WE KNOW THAT EVERY SEASON IN COLORADO IS SPECIAL, BUT WE LOVE SUMMER, ESPECIALLY FOR WATER SPORTS AS THE RIVERS AND LAKES HAVE WARMED UP TO THE POINT WHERE YOU DON’T ALWAYS NEED A WETSUIT! THIS BUCKET LIST MAY BE MISSING FESTIVALS BUT IT IS PACKED WITH ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTIONS THAT ENSURE WE ALL HAVE THE BEST COLORADO SUMMER WE CAN
1 CRUISE OVER COTTONWOOD
The newly-paved Cottonwood Pass from Buena Vista to Taylor Reservoir is arguably one of Colorado’s most scenic drives. Closed for two and a half years, the pass reopened in May. Reaching 12,126 feet on the Continental Divide, the views from up there are nothing short of spectacular. Stay for sunset if you can.
2 FORAGE FOR FUNGI
With so much topological diversity in Colorado, it’s no surprise there is a thriving community of mushroom hunters. While there can be some secrecy around prime locations, there are several Facebook groups with plenty of helpful and encouraging mycologists! The Colorado Mycological Society on Facebook is a good place to start.
3 CHECK INTO A NEW HOTEL
Grand Junction has a new hotel! Hotel Maverick, which is located on the Colorado Mesa University campus, has beautiful rooms with very clean lines, as well as a restaurant and coffee shop. The teaching hotel also has bikes so guests can cruise around town.
4 HEAD BACK TO THE SKI RESORTS
Many of the major resorts have announced tentative opening dates, and while there may well be some restrictions as well as other common sense measures in place, summer can finally get underway with mountain biking and everything else you expect from a Colorado ski resort in summer.
5 49TH MOUNTAIN FAIR
With a history stretching back almost half a century, Mountain Fair in Carbondale will look a little different this July. Instead of its usual festival-style format, the event will take music and art to neighborhoods across town on a touring flatbed truck, plus there will be a live stream Saturday night concert from Steve’s Guitars. The festival takes place from July 24 - 26.
6 DON’T PASS THROUGH THE VAIL
One of the world’s most famous ski towns, Vail comes with a reputation for opulence, which there certainly is if that’s what you want, but there is so much more to it than that. Find out exactly what on page 32.
7. FUNKY TOWN
Little La Veta is tucked away down in Huerfano County between Trinidad and Alamosa. Oozing charm, La Veta is a fabulous place for a couple of days of small-town relaxation. Read more about the 24 hours we spent there on page 38.
7 WIN A TRIP!
Enter our competition to win a trip for two to Vail which includes accommodation, meals and activities. Read our cover story for some inspiration. Details on how to enter are on page 34 of the magazine!
8 SHAKE UP A COCKTAIL
Summer demands chilled libations, and we have got exactly that. We once again picked out a few of our amazing distillers and shook up a few cocktails - some classic and some creative. See which ones on page 48.
9 VIVA VIA FERRATA
As if little Ouray didn’t have enough going for it already with the awesome Perimeter Trail, the hot springs, the world’s foremost ice climbing festival and oodles of charm, it now has the world’s best via ferrata! Check it out on page 7.
10 TEE OFF
Mark Twain was apparently not a fan of golf, allegedly calling it a good walk spoiled, but to each their own! Golf courses are open across the state if you want a stroll in the sun. See page 24 for more info.
11 GRILL LIKE A PRO
Summer means al fresco eating, but it doesn’t mean throwing just anything on a grill. See page 42 for some ideas on how to elevate your barbecue game this summer.
12 ADMIRE OUTDOOR ART
Art is great because no matter what you like, there is something for you whether you’re into massive murals or serene sculptures. On page 68, we’ve rounded up a few great outdoor art pieces across west of 105.
13 RIDE THE RAPIDS
Colorado is the best place in the country for whiteknuckling river rapids. The Arkansas River is the most heavily trafficked river in the country, but there are so many more spots across the state with something for everyone. See page 20 for details.
14 GET YOUR VEGGIE FIX
Chef Eliza Gavin of 221 South Oak in Telluride has just released a new cook book. “Hold the Meat” has hundreds of vegetarian and vegan recipes that will make meatless Mondays (and any other day you care to forgo meat) much more delicious. More details on page 53.
15 SEE FIELDS OF LAVENDER
Visit one of our state’s several lavender farms and pick up some fabulously fragrant edibles, lotions, tinctures and all manner of other scented products. More details on page 66.
16 EXPLORE THE BLACK
One of our four national parks, Black Canyon of the Gunnison is as spectacular as it is deep - and it’s deep. Get the lowdown on what you can expect from a summer trip to the park. More on page 16.
17 FUSE BIKING AND RAFTING
One of the only operators to run bikerafting tours in Colorado, Four Corners Guides in Mancos also offer bikepacking and packrafting tours. See New and Noteworthy on page six for more details.
18 SHRED THE TRAILS
Summer means mountain biking, and there are tons of trails all over the state, from rough and ready and hard to access to somewhat manicured runs accessed by gondolas. Need a new bike? Check out a couple we recently put through the paces on page 10.
19 BUY LOCAL
We have a ton of awesome food producers here in Colorado including the worlds best peaches and world famous lamb. And the best place to get your hands on nature’s bounty is at your local farmers’ market. Check out eight of our favorites on page 63.
20 BE COLORADO READY
And finally, while we are all out enjoying our new found freedom, let’s all be sure to take care of the place we all love by following the Colorado Tourism Office’s guidelines. See page 74 for how to be Colorado Ready!