Top 10 Most Famous Colorado Landmarks Travelers Talk About
Although the state of Colorado is perhaps best known for its posh ski towns, there is a whole lot more to the Centennial State than meets the eye. The Rocky Mountain capital is home to one of few U.S. currency producing places in the world, a sandy desert in the middle of a mountainous tundra as well as some of the best surviving examples of early American life in the country. There are many famous Colorado landmarks for visitors to check out, but we’ve put together ten of them that aren’t to be missed at the advice of past travelers.
1. Rocky Mountain National Park: Found in the northwestern reaches of the state, this National Park remains one of the most treasured of all Colorado landmarks, and often is what brings visitors traveling to the area. Highlights such as Bear Lake and Beaver Meadows are past visitor favorites, however the entire park boasts towering mountains, wooded areas and wildlife that are sure to bring out the nature lover in anyone. Perhaps one of the most unique things about the park is that it’s large enough and covers a wide enough range for visitors to experience different climates depending on where they’re situated at in the park, and thus wooded trails can easily give way to mountain tundra as journeys continue.
2. Steamboat Hot Springs: A perfect blend of natural wonder and high energy recreation await guests to Old Town Hot Springs found near Denver. Eight separate pools that are fed by the hot springs await visitors here, and a pair of waterslides top them off. Aside from the springs, one of the most celebrated Colorado landmarks, there is also a fitness center on site, cardio facility, lap pool, exercise classes, sports programs and much more. Many events are held at the pools during the year including festivals, athletic competitions and more.
3. Denver Mint: It may not look like much from the outside. A seemingly unimpressive building located at the corner of Colfax and Delaware Street in Denver. However, this two-story brick building is the largest producer of coins on the planet, making it one of the coolest Denver tourist attractions as there is nowhere else like it on Earth. The building is one of six that either produce or hold United States currency, and is one of the most intriguing of all Colorado landmarks. Tours are available with reservations and guests are treated to information about the mint and its production, as well as the history of both.
4. Rifle Falls State Park: Although many people may never have heard of this National Park that is found west of the Denver metro area, it’s likely that they’ve seen it before whether featured in a photograph or even live on the silver screen. An incredible array of lush vegetation and cascading waterfalls are what draw photographers and movie makers alike to this naturally decadent region amongst Colorado landmarks, and underground caves and rocky cliffs bring tons of tourists each and every year. The area is popular for activities like camping and hiking year round, but past guests do warn that the summer months are the park’s busy season, and crowds are not uncommon.
5. Pikes Peak: Affectionately referred to as “America’s Mountain,” this over 14,000 foot high mammoth mountain is considered not only one of the most famous in the United States, but also one of the most well known of all Colorado landmarks. Found just a bit south of Denver, the peak is one of the most popular Colorado Springs attractions, and affords guests some of the most spectacular views in the nation from several points, including a midway point along its scenic highway. There is a recreation area available to tourists journeying up the mountain as well as gift shops, lakes, picnic areas and more.
6. Black Canyon of the Gunnison: There is a canyon that is found to the west of Colorado Springs that is so simply amazing that it is considered one of the most dramatic and visually impressive canyons in the country, despite its rather smallish size in comparison to others. At twelve miles in length, the Black Canyon may not be the biggest of Colorado landmarks, but the deep colored rocks arranged steeply alongside the Gunnison River offer a prehistoric glimpse into the power of geologic processes. There is also tremendous human history here, as the Ute Indians and subsequent visitors used the canyon as a natural path to Utah.
7. Garden of the Gods: There is a reason why this National Park, found just west of Colorado Springs was given its heavenly name. If anyone with Godlike abilities chose to plant a decorate a garden, it might very closely resemble the Visitor and Nature Center found at this park. The three hundred foot high red sandstone cliffs, views of our number five pick and clear blue skies make the area one of the most photographed of all Colorado landmarks, however there is a lot more for visitors here to see and do besides just snap some photos. Horseback ride tours, high definition movies, rock climbing, picnicking, bicycling and so much more await every divine guest to the Godly garden.
8. Durango: What is it about this historic southwestern Colorado town that brings both adults and kids back for repeat visits time and time again? Well it might be the Silverton railroad, a coal burning powerhouse that has chugged its way through the area since the late 1800s. But, there’s much more to do in this corner of the Rockies than just take a scenic train ride. Agro-tourism is very popular here, and visitors can traipse around local Colorado landmarks like farms and ranches as well as enjoy samples from local microbreweries and manufacturing facilities. These unique activities coupled with a lush and inspiring landscape make the tiny town tops for tourism according to past visitors.
9. Mesa Verde: This National park that is located in southern Colorado is not only a natural wilderness area but primarily dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Ancestral Pueblo people. Over seven centuries the park housed the Pueblos on over five thousand different sites, all now protected, and amongst some of the most important of all Colorado landmarks. While all the structures found throughout the park are impressive, what really tends to draw a crowd are the cliff dwellings, of which there are around six hundred in the park. Past guests have found these aerial ancient houses stunningly unique environmental remnants of human history and they remain a traveler favorite.
10. Great Sand Dunes National Park: There is little surprise here about what this National Park holds. Found in the south central part of the state these dunes sure stand out amongst the conifer trees, mountain peaks and tundra they are surrounded by. It’s this incredible divergence of landscapes that make the park such a delight with visitors, but there is one unique fact about the dunes found here that make them even more spectacular. The sandy Colorado landmarks are the tallest dunes on the continent, a sizable feat for a desert area that couldn’t seem more out of place.