Although Colorado's official nickname is the "Centennial State," being granted statehood precisely 100 years after the United States was established, its unofficial nickname is "Colorful Colorado.” The state is known for its natural beauty, as not only do the Rocky Mountains run through the western side of the state, but Colorado has 58 mountain peaks over 14,000 feet (which are famously known as 14’ers).
Hiking and trail running
One popular way to enjoy all the beauty of Colorado is to hike its many trails. There are lots of trails to explore near Denver, such as Golden Gate Canyon National Park or the awe-inspiring Flatirons in Boulder, which are only about a 45-minute drive from the city. If you want to drive further north, Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park are approximately an hour and a half from Denver. These hiking destinations provide plenty of trails for hikers of any experience and offer breathtaking views which are rare to find anywhere else. They also provide the best terrain for trail runners starting out or continuing to develop their skills.
Skiing and snowboarding
During the winter, Colorado is a popular destination for snowboarders and skiers due to the various ski lodges with the perfect powder. Close to Denver are places such as Winter Park, which is only around an hour and a half drive, and Loveland, which is a little over an hour. For those of you wanting to spend a luxurious weekend in Aspen away from the city, it's around a three to four-hour drive. No matter if you enjoy hitting the mountains when there's a fresh layer of powder, or the warm ski lodge with a hot beverage in your hand, living in Denver makes these little weekend getaways more accessible and easier to plan.
Denver has quite a few indoor rock climbing facilities, along with many outdoor rock climbing spots. The Flatirons in Boulder are well known to rock climbers everywhere, but there are other places closer to Denver worth visiting, such as Clear Creek Canyon and North Table Mountain in Golden. For anyone new to rock climbing in the area or just outdoor rock climbing in general, rock climbing guides from companies such as Denver Mountain Guiding are an excellent resource to find experts in the area and help keep you safe.
Living so close to the mountains means there are a significant number of camping sites available. In Denver, there is Cherry Creek State Park Campground, and Bear Creek Campground in Lakewood is further to the west. Although not all campgrounds are open year-round due to the weather, plenty of sites are available for reservations, no matter the season. It's best to double-check the rules and availability of the campground before heading out on your next camping adventure.
Visiting the lakes
Less than half an hour outside Denver is the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Morrison, Colorado. Red Rocks Amphitheater has a rich history since its opening in June of 1941, having hosted many festivals, concerts, and even graduation ceremonies. The amphitheater is well known for its fantastic natural acoustics, bringing any event to the next level. Famous artists such as Louis Armstrong, The Grateful Dead, and the Beatles have performed here, and it was even featured in Mumford and Sons’ music video for their song, "I Will Wait." Red Rocks Amphitheater also holds its annual Yoga On The Rocks event throughout the summer.