Colorado is full of wonderful surprises. Whether you’re here for the winter sports, the ~300 days of sun, or the outdoor lifestyle, Colorado has a secret for you that you haven’t explored yet. These hidden gems in Colorado are a must-visit for locals and tourists alike, and range from hikes and drives to hot springs and castles. We’re so thankful to live in a place that holds such a variety of experiences and forms of natural beauty.
About an hour’s drive from Denver, St. Mary’s Glacier is an approximately 1.5 mile hike with panoramic views. You’ll find snow above the lake year-round, which is why this hike is perfect for hot summer days. Pack a picnic and your hiking shoes so that you’re ready to take in the beauty. Note that there is a $5 permit fee to park in the lots and parking on the roads is prohibited.
The Tank Center for Sonic Arts in a must-visit for any musician, vocalist, or anyone fascinated by sound. In the remote Rangely, Colorado, a deserted, empty water tank was converted into a space for sound artists after the sound artist Bruce Odland discovered the amazing acoustic qualities, such as reverbs that last for up to twenty-five seconds.
One of our staff members took a trip to the Tank and wrote all about the experience, including some of the fascinating history behind this over 70-year-old tank.
The Tank – Photo by Taryn Talley
If you haven’t been to the Sand Dunes, welcome to a a place in Colorado you never knew existed. The tallest dunes in North America are located approximately a 3 hour’s drive south of Colorado Springs. You can go hiking, fat tire biking, and even sandboarding and sand sledding on the sand dunes, the tallest of which is 750 ft high. Make sure to check the weather before you go – storms can blow the sand, cause major damage to vehicles and pose a safety threat.
Hanging Lake is a one of a kind lake, waterfall, and rare travertine geological formation located in Glenwood Canyon. The picturesque lake is a 2.4 mile hike round-trip, and is considered a moderate to difficult hike. Starting May 1st, 2019, a reservation and permit ($12 per person) is required. Be sure to check the details here before you plan your trip, but don’t let the travel details stop you from experiencing one of the most amazing sights in Colorado.
If the well-known Glenwood Hot Springs is too touristy for you, try making the trek to the gorgeous Conundrum Hot Springs. With an 8.5 mile hike one way, this adventure is not for the faint of heart. At the top, which sits at 11,200 ft in elevation, you’ll be rewarded with two hot springs pools to relax in and Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness as a backdrop.
Located along the Colorado and Utah border, Dinosaur National Monument is a scenic and historical experience. As the name implies, you can see Dinosaur Fossils at the Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall on the Utah side, which displays about 1,500 bones. If you want to enjoy the beautiful views or adventure, stay on the Colorado side where there’s river rafting, camping, hiking, and more.
Dinosaur National Monument – Photos by Taryn Talley
Up for some off-roading? Last Dollar Road winds from Telluride to Ridgway and passes some of the best views that Colorado has to offer. The drive encompasses a variety of sights from a picturesque view of Wilson Peak to grassy fields with wildflowers to aspen-filled forests. Check the weather and the conditions of your car before your trip, as the dirt road can become impassible after a heavy storm.