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From the Rocky Mountains to the Mile High City, Colorado is wonderful for an RV road trip. The Centennial State boasts some of the best mountain climbing opportunities in the US, with 58 summits over 14,000 feet. The state is also one of the best spots in the country for skiing and snowboarding, with 28 winter sports resorts dotted across the Rockies. But Colorado isn't all about the great outdoors — chow down on a sizzling steak, or be brave and sample some Rocky Mountain oysters.
The best of The Centennial State can be found in Northern Colorado. Major cities like the state capital Denver and Fort Collins offer many family-friendly attractions, including Elitch Gardens and the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. You'll also be just a stone's throw from the sublime Rocky Mountain National Park. Or, head further south and pass through the picturesque city of Colorado Springs on your way to climb the country's tallest sand dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park. With such a diverse and breathtaking landscape, an RV rental in Colorado is sure to please you and your crew.
When should you visit Colorado? If you're planning to tour major cities and go hiking, the best time to visit is in the spring, when the temperatures stay in the 60s, and you can partake in events like Denver Day of Rock and St Patrick's Day Festival in Colorado Springs. That being said, if you're looking to hit the ski slopes, you're best off visiting during the winter. Just make sure to book a winter-friendly camper rental before heading out on your vacation.
No trip to Colorado is complete without exploring Rocky Mountain National Park. Encompassing over 250,000 acres of postcard-perfect mountains, lakes, and tundras within the Front Range, this national park is excellent for hiking with over 350 miles of trails to explore. One of the best treks is up to Chasm Lake, which offers stunning panoramas of Long's Peak, the park's tallest mountain. If hiking isn't your thing, spend the day fishing on the Colorado River and keep an eye out for local wildlife, including moose, elk, and bighorn sheep. Campers planning to spend a few days at Rocky Mountain National Park will find several primitive campgrounds across the park. Major cities like Denver and Fort Collins are less than two hours away if you'd prefer to park up at one of the best campgrounds in Colorado.
Tucked away in the state's southwest corner is one of Colorado's most striking parks, Mesa Verde National Park. This park is historically significant as it contains over 600 archeological sites belonging to the Ancestral Puebloans. Some of these homes date back over 700 years and are some of the best examples of Ancestral Pueblo heritage in the US. Take a guided or self-guided tour of the park, which will lead you to the ruins of fascinating cliffside dwellings like Cliff Palace and Long House. If you plan to stay overnight at Mesa Verde National Park, you'll find Morefield Campground, which includes around 15 RV sites with full hookups. Or, drive 35 miles to Durango and park up at one of the city's several campgrounds like United Campground of Durango and Durango North KOA.
Another national park in Southern Colorado worth exploring is Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. While most people wouldn't associate Colorado with desert landscapes, the San Luis Valley features the largest sand dunes in the country, five of which are over 700 feet tall. As well as this 19,000-acre dunefield, the park is also home to lush grasslands and serene alpine lakes. Hike up the dunes, or spend your day sand boarding and sand sledding for a unique and exciting experience. Campers can spend the night at the rural Piñon Flats Campground or drive just outside the park and camp at Grand Sand Dunes Oasis or Zapata Falls Campground.
Mile after mile of open road and stunning views across the state make Colorado one of America's ultimate road trip destinations. Getting around Colorado is easy, with the I-70 and I-25 spanning the width and height of the state, respectively. You'll also find plenty of winding roads that run high up into the mountains, in case you'd prefer an adventure of the beaten path.
Denver boasts many of Colorado's top-rated attractions, and one of the best for families is Elitch Gardens. The largest of its kind in the state, Elitch Gardens features a water park and traditional theme park for all ages to enjoy. Get your adrenaline pumping on one of several roller coasters, or laze poolside under a cabana with your favorite cocktail. In the evenings, stick around for a drive-in movie and catch a fireworks display. Elitch Gardens is located right at the heart of the Mile High City, close to popular campgrounds at Cherry Creek State Park and Chatfield State Park.
Colorado Springs is another great city for families. Campers passing through should swing by Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Situated 6,700 feet up in the Rockies, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the highest zoo in the US. The zoo is home to around 150 animal species, including Amur leopards, giraffes, and western lowland gorillas. Your little ones will love getting up-close with animals at The Loft, preparing a tortoise salad and giving back rubs to chinchillas. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is just 20 minutes from downtown Colorado Springs and several well-equipped campgrounds.
Many people travel to Colorado to spend long days on the ski slopes. There are dozens of ski resorts in Colorado, and among the best is the famed Vail Ski Resort. The largest ski resort in the state and third-largest in the country, Vail Ski Resort covers over 5,300 acres of skiable terrain. If you're not much of a skier, you can book private and group lessons to learn the basics. When you're done on the slopes, relax at the onsite spa, then head into the beautiful town of Vail for a shopping spree. Despite being high up in the mountains, there are a couple of basic campgrounds near Vail like Gore Creek Campground and Gold Park Campground. Denver is also less than two hours away, in case you fancy a day trip.
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