Top 5 Colorado Excursions


One of the best parts about Colorado is that even in the deepest parts of the concrete jungle, you’re never that far away from an adventure, be it a wilderness escapade or an exciting in-town activity. Check out these 5 Colorado excursions that can be easily accessed from the greater metropolitan areas of Colorado.

If you’re traveling through Colorado during spring, summer, or fall, don’t miss the stunning Arkansas River. It’s a world-class whitewater rafting destination and blue-ribbon trout stream with spectacular scenery to boot. The Arkansas offers whitewater ranging from class I to Class V and offers an option for every type of group. The Ark is predominantly a brown-trout fishery, which means anglers should focus their efforts toward calmer stretches of water. However, take to the river on a day when the water temps are lower than normal and you could very well hook into a rainbow.

Between Buena Vista and Canon City, the Arkansas boasts a relatively steep riverbed gradient which, as you can guess, equals rapids, and lots of ‘em! Just south of Buena Vista, the river flows through Browns Canyon National Monument, renowned for its Class III pool-drop whitewater.

Further downstream, one can find themselves floating through Bighorn Sheep Canyon with intermittent rapids. If you make it all the way to Parkdale, you will enter the rip-roarin’ Royal Gorge whitewater rafting section, where things really get western.

To help plan your trip, check out Arkansas River Tours in Canon City. They offer trips ranging from half-day scenic floats to three-day whitewater extravaganzas!

Mesa Verde National Park

2. Mesa Verde National Park

Tucked in the southwest corner of the state lies a piece of ground offering a lens into the past. At Mesa Verde National Park, nearly 5,000 archeological sites have been preserved from the Ancestral Pueblo people that lived there over 700 years ago. Experience the rich history on a guided tour or seminar.

To take the Cliff Dwelling Tour, plan your trip between May 1 and October 22, and book your ticket in advance. If you’re more of the self-guided type, Mesa Verde offers 30 miles of trail to explore all on your own. The park is open year-round with peak season occurring mid-summer.

Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado excursion

3. Rocky Mountain National Park

Outside of Denver, northwest of the mountain town of Boulder is one of the country’s most popular national parks. Rocky Mountain National Park is open year-round, but due to its high altitude and mountainous terrain, summer is one of the best times to visit. From incredible peaks to shimmering alpine lakes and over 300 miles of trail to explore in, there’s no shortage of things to do.

Most visitors plan their trips between May and October, and it’s easy to see why. In this timeframe, visitors can expect warm weather (watch out for thunderstorms), brilliant wildflowers, and dry trails. If you plan to camp, make sure to make your reservation well ahead of time. For anglers out there, a fishing license is required, both in and out of the park.

Brekenridge Ski Resort

4. Breckenridge & Breckenridge Mountain

So far, this post has been geared mostly toward the summer traveler, but what about those of us who like to adventure in the winter? Fret not, cold-weather companions, we’ve got one to add to your list. Many of you have heard of Breckenridge, both the town and the resort, but if you haven’t been for yourself, consider next Christmas booked for these Winter Colorado excursions.

With 35 lifts, over 2,900 acres, and a summit that stacks up to nearly 13,000 feet, Breck is a skier’s paradise. High-speed adrenaline, not your thing? Take a scenic gondola tour, rent some snowshoes, and explore a local trail. The town itself boasts a rich mining history and there’s no better way to learn about it than visiting a museum.

Simply walking through downtown can be just as enjoyable as snowboarding down 4 O’Clock—Brek’s longest trail at 3.5 miles. The resort has so many shops and eateries that you could spend all day gift shopping and hop to and from restaurants without ever getting bored. Exhausted already? Well, get those lungs working because the resort sits at 9,600 feet. That’s right when people call Brek a mountain-town, it’s no stretch of the imagination.

Brewery bus tour in Colorado

5. Brewery Bus Tour

Sometimes, it’s nice to add a little buzz to your vacation. The Colorado Brewery Bus is a great way to experience it, safe and responsible no less! The bus is located in Denver, and hosts tours Thursday-Sunday. On Thursday and Friday, it will take you to four Denver breweries. Saturday, the wagon hits the trail for Boulder and Longmont. On Sunday, the tour goes all the way to Fort Collins for a three-brewery tour. Sample local ales and bring some home with you, all while having a great time on the road.

We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Colorado and that you’ve found a few Colorado excursions that can be added to your trip itinerary. Arkansas River Tours is your premier Colorado whitewater rafting outfitter. Book your Colorado excursion online today!