10 Only-in-Colorado Things to Add to Your Bucket List

Make your New Year's resolution to explore the Mile High state

Make your New Year's resolution this year to explore and travel more. Whether you live in Colorado or you're planning a visit, the Mile High state has plenty of adventure to add to your must-do list. 

Add these things to your Colorado bucket list this year. 

  • 01 of 10

    Visit the sand dunes.

    Great Sand Dunes in Colorado
    Glenn Oakley/Aurora/Getty Images

    Colorado's sand dunes are totally surreal. Add to the weirdness and stop at the nearby UFO Watchtower (with a 360-degree view of the San Luis Valley) and the alligator farm, the Colorado Gators Reptile Park, where you can wrestle an alligator. The gators live in Alamosa's geothermal waters. 

  • 02 of 10

    Climb a Fourteener.

    Longs Peak
    Getty Images/Ronda Kimbrow Photography

    A fourteener is a mountain that reaches more than 14,000 feet in elevation, and Colorado is home to 54 of them. Some, like Long's Peak, might not be the best to start on, especially if you're from sea level. Instead, try an "easier" fourteener, like Grays Peak or Torreys Peak. Even so, prepare for extreme altitude and leave early to avoid nasty storms, even in the summer.

  • 03 of 10

    Explore above tree line.

    Hiking in Colorado
    Getty Images/Daniel Milchev

     Only in Colorado can you bike, hike and camp so high in the mountains that not even trees grow. That's tree line. Make sure you stay on designated trails, though. Delicate tundra also grows at this altitude, and it's important to protect it for the ecosystem.

  • 04 of 10

    Visit one of the deepest canyons.

    Black Canyon of the Gunnison
    Getty Images/Luis Jou Garcia

    Black Canyon of the Gunnison is one of the deepest, oldest and steepest canyons in the nation. Imagine 2,000-foot-tall walls plunging nearly straight down to the Gunnison River. Some parts of the canyon floor only see 33 minutes of daylight per day — hence the name "Black Canyon."

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Visit a marijuana dispensary.

    Colorado tourism
    Getty Images/Image Source

     Even if you don't imbibe, it's still interesting to see how a state does legal marijuana. And if you do, a quintessential Colorado vacation spot is the Bud and Breakfast, Adagio, Denver's first cannabis-friendly place to stay. 

  • 06 of 10

    Tour a castle.

    Bishop Castle
    Flickr user Chris Waits

    Colorado may not have a long lineage of medieval royalty, but it does have its own castle. Bishop Castle started out as the dream of a young boy, who saved money mowing lawns and delivering newspapers. Today, it is an impressive and dramatic stone and iron reality — a real-life dream come true that is always free to visit. Don't miss the fire-breathing dragon. 

  • 07 of 10

    Visit the four corners.

    Four Corners monument
    Getty Images/VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm

    Stand in four different states all at once, at the Four Corners National Monument in southern Colorado. Think of it like the nation's wildest game of Twister. Put one hand on Utah, the other in Colorado, one foot in Arizona and your last foot in New Mexico. 

  • 08 of 10

    Sit at the Mile High Line.

    Coors Field
    Flickr user Ken Lund

    Watch a Rockies game at Coors Field and grab a seat at the Mile High Line, a special row of seats exactly one mile above sea level. Look for the purple seats that wrap around the stadium. 

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Go back in time.

    Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde
    De Agostini / L. Romano

    Climb underground into an ancient kiva in southern Colorado's Mesa Verde National Park, home to thousands of ancient archeological sites and cliff dwellings. This historically fascinating, must-see park dates back to year 600 to 1300.    

  • 10 of 10

    See a show at Red Rocks.

    Red Rocks Amphitheater
    Barry Winiker

     Red Rocks Amphitheater has to be one of the coolest venues in the world, with a stage carved inside the side of towering red rocks. Some of the biggest names perform there (and who can blame them)? For something different, take a yoga class or boot camp there — that is, if you can fathom running up all those stairs at this altitude. A Red Rocks workout is not for the weak of lungs.