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When including time at a canyon in Colorado, travelers will find themselves surrounded by dramatic scenery that invites exploration. These deep, yawning canyons stand in contrast to the high mountain peaks, which together form the hallmark Colorado landscape travelers come from around the world to enjoy.
Those who enjoy the dramatic views afforded by canyons in Colorado will savor visits to these natural wonders. Whether travelers want high adventure, a few moments to snap a photograph, or an experience somewhere in the middle, they will find the perfect backdrop to their vacation.
Sure to take your breath away, the Colorado National Monument preserves one of the most iconic slices of the Western landscape found in America. Located in Fruita, just outside Grand Junction, this western Colorado wonder preserves 32 square miles filled with deep canyons, steep cliffs, bighorn sheep, a winding river, and other dramatic landscapes.
Hiking is a popular activity at this Colorado canyon, as is camping, wildlife watching, and rock climbing. In the summer, park rangers lead guided walks and interpretive programs. Meandering for 23 miles, the Rim Rock Drive is truly the scenic route. Frequent overlooks encourage passengers to step outside and take in the vistas of the sheer-walled canyons and the Colorado River. The nearby McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area protects several canyons in Colorado, including Black Ridge Canyons and Ruby Canyon. These public lands are a haven for outdoor recreation and wildlife watching.
Grand Junction is located in the heart of Colorado wine country; the canyon air and fresh water produces a microclimate perfectly suited to growing premium vitis vinifera varietals, especially Merlot. Many of these small wineries welcome visitors for tours, tastings, and special events.
Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park, is one of the steepest and most rugged canyons in Colorado. Named for the volcanic rocks and relative lack of sunlight, this landscape offers some of the most challenging climbing anywhere. Not every activity requires nerves of steel; the list of things to do includes hiking, camping, horseback riding, camping, and fishing.
Between Loveland and Estes Park, northwest of Denver, Big Thompson Canyon is known for its rugged beauty. The Big Thompson River cuts through scenic Colorado canyon, and its rapids are some of the favorites for white-water rafting. An array of cabins, cottages, and campgrounds are located in the canyon, providing a scenic place spend the night. Many people who visit this canyon in Colorado make the short trip to Rocky Mountains National Park.
Another scenic canyon is found in the northern quadrant of the state. Poudre Canyon, just outside Fort Collins, is surrounded by the Roosevelt National Forest. Whether visitors are staying in one of the resorts or just visiting for the day, they'll find a picturesque place to explore. Two towns located in this canyon in Colorado, Red Feather Lakes and LaPorte, offer an array of visitor amenities, including shopping, lodging, and restaurants.
One of Denver's most visited attractions is nestled in Red Rock Canyon. Red Rocks Amphitheater and Park is known for its concerts as much as for the scenic setting. This Colorado canyon also is home to a visitor center filled with intriguing exhibits and challenging hiking trails.
No matter which of the canyons you choose to explore, you will be inspired by the scenic settings. As you're enjoying outdoor adventure, spending time in one of the cities, or simply relaxing, keep your cameras handy. The photos will look fantastic long after the vacation has become a happy memory.
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