The Centennial State combines the atmosphere of the Old West, some of the USA’s most spectacular landscapes and modern cities.
The Rocky Mountains in the US may stretch from the Canadian border with Idaho and Montana through to the north of New Mexico but it’s in Colorado that they are at their loftiest. This is the land of fourteeners – mountain peaks that are at least 14,000 feet (4267 metres) high. The Front Range of the Rockies rise dramatically out of the plains to the west of Denver, also known as the Mile High City, and are home to mountain resorts, national parks and forests. Basically this part of the world is a nature lover’s paradise.
Colorado holiday highlights
The 'Mile High City' will usually be the first stop on a Colorado holiday. Since it was founded in the mid 19th Century, at the height of the gold rush era, Denver has grown to become one of the USA coolest cities, but still with a tangible essence of Old West. Where else would you see cattle being driven through the streets of a city's downtown district? (This unique event takes place every January at the kick-off of the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo). Life revolves around the outdoors here with red rock al fresco entertainment venues, over 5000 acres of public parks and gardens, and the summer and winter playgrounds of the Rocky Mountains right on the city's doorstep. There's plenty of culture to soak up too. You can explore loads of museums, galleries and entire arts districts, visit performing arts venues and see public artworks dotted around the city. These include the 12-metre high blue bear which peers into the windows of the Colorado Convention Centre.
Of Colorado’s four national parks, the most famous are Rocky Mountain and Meda Verde. As the name would suggest, the Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses 415 square miles of mountain environments including many mountain peaks over 4000 metres. Close to the Colorado-Utah state line is Mesa Verde National Park, one of the country’s most important anthropological sites. The park protects approximately 5000 archaeological sites including hundreds of pueblo dwellings are cut into the cliff side.