Colorado became the 38th state in 1876, the 100th anniversary of the United States Declaration of Independence. The state rock is Yule Marble and the state flower is the Rocky Mountain Columbine. In this state we find 4 national parks, 6 national monuments, 2 national recreation areas, 2 national historic sites, 3 national historic trails, 1 national scenic trail, 11 national forests, 2 national grasslands, 41 national wilderness areas, 2 national conservation areas, and 7 national wildlife refuges. There are 42 state parks. Looks like a good start.
I will post links to some of my resource materials at the end of this piece. I got them in the usual way so you already know what they are. The tour guide arrived in less than 2 weeks and has a lot of tempting things to do. It will take me a while to explore Colorado.
Besides being one of the Four Corners States, Colorado is one of only three states with no natural borders. That means that there are no mountains or rivers or other geographical phenomena marking the border between states. To learn about the other two, you'll have to keep reading this series or look it up. The Rocky Mountains in Colorado are made up of 13 different ranges. There are 54 Fourteeners which are peaks over 14,000 feet high. The Continental Divide, where water to the east flows to the gulf of Mexico and water to the west flows to the Pacific Ocean, is a popular attraction. Here you find the headwaters of the Arkansas, Colorado, Platte, and Rio Grande rivers. Because of the high altitudes, it is recommended that you drink a lot of water and not overexert yourself to prevent altitude sickness.
Mountains are not the only topography in Colorado. There are flatlands giving way to the Great Plains. There mesas and canyons.For observing the plant and animal life throughout the state, it is suggested that you take binoculars, cameras, compass or GPS, and dress in layers.
Things to do are: take a Jeep tour to alpine basins filled with wildflowers, take a pontoon ride through towering granite walls in the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park, go mountain biking in Crested Butte, go rafting or kayaking in Durango, cross-country ski or snowshoe through the San Juan Mountains, go backpacking in Umcompahgre National Forest, look down from the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area to see Ancestral Pueblo cliff dwellings, take one or more of the ten scenic and historical train rides, or ride on a historic stagecoach. You might want to climb sand dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, lounge in one of the hot-spring pools at Pagosa Springs, drink cold spring water at Manitou Springs, sight birds at Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge, hike around volcanic outcroppings at the Wheeler Geological Area, run the rapids at Browns Canyon, or birdwatch at John Martin Reservoir State Park. Maybe you'd like to go to the top of Pike's Peak, view the spectacular Seven Fall waterfall in South Cheyenne Canyon, or camp at one of the many campgrounds and watch the stars.
If you're really feeling brave, you could go paragliding in the box canyon at Telluride, skydiving at Longmont to see the mountains on your way down, take the Lost Canyon Zipline Tour, or go whitewater rafting in Clear Creek Canyon. I'll stay on the ground and go four-wheeling in South fork or horseback riding at one of the many trails.
The 500 mile Colorado Trail takes you through the Rocky Mountains between Denver and Durango. It's a hike of not less than 21 days. You can choose to take shorter hikes on some of the sections rated from easy to very hard. Fantastic scenery all the way.
I am ready to start my adventure, so I'm off. Let me know what activities you decide to go for. Maybe you have some I haven't listed. I want to hear about them. Be sure to check the links below.
Colorado State Tour Guide
Colorado State Parks
Offbeat Tourist Attractions