40 Must-See Colorado Hotspots [Part 2]

Eldorado State Park. Photo Credit: Max and Dee Bernt - OutThere Colorado.

We live in arguably the most beautiful state in the lower 48, so it was particularly difficult to choose which Colorado destinations topped the charts. Colorado is packed full of gorgeous lakes, peaks, parks, venues, scenic drives, trails, and more. We finally narrowed it down to our top 40 favorite Colorado destinations. Which ones have you visited? Which do you need to add to your bucket list? Click on the hyperlinked titles to find maps and to learn more about each destination.

RELATED: [Part 1] 40 Must-See Colorado Hotspots (1-20)

21. Eldorado Canyon State Park

Eldorado State Park. Photo Credit: Max and Dee Bernt - OutThere Colorado.
Eldorado State Park. Photo Credit: Max and Dee Bernt – OutThere Colorado.

Known for some of the world’s best trad climbs, Eldorado Canyon is full of colorful, sandstone walls and scenic trails.

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22. Wheeler Geologic Area

Full of spires and pinnacles, this haunting yet stunning landscape was formed by deteriorating volcanic tuff.

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23. Dinosaur National Monument

This national monument is famous for its amazing collection of dinosaur fossils, petroglyphs, and unique geological features.

24. Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center

Get up close to wolves, foxes, and coyotes in this protected animal sanctuary in Divide, Colorado. In addition to providing natural habitats for these beautiful creatures, the sanctuary provides educational public tours and programs about the conservation and preservation of the natural ecosystems that Colorado wildlife call home.

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25. Roxborough State Park

Located just outside of Denver, Roxborough State Park features piercing red rock ridges and abundant wildlife in the park, including golden eagles and black bears, so keep your eyes peeled on the park’s six hiking trails.

26. Turquoise Lake

This stunning alpine lake sits near Colorado’s tallest peaks, Mount Elbert and Mount Massive. The 1,788-acre reservoir is full of rainbow, cutthroat, brown, and lake trout and makes a popular summer destination for families, boaters, campers, and fishermen.

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27. Million Dollar Highway

With picturesque views of the San Juan Mountain Range and the Uncompahgre Gorge, it’s no surprise that the Million Dollar Highway continually gets voted one of the most scenic drives in the country. The beautiful route travels at elevations above 11,000 feet from Ouray to Silverton and is part of the historic San Juan Skyway.

28. Royal Gorge Bridge

Spanning a distance of 1,260 feet and sitting 955 feet above ground, the Royal Gorge Bridge holds the title of highest suspension bridge in the United States. It’s a spectacle to be seen with stunning views of the canyon below. The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park also offers a tram and adrenaline rushing rides down North America’s tallest and fastest zipline.

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29. Longs Peak

Longs Peak sits majestically at 14,259 feet in Rocky Mountain National Park. This prominent 14er can easily be spotted from the Northern Colorado Front Range and is frequently summited by hikers and technical climbers.

30. Fish Creek Falls

Only minutes from Steamboat and a short hike from the trailhead takes you to the stunning, crystal-clear Fish Creek Falls. The roaring 280-foot falls make a great family-friendly activity in the summer months and make for an ice-climbing paradise in the winter.

RELATED: [Part 1] 40 Must-See Colorado Hotspots (1-20)

31. Zapata Falls

These 30-foot falls overlook the spectacular Great Sand Dune National Park and Preserve, and their cool waters provide a refreshing treat in the warm San Luis Valley summer months. To access the falls, you’ll have to take a moderate, adventurous,half-mile hike from the trailhead parking lot.

32. Lone Eagle Peak

This magical jagged granite peak is located inside Indian Peaks Wilderness. From below the peak, you can catch the stunning reflection of the summit in Mirror Lake. Wildflowers put on a show around the base of the peak in mid July.

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33. Rifle Falls State Park

Three large cascading waterfalls are the main attraction at Rifle Falls State Park. The beautiful park is full of recreational activities from fishing to camping and is a popular destination for weddings. Unique limestone caves that are home to three different bat species are also located in Rifle Falls State Park.

34. City Park (Denver)

Denver’s largest and most popular urban park offers incredible skyline views of the city and the Front Range. The park includes some of the most frequented attractions in the Denver area including the Denver Zoo, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Martin Luther King Memorial, as well as a boathouse and two small lakes.

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35. Pearl Lake State Park

A year-round recreational playground, Pearl Lake State Park is a serene park northwest of Steamboat Springs that offers fishing in the wakeless Pearl Lake, hiking, picnicking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, yurting, and more.

36. Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls, often called Graffiti Falls because of the heavily spray-painted bridge at its base, is located on the outskirts of Manitou Springs. This colorful spectacle leaves many asking whether the paint is artwork or vandalism.

37. Telluride Via Ferrata

This 2.5 mile long hike is definitely for the adventurous. The exposed hike traverses a cliffside where hikers are tethered to the wall using climbing equipment, cables, and metal rungs. The views of Telluride, the San Juan Mountains, and the towering Bridal Veil Falls in the distance are absolutely breathtaking.

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38. Pikes Peak Summit

Nicknamed America’s Mountain, Pikes Peak is a historic landmark that inspired Katharine Lee Bates’ iconic song, “America the Beautiful”. You can hike, bike, drive, or take the Cog Railway up to the 14,115 foot summit of Pikes Peak.

39. Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs

This relaxing natural hot springs is nestled in the woods and surrounded by rustic cabins you can reserve for a two-night stay. The hot springs are a great mountain getaway located less than 10 miles from downtown Steamboat Springs.

40. Trail 401 – Crested Butte

This high-alpine mountain biking trail is renowned for being a tough single-track trail in Crested Butte with amazing wildflowers in July and offering killer views of Mount Crested Butte and the Gothic Valley.

RELATED: [Part 1] 40 Must-See Colorado Hotspots (1-20)

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