Fun Memorial Day weekend activities can be enjoyed throughout the state of Colorado. You’ll find a wide range of destinations, depending on what you’re looking for, from spectacular national parks and breathtaking mountain towns to hot springs resorts and beyond. If you’re looking to enjoy one of the best of the best, consider one of these top Memorial Day weekend getaways.
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Rocky Mountain National Park
While most of our national parks will be busy over Memorial Day weekend, you can escape some of the crowds by getting out onto the remote trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. There are over 350 miles of trails that crisscross the vast park, linking alpine lakes, jagged peaks, waterfalls, dense pine forests and rocky tundra, which means you’re bound to find out where you’re more likely to spot wildlife than other humans. The Emerald Lake trek brings hikers deep into the Tyndall Gorge, and passes three other pretty alpine lakes along the way.
One of Colorado’s most famous mountain towns offers a wealth of activities to kick off the unofficial summer season over Memorial Day weekend. Not only can you enjoy its usual warmer weather options like hiking, mountain biking, rafting and fly-fishing, but the road to the beautiful Maroon Bells will officially reopen, providing a true bucket list experience. In addition to the outdoor adventures, you can browse the upscale shops and art galleries, take in outstanding live music and dine in a wide range of fantastic restaurants.
Steamboat Springs isn’t just a popular winter wonderland, after that snow melts and the ski season ends, a host of adventures and activities await. The lush meadows and soaring mountains offer a stunning backdrop for fishing, hiking, biking and even hot-air ballooning for an unforgettable bird’s-eye view of the landscape. There are dozens of hot springs throughout the area, including one right in the middle of town, the Old Town Hot Springs, and nearby Strawberry Park Hot Springs, which also offers accommodation for easy access to the pools.
Memorial Day weekend draws many to Breckenridge with its whitewater rafting season now in full swing, while countless breweries and eateries offer patios for soaking up the sun and enjoying the views. Look forward to biking the scenic trails with multiple shops offering rentals if you don’t have your own bike with you, as well as hiking in the fresh mountain air. History enthusiasts will appreciate that the town hosts the largest historic district in the state, with its streets lined with many magnificent buildings dating back more than 150 years, once housing dance halls, saloons and other establishments.
By heading to Glenwood Springs you can enjoy the world’s largest hot spring pool, soaking in the hot mineral waters that the nomadic Ute tribe once used. The Utes are said to be some of the earliest known people to soak in these healing waters that still use the Ute name “Yampah,” which means “Big Medicine. The two water slides here open up over Memorial Day weekend providing lots of thrills, and nearby you can hike to Hanging Lake, a beautiful pool renowned for its cascading waterfalls and strikingly clear emerald-hued waters.
If you’re all about the hot springs and also want to enjoy a variety of other activities and luxuries, Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort offers overnight accommodation and can also be enjoyed by visitors during the day. It features a variety of hot springs, some that sit in natural pools, made with selectively-placed boulders in a creek while others are human-made pools, though both are warmed by geothermal waters. The property also offers a restaurant, bars, shops, art galleries, and a spa with decadent body treatments, massage and more.
Situated in the southwest corner of the state, Durango is well-known for its many outdoor activities, history and popular attractions like the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railwood, a historic steam train that travels 50 miles to the tiny town of Silverton and back. Enjoy strolling the downtown with its many historic buildings, kayak or raft the Animas River that winds through town, and hike or bike the more than 1,000 miles of trails throughout the area.
Beaver Creek hosts its Blues, Brews, & BBQ Festival over Memorial Day Weekend, an annual celebration of brews, blues, and BBQ. It attracts barbecue chefs from across the globe who serve all sorts of tasty bites, including lots of brisket and ribs, served with a long list of brew options. There’s also a barbecue competition, and live music on the stage all day along with an interactive Kids Zone with outdoor games, arts and crafts and other activities. Throughout the area are miles and miles of trails for hiking and biking through lush meadows and forests while soaking up the stunning mountain views.
Grand Lake sits at the western edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. Not only is it a gateway to activities there, it offers a wealth of its own. The marina offers paddle board and boat rentals, while the lake itself offers a number of sandy stretches for relaxing on the beach. A myriad of hiking trails are scattered throughout the area, both around Grand Lake and in the park. Wildlife watching is top-notch too, with moose and elk often spotted, among many other animals.
Cripple Creek and Victor
While only around 1,000 call Cripple Creek home today, it was once a booming city of over 55,000 around the turn-of-the-20th-century. Today it’s popular for casino gambling and exploring the state’s gold rush history, complete with a gold mine tour, multiple museums and a historic theater. Just a few miles away in Victor, minus the casinos you’ll feel as if you’ve actually stepped into the late 1800s. Check out the fascinating period buildings like the Masonic Hall and
Victor Daily Record newspaper office, and step into the 1899 Victor Hotel which is still open today and houses an authentic bird cage elevator in its impressive Victorian-style lobby.