Known collectively as ARP, these public lands flank the Rocky Mountains and its foothills on both sides of the Continental Divide. Topography varies from rolling hills to snow-covered peaks more than 14,000 feet high.
One of the world's largest flat-topped mountain is covered with an incredible 300 stream fed lakes. Lush alpine forests painted with colorful aspens; all just outside the town of Grand Junction.
With more than 1.7 million acres, over 20 13,000-foot-plus mountains (including two 14ers) and a hefty bounty of recreational opportunities, the Gunnison National Forest is Crested Butte’s outdoor playground.
The forest encompasses the San Luis Valley, which is the world's largest agricultural alpine valley, as well as one of the world's largest high deserts located around mountains.
A one of a kind wilderness area consisting of forested mountains, 14,000-foot peaks, scenic roads, geological formations, prehistoric communities and a narrow-gauge railroad.
Located on the slopes of the rolling Uncompahgre Plateau and the southern portion of the rugged slopes of the San Juan Mountains, this region consists of over one million acres with some of the most spectacular views, as well as excellent hiking, climbing, wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities.
Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the 2.3 million acre White River National Forest is one of the largest and most scenic sections of the National Forest System. Home to world-renowned ski resorts and the birthplace of designated Wilderness Areas, the forest has something to offer every outdoor enthusiast.
Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison exposes you to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America.
Colorado National Monument preserves one of the grand landscapes of the American West. But this treasure is much more than a monument. Towering monoliths exist within a vast plateau and canyon panorama. You can experience sheer-walled, red rock canyons along the twists and turns of Rim Rock Drive, where you may spy bighorn sheep and soaring eagles.
Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to 1300.
You’ve got the best of the best here: 415,000 square miles of sky-high peaks (78 above 12,000 feet), wildflower-dotted meadows, and 147 alpine lakes, all reachable via 355 miles of hiking trails and a world-famous scenic road arrowing through its heart.
Where in the country does the city’s mayor also own some of the state’s most popular microbreweries? Well, Denver, of course. Mayor John Hickenlooper was famous for owning Front Range brewpubs long before he got into politics. Denver is the only metropolis in this region and also happens to sit at exactly 5280ft – or 1 mile high (hence its nickname, ‘Mile High City’).
When George Townsend first settled in the valley in 1881, he knew he'd found something special – an exceptional mountain, lined with aspen groves and beautiful vistas that would become a world-renowned destination. In 1972, Vail Resorts continued his vision by purchasing the land and began designing a resort that combined Western hospitality and European charm.
Images from one of the largest ski resorts in the United States. Vail Ski Resort opened on December 15th 1962. Lift tickets were $5 each. There was one gondola, two chairs and nine ski runs.