The “Off-the-Beaten-Path” Colorado Bucket List

 In Adventures & Travel

So many Colorado bucket lists include super popular places like Rocky Mountain National Park, Garden of the Gods, and Mesa Verde National Park. 

And while these places are pretty incredible, we’d like to share those under-the-radar locations that are free of crowds and just as spectacular. We’ve traveled to all corners of Colorado, and here’s our Colorado bucket list for those who prefer to go against the grain.

Browns Canyon National Monument

Browns Canyon is located between Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado, and the best way to see it is by raft! Wilderness Aware rafting offers full, half, and multi-day trips that take guests through this stunning canyon where the best views are from the river. Book your Browns Canyon National Monument Rafting trips today!

Miramonte Reservoir

Miramonte Reservoir is Norwood’s largest body of water, covers 405 surface acres, and is considered one of Norwood’s greatest outdoor recreational assets, offering many family-friendly outdoor activities. And the best part? It’s practically free! 

Highway of Legends National Scenic Byway

This gorgeous highway is a jaw-dropping surprise for anyone who discovers it for the first time. Located in southern Colorado, the Scenic Highway of Legends ties Walsenburg, La Veta, Cuchara, Stonewall, Trinidad, and Aguilar together with a ribbon of asphalt that journeys through some of the nation’s most beautiful national forests, state parks, wildlife areas, and mountain ranges. For a bonus, turn on the GPS-enabled audio tour during your drive. 

Public Star Parties at Smokey Jack Observatory

Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley hosts public star parties at Smokey Jack Observatory in Westcliffe, Colorado’s first IDA dark sky community. These are free events and all are open to the public. These events include Visual Public Star Parties, Electronic Assisted Astronomy Public Parties, Open Public Observing Nights, and Public Solar Observing Day Sessions. 

Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park in Canon City is a 360-acre amusement park located along the edge of the Royal Gorge around both ends of the Royal Gorge Bridge.  The bridge crosses the gorge 955 feet above the Arkansas River and is the second-highest suspension bridge in the world. 

Camp Amache & The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Sites

Take a trip back in time to remember some of our nation’s darker days at the Camp Amache & the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Sites. Camp Amache in Granada served as a Japanese Internment Camp during WWI and The Sand Creek Massacre Site, in nearby Eads, honors the Cheyenne and Arapahoe people who were brutally massacred by the U.S. Army in the American Indian Wars that occurred on November 29, 1864.

Colorado State Forest State Park

Located on either side of Cameron Pass, Colorado State Forest State Park is in a 10,000-foot-high cleft between the Never Summer and Medicine Bow mountain ranges. Deep coniferous woods and willow-covered streams are the ideal habitat for many animals, including moose. The park is actually named the moose capital of Colorado. 

Fruit & Wine Byway

The Palisade Fruit & Wine Byway, divided into three routes, is a favorite of automobile travelers and bicyclists from around the world. Experience the beautiful orchards, lavender gardens, world-class vineyards, premium wineries, and fresh farm market fruit stands along the way. Explore historic downtown Palisade, tour along the scenic Colorado River, and enjoy some of the best vistas of the Grand Valley.

Comanche National Grassland

The Comanche National Grassland includes over 440, 000 acres in southeastern Colorado. On the Comanche National Grassland, you can explore southeastern Colorado’s rich history. The Grassland has many stories to tell, from dinosaurs roaming the shoreline of a vast lake 150 million years ago to Mexican and American traders traveling the Santa Fe Trail 150 years ago. 

The Yampa River

If there’s one thing you need to check off your list this summer in Steamboat Springs, it has to be tubing the Yampa River. A local favorite and must-do activity, tubing the Yampa offers a chance to experience downtown Steamboat from a comfortable inner tube while splashing in the refreshing waters of the Yampa River.

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