Insider Tips and Fun Facts about Colorado
Learn tips and tricks to help you see Colorado like a local
Colorado’s varied landscape promises awe-inspiring views and unforgettable experiences, but changes in altitude can mean changes in temperature and terrain. Before you embark on your Colorado adventure, ensure you have the gear and the knowledge you need to explore the state like a local. Read on to learn what to bring, what to expect and what to see on your trip to Colorado.
Pack Layers of Clothing for Summer
- In Colorado, you can ski down mountain slopes in the morning and dine on a sun-soaked patio in the afternoon. Pack these essentials so you’re ready for action in any setting.
- Athletic shoes or hiking boots – Beautiful trails beckon across the state. Sturdy footwear is essential for a safe and enjoyable trek.
- Jeans or hiking pants – Casual attire is acceptable almost everywhere in Colorado, so you can take your denim from trail to table.
- Hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm – Colorado sees up to 300 days of sunshine annually.
- Bathing suits and sandals – Suit up for water fun. This state has hot springs, roaring rivers and crystal-clear creeks to enjoy.
- Lightweight jacket or vest – Temperatures drop as the sun goes down, especially at higher elevations. Keep a coat handy for evening entertainment.
- Rain gear – Sudden showers are common in summer, especially around the highest peaks.
- Refillable water bottles – Colorado has a dry, elevated climate. It’s best to stay hydrated throughout your visit.
- Backpack – You’ll need a bag to hold your gear and any souvenirs you buy.
Bring Essential Outerwear for Winter
Whether you plan on skiing, snowshoeing or stepping out on the town, you’ll want weatherproof clothing to keep you cozy in Colorado’s colder months.
- Heavy coat – Pack a parka or a water-resistant snow jacket.
- Snow gear – Waterproof boots, snow pants, hats and gloves are must-haves for winter fun in Colorado. Thermal base layers can help you stay warm and dry.
- Sunscreen – Bring sun-shielding items to Colorado no matter the time of your trip.
Learn the Local Lingo
Expand your vocabulary with these Colorado-specific terms you’ll encounter across the state:
- Continental Divide – Also called “the Divide,” this ridge follows the Rocky Mountains north to south. Waterways west of the Divide flow toward the Pacific Ocean, and those east of the Divide head to the Gulf of Mexico.
- 5280 (pronounced fifty-two eighty) – Denver is called the Mile High City because it sits 5,280 feet (1,609 meters or one mile) above sea level.
- Fourteeners – This is what locals call mountains that reach more than 4,267 meters (14,000 feet) above sea level. There are 58 such peaks in Colorado.
- Front Range – This is the Rocky Mountain Range most visible from Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Boulder.
- Western Slope – This term refers to Colorado land west of the Continental Divide. It’s where you’ll find Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flattop mountain.
- Four Corners – This is the point where Colorado meets neighboring states New Mexico, Utah and Arizona.
- Centennial State – This is Colorado’s state nickname, earned because Colorado was granted statehood in 1876, 100 years after the USA declared its independence.
- Powder day – In Colorado, a powder day comes after a night of snowfall. The dry, fluffy snow is ideal for mountain sports.
- Mud season – Signaling spring in late April or May, mud season is the result of snowmelt. It makes for great fishing and exciting whitewater conditions.
Unique to Colorado Fun Facts
Whether you’re seeking one-of-a-kind attractions or exclusive experiences, Colorado hosts a plethora of options for travelers that may surprise you.
- Loveland, Colorado, is home to over 500 free public art pieces, including 200 bronze sculptures at Benson Sculpture Garden and Chapungu Sculpture Park.
- Denver has the largest city park system in the USA including 205 parks in the city limits, as well as 8,100 hectares of parklands in the nearby mountains.
- Fort Collins produces nearly 70% of craft beer in Colorado. Visitors can sip handcrafted brews at more than 20 craft breweries.
- Colorado is home to eight historic trains as well as multiple railroad attractions. Ride The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway near Colorado Springs (also home to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum) or the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
- Colorado is home to more than 1,500 ghost towns, relics of the state’s gold rush history that you can still explore today.
- You’ll find the world’s largest natural hot springs pool in Glenwood Springs at the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort.
- There are 28 world-famous ski areas and resorts throughout Colorado, including Aspen, Snowmass, Vail, Steamboat, Breckenridge, Telluride and Winter Park. Ski resorts offer a variety of activities during the summer as well, like hiking, chairlift rides and zip lining.
For more information about Colorado’s attractions and excursions, including premier shopping and outlet malls throughout the state, click here.