Even as the snow melts and we unbuckle our boots and boards, adventure flows throughout Colorado in anticipation of spring. Increased daylight, moderate temperatures, and the beginnings of vibrant wildflowers make Colorado an ideal destination for your spring road trip—thrill seeker or scenic explorer alike.
Not sure where to start? We’ve compiled five of our state’s best spring locations and experiences to get you started.
Pan for History in Idaho Springs
With easy access off I-70, Idaho Springs is the perfect place for a quick day or weekend trip from Denver. This Mountain Town originated in 1859 with the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush and has several opportunities to experience the area’s rich history.
From Idaho Springs, you can also easily access the Mount Evans Highway—the highest paved road in North America. Beginning Memorial Day, visitors can experience breathtaking scenery, as the road winds through an alpine wonderland, mountain reservoirs, and eventually overtakes the clouds—all on the way to the 14,000+ foot summit. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including mountain goats!
Soar into a Buena Vista Adventure
Located in Chaffee County, Buena Vista is an excellent spring destination. You’ll find the beautiful 14,000-foot peaks of the Sawatch Range to the west and the Arkansas River in the valley below. The small towns of Salida, Poncha Springs, and Buena Vista offer plenty of places to stay, shop, dine and connect with the locals.
For exciting spring outdoor experiences, check out hiking, biking, or golf. In the wake of snowmelt, the spring is an amazing time to raft mild to wild rapids with opportunities for the entire family to have a blast on the water. If you prefer to stay dry, experience the outdoors with a zipline or Via Ferrata adventure.
And after whatever outdoor adventure you choose, don’t forget to relax in the local hot springs!
Steer your Adventure at Pike’s Peak
Like Mount Evans, Pikes Peak is another Colorado 14er that you can experience via car or van. The Pikes Peak Highway is located just 15 miles from Colorado Springs and offers ample opportunities for scenic stops, photography, and short hikes. On the way up, you can also trout fish at the North Slope Recreation Area—just don’t forget to purchase a fishing license before arriving!
The summit provides stunning views, and if you visit on a clear day, you can even see into Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Kansas. There is also a visitor center at the top with immersive exhibits, as well as indoor and outdoor dining options.
Pikes Peak Highway is open year-round but be sure to check if you need a reservation.
If you’re feeling adventurous and ready for a challenge, embark on the 13.5-mile hike up to the 14er! With a 7,400 feet elevation gain, make sure you are equipped for the intensity and altitude of the hike. Access more information, as well as how to best prepare for the hike here.
Sky’s the Limit at The Great Sand Dunes National Park
At the Great Sand Dunes National Park, visit the tallest sand dunes in North America, as well as explore grasslands, wetlands, forests, alpine lakes, and tundra. The spring is the best time to witness the Sandhill Crane Migration in and around the park, as the cranes flock to the San Luis Valley from February to March.
The park has also been designated as an International Dark Sky Park. Due to its lack of light pollution and high elevation, its exceptionally dark skies allow for an amazing star gazing experience. Tune out the rest of the world and allow your senses to fill with the sounds of the forest, wetlands, and the animals that inhabit this protected space.
Telluride’s downtown boasts charming galleries and shops, a gondola, and a variety of recreation activities at the Mountain Village. Despite its small-town feel, Telluride also hosts a plethora of concerts and festivals, with something for everyone’s tastes.
With so many exciting and beautiful destinations, it’s time to pack up the car or van and hit the road! Whether you’re looking to explore, relax, or simply escape the winter blues, a spring road trip across Colorado has several destinations for you to enjoy. MileMarker Van Rentals has a fleet of 10-15 passenger sprinter and transit vans for you and your family to experience Colorado in style and comfort. If you’re looking for even more inspiration, check out some of our other favorite destinations to see where a MileMarker van can take you today!
About the Author
Tiffany is a contributing member of the Sales & Marketing department. She resides in Georgetown, CO with her fiancé and two 14-year-old dogs. They like to go for walks along Clear Creek and Georgetown Lake as well as the hiking trail located just behind the house. She also enjoys true crime podcasts and visiting with her parents up in Fort Collins.
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