ABOUT COLORADOColorado is a U.S. state that encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. Colorado is part of the Western United States, the Mountain States, and the Southwestern United States. The origins of Colorado's name come from the Spanish language, when the Spanish first called the area "Colorado" because of its red colored earth. The translation of "red colored" was Colorado.
Colorado Springs is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and most populous city of El Paso County, Colorado, United States. It is situated on Fountain Creek and is located just east of the geographic center of the state and 61 miles (98 km) south of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. At 6,035 feet the city sits over one mile above sea level, though some areas of the city are significantly higher.
The Shawnee National Forest, located in the Ozark and Shawnee hills of Southern Illinois, consists of approximately 280,000 acres (1,100 km²) of federally managed lands. In descending order of land area it is located in parts of Pope, Jackson, Union, Hardin, Alexander, Saline, Gallatin, Johnson, and Massac counties. Forest headquarters are located in Harrisburg, Illinois. There are local ranger district offices in Jonesboro and Vienna.
The Royal Gorge Bridge is a tourist attraction near Cañon City, Colorado, within a 360-acre (150 ha) theme park. The bridge deck hangs 955 feet (291 m) above the Arkansas River, and held the record of highest bridge in the world from 1929 until 2003, when it was surpassed by a bridge in China. It is a suspension bridge with a main span of 938 feet (286 m). The bridge is 1,260 feet (384 m) long and 18 feet (5.5 m) wide, with a wooden walkway with 1292 planks.
Festivals and Events
Bike From Durango to Moab
Connect the dots (six spare but well-outfitted huts spaced approximately 35 miles/56 kilometers apart) on a weeklong mountain bike expedition that starts in the jagged San Juan Mountains and ends in Moab. Harder and more isolated than its twin, the venerable Telluride-Moab ride, the 215-mile (346-kilometer) Durango-Moab route presents navigational and bike-handling challenges and a sense of unfettered freedom."
The Leadville Trail 100
Leadville was always the epicenter of the core endurance mountain biking race scene, but when Lance Armstrong started competing—and winning—the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race, a hundred-mile (161-kilometer), high-altitude sufferfest, it became the showcase race of mountain biking pain. The course is so hard that even the mighty Armstrong was humbled the first time he raced it (in 2008), when Colorado local and six-time champion Dave Wiens beat him by two minutes."
Ski Scar Face
The Scar Face run is notorious among skiers at Silverton Mountain and that’s saying something as the whole mountain is geared up for only the most skilled and courageous skiers. Such is its reputation for difficulty that fewer than ten skiers a year even attempt it, with locals stating that ‘Scar Face’ is a prediction rather than a description. Interested? Well, we certainly were, that’s the sort of challenge we can’t resist."
Backcountry Ski the 10th Mountain Division Huts
Colorado’s 10th Mountain Division Huts are the fruits of one man’s crazy idea: Fritz Benedict, a 10th Mountain Division soldier who fought in World War II and an Aspen architect, dreamed of setting up a system of winter huts to rival the Alps’ Haute Route. The results arguably outdid the Europeans at their own game. Today, the system, located on the division’s former training grounds between Aspen, Vail, and Leadville, is 14 huts strong and connects to another 17 in the area. Linked with 300-plus miles (483-plus kilometers) of skiable routes, it’s the largest system of its kind on the continent."
Ski Silverton Mountain
If the Wild West is still alive, it’s no more obvious than at Silverton Mountain. This scruffy mom-and-pop ski area is the country’s premier antiresort. The low-speed, two-person chairlift, the old laundry trucks they use as shuttles, and the wood-stove-heated base yurt are your first clues as to the owners’ no-nonsense philosophy: It’s all about the skiing. And skiing there is."
The TransRockies six-day stage race from Buena Vista to Beaver Creek is the most spectacular and difficult trail run in the country. For pros, there’s a purse ($20K). For the rest of us, there’s a boast-worthy vacation: 113 miles (182 kilometers) and 18,000 feet (5,486 meters) of elevation gain, all above 7,500 feet (2,286 meters) amid grandiose ruggedness."
The Diamond on Longs Peak
In general, Colorado’s famed fourteeners—the state’s 54 peaks over 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) tall—are pretty easy to climb. This makes the east face of 14,259-foot (4,346-meter) Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, which serves up the biggest buffet of multipitch, big-wall routes this side of Yosemite, even more of a prize. The east face’s sheer, 2,000-foot-high (609-meter-high) Diamond is a true, big mountain adventure that requires confidence in climbing 5.10 rock and the guts to sleep out in a portaledge."
Mountain bike the Kokopelli Trail
Moab, Utah, and Fruita, Colorado, are some of the West’s great mountain bike meccas, so it’s no surprise that the backcountry route that connects them—the Kokopelli Trail—is a stunner, too. The trail winds by some of the Southwest’s classic landscapes, from red-rock desert dotted with sage and juniper to the alpine meadows and ponderosa stands of the La Sal Mountains.