Photo: Tassanee Riebpadith/Shutterstock

22 Experiences to Have in Colorado Before You Die

Colorado Student Work Galleries
by Brian Lewis Nov 9, 2015

1. Hike through a golden tunnel of quaking aspen at Kenosha Pass

Today we’re feeling like gold. #CrestedButte, #Colorado #doliferight

A photo posted by Brian Lewis (@brianlewismedia) on

Take Highway 285 out of Denver, stop when you get to the top and witness the alchemy at work when sunlight hits aspen leaves in the month of September.

2. Go “out” for a dinner in the Flat Tops Wilderness

Hasn’t it been proven that food always tastes better the further you get from civilization? Sounds scientific enough to me.

3. Send your body into oxygen debt on the Manitou Incline

Going up! #colorado #manitou #manitousprings #coloradical #coloradosprings #cosrocks #cosprings #incline #hiking

A photo posted by Brian Lewis (@brianlewismedia) on

There’s a reason why Apolo Ohno and other aspiring Olympians from the nearby training center use the Incline for a favorite workout. Near 70% grades and 2,000 feet of elevation in less than a mile is no joke.

4. Roll into the Bear Lake Campground outside Cuchara with a full array of lawn games

Because the hand not holding a beer is going to get terribly bored.

5. Stand in the footsteps of the ancients in Mesa Verde National Park

Climb ladders to alcoves hidden in the cliffsides and walk through stone buildings where the walls are stained from 1,000-year-old cooking fires.

6. Get into a staring contest with a mountain goat on the summit ridge of North Star Mountain outside Breckenridge

Remember that time you were clinging to a snowy boulder at 13,000 feet with icy November wind whipping over the Continental Divide and the eyes of a majestic animal bored directly into your soul? Yeah, me too.

7. Stagger out into blinding high-altitude sunlight after binge-watching movies all day at the Crested Butte Film Festival

Only the most amazing stories will make you want to sit on your ass for hours in a dark movie theater on a gorgeous fall day in a mountain paradise.

8. Shovel your sidewalk after a two-foot powder dump

Bonus points if your sidewalk happens to go from the deck of the Rambouillet Yurt near Lake City to an outhouse in a pillowy alpine wonderland at 11,000 feet.

9. Wander the dirt streets of Silverton while picking chunks of coal soot from your hair after a ride on the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

It may sound hokey, but imagine watching the wilderness roll by on the same route once traveled by prospectors, prostitutes and outlaws. Don’t take your guns to town, son.

10. Bomb downhill through shoulder-deep wildflowers on the 401 trail in Crested Butte

Plan on a post-ride scrub session to wash the pollen stains from your legs.

11. Drunkenly strangle yourself with a pretzel necklace while trying to name all hop varieties in your 18th double IPA sample at the Great American Beer Fest in Denver

We saw some extreme pretzel necklaces (and beyond) at #gabf2015. Link to the slideshow in our profile.

A photo posted by DRAFT Magazine (@draftmag) on

Teetotalers need not apply. This is the largest amount of beer served in one place at one time anywhere in the world.

12. Bribe a farmer to roast your own green chilies at the Pueblo Chile and Frijoles Festival

Don’t feel like getting your eyebrows singed? At least buy a bushel fresh out of the drum and throw it in the freezer for spicy taste of summer in mid-February.

13. Join in the chorus of “IN-COM-PLETE” from the nosebleeds at Mile High

Because it’s not annoying when it’s your team.

14. Climb up something ridiculous then ski down it

When I say ridiculous, I mean ridiculous like the Knife Edge on Capitol Peak kind of ridiculous. Because who really has time for a lift?

15. Run in a massive herd of fit humanity at the Bolder Boulder 10K

The 37th running of the #BolderBOULDER is officially underway! #BoldNation

A photo posted by BolderBOULDER (@bolderboulder) on

With over 50,000 runners every year, you certainly won’t be alone, but you will be a part of one of the largest running races in the world. And someone has to win, right?

16. Crack a Laughing Lab and cheers to your accomplishment on the summit of Mt. Elbert

Sliding into Monday like

A photo posted by Courtney Morrissey (@courtneycmorrissey) on

Because that’s just what you do. But for God’s sake, pack the bottle out with you!

17. Rock out (or work out) at Red Rocks

What? You mean the greatest concert venue in the world is also open to fitness freaks for stair running, outdoor yoga and crossfit?

18. Sandboard High Dune at Great Sand Dunes National Park

A photo posted by Some Chica (@little.wiing) on

No reason to wait until winter to shred. Just climb to the top, strap in and let it rip.

19.Take the slide on the New Belgium Brewery tour after entirely too many samples

A photo posted by Dan Lance (@therevrock) on

There’s a reason why everyone’s slide pics always come out blurry.

20. Feel the electricity raise your neck hair as you’re chased off Mt. Bierstadt by a sudden summer thunderstorm

You know you’re supposed to get an earlier start, but you probably had one Dale’s Pale Ale too many by the campfire the night before.

21. Get a little too close and narrowly avoid getting gored by a bull elk during rut in Rocky Mountain National Park

Catching some rays!!! 🌞

A photo posted by Jarad Switzer (@jaradswitzer) on

Seriously, don’t do this. Maybe invest in a good telephoto and stay the hell in your car.

22. Be dwarfed by the immensity of the universe

A photo posted by Brian Lewis (@brianlewismedia) on

Get lost in the sweeping prairies of the east. See the Milky Way rise over mountain peaks in the high country. Gaze into the quiet abyss from atop a redrock desert wall in the west. In a state this diverse, it’s not hard to find somewhere that makes you question your very existence and place in the universe. #existentialcrisis

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