Famous for its Rocky Mountains, Colorado is a year-round destination. Spectacular national parks, forests, gold mining towns and Native American ruins are absolute tourist highlights alongside the impressive number of four-thousanders (54). The capital Denver, starting point for trips to the numerous ski areas, offers many museums, parks, gardens and a restored Victorian square. Because it sits at an elevation of 5,000 feet (1,609 m) above sea level (about a mile), Denver is often called the Mile High City. Located in the rolling flat country at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is the largest city within 1,000 km.
- Travelationary: Covers basic information about Colorado geography and economy.
Arriving by plane
Direct flights to Denver are offered from Frankfurt and Munich by Lufthansa (LH) and United (UA). Swiss (LX) offers flights in cooperation with United (UA) from Zurich via Chicago to Denver. Edelweiss Air (WK) flies non-stop from Zurich to Denver during the summer months. Austrian Airlines (OS) offer the route Vienna – Frankfurt/M. – Denver, in cooperation with Lufthansa (LH) from Frankfurt/M. and Vienna – Chicago – Denver, in cooperation with United (UA) from Chicago.
Denver – Atlanta: 2 hours 30 minutes; Denver – Boston: 3 hrs 45 mins; Denver – Chicago: 2 hours 15 minutes; Denver – Dallas: 2 hours; Denver – Houston: 2 hours 30 minutes; Denver – Los Angeles: 2 hours 30 minutes; Denver – Miami: 3 hrs 50 mins; Denver – New York: 3 hours 30 minutes; Denver – San Francisco: 2 hours 40 minutes; Denver – Seattle: 3 hours; Denver – Washington DC: 3 hrs 15 mins; Denver – Frankfurt: 11 hrs; Denver – Vienna: 13 hours; Denver – Zurich: 12 hrs 10 mins
The Jet Blue Airpass lets you book 3 or more flights across the entire Jet Blue network in the US at once. The Jet Blue Airpass is valid for 90 days, can be changed flexibly, and luggage is included. For more information on the availability of the limited contingents, contact STA Travel on tel. +49-69-255 150 000. Jet Blue flies to Denver.
Arrival by car
Car: The road network is well developed. Interstate I-70 runs west-east, connecting Colorado with Utah to the west and Kansas to the east. From Nebraska in the northeast, I-76 leads to Denver. I-25 enters Wyoming on the north, intersects Denver and enters the state of New Mexico on the south. Colorado also has a variety of scenic and historic byways, known as ‘Scenic and Historic Byways’, which are not to be missed when traveling through Colorado. Speed Limits: Within Built-Up Urban Interstate Highways: 65 mph (104 km/h) Outside Built-Up Rural Interstate Highways: 75 mph (120 km/h) Bus: There are numerous bus services to the ski resorts. Some Greyhound lines pass through Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction.
Note on arrival by car
Average car travel times: Denver – Albuquerque: 9 hours; Denver – Dallas: 16 hrs; Denver – Los Angeles: 23 hrs 50 mins; Denver – Minneapolis: 17 hrs 30 mins; Denver – New York: 37 hrs; Denver – St Louis: 17 hrs 10 mins; Denver – Salt Lake City: 10 hrs; Denver – Seattle: 28 hr 30 min. Colorado tolls include: – E-470 in the eastern part of the Denver Metropolitan Area; – Northwest Parkway between the intersection of I-25/E-470 and US-36, terminating at Broomfield, northwest of Denver; – I-25 express lane between downtown Denver and Thornton; – I-70 mountain express lane between US-40 in Empire and Idaho Springs; – US-36 express lanes between Table Mesa Drive (Boulder) and US-287 (Westminster). All major rental car companies register their cars with ExpressToll for electronic toll collection. The tolls incurred are to be paid with the final invoice.
Arrival by train
Amtrak’s Emeryville, San Francisco, and Los Angeles to Chicago lines pass through numerous Colorado cities, including Fort Morgan, Fraser, Granby, Glenwood Springs, and Grand Junction. Colorado also has several historic railroads; eg: – the narrow gauge railway between Cripple Creek and Victor, – the longest and highest narrow gauge line in North America: Cumbres & Tolec between Antonito (Colorado) and Chama (New Mexico) or – the narrow gauge railway between Durango & Silverton. Rocky Mountaineer connects Denver, Colorado with overnight stays in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, to Moab, Utah.
Detailed information about the USA Rail Pass from Amtrak under Getting to the USA.
Passport and visa regulations
Entry with children
Since June 27, 2012, children need their own travel document (passport / children’s passport) for trips abroad (also within the EU). Entries of children in the parental passport are no longer possible.
Colorado ski resorts
c/o Hagen Alpin Tours
Alois-Wagner-Str. 28 D- 87466
(08366) 98 88 93
Visitors Bureau Denver
1555 California Street, Suite 300
US- 80202 Denver, Colorado
(303) 892.11.12 and (800) 233.68.37 (toll free within the US).
http://www.visitdenver.com Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, Germany
c/o Kaus Media Services
(0511) 89 98 90 23.
http://www.experiencecoloradosprings.com Colorado Tourism Office Germany
c/o Get It Across Marketing
(0221) 233 64 07.
There are numerous amusement parks in Colorado with their attractions and rides. Centrally located in Denver, Elitch Gardens is a large and well-known amusement park. Things are also turbulent at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs. Soaring Tree Top Adventures in Durango is popular for the long and thrilling zip line. Golden’s Heritage Square Amusement Park offers family fun with go-kart racing, rides, miniature golf and arcades.
- Usaers: Provides a full list of major rivers and mountains in Colorado.
The former gold mining town of Denver has long been the capital of the state of Colorado. Located in front of the silhouette of the imposing Rocky Mountains, the city impresses with its extensive green spaces and parks. The golden roof of the Colorado State Capitol is visible from afar and offers a good view of the metropolis itself. Denver has numerous breweries and many museums such as the History Colorado Center Museum. The exhibits document the lives of the Native Americans, cowboys, miners and pioneers who settled the area. You can learn about Native American art at the Denver Art Museum. The Children’s Museum of Denver is a great experience for kids, as is the Denver Zoo.
Breweries and distilleries
Colorado, the U.S. state that legalized the use and purchase of marijuana, is well known for the production of luxury goods like beer and liquor. In Colorado you can visit large breweries and numerous distilleries. The brewery Golden Brewery / Coors Brewery uses spring water from the Rocky Mountains to produce the Coors beer. Guided tours, topped off with a glass of delicious beer, depart from the southeast corner of the visitor parking lot at 13th & Ford Streets. The New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins also offers tours, as well as the Boulder Distillery Mile High Spirits in Denver and the Mystic Mountain Distillery in Larkspur.
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park stretches across a high plateau in southwestern Colorado and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here some of the most dramatic testimonies of the Indian Anasazi culture and a museum await the visitor. The approximately 600 scattered dwellings of the Anasazi, some of which have up to 150 rooms, were carved directly into the rugged rock faces around 700 years ago. As a visitor, one wonders how many of them fell down while building these rock dwellings.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
The Great Sand Dunes National Park with its huge sand dunes is located near Mosca in the east of the San Luis Valley. Covering an area of around 80 km2, the largest sand dunes in North America give visitors a Sahara feeling. The sand retains the heat, which is why dune sliding is only recommended with sturdy shoes and at certain times.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
The narrow Black Canyon of the Gunnison is located in western Colorado in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The road along the south rim of the deep gorge offers motorists a breathtaking view of the canyon. Hikers will also find numerous hiking trails through this dramatically beautiful landscape.
Rocky Mountain National Park
A drive to Rocky Mountain National Park, with its majestic mountain scenery, about 100 km from Denver, is an unforgettable experience. A unique nature, huge forests, glaciers and clear lakes await the visitor. The Trail Ridge Road runs through the park, reaching up to 3736 m in some places and being one of the longest highways in America. Across 400 miles, visitors will find awe-inspiring peaks and canyons, lush valleys and peaceful lakes, roaring waterfalls and untouched wilderness.
Colorado National Monument
Eagles soar high above the Colorado National Monument with a landscape of dramatic red canyons and the vast Colorado Plateau with free-standing monoliths. Along the Rim Rock Drive there are fantastic bird’s eye views of the canyons. The monument is a nature reserve and important bird area at the same time. Here you can see numerous species of birds and bighorn sheep, and with a little luck, coyote, lynx and mule deer. Hikers, cyclists, climbers and photographers will find a true paradise here.
Dinosaur National Monument
The Dinosaur National Monument, where numerous fossils of dinosaurs and reptiles have been found, is an attractive place for discovery not only for children. Here, all visitors are fascinated when they get a close look at the bones of such gigantic creatures as the Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, Diplodicus or the Apatosaurus. There are also Fremont petroglyphs that lived thousands of years ago. The Quarry Exhibit Hall is located in the Utah portion of Dinosaur National Monument. Activities such as camping, fishing and hiking are also possible.
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Prehistoric Colorado is reflected in fossilized giant red tree stumps and insect and plant fossils at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. The best place to begin your visit is at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument Visitor Center. The monument has several hiking trails, some of which lead along the petrified tree stumps.
Garden of the Gods National Natural Monument
The Garden of the Gods National Natural Monument offers excellent hiking, biking and horseback riding in a landscape of dramatically sculpted red sandstone. Beautiful motifs for photographers include the Balanced Rock formations, The Three Graces, The Kissing Camels and the Cathedral Valley.
The Rocky Mountains, which not only offer good slopes and cross-country ski runs, but also picturesque mountain villages, first-class hotels and a spectacular landscape, guarantee unique winter sports experiences. Dog sled rides, snowshoe hikes, horse-drawn sleigh rides and snowmobile rides are usually just as much a part of the offer as ice skating, cross-country skiing and good downhill runs in wonderful powder snow. Aspen’s chic ski resorts, which offer suitable slopes for beginners and experts, have an international reputation. Skiers and snowboarders also gravitate to Summit County, home to the popular ski resorts of Keystone (which has the state’s longest ski season), Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin and Breckenridge in the Rocky Mountains.
Ride the train
Several scenic rail routes and historic railroads criss-cross Colorado. The train riders enjoy fantastic landscapes and experience untouched terrain. The Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway travels to the top of Pikes Peak, which overlooks the Continental Divide. A ride on the Royal Gorge Railway from Cañon City is often combined with whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River. Other memorable train rides include the Co. & Southern Railroad Leadville through the Rocky Mountains and the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad from Alamosa and La Veta.
Experience American Football
American football is a national sport that you can experience up close at a Denver Broncos game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. This atmospheric spectacle, rounded off with performances by cheerleaders, should not be missed.
Get active outdoors
Colorado, with its beautiful natural landscapes and great national parks, offers ideal terrain for outdoor sports such as hunting, fishing, hot air ballooning, horseback riding, white water rafting, canoeing, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, paragliding and golfing.
Shopping is plentiful in Denver, particularly at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Tabor Center, Tivoli Center, and Larimer Square malls. Aspen in the Rocky Mountains also has a wide range of shops. Shops from almost all famous fashion designers can be found here. Gold jewelry, Native American jewelry, Navajo rugs, and Native American handicrafts are particularly worthwhile.
The Denver Performing Arts Complex is home to seven theaters and the Boettcher Concert Hall. Other, smaller venues offer theater performances, pop, jazz and country and western concerts, dance performances and cabaret. Detailed information is listed in The Denver Post or the Rocky Mountain News. There are countless restaurants, bars and après-ski events in many ski resorts, especially in Aspen.
Regional specialties include freshly caught rainbow trout, buffalo and elk steaks and many Mexican dishes. Restaurants offering Southeast Asian, imaginative New Southwestern, and international cuisine come in every price range. For a Colorado-style meal, visit one of the many small breweries and brewpubs in Denver, Boulder and many other mountain towns that offer freshly brewed beer and delicious food. Beverages: Colorado brews more beer than any other state in the United States. Many of the 30 beers available in Denver are not available in any other city. The Coors Brewery offers free tours of their facility, which is the largest in the world. The minimum drinking age is 21 and you may be required to show your ID when purchasing alcohol. After 2:00 a.m. it is curfew in the bars.
Best travel time
The capital, Denver, has a mild, dry climate with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year. Spring is mild with warm days and cool evenings. In the summer it gets very warm, with low humidity and cool evening breezes. In Denver it is often still summery and warm in November. Winter is cold, sunny and clear with snowfalls. In the mountains, summer days are warm and evenings are cool. Autumn starts earlier here, and there is heavy snowfall from December to April. The temperatures are then around the freezing point.
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