MatD’s Ultimate Colorado Bucket List

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Colorado Bucket list

Colorado is a state known for many things.  The diverse landscape changes from the plains of the Midwest into the Rocky Mountains.  Most of the population lives in the land along the Front Range of the Rockies.  During college, I spent 3 months living and exploring this great state and currently I am living in Fort Collins and using the time to explore.   Here is my Colorado Bucket List.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park – Completed (Summer 2012)

Black Canyon of Gunnison is one of the lesser known parks of the Southwest. Black Canyon is the main feature is its canyon. Like the Grand Canyon, this park is explored from the rim down and was (is being) formed by the Colorado River.   The canyon is named for how the steep canyon wall blocks the light.

Colorado Bucket List

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve – Completed Summer 2012

This national park hates me. It hates me with a passion. I made two trips to Great Sand Dunes National Park and each time something major went wrong. These dunes a spectacular sight at the base of San Cristo Mountains. During the spring and early summer, there is a snow fed spring to enjoy. Hiking in the dunes can be a great challenge and often the most direct route is the often the most difficult route.


Mesa Verde National Park – Completed Summer 2012

The Mesa Verde National Park is one of the only national parks created to protect American heritage (there are other sites in the national park system but they are not national parks).

MatD’s Ultimate Colorado Bucket List


Rocky Mountain National Park (Summer 201o)

Browns Canyon National Monument

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

Chimney Rock National Monument

Colorado National Monument  (Summer 2012)

Dinosaur National Monument

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument  (Summer 2012)

MatD’s Ultimate Colorado Bucket List

An ancient fossilized redwood tree in Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

Hovenweep National Monument

Yucca House National Monument

Arapaho National Recreation Area

Curecanti National Recreation Area  (Summer 2012)

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site (Summer 2015)

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site (Summer 2015)

Drive the road up Pikes Peak  (Summer 2012)

MatD’s Ultimate Colorado Bucket List

The view at the start of the trail down Pikes Peak.

Eat a donut on Pikes Peak  (Summer 2012)

Spend the night at Barr Camp

Run the Pikes Peak Marathon

Hike the Colorado Trail

Go climbing in the Garden of the Gods (Summer 2012)

MatD’s Ultimate Colorado Bucket List

One of the rock I climbed in the Garden of the Gods.

Try all the breweries in Colorado (Working on it one at a time)

Take a brewery tour (Summer 2015)

Visit a Ghost Town

Stand at Four Corners

Go white water rafting down Gore Canyon

Ride the train up Royal Gorge

Whitewater through Royal Gorge (Summer 2012)

MatD’s Ultimate Colorado Bucket List

Whitewater rafting down Royal Gorge at low water level.

Watch a show at Red Rocks (September 2015)

Hike to Hanging Lake in Glenwood Springs (September 2015)

Learn to Ski

Ski down a 14’er

Climb all 53 14’ers (1 of 53)

Mount Elbert 14,433 ft  (Summer 2012)

MatD’s Ultimate Colorado Bucket List

The view from Mount Elbert.

Visit Buffalo Bills grave at the top of Lookout Mountain (Summer 2016)

Bungee Jump off the Royal Gorge Bridge

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Visit the U.S Air Force Academy’s Cadet Chapel

Get as close as possible to NORAD

Visit the National Museum of WWII Aviation Museum

Take a photo of a Mountian Lion

Watch the sunset over the mountains

Steal the 419.99-mile marker on I-70 (Not going to actually steal it but have thought about it since reading about its existence).

What is on your Ultimate Colorado Bucket List?

Be sure to check out my other Ultimate Bucket Lists!

Ulimated Colorado Bucket list


34 thoughts on “MatD’s Ultimate Colorado Bucket List”

  1. Love Love Love Colorado! We loved jeeping out of Silverton though the mountains & passes with our teen grandson for 4 days. 4 corners, Mesa Verde, independence Pass drive, Rocky Mountain National Park, Aspen-John Denver Park, Colorado Springs-Garden of the Gods, Cog Railway to Pikes Peak, Royal Gorge, Seven Falls were all amazing. And we just touched a snippet of what Colorado has to offer! Look forward to returning. We want to go to the Gold Mine that can the seen from the Cog Railway!

  2. This is a great list! I used to live in Colorado Springs, and took my kids to do some of these things. If you are still adding to your list, I would absolutely recommend,
    1) Take an Academy Riding Stables horseback tour through the Garden of the Gods
    2) Take a carriage ride tour of Old Colorado City
    3) Visiting Bishop’s Castle is an absolute must for Colorado explorers
    4) Visit the North Pole on your way up the Pike’s Peak Highway, and ride the world’s highest ferris wheel there
    5) Take the cog railway up Pike’s Peak
    6) Miramount Castle at the foot of Pike’s Peak
    7) Cliff Dwellings in Manatou Springs
    8) The Cave of the Winds
    9) 7 Falls
    10) The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Will Rogers shrine on Cheyenne Mountain (It is the highest zoo in the world, and also might be the closest you can get to NORAD, since it is on Cheyenne Mountain)
    11) Take a train ride and tour a gold mine in Cripple Creek, and maybe visit a casino there

  3. I haven’t been to Colorado but this list really makes me want to go! Your photos are stunning and there is so much to do and see. I’d love to go hiking the Colorado Trail and visit Pikes Peak too (maybe not a marathon though!) Thanks for the inspiration

    1. Yea. From meeting other travelers, 90% of the international who have been to the USA have been to one of three places, Florida, New York, and/or California. Hopefully, I can encourage a few more people to visit some of the other 47 states.

  4. Surprisingly Colorado is one of the few states I haven’t visited yet, even though we used to live on the West Coast and had so many chances to go! But everyone I talk with that has gone has said it’s one of their favorite states to visit!

  5. Great list! We went to Colorado a couple times this year and loved it. One of my favorite things was the Great Sand Dunes! I’ll have to save this list for our next visit–lots of fun ideas!

  6. Colorado is such a beautiful state. I love the Rockies! I would love to ski Colorado! Taking an idea from your list (if I may ;), getting a photo of a mountain lion in the wild would be awesome!

  7. I don’t live in Colorado but have visited many times. I’m going to add some of the places on your bucket list to my own, especially the national monuments.

  8. Wow, it looks like you have already had some amazing adventures within Colorado! I don’t think there will be an inch of Colorado you haven’t explored by the time you’re done this list, super excited for you! ^_^

    1. There are plenty of things that I will have missed once I complete this list but I can’t wait to see as much as I can of the state.

  9. Whoa, big list! Looking forward to seeing you tick off the boxes! be interesting to see how close you get to NORAD 🙂

  10. Cool bucket list! I honestly don’t know much about Colorado, but your list and the amazing photos have certainly intrigued me! What beautiful landscape!

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