Coloradans claim their weather is perfect. The state averages 296 sunny days a year. There isn’t much precipitation in the lower elevations, but huge amounts of snow in the mountains.Winter starts in late November and, depending on the snow depth, and lasts into April. In Denver and Colorado Springs, summer days are hot and dry and the evenings mild. Summer comes to the mountains in June, and the warm weather lasts until mid-September. Winter hits around mid-November, though snowstorms can start in the mountains in September.The climate from one area to another can be dramatically different due to the difference in elevation and the orientation of mountain ranges and valleys.
When to fly to Colorado
Summer, Memorial Day to Labor Day, is the peak season with lots of crowds and high rates. The ski resorts peak again in winter, and they are as crowded in July as they are in February.
The closest you will come to off season are the autumn and spring shoulder seasons. The wineries are in production and draw visitors, the autumn also has aspens turning to gold, and spring the blooming wildflowers. The best time to book Colorado flights is mid-September through October as the weather usually stays warm.
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Getting around Colorado
Denver is a transportation hub for Colorado, both for entering and leaving the state and for finding transportation to other Colorado destinations. For a stay in Denver, you can rely on public transportation. Taxis and shuttles are also available in other large cities and towns. To help you get around the state, there are commuter airlines and shuttle buses from the Denver airport. Amtrak has a couple of routes through the state, and some say the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in the southwest isn’t to be missed.
Getting around the state usually involves a car to some extent, and with visitor centres statewide, you have little trouble getting directions and tips on getting from one place to another.
A world-renowned destination for cyclists, interstate highway shoulders are open to cyclists (except in urban areas). The mountain roads are more demanding, and one of the most popular and challenging routes is the Million Dollar Highway.
Colorado insider information
- The Rocky Mountains of Colorado contain some of the greatest skiing to be had anywhere in North America. Most popular of all resorts is Aspen, with access to four main ski areas. Even if you’re not a ski-bunny though, consider booking Colorado flights to Aspen in the summertime, when a host of activities can be enjoyed against a spectacular backdrop. The Independence Pass that connects Aspen to Denver is only open in the summer months and is an unmissable drive with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
- Colorado’s capital, Denver is known as the “Mile High City” as it is situated at an altitude of 5,280ft above sea level. It is also the location in which more US money is made than anywhere else worldwide, thanks to the Denver Mint. The Mint is open for tours, which can be booked, free of charge, from the reservation center on Colfax Avenue.
- The Royal GorgeBridge is the highest suspension bridge in the world. Located across the gorge in Canon City, the bridge is a quarter of a mile long with a main span of 880ft. The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park in the surrounding area also houses the world’s steepest incline railway, an aerial tram, a skycoaster and the silver rock railway.
- Colorado Springs is the state’s second city and home to the “Garden of the Gods”. The public park is filled with giant red sandstone “hogsback” formations, so called because they resemble the backs of pigs. The park is popular with rock climbers as well as sightseers.
- Colorado was once lucrative for the gold rush and the fur trade. Though both occupations have died out, you can still find out about the trades at some excellent museums in the state. The Argo Gold Mine and Mill in Idaho Springs holds tours of the Argo tunnel and mine as well as lessons in gold panning. Fort Vasquez Museum in Platteville is the site of an 1835 fur-trading fort, where exhibitions interpret the fur-trade era.