The Front Range
Alpine vistas, laid-back mountain towns and Wild West heritage blend seamlessly in Colorado’s Front Range. Occupying the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, this region strikes the perfect balance of outdoor adventure and urban pleasures. Spend your days conquering majestic peaks and then unwind in vibrant cities like Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Boulder.
Home of the Rocky Mountains
The crown jewel of the Front Range is Rocky Mountain National Park. This natural wonderland contains an endless array of outdoor recreation, with 355 miles of trails, 150 lakes and towering peaks as far as the eye can see. Trek a portion of the Continental Divide Trail to reach meadows and waterfalls and keep an eye out for bighorn sheep, mule deer and elk along the way. Bring your tackle box too, as the streams and lakes support four species of trout. The scenic drives are just as rewarding as the waterways, so cruise along Trail Ridge Road or Old Fall River Road to admire Mother Nature from the comfort of your vehicle.
Drop a Line
It’s not just the Rockies that are teeming with fish. The reservoirs and lakes between Fort Collins and Denver are filled with walleye and smallmouth bass. Cast a line from popular spots like Carter Lake, Horsetooth Reservoir and Boyd Lake State Park. If you’re in the Denver metro area, try your luck at Cherry Creek State Park, Chatfield State Park and Standley Lake, or venture into Boulder Creek to catch a bounty of rainbow and brown trout. Watersports are big in this region too, with activities ranging from tame to extreme. Rent a canoe and relax on Lake Estes or get the ultimate adrenaline rush by whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River.
Colorado Springs puts epic mountain adventures within arm’s reach. Just minutes from town is Garden of the Gods, a National Landmark consisting of 1,367 acres overflowing with soaring red rock formations. Cross the dramatic landscape by horseback just as the pioneers did over a century ago or cycle down winding roads to get to pull-offs with the best views.
Pretty Pikes Peak
Make your way south from Colorado Springs to Pikes Peak, the world’s second-most-visited mountain. A popular way to get to the 14,000-foot peak is by hiking Barr Trail. The 26-mile path weaves through rock formations and dense forest before unveiling 360-degree at the top. You can also get to the summit by driving or biking along the Pikes Peak Highway or riding the Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway from Manitou Springs.
Miles of Fun in the Mile-High City
There’s never a dull moment in Denver, thanks to its professional sports teams, premier museums and endless brewpubs. Let your imagination soar at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and view one of the largest collections of Native American art at the Denver Art Museum. You can also dine at gourmet restaurants and hip bars in historic Union Station and sip your way through the Denver Beer Trail. While you’re at it, head to nearby Golden to tour the Coors Brewery, the biggest single-site brewery on the planet. A stone’s throw away is Red Rocks Park, an area famed for its red sandstone outcroppings and natural amphitheater that hosts big music acts.
Festivals of the Front Range
From music and art to rodeos and marathons, you’ll find an event that’s right up your alley. Kick off the summer season with organic food, concerts and a rubber ducky river race at the Boulder Creek Festival. In June, sample craft beer from over 50 breweries at the Colorado Brewers Festival or catch bull riding events and monster truck rallies at the Greeley Stampede. Estes Park hosts a week of parades, live music and races every July during the Rooftop Rodeo. The city is also famous for Elk Fest, with contests and elk-inspired arts and crafts.
Journey Back to Pioneer Days
The 19th-century mining boom brought many people to Pueblo, including legendary characters such as Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill Cody. Get an idea of what life was like in this rough-and-tumble town at the El Pueblo History Museum. The re-created 1840s adobe trading post and the excavation site of the original 1842 El Pueblo trading post will take you back to the Wild West.
For More Information
Colorado Front Range
Colorado Tourism Office