100 Best Things to do in Colorado (Part One)

Posted by: admin March 6th, 2020

100 Best Things to do in Colorado (part one)
By Your RV Lifestyle Staff

We teamed up with Your RV Lifestyle to give you the 100 best things to do in Colorado. Read part one of five below.

Colorado is one of the western states in the USA. The landscape is a combination of river canyons, dry arid deserts, and snow-capped mountains. The state has many ancient structures to visit such as the Mesa Verde National Park. The capital of the state of Colorado is Denver which has a vibrant downtown and nightlife.

1. Mesa Verde National Park

This park is in the southwest of Colorado and is well known for the Puebloan cave dwellings. You will know them by the name of Cliff Palace. If you are hiking, then follow the Petroglyph Point Trail. These are some of the best-preserved archaeological sites in the USA. This is a great place to take an RV and stay a few days whi8le you hike in the park.

2. Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Here you will be able to learn about the natural history of the state. There are over 1 million objects in the collections.

There are also archival and library resources if you need to look anything up. There are permanent exhibits, as well as temporary displays, which vary each month, so it is worth checking upcoming exhibits.

3. Raft the Animas River

This is constantly rated as one of the major attractions in the state. You will be able to take a guided raft session with an experienced guide. What is good about this is that there are rapids that are suited to all levels so no fear of being overwhelmed. Some of the routes are perfectly suitable for kids. Most of these tours start in downtown Durango and you should arrive at least 2 hours early to prepare. Parking is free, and right next door is a store if you need to buy food afterward. If you want pictures of your trip, be sure to tell the guide beforehand.

4. Mount Evans

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This is the highest peak in the front range of the Rocky Mountains. You will find it in the Mount Evans Wilderness which is about 13 miles southwest of the City of Idaho. If you are a hiker, then this should be on your agenda. Walking in the area is also very popular and there are several trails you can follow. Some are steep while others cater for younger walkers. You can take an RV and stay a few days in the area, although you should be sure to check the weather to make sure it is good to hike or walk.

5. Nevadaville Ghost Town

You will find this Masonic Lodge in the deserted town. Oddly enough, the lodge is still used for meetings.
The town was established in 1859 as a gold mining town. It reached its peak of the population with 1,000 inhabitants. When the gold was mined out, the town basically died, although there are still six official residents.
You will be able to see the city hall, and a saloon building, along with mining shacks. It is not a good idea to explore the mine shafts as they are considered dangerous, so keep children under control.

6. Denver Art Museum

This is situated in the Civic Centre of the city of Denver. It is one of the largest museums between Chicago and the west coast and known for the amazing collection of American Indian Art. Also, of interest is the Berger Collection which is a private collection of mostly British art over six centuries. The Hamilton Collection consists of 22 impressionist works from a private collection including Van Gogh's Edge of a Wheat Field with Poppies.
Make sure you check for upcoming events and exhibitions. Allow yourself a full day to see this museum.

7. Bishop Castle

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This is found in Rye. The story goes that at the age of 15 a boy named Jim Bishop dropped out of school, having been told that he would never amount to anything. Jim saved up, and with the help of his parents, he bought a small plot of land and started to build a cottage. Originally it was just a one-room stone cottage, although it grew to be the castle that you can see today. The castle now has 16 stories, with three large cathedral windows and a fire-breathing dragon. You may be lucky to meet Jim Bishop as he is about 60 years old.

8. Rocky Mountain National Park

This park spans the Continental Divide. You will find a differing landscape of forests, alpines, and mountains.
If you are a hiker, then look for the Trail Ridge Road and the Old Fall River Road. You can also drive your car along many of the routes past Aspen trees and rivers. For the more experienced climbers, the Keyhole Route is a vertical rock face, which leads up Longs Peak, and is the park's tallest mountain. Be sure to take enough provisions for any hike as there are few supply stores here.

9. Alferd Packer's Grave

This is found in Littleton Cemetery, Littleton. Packer was a 19th-century gold prospector and a convicted cannibal.
A shoemaker by trade, Packer took a group of 21 prospectors into the Rockies. Sometime later he took a group of 5 off to prospect. After a brutal winter, he returned with the wallets, saying that the men had died from exposure. What drew attention to Packer was just how fit and healthy he looked, and he was charged with cannibalism. He was eventually charged with 5 counts of manslaughter and spent 40 years in prison. Packer maintained his innocence for the rest of his life, and because he was a veteran, the funeral and headstone were paid for by the military.

10. National Museum of WWII Aviation

The museum is located in Colorado Springs. You can either take a guided tour or walk around by yourself.
Look for the WWII aircraft which are in the process of being restored, and see the amazing collection still flying warbirds. There is also a rare flying P-38.
Allow yourself at least a half-day here. A guide is a great idea as they are all very familiar with the collections.

11. Denver Zoo

The zoo was founded in 1896 and is now the most popular tourist attraction in the city. The zoo began with the donation of one black bear, and the zoo became the first naturalistic zoo in the USA. You will notice that there are no bars, just enclosures. The zoo was named the 'Greenest Zoo in the Country'. Allow yourself a full day here. There is a café where you can buy snacks and refreshments.

12. Walk up the Mile-High steps

You will find the steps at the State Building in Denver. The top measures exactly 5,280 feet above sea level.
Over the years there have been differences of opinions as to the exact height, so you will notice on the 15th step it is engraved with the acclamation. Later it was thought that the 18th step was the peak. Recently it was worked out that the top step is, in fact, the exact mile height. Wherever you think the exact spot is, the view from the top is stunning! Make sure you see the mile-high marker on the steps as you climb.

13. Desert Reef Hot Springs

You will find this in Florence. It is a naturally-sourced hot spring. This is also a recognized nudist spot so if you visit, you are welcome to remove all your clothing to try the spring. The springs were first discovered during a subsurface oil investigation and this led to the stream of hot water forming in pools.

14. Broadmoor Seven Falls

These seven waterfalls are found in South Cheyenne Creek. There are several trails that you can take to get to the top of the falls. Look for the trail leading to Midnight Falls and Inspiration Point. Be aware that in heavy rains there may be flooding so be sure to check the forecast. Also, make sure you take your own provisions.

15. Colorado Automobile Museum

This museum is in Concord. If you enjoy looking at vintage cars, then you must put this on your list to do. This is possibly one of the best car museums you will see. Take a little time to admire the surroundings which are red sandstone cliffs and mountains. The museum buildings are stucco and match in beautifully with the area. Allow yourself most of the day and try to eat in the restaurant which is outstanding.

16. Rulison Nuclear Test Site

This is the site where a nuclear bomb was lowered down 8,000 feet under the ground, and you will see the spot in Parachute. The bomb was detonated as an experiment in natural gas extraction. It was exploded in 1969. Locals were evacuated for one day only while the explosion was carried out. The only evidence now of the explosion is the shaft which is now securely covered. There is a plaque to tell you all about it.

17. Red Rocks Amphitheatre

This rock structure is found near Morrison, about 10 miles west of Denver. Concerts are performed here in the open air. The stage has a large rock right behind it, hence the name. The arena can seat up to 9,500 people. Make sure you book in advance for any performances as this gets popular in the summer months.

18. Riverside Cemetery

This is the oldest cemetery in the state. It is also the final resting place of many famous people. You will find it in Denver. Over 67,000 names are listed to be buried in the cemetery, with many headstones faded and crypts overgrown. Look for the grave of Lester Eugene Drake Sr, along with miner's pickax and shovel. You will also find the grave of the freed slave Clara Brown, along with congressmen, governors, suffragettes, and sports players.
The cemetery no longer takes 'residents', and it may take you just a half-day to walk around, depending on who you want to find there!

19. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

This zoo is found in downtown Colorado Springs. It is at an elevation of 6,800 feet above sea level and is the highest zoo in the USA. You will find over 750 animals of 150 different species and divided into sections. For the little ones, look for 'My Big Backyard' where there are rabbits, chickens, and amphibians. The 'Rocky Cliffs' is home to the mountain goats, while the 'Rocky Mountain Wild' is home to bears, eagles, mountain lions, and lynx, to name a few. Be sure to check upcoming events at this amazing zoo. Allow a full day here. There is a café to buy lunch.

20. Kit Carson County Carousel

This is found in Burlington. It is one of the few remaining antique carousels in the USA. You will also notice that the animals do not move. The carousel is wooden, which is why the animals cannot move. The difference between modern-day carousels is that this one moves along at 12 mph, while most modern carousels only reach the speed of 8 mph.

All 46 animals are hand-carved and hand-painted. You will find chariots, giraffes, lions, tigers, horses, and even a hippopotamus! Look at the center of the carousel and you will find an interesting Wurlitzer 155 Military Band Organ.
While the kids may enjoy the ride, the carousel is more than an amusement. Looking closely, you will appreciate it for the work of art it really is.

That's it, stay tuned for part two! Visit https://www.your-rv-lifestyle.com/ for more tips on RV travel & more.