Uncover 15 Amazing Road Trip Destinations From Denver


The Ultimate Road Trip Guide: 15 Top Destinations from Denver

Ever wondered about the best road trips you can embark on from Denver?

I have dwelled on this question myself. Trust me, there’s more out there than just Rockies.
Ready to expand your horizons?

Situated centrally, Denver is a magic springboard leading to multifarious landscapes. From mountain peaks to unique red rock formations and bustling cities, it’s all within your reach.

This listicle will bring you the 15 unmissable road trip destinations from Denver. Get ready for a breathtaking display of natural beauty and fascinating spots, right in the heartland of America.

1. Rocky Mountain National Park

green trees

Rocky Mountain National Park showcases pure natural beauty. With a wide array of wildlife, it’s an ideal place for nature lovers. Spread across this vast area, an extensive network of hiking trails beckons to be explored.

The dramatically beautiful landscapes of this park call for adventurers to experience and explore more. Situated in the center of Colorado, it offers a condensed taste of the state’s broader wilderness that never fails to amaze.

For a more extensive guide on how to enjoy your visit to Rocky Mountain National Park fully, I recommend checking out the official National Park Service website.

2. Colorado Springs

brown and white houses near snow covered mountain during daytime

Colorado Springs is distinctively known for its natural beauty, presenting breathtaking gardens that are visually appealing. These green spaces serve as a serene spot, offering residents and visitors the opportunity to connect with nature.

And there’s more. It also houses a noteworthy zoo, where people of different ages can have intimate experiences with a diverse range of animals. It’s both an informative and thrilling experience.

Pikes Peak is another notable mention. Towering over the city with a height of 14,000 feet, this mountain is a must-visit. The panoramic views from the peak validate the demanding hike. So, if you’re seeking adventure, Colorado Springs is your destination.

3. Boulder: Famous for its outdoor adventures and lively cultural scene

green trees on mountain during daytime

Boulder, situated in Colorado, is a city I’m fond of due to its captivating landscapes and rich cultural atmosphere. Indeed, the city presents ample outdoor adventures, with the Rocky Mountains providing a backdrop for activities such as climbing, hiking, and cycling.

However, Boulder isn’t just about outdoor activities. It also features a lively cultural scene that includes a flourishing art community, music festivals, craft breweries, and highly regarded museums. The city is also a host to the esteemed University of Colorado, contributing to its cultural diversity. I’m captivated by the mix of natural splendor and cultural abundance. It caters to different tastes.

4. Fort Collins

If you’re thinking about well-liked places to visit in Colorado, Fort Collins deserves to be high on your list. It is widely recognized for its dynamic craft breweries, each demonstrating a unique style in beer-making mastery. CopperMuse Distillery and Funkwerks, to mention a few, are a must-visit for beer connoisseurs.

Besides, the city also attracts with its historical sites, appealing to those interested in history and timeless architecture. And of course, outdoor recreational activities are a big part of Colorado. In Fort Collins, there is no shortage of trails, national parks, and amenities for activities like biking, horseback riding, and hiking, accommodating both thrill-seekers and nature lovers.

5. Vail

person in orange jacket and black pants riding ski blades on snow covered mountain during daytime

When it comes to ski resort towns, Vail is one of the best. Known worldwide, it does not solely rely on its famous slopes. Thanks to its excellent restaurants and various shops, it offers something for everyone, whether you’re a passionate skier or simply enjoy leisurely activities.

Vail’s food scene offers options from luxury dining to cozy cafes, satisfying various palates. Similarly, the many boutiques and shops provide unique clothing, equipment, and souvenirs which are great for self-treatment or gifting. Vail is an embodiment of what a comprehensive ski resort town should be, always leaving a lasting impression.

6. Aspen: Celebrated destination for winter sports boasting vast skiing trails

Ah, Aspen. Located in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, this celebrated winter destination is a dream come true for ski aficionados. Furnished with miles of excellently-groomed trails catering to all skill levels, Aspen ensures an incomparable skiing experience.

If you’re not into skiing, don’t worry. The town’s historical appeal, exhibiting Victorian architecture, is equally admirable. Light snowfall occasionally intensifies its captivating appeal. And regarding after-ski activities, Aspen knows how to switch up the fun when the sun goes down.

For more comprehensive information about this winter haven, I recommend checking out Aspen Snowmass, the certified guide to everything Aspen-related.

7. Black Hawk

Were you aware that Black Hawk is known for its lively casinos and gold mining history? This famous Colorado town has a rich, classic charm preserved through its historical structures and tales.

While the casinos of Black Hawk provide exciting games and energetic nightlife, the town’s history is deeply related to gold mining. Interestingly, when the gold depleted, Black Hawk reinvented itself as a leading gambling spot, adding to its rich historical narrative.

8. Estes Park

green trees and snow coered mountains

Known as a popular tourist spot, Estes Park is best recognized as the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park. This enchanting Colorado town is the perfect spot for venturing out and exploring the majestic Rocky Mountains.

However, it’s not all about the mountains. Estes Park itself is packed with attractions, including unique shops and restaurants, and even a famous hotel that inspired Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’. So, whether you’re into hiking or history, there’s something for everyone in Estes Park (source).

9. Telluride

Oh, Telluride. This charming place is wrapped within the beautiful Colorado mountains and is known for several things. The ski resort tops that list. Regarded by many as a winter spectacle, Telluride’s ski resort features scenic slopes and excellent facilities that draw tourists from all over the world.

But snow isn’t the only attraction in this mountain town. The summer festival scene in Telluride is equally vibrant. Music, film, art – you name it. It’s a lively place, irrespective of the season.

10. Glenwood Springs

Suppose you’re seeking a combination of relaxation and adventure, then Glenwood Springs ticks all the boxes. This endearing place in Colorado exhibits an undeniable charm, largely attributed to its renowned outdoor activities..

Providing everything an adventurer could want, from hot springs, caverns to captivating ski slopes. It beckons you to step out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in the captivating nature. But it’s not all just thrill-seeking. The hot springs are certainly a solace for those searching for a calming retreat..

Don’t just take my word for it. Check out the Visit Glenwood Springs site for more information and plan your trip..

11. Cripple Creek

brown wooden house during night time

Buried within the Colorado Mountains, the town of Cripple Creek holds a unique spot in history as a former gold mining camp. The contemporary town bears very little resemblance to its rugged past, boasting attractions that cater to history enthusiasts and thrill-seekers.

Striking a balance between its historical roots and contemporary attractions, Cripple Creek has transformed many of its former mining facilities into museums for visitors. But that’s not all. For those interested in a spin of fortune, the town houses multiple casinos for an adventurous night out. In addition, Cripple Creek offers theatrical performances, adding a cultural aspect to the former mining camp. Each feature provides its visitors with a distinctive way to interact with the town’s history. Cripple Creek is a hidden jewel within the mountains.

12. Garden of the Gods

landscape photography of green trees

Situated in the center of Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods is quite impressive. People come from various parts of the world to marvel at the unique, massive red rock formations. A perfect combination of natural beauty and scenic landscapes, this park has an unparalleled appeal. It truly lives up to its intriguing name – Garden of the Gods.

Per information on its official site, it boasts rock structures that reach up to 300 feet, offering fascinating geology and a diverse ecosystem for nature enthusiasts. In addition, it facilitates recreational activities such as hiking, biking, climbing, and bird watching. So if you’re a nature lover, a fitness enthusiast, or merely seeking a serene getaway, Garden of the Gods has you covered.

13. Breckenridge

When discussing popular skiing destinations, we must mention Breckenridge. This appealing Colorado town is famous for its ski slopes and a variety of year-round outdoor activities. Set in the Rocky Mountains, it offers enjoyment and adventure, irrespective of the season.

In winter, skiers and snowboarders flock to its well-maintained trails for an exhilarating downhill experience. When summer arrives, activities like hiking and mountain biking take precedence. Whether you’re an experienced outdoor enthusiast or a weekend adventurer, visiting Breckenridge is a superb way to enjoy the natural beauty of Colorado.

14. Great Sand Dunes National Park

brown sand dunes near mountains during daytime

I highly suggest visiting the Great Sand Dunes National Park. This stunning location features the tallest dunes in North America, providing an out-of-this-world experience.

Visitors can enjoy sand sledding, an activity full of excitement. Hiking here is unique, and the view from the tallest dune, Star Dune, is incredibly breathtaking. Do remember, hiking on sand can be a bit challenging.

Here’s a link to the official website for more details on Great Sand Dunes National Park. It’s a must-see for every outdoor enthusiast, and you should not miss out on this nature’s wonder.

15. Royal Gorge

If you’re looking for some outdoor fun, Royal Gorge should be on your list. Showcasing that you don’t need to travel overseas to find exceptional natural beauty, this desired location is in Colorado.

Famed for its mountains and canyons, Royal Gorge is a hub for adventure lovers. It offers activities like rafting, scenic walks, and unforgettable views from its celebrated suspension bridge. If you’re feeling extra daring, try the aerial gondola for a bird’s-eye view of this splendid park.

With plenty of ways to appreciate the magnificent landscapes of Royal Gorge, why not plan your trip today?


black train on rail tracks near green trees during daytime

From what’s been covered, it’s clear that Colorado has much more to offer than initially meets the eye. It’s a playground for not only the out-and-doors enthusiasts but also the history buffs, the foodies, and the culture seekers. The diversity of landscapes and activities makes each town or city in the state a unique destination worth exploring.

When it comes to choosing a destination, whether you’re after hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park, soaking in the hot springs of Glenwood Springs or engaging in history and the arts in Boulder, there truly is a place for everyone. So, don’t hesitate – pack your bags, and get ready to embark on a thrilling adventure of your own in Colorado. Happy travels!

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What are the must-see attractions in Colorado?

Key attractions include Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Fort Collins, Vail, Aspen, Black Hawk, Estes Park, Telluride and many more.

Colorado is famous for hiking, skiing, rafting, climbing, biking, and a wide array of other outdoor activities, varying from place to place.

What are some cultural highlights in Colorado towns and cities?

Colorado boasts a vibrant cultural scene, including art communities, museums, music festivals and historical attractions such as centuries-old mining facilities, Victorian architecture, and historical places.

I’m into craft breweries. Which town should I visit in Colorado?

Fort Collins is renowned for its dynamic craft breweries. Whether you’re a connoisseur or a casual beer drinker, it’s a must-visit destination.

Where can I find detailed information for each destination?

For in-depth details on each spot, you can check out the official websites linked in the article. Most towns and cities have their tourism websites, providing all the necessary information you need to plan your visit.

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