Western Colorado Is Full Of Outdoor Adventure

Family Hike

Guide Your Family And Friends In Western Colorado

Towering peaks, world-class mountain biking, whitewater rafting, camping, rock climbing, four-wheeling, hunting, fishing, hot springs… Far from the hustle, bustle, and traffic of Denver, Western Colorado has every outdoor adventure you can imagine. Places like Durango, Telluride, Ouray, Grand Junction, Fruita, Crested Butte, and my home, Carbondale, offer endless opportunities for exploration.

Those of us who live in this part of the state consider anything west of Vail to be “true” western Colorado. Here, I-70 traffic dissipates, giving way to fewer crowds and countless charming rural communities that offer the gateway to more remote adventure opportunities. I live three hours west of Denver in Carbondale, a small, rustic-yet-hip town which sits in the shadow of iconic Mt. Sopris and at the confluence of the Gold Medal Crystal and Roaring Fork rivers. On any given summer day, I can relax at an alpine lake, summit a thirteen- or fourteen-thousand-foot peak, paddle a raft or SUP board, or mountain bike through an aspen forest. Snowmass Ski Resort offers fun summer activities like scenic gondola tours, an alpine slide, and downhill mountain biking. We’re famous for hair-raising Independence Pass and the oft-photographed Maroon Bells, but the Roaring Fork Valley offers far more than that. For those new to the area or to an activity like rock climbing, mountaineering, or river rafting, local guides offer expertise to help visitors safely experience these activities. After a long day of outdoor adventure, Carbondale and the surrounding communities of Glenwood Springs, Basalt, and Aspen also boast an enormous variety of breweries and restaurants. I love the laid-back vibe and easily-accessible fun literally right outside my door.  

Colorado Adventure

Hiking, Camping, Biking, 4×4, Backcountry, Climbing, Colorado Has It all

Despite the number of outdoor opportunities available right here in the Roaring Fork Valley, I often travel to other western Colorado towns for adventures. A drive south takes me to the organic farms and vineyards of Paonia and then on to the mountain biking meccas of Gunnison and Crested Butte. From there, I can continue to the San Juan Mountains for epic camping, hiking, and backpacking. The San Juans are accessed through iconic mountain towns like Ouray – known as “the Switzerland of America” – Telluride, Durango, and high-altitude gem Silverton.

If I head west, I follow the Colorado River to the Grand Valley, which includes the orchards and vineyards of Palisade and the desert towns of Grand Junction and Fruita. A day in the Grand Valley can include everything from wine tasting by bike, mountain biking, four-wheeling, river rafting, hiking, and rock climbing. Fruita has become one of Colorado’s favorite mountain biking destinations, and the trails here rival those in Moab. I could never cross the Continental Divide again and have a lifetime of adventures. 

Colorado Biking

Use GuideGap And Have Your Greatest Colorado Adventure

So many options and so little time! What’s a visitor with a limited amount of time to do? I have lived in Colorado my entire life and have had the opportunity to explore all the best places to play. Even so, it’s insider information from locals that helped me find the most stunning hiking trails, out-of-the-way campsites, and awesome breweries or the best pizza. Fortunately, there are local guides who can provide these kinds of tips to people new to the area. Why spend time pouring over maps and scrolling through endless blogs and travel sites, when you could have a and Outdoor Adventure Trip Plan designed around exactly what you want to do? Favorite locals hike in Aspen? Smuggler Mountain. Best mountain biking in Gunnison? Hartman Rocks. Yummiest pizza in Fruita? Hot Tomato. Whatever you’re looking for, Guide Gap will create a trip plan just for you. From climbing to camping, hiking to four-wheeling, Guide Gap Adventure Trip Plans offer the convenience of personalized recommendations, giving visitors the confidence to explore all western Colorado has to offer… like a local.  

Show Outdoor Adventure

About The Author:  Shaina

Shaina Maytum is a writer, educator, and adventurer living on Colorado’s Front Range. She loves exploring the wilderness of the American West, but never forgets that these special places need protecting. Shaina strives – through writing, education, and advocacy – to make sure future generations of humans and animals will also be able to sleep under silent, starry skies. Read more of her work at shainamaytum.com

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