

Owned and operated by experienced and passionate river runners, this outfitter offers experiences for novices (even kids as young as five) to professional thrillseekers.

Keystone

Three mountains with more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain about an hour and a half from Denver. Moutain biking in summer months.

Winter Park

Just a little more than 60 miles from Denver, Winter Park boats a summit of 12,060 feet. Season runs mid-November to mid-April. Trestle Bike Park is open in summer months.