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Colorado Travel Attractions: Rocky Mountain High

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

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Rocky Mountain High

It is no wonder that Colorado is such a favorite vacation spot for many people at all times of the year. It is filled with wondrous and varied attractions and has been forever memorialized by songwriter and performer John Denver with his original creation of "Rocky Mountain High."

That title is most appropriate especially since Colorado is graced with the interesting statistic of having "the highest lowest elevation" of any of our 50 states in the United States. That lowest elevation is at a lofty 3,317 feet (1,011 meters) of measurement above sea level.

It soars from there topping out at 14,440 feet (4,401 meters) above sea level at Mount Elbert. Of course there are many other peaks of the Rocky Mountains which offer spectacular scenery in which to enjoy in various manners including rock climbing, skiing, photography, wildlife watching, hiking or taking scenic drives.

Join me for a look at some of the locations in Colorado that you just might wish to add to your bucket list of desired places to visit.

Colorado Facts

Evidence of Native Americans living in the Colorado region goes back over 13,000 years! People from the Ute, Cheyenne and Arapaho Nations have all resided there.

There are still Native Americans living in Colorado today and evidence of past lifestyles of these people are left in petroglyphs that can be found in various places as well as cliff dwellings that can still be viewed. Other relics attest to their having lived and died in these parts.

Dinosaur relics can also be seen in Colorado.

Colorado was named for the mighty Colorado River that flows through portions of the state and it is nicknamed the Centennial State for the reason that it was admitted to the union on August 1, 1876. That was 100 years after our United States Declaration of Independence was signed in the year 1776 and thus the nickname for this 38th state of our union.

Old silver and gold mining towns as well as some ghost towns grace the landscape in parts of Colorado.

People living in Colorado for the most part are among the healthiest of people living in the United States. It is no wonder! Unless one never sets foot outdoors there are endless activities all times of the year in which to participate.

What makes it even better is that beautiful scenery that often adorns postcards and calendars and artist's portrayals in paintings and sculptures lies just outside.

Ski Resorts

Because of the many majestic mountains ski resorts abound. Many people from our part of the country in Houston, Texas routinely hop aboard airplanes with their skis, snowboards or snowshoes for some fun in the snow. They eagerly await news each year when the first snows fall and the powdery accumulations start encouraging their trip plans for cross country skiing or downhill skiing.

Locations like Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge and other ski resorts take reservations well in advance of the season. Some people return to their favorite locations annually for well deserved vacation time spent with their friends and family. Those same places also host many people during the summertime and the different activities are just as much fun.

Skiing in Aspen, Colorado

Skiing in Aspen, Colorado

Leisure Activities

Those who like to camp, hike or backpack through the mountain foothills have an endless amount of trails and places in which to pitch their tents.

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Bike riding enthusiasts certainly get a challenging workout with the elevation changes and stay in good physical shape by doing so.

Of course there is wonderful fishing in the streams, rivers and crystal clear lakes. Rocky Mountain trout is so delicious and often showcased in restaurants. Boating is also a pleasurable activity.

Boats on Lake Granby in Grand County Colorado

Boats on Lake Granby in Grand County Colorado

Public Lands in Colorado

Roughly one-third of all Colorado lands in this 8th most extensive state of the U.S. is set aside for public use. That includes four national parks, 42 state parks, six national monuments, and many public forested lands.

In addition to the Rocky Mountains and foothills and forested locations there are high plains and even desert lands in addition to the canyons and mesas which have evolved topographically over millions of years.

Rushing rivers and fantastic waterfalls are a part of Colorado scenery as well.

Colorado is the 22nd most populous state so obviously one has elbow room to absorb the spectacular scenery without fear of being too crowded. Denver is the capital of the state and has the largest population of residents.

Old photo of the Royal Gorge Bridge...World's highest suspension bridge over the Arkansas River.

Old photo of the Royal Gorge Bridge...World's highest suspension bridge over the Arkansas River.

America the Beautiful

This patriotic song called "America the Beautiful" and much beloved by people in the United States was originally written as a poem by Katharine Lee Bates after she was inspired by visiting Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs.

It was set to music by Samuel A. Ward.

Just about every American from a young age on up can sing or hum the tune to this favorite song. The "purple mountain majesties" is quite easy to understand after getting a chance to view Pikes Peak!

The first two stanzas are the following:

"O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good

with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!"

Not everything is mountainous. In fact east of the Rocky Mountains the land becomes flat and rolling. That is where crops are farmed and ranching is done.

Unless one's idea of a perfect vacation is lying out on a sandy beach on a tropical island with palm trees swaying in the warm breeze, by now you should have an inkling of why Colorado is such a popular place for tourism.

There are so many Colorado attractions that it would take numerous vacations to see or photograph them all. The people are typically relaxed and friendly. Hope that you enjoyed this look at some of the many things that Colorado has to offer. I know that I would love to go back and do more exploring of it someday. How about you?

Map where Colorado is located in the United States of America

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Peggy Woods

Please leave your welcomed comments below. Thanks!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 20, 2018:

Hi Liz,

That was quite a trip you took with your daughters. I am sure they remember it fondly to this very day. That John Denver video is so good. Understandable that you used it to highlight your post about going to the mountains to be refreshed.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on February 19, 2018:

I've only been to Colorado once in my life. It was on a 3-week long road trip with my daughters when they were quite young; 10 and 8 years old.

I called it our "canyons" trip. We first saw Mesa Verde, and then we went on to Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks.

We skipped Bryce Canyon, (which I had seen as a child, with my parents), as I wanted to show them the contrasting views of looking down into a canyon, then looking up from the bottom of one.

We came back into California by way of Disneyland, as a surprise treat for them. (Sure couldn't afford to even think of going there these days!)

Loved your article; and I was struck that you used the same Youtube video to go along with John Denver's mention that I used in my poem about traveling to the mountains to refresh one's spirit.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 17, 2014:

Hi brakel2 (Audrey),

I have no idea where you see that this has gotten that many views, but glad that you enjoyed it. Thanks for the share! Colorado has such spectacular scenery.

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on September 17, 2014:

Hi Peggy - What a clever idea to have other hubs to click on for more beautiful areas in Colorado. I have never been to Colorado but have several friends who moved there from Oklahoma City. Congratulations on one million views. I read a recipe hub that sounded yummy, and I shall share this hub. Blessings, Audrey

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 27, 2013:

Hello Vacation Trip,

So happy to hear that you enjoyed the photos in this hub about Colorado. Appreciate your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 27, 2013:

Hi Indian Chef,

Colorado is a great vacation spot for many reasons. The sheer beauty of it with the mountains and for hikers and bikers. Many people from Texas go there in the winter time of year for skiing. Very happy to be able to share information about some of our different states in the U.S. with you. Thanks for the 5 star vote and share.

Susan from India on April 27, 2013:

Great hub with amazing photos. Thanks for sharing.

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on April 27, 2013:

Peggy, One thing I feel about USA when I see your blogs on American travel is amount of water your country have. I come from a country where water is always short so I am always impressed about it. Also I never heard about colarodo being a holiday spot but your Hub made me think otherwise. Voted 5 star and shared with followers.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 05, 2013:

Hi mts1098,

I used to have a good friend who lived in Boulder, Colorado. She now lives in another town called Thornton. You are so right about Colorado having great "picturesque scenery." It is amazing! Thanks for your comment and votes.

mts1098 on March 04, 2013:

Absolutely rated up and awesome! We visited Colorado for business back in the mid 90's and it was some of the best picturesque scenery we had ever seen. We stayed in Boulder at the base of the mountain and enjoyed an early September snow. The town was awesome and we even got caught sneaking into the college football stadium. This piece is awesome and you brought back some great memories...

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 02, 2012:

Hi Peggy Woods,

What a double coincidence! Your having the same name is one thing and your also living in Grand County, Colorado where we have visited and taken photos is the second thing that makes this interesting. You surely live in a gorgeous place! Thanks for letting me know. :)

Peggy Woods on December 02, 2012:

A friend happened upon your pictures of Grand Lake & thought I took them :) We have the same name & I actually live in Grand County, Colorado!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 18, 2012:

Hi 2patricias,

Colorado also has many hiking and biking trails. The scenery is so beautiful...who wouldn't want to be out in the fresh air doing things! I have also read those same statistics. Thanks for your comment and vote up.

2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on November 18, 2012:

Hi Peggy,

About 7 years ago there was a national survey to find out what people weigh. Colorado had the lowest average weight. There are a number of explanations, for example people there spend a lot of time outside, the population is younger - etc. No conclusive reason, but an interesting statistic.

This is an interesting hub. I'm voting it up.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 08, 2012:

Hi Stacy,

Good luck with writing that book. Sounds interesting and if any of my Colorado Springs information helps you...great! Thanks!

Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on November 08, 2012:

I know I have read this before, but let me tell you. I am working on a book for NaNoWriMo and the setting is in Colorado Springs. So I thought I could get some help here since you have traveled all over the place. Thank you! :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 29, 2012:

Hello juneaukid,

There are so many great attractions in Colorado. Glad that you liked learning a bit of trivia that you did not know about the state in which you live. Thanks for your comment.

Richard Francis Fleck from Denver, Colorado on October 29, 2012:

I enjoyed your hub on our home state of Colorado. That's an interesting fact you've uncovered about the highest lowest point of any of the 50 states.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 06, 2012:

Hi Linda, aka Sunshine625,

Am sure that same advertised whiskey for medicinal uses is probably no longer being made...but plenty of others are available if you are feeling a little "under the weather." Ha! Hope that you get to see some of Colorado's attractions in person someday. It is so beautiful! Appreciate your comment.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on October 06, 2012:

I've always heard awesome tales about life in Colorado. One day I'll might make a trek over there to those mountains. In the meanwhile I wonder if I could order some of that Whisky for Medicinal Use that's advertised on the building...hmmm. Sounds appealing. Thank you for the links, history and fab pics!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 20, 2012:

Hi sgbrown,

I guess I was too busy concentrating on my driving to be afraid on the Trail Ridge Road. Glad that we took a bus tour up to Pikes Peak instead of driving that particular road. So glad that you liked this hub about the different places in Colorado. It is surely a beautiful state!

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on September 20, 2012:

Wonderful hub! I have been to Pikes Peak and Trail Ridge Road. TRR is only for the strong at heart. Scared the rain out of me more than once but beautiful! Voting up and more. Have a great day!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 05, 2012:

Hi barbergirl,

As you say, Colorado is certainly centrally located and is also such a beautiful state. I certainly wouldn't mind living there if I was to start over again. The Garden of the Gods is such a gorgeous city park. Nice that you have gotten to enjoy it (probably often?) while you lived there. Thanks for your comment and the share.

Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on September 05, 2012:

My husband and I lived in Colorado Springs from 2001 to 2003. I love the Colorado area and while we were most familiar with the Springs, we did drive from our home back to Wisconsin a few times, as well as the other direction to visit family in California. In fact, it scares me half to death when we have driven past all the ski towns. I hate driving in the mountains and I find that taking pictures while my husband drives keeps me distracted from looking down the side.

When it comes to different states, if we had to choose a place to live that wasn't around family, Colorado would be our destination of choice. Not only do we love the scenary and the weather, but it is in the middle of everything! Perfect location and lots to do. My favorite place to visit - Garden of the Gods! :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 01, 2012:

Hello Deborah,

From what you say, you have visited Colorado much more often than I have...but it is surely a beautiful state. Let's hope we both get back there soon to enjoy it. Thanks for your comment.

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on September 01, 2012:

I love Colorado. My extended family used to vacation there every year around Rocky Mountain National Park (staying in either Estes Park or Grand Lake) but as everyone got older and busier, it's been several years since we've done that. I've climbed to the top of Mt. Elbert and skied at Vail many times (the best ski resort ever, IMO). I haven't been to Colorado for a couple of years and reading this really makes me want to go back!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 25, 2012:

Hi gmaoli,

If you are "a major fan of the outdoors," you will fall in love with visiting Colorado with all of its majestic scenery. So glad that you liked this hub and will be checking out the interesting places listed in this hub to learn more about each location. Thanks for your comment.

Gianandrea Maoli from South Carolina on August 25, 2012:

I'm a major fan of the outdoors and this stat certainly has plenty of incentive for me to check out the natural beauty of its mountains. I'll have to check out the links to the places of interest you have listed here. Thanks for putting this together!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 30, 2012:

Hello tirelesstraveler,

Great comment about your son going to college in Colorado...and even better than the snowboarding...meeting his wife there. Nice! That comment makes me smile.

Judy Specht from California on July 29, 2012:

Colorado winter, spring, summer, fall can not be beat for a vacation treat.

My son threw away the application for the school he went to in Colorado 3 times before his best friend pulled it out of the garbage and said "Dude what are you thinking, snowboarding. Go." He met his wife there. Love Colorado. Nice hub

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 28, 2012:

Hi Prasetio,

So glad that you enjoyed this article related to some of the great travel sites in Colorado with photos & videos. Appreciate your comment and votes.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 28, 2012:

I really enjoy Colorado travel through this hub. Useful information with beautiful pictures and videos. Good job, Peggy. Thanks for writing and share with us. Rated up :-)

Love and peace, Prasetio

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 27, 2012:

Hi Cheryl,

The Rocky Mountains surely are beautiful! I am so glad that my mother and I got to see as much of Colorado as we did. Saw a bit of it with my husband on another trip but we did not get as much sightseeing done. Hope you get to explore the Garden of the Gods someday. I know you would enjoy it! Thanks for your comment.

Cheryl J. from Houston, TX on July 27, 2012:

Another beautiful vacation spot. I love the Colorado mountains and all the beauty and history the state has to offer. I would love to hike in the Garden of the Gods park. The scenery is absolutely beautiful in your photos and videos. Another great hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 27, 2012:

Hello snowdrops,

If you ever develop your "instant transmission power" and visit Colorado...let me and others know. Wouldn't it be fun to visit all kinds of places world-wide! I like that idea! :)) Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 27, 2012:

Hi agusfanani,

You would love hiking and camping in beautiful Colorado! You would have many places from which to choose. Hope you get to do it someday. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 27, 2012:

Hi Mhatter99,

Thanks for your comment about this Colorado Attractions hub. If you like roughing it in California, you would love roughing it in Colorado!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 27, 2012:

Hi Vinaya,

So happy to be able to show you some of the highlights of visiting the State of Colorado. It is a beauty and full of history. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 27, 2012:

Hi Alastar,

Yes...the drier mountain air is undoubtedly good for people's health. The beauty of Colorado is good for one's soul! Appreciate your comment + the share. The book you are reading sounds interesting.

snowdrops from The Second Star to the Right on July 27, 2012:

If only I have this instant transmission power..I would definitely visit this marvelous place. Thanks for showing us Peggy.

agusfanani from Indonesia on July 27, 2012:

I've got a lot of information about Colorado from this hub and I think it's a beautiful place. If I had a chance I want to go camping and hiking there and have great outdoor activities.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on July 26, 2012:

Thank you for sharing this. Never made Colorado. Did spend a lot of time roughing it in Calif.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 26, 2012:

Hi Patty Kenyon,

Nice to know that you enjoyed these photos of Colorado. Be sure and click on the individual links to see many more from areas of which you might wish to learn more. Thanks for your comment.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on July 26, 2012:

On your hubs you show the part of the world I have never been, and I always love this virtual tour.

Your pictures are awesome.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 26, 2012:

Hi Pamela,

Hope that you get back to Colorado to see more of this gorgeous state someday. I see your "bucket list" growing. :)) Appreciate your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 26, 2012:

Hi Genna,

Estes Park would have been a beautiful spot to be married in Colorado for your son and daughter-in-law. My mother and I loved staying there as we explored the Rocky Mountain National Park and also Loveland. Sounds like where you grew up was also beautiful. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 26, 2012:

Hello William F. Torpey.

So happy to know that you enjoyed this hub about Colorado with the photos, videos and links to other hubs about visiting this beautiful state. Appreciate your comment.

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on July 26, 2012:

Wow, had no idea about that low elevation, how about that. Colorado is indeed one gorgeous place and you've done a super enjoyable article on it. Dig the John Denver with the Asian sub-lyrics lol. Brings back memories of hanging soused with some buds all trying to sing it lol. Reading a book now called Prairie Fever which tells of people in the 1800s moving there for their health--the dry air and all. Sharing fer sure!

Patty Kenyon from Ledyard, Connecticut on July 26, 2012:

Interesting Hub laced with beautiful pictures!!!

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on July 26, 2012:

My son and new daughter-in-law live in Aurora. They married in Estes Park, and truly love this magnificent state. I have visited a few times, and understand why they wanted to make it their home. It reminds me a little of where I grew up – in the northwestern mountains of Jersey, bordering Pennsylvania. Some of the most beautiful country, culture and history lives in Colorado. In view of what happened in Aurora, recently, I treasured this stunning hub. Thank you!

William F Torpey from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on July 26, 2012:

Another excellent hub on Colorado, Peggy W. I enjoyed the photos and the videos, too.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 26, 2012:

Hi teaches12345,

The clear blue skies in Colorado are wonderful as is most all of the scenery. We did have good food while traveling through the state. Love the Rocky Mountain trout. Even had it smoked as well as prepared fresh. Delicious! Thanks for your comment & vote up.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 26, 2012:

I have only travel through Colorado once several years ago and it is a gorgeous state. You covered a lot of wonderful sites that I didn't get the opportunity to see, so this trip may have to go on the bucket list. Wonderful hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 26, 2012:

Hi missolive,

Colorado is beautiful as you know. Nice to know you appreciate the links to various places in Colorado in this hub. Appreciate your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 26, 2012:

Hi Mary,

We also visited Colorado in the summertime. You'll have lots more hubs of mine to read if you are seriously planning a trip. That way you will learn of different areas of the state & can either add them to your list or plan other places to visit. Thanks for your visit, vote up + the share.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 26, 2012:

Hi alocsin,

I think that crazy person originally came from California & was only studying in Colorado. I doubt that we can blame it on any state...just his state of mind which is definitely out of whack. So sad!!!

Yes, Colorado is definitely a beautiful state & a great place to visit for all kinds of reasons. Appreciate your comment & votes.

Dianna Mendez on July 26, 2012:

A beautiful tribute to this area and our country. I remember the first thing I loved about Colorado was the clear blue sky. You cannot find it's comparison anywhere else. Loved the mountains, the people and the cuisine. Thanks for the visit here. Voted up.

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on July 26, 2012:

Peggy, your hubs are always so beautiful. I have visited Colorado a few times and I absolutely love it there. Your list of links is very valuable. Thanks for sharing.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on July 26, 2012:

I always enjoy reading your travel Hubs. This one is no exception. I've never been to Colorado, but I'd really like to. I would have to go in the summer months! I listened to your videos; the America, the Beautiful made me think of Kate Jackson's rendition. The younger folks don't remember her, I'm sure.

I had to jump over and read your Hub on the Royal Gorge Bridge.

Thanks for the visit to Colorado. I voted this Hub UP, and will share, too.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on July 25, 2012:

Funny that you should bring Colorado up right after the movie shooting incident, which happened just a few miles away from the Columbine shooting. Maybe it's the altitude?

Despite those incidents, the state looks like a wonderful place to visit, thanks to your photos. Voting this Up and Useful.