Maroon Bells, Colorado © Reimund Schuster
Colorado is an outdoor paradise with a truly diverse landscape, from arid deserts strewn with sand dunes, to alpine forests on the Rocky Mountains topped with snow, to the deep canyons created by the Colorado river. It is these wild, untamed vistas that draw visitors to the state of Rio Colorado, as the Spanish travelers first called it.
The Rocky Mountains are a year-round destination that boasts forests, canyons, lakes, rivers, and peaks that provide ample opportunity for hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and horseback riding. Winter resorts nestled in the mountains offer unrivalled skiing and snowboarding amid the panoramic alpine scenery. The resort of Vail is one of the most popular ski destinations in America, a family friendly destination, while Aspen is well known for its exclusivity and glamorous après-ski scene.
The state capital of Denver is the obvious starting point for a vacation and is the gateway to the mountains, ski resorts, and spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park to the north. Home to many museums, parks, gardens, and a lively downtown area, the city offers the comfort and culture of a bigger city at relaxed pace. To the south, Pikes Peak looms over the city of Colorado Springs, famous for its breathtaking views that were the inspiration for the lyrics of "America the Beautiful" by Katherine Lee Bates. Those traveling from Denver to Colorado Springs should stop at the Gardens of Gods Park to marvel at the fantastic red sandstone formations. The western part of the state comprises of archaeological remnants of the cliff cities left by an ancient civilisation at Mesa Verde National Park.
While the scenery may be varied, visitors' experiences will be consistently enjoyable as they journey through the striking landscape of Colorado.