Colorado Attractions, Nature May 03, 2021
8 Incredible Natural Wonders In Colorado That You Can Witness For Free
Do you love Colorado’s many natural wonders? Of course, you do, who doesn’t? While there are countless places to visit around the Centennial State, some can get downright expensive after paying admission, which is why we compiled this list of the 8 most incredible natural wonders in Colorado that are free:
1. Garden of the Gods (Colorado Springs)
You knew we couldn't begin this list of incredible (and completely free!) natural wonders without the Garden of the Gods, a 1,335-acre attraction that is home to jaw-dropping 300-million-year-old red rock formations! Established in 1909, the Garden of the Gods is home to not only formations but also trails galore that range in skill from easy to difficult.
2. Manitou Incline (Manitou Springs)
Sure, man added the wooden steps, but the slope and surrounding views are 100% natural and totally free. Please note: This Colorado attraction is not for the faint of heart as it boasts a butt-busting 2,744 steps and (literally) breathtaking 2,000-foot elevation gain.
3. Dinosaur Ridge (Morrison)
While certain parts of Dinosaur Ridge do cost money (such as the visitor's center and guided tour), you can see the actual dinosaur tracks via the mile-and-a-half Dinosaur Ridge trail for FREE! Word to the wise: don't forget your camera and/or walking shoes. You can thank us later. Want even more dinosaurs? Then you will want to head southeast to...
4. Picketwire Canyon (La Junta)
...Picketwire Canyon, AKA the largest track site for dinosaurs in the country! Featuring 1,500 individual footprints and 100 dinosaur track-ways, Picketwire Canyon is arguably the best archaeological trail in the region, and it's in our own backyard!
5. Red Rocks Amphitheater (Morrison)
Heading back to the Denver area, Red Rocks is one of those places that everyone should experience once, as it is an open-air amphitheater built within a dramatic million-year-old red rock structure. Whether you splurge on a ticket to see your favorite band or simply walk around for free, you will never forget your first visit to this Colorado icon.
6. Paint Mines Interpretive Park (Calhan)
They don't call it "Colorful Colorado" for nothing! Located east of Colorado Springs, the Paint Mines Interpretive Park is home to 4 miles of trails and unique geologic features, such as the clay spires painted by area Native Americans some 9,000+ years ago.
7. Paradise Cove (Guffey)
When temperatures are warm, there is no better place to be than the aptly-named Paradise Cove: a hidden swimming hole complete with a short and sweet hike, cliffs, and downright scenic surroundings.
8. Telluride and Mountain Village Gondola (Telluride)
Needless to say, the gondola itself is not an all-natural wonder; however, this modern convenience - which is, of course, free to ride - gives all those who ride an incredible view of the must-see San Juan Mountains. Please note: the Telluride and Mountain Village Gondola is open from 6:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. May 27, 2021, through October 17, 2021.
For even more free places to visit around the Centennial State, check out these
7 Little Known Museums In Colorado Where Admission Is Free. Address: Picket Wire Canyonlands, 1420 E 3rd St, La Junta, CO 81050, USA Address: Dinosaur Ridge, Colorado 80401, USA Address: Cascade, CO 80809, USA Address: Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO 80904, USA Address: W San Juan Ave, Telluride, CO 81435, USA Address: Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80465, USA Address: Paint Mines Interpretive Park, 29950 Paint Mine Rd, Calhan, CO 80808, USA Address: Paradise Cove / Guffey Gorge, 13999 Main St, Guffey, CO 80820, USA