Ask anyone who’s ever visited and they’ll be quick to tell you: Colorado is easily one of the most beautiful states in the country. The mountains, lakes, and springs around every corner are a delight for all the senses, and they make for some out-of-this-world outdoor experiences.
Because of this, we 100% recommend that every adventurer make a point of visiting this gorgeous place. You certainly won’t have any trouble finding things to do. In fact, you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed by all there is to see. This is where the Colorado bucket list comes into play.
In this article, we will help you come up with the very best attractions and sights to add to your Colorado travel list.
— What is a Bucket List? —
Before we dive in, it’s important to understand what a bucket list is. If you’ve never heard the term before, you may be wondering what on earth we’re talking about, so let’s take a minute to discuss the meaning of this term.
Essentially, a bucket list is a collection of sights and experiences that you want to take in before you “kick the bucket.” Some people keep a single bucket list, but we recommend keeping a travel bucket list for each place you wish to visit. This will help keep planning as simple as possible and will ensure you get to see and do a good number of the things on your list.
— Bucket List Vacations: Colorado’s National Parks —
Some of the best places to visit are our country’s national parks. These gorgeous natural wonderlands are chock-full of spectacular things to see and epic things to do.
Colorado has four national parks, and each one is absolutely amazing and definitely Colorado bucket list worthy.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Probably the most well-known park in Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park is a must-do. Be sure to cross the great divide, drive along Trail Ridge Road, and take in the wildlife and wildflowers that call this park home.
Mesa Verde National Park
Another fantastic Colorado national park is Mesa Verde. Here, guests can check out ancient cliff dwellings and learn about the people who once lived on the land. Be sure to take a guided tour in order to actually enter a dwelling!
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
We love Great Sand Dunes National Park. This park features the tallest sand dunes in North America, and they are an amazing sight to see. Of course, the best thing about this park is the opportunity to do some epic sand-sledding.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Lastly, there is Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. This particular park is an awe-inspiring one. Featuring steep cliffs and craggy spires, the landscape here reminds you just how powerful nature is and invites you to connect with it on a personal level.
— More Bucket List Experiences —
Need even more Colorado bucket list ideas? Lucky for you, we have plenty of suggestions. The list below features our absolute favorite things Colorado has to offer. Pick and choose from this selection of experiences and you can’t go wrong.
Drive to the Top of Pikes Peak
Although it is in the Rocky Mountains, Pikes Peak is not a part of Rocky Mountains National Park. Still, we definitely recommend making an extra trip to drive up this incredible mountain. The views are stunning from this incredibly high summit.
Take in the Beauty of Island Lake
This gorgeous lake can only be reached by hiking. That said, it is absolutely worth the hike. The bright blue waters are set against a green mountainous backdrop, creating a picture-perfect scene you won’t want to take your eyes off of.
Stand in Four States at Once
Ever wish you could be in more than one place at a time? You can do just that at Four Corners! This is the location where Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico meet, giving you the opportunity to place one limb over each state line simultaneously. Definitely a Colorado bucket list must-do!
Take a Ride on Durango and Silverton Train
Going for a rain ride is a quintessential Colorado activity, and no train ride is better than the ones offered by Durango and Silverton Train. This train takes guests on some of the most scenic routes in the country. Of course, the rides are popular, meaning you’ll want to snag tickets early one.
Explore Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods offers an absolutely breathtaking landscape that everyone should see at least once. The rock formations here are gorgeous, and the hikes that wind throughout the park are wonderful.
Get in Touch with Prehistory at Dinosaur National Monument
Are you a dinosaur fanatic? If so, you need to make a stop at Dinosaur National Monument. This NPS site is located on the border of Colorado and Utah. It is home to hundreds of dinosaur fossils and is the perfect place to learn about prehistory.
Curb Your Sweet Craving at Little Man Ice Cream
There’s nothing quite as delicious as a good ice cream treat on a hot summer day, and Little Man Ice Cream offers just that. In fact, this ice cream is so good we’d even eat it on a freezing winter day. We love this milk jug-shaped shop in Denver and hope you’ll try some of their treats.
Gaze at the Maroon Bells
Yet another picturesque spot in Colorado, the Maroon Bells are another must-see, especially if you happen to be a photographer. These two mountains have an odd, reddish color to them and come together to create a stunning view.
See a Show at Red Rocks Amphitheater
Colorado is beautiful. Why not take full advantage of that fact by taking all events outdoors? Red Rock Amphitheater was built on this idea and is now one of the most iconic concert venues in the country. Enjoy a concert while taking in the beauty of nature all around you.
Visit the Breckenridge Troll
Troll fans should absolutely pay a visit to the famous Breckenridge Troll. Located along the Trollstigen Trail in the town of Breckenridge, this wooden troll statue offers a fun hiking destination and photo op.
Brave the Royal Gorge Bridge
At almost 1000 feet in the air, the Royal Gorge Bridge takes some guts to walk across. That said, if you can bring yourself to cross over the gorge, you’ll be treated to some seriously cool views—not to mention bragging rights.
Dine in a Plane at the Airplane Restaurant
Traveling with an airplane enthusiast? They’ll appreciate the Airplane Restaurant in Colorado Springs. This tiny eatery is actually built in an old airplane. Only about 40 people can dine in the plane at a time, but it’s worth waiting for.
Experience the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Those who like to mix education into their travel adventures will appreciate the number of incredible museums found in the city of Denver. We especially love the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which is engaging, well-put-together, and great for all ages.
Check Out the Hanging Lake
Located in the White River National Forest, Hanging Lake is a lake that literally hangs from the cliffs. It can only be reached by hiking or biking, and though the trail is steep and a bit difficult, it’s very popular with tourists. The lake is a gorgeous blue-green color and is both fascinating and lovely to see.
Take in the Beauty of Dillon Ice Castles
If you’ve ever wished you could see Elsa’s castle in real life, you’re in luck. Each year in the winter months, the town of Dillon plays host to some seriously enchanting ice castles. These castles are made using hundreds of thousands of hand-placed icicles. They light up and feature slides, making for a truly magical experience.
Taste Rocky Mountain Oysters
It should be mentioned that Rocky Mountain Oysters aren’t oysters at all. In fact, you might be better off not knowing what they are. That said, many consider them a wonderful delicacy, and we think everyone should try this local grub.
Attend a Game at Coors Field
Baseball fans will want to make a point of getting to Denver to attend a game at Coors Field. This famous field is home to the Colorado Rockies, and seeing a game here is tons of fun.
Go on One of Boulder’s Flatirons Hikes
Hikers will love the town of Boulder. Here you’ll find tons of great hiking opportunities, including the well-loved Flatirons Hikes. The Flatirons are odd rock formations that look an awful lot like, well… flatirons. The hikes around these formations are wonderful, and we highly recommend taking at least one.
Relax in Glenwood Springs
Considering all of the hiking and outdoor exploring you’ll be doing in Colorado, you’re probably going to want some way to kick back and relax. This is where the hot springs come into play. Glenwood Springs offers an excellent opportunity to soothe aching muscles before hitting the trail again.
Dig into Green Chile Fries
Another food the locals love are green chile fries. These can be found at a number of restaurants in the Denver area and some places outside of the city. However, we particularly like D’Corazon, making this restaurant our green chile fries stop of choice.
Go for a Ski in Aspen
It’s a well known fact that Colorado is the place to go for good skiing in the wintertime, and within Colorado, Aspen is where you want to take those skis. If you’ll be in the state when snow is on the ground, make sure to plan a ski stop in the city of Aspen.
Ride the Winter Park Alpine Slide
If you can’t go skiing on Colorado’s mountains, the next best thing is sliding down on an alpine slide. Lucky for you, Winter Park Resort has the world’s longest alpine slide and it’s an absolute blast to ride.
As you can see, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Colorado and building a Colorado bucket list is a must-do. Of course, you will need someplace to stay as you travel the state having all of these wonderful experiences. This is where our Colorado rental RVs come into play.
We have plenty to choose from, meaning finding one that suits you is a cinch, and you can camp in style for the entirety of your adventure!