With Colorado’s sun-soaked skies, snow-capped peaks and seemingly endless emerald-green forests, it’s no wonder that a 55-foot Engelmann Spruce was the official 2020 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, harvested from the Grand Mesa Uncompahgre Gunnison National Forest.
"Experience Your Nature" firsthand by adventuring through all of the special places the tree visited across Colorado before it made its 2,000-mile expedition to the U.S. Capitol.
Get out in front of backcountry danger this winter, and keep safety top-of-mind! Seek education and training prior to heading out, or utilize a professional guide or a seasoned mentor to explore Colorado's backcountry. Find more ways to get informed and stay safe in Colorado.
Wildfires, invasive insects and park overuse have left millions of acres of public lands in urgent need of restoration — and your gift will help to plant trees, restore watersheds and protect crucial habitats. Donate to the National Forest Foundation.
At 365 feet, Bridal Veil Falls is the longest free falling waterfall in Colorado. Perched atop the falls is an old hydroelectric power station, which was the first of its kind back in its heyday.
Looking for a true backcountry riding experience? Norwood offers seemingly endless opportunities for fat biking on Wright's Mesa, with top-notch trails on the Lone Cone Mountain and in Beaver Park.
Take a delicious bite of Americana with dishes like chicken-fried steak and The Standard hamburger.
Norwood was western Colorado’s first International Dark-Sky Community, making it one of only 28 Dark-Sky Communities around the world. Colorado has since snagged several more dark-sky designations.
Head from Norwood to Montrose bright and early to get started on the day’s adventures.
The Grand Mesa, one of the world’s largest flat-topped mountains, is a snowmobiler’s paradise. Stretching an impressive 123 miles, Sunlight to Powderhorn Trail — SP for short — is one of the longest snowmobile trails in the contiguous United States. A few words of caution: Don’t skimp on supplies for a long ride like this one, and stay off of the blue paths marked for cross-country skiers only.
Get your Gear: Stop by 970 Sports Rewind in Montrose to grab a pair of snowshoes. The folks there will help you be on your way!
Make the 45-minute drive from Montrose to Ouray.
Ouray County’s hot springs are free of sulfur, the element that’s responsible for that “rotten egg” smell that you may encounter at other hot springs. The area has its water mineral content and local geology to thank for this phenomenon.
At Orvis Hot Springs, all massages are performed in elegant yurts, which are modern adaptations of the ancient shelter used by Central Asian nomads for centuries.
Stop by Mouse’s Chocolate and Coffee after dinner to give your taste buds a little lovin’ with their one-of-a-kind coffee toffee.
The Grand Mesa is the largest flattop mountain in the world, encompassing more than 500 square miles and standing over 10,000 feet above sea level — offering one of the world's most unique ski experiences. Make sure to book a guide if this is your first time in the backcountry. The Grand Mesa Nordic Council offers lessons and clinics to get you on your way!
Head north for an hour and a half from Ridgway to Grand Junction.
Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean you can’t tee off. Redlands Mesa has breathtaking views of the Colorado National Monument accompanied by rolling terrain and fresh mountain air.
Josh Niernberg, chef and owner of Bin707 Foodbar, was a 2020 James Beard Award semifinalist. Don’t know what that is? It’s basically the Oscars for restaurants and culinary visionaries.
The Grand Mesa byway leads through old-growth forests, aspens, meadows and so many lakes you'll lose track. Plus, the largest flat-topped mountain in the world waits for you to discover its intricacies.
Before you head out of town, be sure to stop by the Loki Outdoor Shop to complete your holiday shopping. This Colorado-grown business has a wide range of all-in-one outdoor apparel that’ll keep you and your loved ones warm this season.
Take in the incredible views of the snowy canyon that the Oak Flat Loop and Rim Rock trails offer. Snowshoeing is also encouraged in any part of the canyon's rim; however, going into the inner canyon is not recommended.
There are plenty of ciders across Big B’s product line that have won awards, but their Bourbon Barrel Aged Pommeau is the true winner in our eyes. Their spiced cider, the Saison Grand Cru also comes as a close second.
Head east for the 3-hour drive from Paonia to Salida.
The Biker and the Baker is one of Salida’s culinary gems. Walk in and you’ll receive a big mountain welcome and an intimate table. Here, the wine flows as freely as conversation and the desserts are a must-have, with cake flavors such as rocky road and whiskey-almond-soaked vanilla on rotation.
Colorado's Collegiate Peaks byway could be called "the Avenue of Fourteeners." Along its entire length, the Collegiate Peaks continuously rise above the 14,000-foot mark and include such summits as Mount Princeton, Mount Yale and Mount Harvard. In fact, it’s the highest concentration of 14,000-plus-foot peaks in the United States.
Make the drive into Denver for your second-to-last stop of the trip.
This annual event brings authentic German and European holiday traditions to Denver!
Night Lights Denver is a permanent way for The Denver Theatre District to support innovative artists with an experimental platform while attracting people downtown to experience a free, unique experience.
Sip tea topped with Devonshire cream, shipped directly from England while listening to the soft sounds of the grand piano float through our eight-story atrium.
The last leg of the journey takes you east from Denver to Burlington.
From cooking classes to paint and wine nights, the Claremont Inn has everything you might need to celebrate your last night on this holiday tour.