Colorado is full of natural wonders and fun cities to explore. No wonder it’s often called “Colorful Colorado” for its extraordinary views and vibrant people that live there. America By Rail offers several Western U.S. tours that venture through Colorado and a Scenic Colorado tour. Here are some of the sights and attractions you won’t want to miss in this beautiful state.
Mesa Verde National Park
Did you know Mesa Verde is Spanish for “green table”? This national park is known for its Pueblo Native American cliff dwellings that date back nearly 700 years. You can see how the Pueblo people lived within the sides of mountains through guided tours of their houses. When you first get to the park, learn about the Pueblo culture at the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum. There are also several hiking trails with varying difficulties to explore. If you’re looking for an easy walk, the Soda Canyon Overlook Trail offers stunning views of Balcony House and Soda Canyon.
Standing at over 14,000 feet, Pike’s Peak within the Rocky Mountain chain is definitely a bucket list item. The Cog Railway takes trains up to Pike’s Peak from Manitou Springs. You’ll experience canyon views as the train travels up through forests and creeks. If you’re looking to hike around Pike’s Peak, the most popular Barr Trail is about 13 miles and starts in Manitou Springs. There are also several shorter trails like the one mile Mountain View Trail that branches off of Barr Trail. Once at the top, be sure to visit Summit House for their famous donuts and a souvenir.
Garden of the Gods
With spectacular views of Pike’s Peak, this National Landmark in Colorado Springs is full of enormous red sandstone rocks. Check out the visitor center first for a map of the trails. Set off via car or jeep tour on the road between the rocks and you can park at each trailhead and point of interest. There are over 15 miles of trails in the park including the one mile Siamese Twins Trail where you can peek through the twins’ natural window to see Pike’s Peak. There’s also the paved Central Garden Trail that provides the best views of the natural rock formations.
Glenwood Springs is the place for relaxation in Colorado. Take a dip in the city’s numerous natural hot springs, like the world’s largest Glenwood Hot Springs Pool or Iron Mountain Hot Springs against rocky mountain views. Explore Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park through their various thrill rides and explore the formations underground in the Glenwood Caverns. A natural beauty that sets Glenwood apart is Hanging Lake. The turquoise lake is on the edge of Glenwood Canyon and is suitable for swimming or just admiring the gorgeous trees dipping into the water.
A visit to Colorado isn’t complete without a trip to the state’s capital. Denver offers everything from the eclectic restaurants and breweries to huge flea markets. If museums are what you’re looking to explore, check out Titanic survivor, Molly Brown’s Victorian house or The Denver Museum of Nature and Science to learn more about the Rocky Mountains. Get a taste of nature without leaving the city at the Denver Zoo or the Denver Botanical Gardens. If you climb to the 13th step of the Colorado Capitol building, you’ll be at an elevation of exactly one mile!
Colorado has something for every traveler. Take a look at our train tour options that pass through Colorado to experience this amazing state today!