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Colorado, the perfect state to ‘well-come’ in the New Year

January 25, 2019 Visit USA No Comments Email Email

The New Year for many is a time of implementing healthy living ideals, whether this be clearing the mind, taking a detox or getting active.

With 58 mountains topping 14,000ft, 12 national parks and monuments and myriad peaceful lakes and rivers, Colorado offers those seeking a wellness break plenty of options to go off-grid and engage with nature.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Photo credit: Colorado Tourism Office
Wellness, the Colorado way…
The rise of nature immersion getaways has resulted from scientific studies into the effects of being outdoors finding reduced stress and depression. From hiking and yoga to soaking in hot springs, travellers can live ‘well’ in the great outdoors on a Colorado getaway:

Combining Yoga with nature: There’s plenty of options to take the Downward Dog out of the gym and into nature in Colorado, whether this be alone on a solitary mountain top or in a class. Many mountain resorts have yoga and meditation classes, be it amongst snow covered Aspen trees in the winter months or among the wildflowers in summer. Bhava Yoga, located at the Base of Peak 9 in Breckenridge, is Colorado’s first ski-in, ski-out yoga studio, which offers seasonal cleanse programmes and Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga on the lake in the summer months. Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga introduces the local wildlife – in the form of baby goats – to yoga events throughout the year in locations across Colorado, including a heated barn at Lucky Weather Ranch, Longmont, for the winter months. On selected dates each summer, Yoga on the Rocks takes place at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre & Park near Denver, in which yogis unite for a mass yoga session in the awe-inspiring setting, facing the stage that once hosted The Beatles and U2, among other legendary performers.

Yoga on the Rocks, credit Visit Denver
Hiking Holidays: Whether travellers are seeking solitude or wanting to explore the outdoors with family and friends, Colorado has thousands of hiking trails for visitors to clear their mind, keep fit and enjoy the landscape whilst breathing in the fresh Colorado mountain air. Colorado’s vast range of trails can now be navigated through a new Colorado-centric hiking app which has just launched, called COTREX. Available from both Google Play and App Store, the Colorado Trail Explorer (COTREX) maps every trail in the State of Colorado, connecting a network of trails managed by over 225 land managers. Users can record trips and notes from their own hiking experience, as well as submitting trail reports and feedback to help inform and inspire the hiking community. The app shows featured routes with symbols denoting whether the trail is suitable for hiking or biking, and whether there are waterfalls, wildlife and wildflowers on the route, ensuring travellers are fully informed before they arrive, to make the most of their hiking experience.

Hiking in Colorado, credit Colorado Tourism Office
Hot Springs road trip: Colorado’s thermal hot springs date back to the Ute Indians, who soaked in the mineral pools centuries ago for their healing properties. Today, travellers can combine this time-honoured wellness enhancing tradition with a road trip that delivers epic mountain scenery and relaxing baths in the natural mineral waters. The 720-mile Historic Hot Springs Loop takes in 19 hot spring locations, including the world’s deepest geothermal aquifer in Pagosa Springs and the 150 geothermal hot springs that put Steamboat Springs on the map long before it was known as a ski resort. Besides the well-known hot springs and vapour caves that have been attracting visitors for centuries, many hot spring pools can be found away from the crowds for those who really want to kick back in the mineral-rich wilderness. Try Penny Hot Springs, Carbondale, which sits on the banks of the Crystal River and requires a short hike to get to the snow-capped mountain and canyon surrounded oasis; Conundrum Hot Springs, Aspen, a 16.9 mile round trail, usually requiring a day each way for backpackers to enjoy the waterfalls and views en route and South Canyon Hot Springs – a set of undeveloped hot spring pools located west of Glenwood Springs, a short hike across a dirt path through South Canyon Creek.

Bathing in a natural hot spring near Steamboat Springs, credit Colorado Tourism Office
A traditional pamper: For those who seek a luxury spa experience to unplug and indulge, The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs is home to a Forbes Five-Star Spa. The spa offers a range of treatments that celebrate its natural surrounding, from oxygen-infusing skin treatments to Hydrotherapy and a Colorado Revival Wrap. A relaxation room looks out on to the mountain range, with an outdoor pool and jacuzzi for guests to enjoy whilst taking in the surrounding nature. The Broadmoor has an extensive selection of health and wellness fitness programmes for its guests, including Broadmoor Bootcamp, Tai Chi and a Country Dance inspired workout class. For those wanting to include a touch of luxury indulgence on a Colorado road trip this season, a Winter Spa Retreat is available for bookings until 30 April 2019, including one night’s accommodation (with upgrades available), $200 (USD) spa credit per person and suites available at 25% published rates, priced $320 (USD) per person, per night, based on double occupancy.

The Broadmoor, credit Loren Bedeli
So what’s new in Colorado for 2019? Here’s just a sample:
Denver International Airport has kicked off a 3.5 year renovation project of the Great Hall, which will enhance security, provide a more flexible and open airline check-in space and add new dining and shopping options for an improved passenger experience.
Limelight Snowmass Hotel & Lounge is now open, with ski-in, ski-out access to Snowmass’ new Base Village, comprising 99 rooms and 11 residences with a five-story climbing wall – the largest of its kind in the state. The property joins The Crêpe Shack by Mawa’s Kitchen, CODough Bar by Sweet Coloradough, an Ice Skating Rink and The Collective Snowmass – a community events hub – in the newly developed and wifi connected village.
The Colorado Classic bike race has announced it will be exclusively female in 2019. Taking place 22 – 25 August, it will become the only UCI women’s standalone stage race in the Western Hemisphere.
Winter Park Ski Resort has been named the Best Ski Resort in North America by USA Today.

Left: Colorado Classic women’s cycling, credit Colorado Classic; Right: Family in Winter Park, credit: Colorado Tourism Office
Regions of Colorado renamed

Following the creation of the Colorado Tourism Roadmap, extensive research commissioned by Colorado Tourism Office has led to the branding of eight new travel regions within the state. To distinguish the character, as well as capture the essence and available experiences in each region, the tourism board has identified travel clusters in each location as a springboard to develop further tourism attractions. Rather than the points on a compass, regions will carry names that reflect their unique qualities, not just from other locations in Colorado, but from any other place in the world.

The new regions are:

Canyons and Plains – home to the historic Mexican-American Santa Fe Trail and located in the Southeast of Colorado, this region is shaped by a rich heritage of American, Hispanic and Native American history and culture.
Denver and cities of the Rockies – incorporates the Mile High City and metropolitan areas of the state that are easily accessible from the Rockies, such as Aurora, Boulder, Estes Park, Fort Collins and Loveland.
Mountains and Mesas – including the San Juan Mountain Range and two tabletop mountain formations, Mesa Verde and the Grand Mesa, this rugged landscape has historical links to the Ancient Puebloans, Ute Indians and mining communities.

Mystic San Luis Valley – home to the largest alpine desert in the world, the mysterious mountain-surrounded Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and the headwaters of the Rio Grande River.
Pikes Peak Wonders – in the centre of the state, this region encompasses one of the most famous mountains in the U.S., Pikes Peak, as well as Garden of the Gods and the headwaters of the Arkansas River.
Pioneering Plains – formerly referred to as the north-east of the state, this incorporates the 10 rolling counties that have seen migrating natives, bison herds, the Pony Express and legions of covered wagons in centuries gone by, characterised today by wind farms, old-time museums and wild bird species.
Rockies Playground – the only region in the state to be 100% located within the Rocky Mountains, this area includes the iconic ski areas of Aspen, Vail, Breckenridge and Copper Mountain and Winter Park, which is known for the plethora of outdoor adventures on offer.
The Great West – ranches, wild horses and cattle drives offer visitors a taste of the Western lifestyle, with the cowboy identity fully integrated into ski resort, Steamboat Springs.

Clockwise from top left: Denver and cities of the Rockies – Denver skyline, photo credit Visit Denver; Mountains and Mesas – Mesa Verde National Park, photo credit Colorado Tourism Office; Rockies Playground – Aspen, photo credit Aspen Chamber; Mystic San Luis Valley – Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, photo credit Steve Weaver
Featured accommodation: Soul Community Planet, Colorado Springs
Soul Community Planet (SCP) has opened its first sustainable hotel, located in Colorado Springs. The new property is positioned for visitors seeking eco and wellness breaks, both within the hotel and when exploring the hundreds of nature trails in close proximity. Guests can fuel up ahead of a day in the mountains at the hotel’s Provisions Market, which is stocked with wholesome, locally sourced foods and retreat to eco-conscious bedrooms filled with elements made of raw, green materials and upcycled, preloved furniture pieces, whilst enjoying views of Pikes Peak. A fitness centre, SCP Fit, is fully equipped for rock climbing, yoga and spin classes, with indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

Guest room at the new SCP Hotel, credit Visit Colorado Springs
Upcoming Events
Colorado has a vibrant year-round events calendar which reflects its distinct seasons, outdoor lifestyle and diverse culture. Here’s a few of the highlights over the next few months, to find out more about events throughout the year, go to
Loveland Sweetheart Festival kicks off Valentine’s celebrations in America’s Sweetheart Town, 8 – 9 February 2019
Boulder International Film Festival, 28 February – 3 March 2019
Audi Power of Four Ski Mountaineer Race, Aspen Snowmass, 2 – 3 March 2019
Weekend of Wellness at The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, 7 – 10 March 2019
Frozen Dead Guy Days takes over Nederland, 8 – 10 March 2019
US Women’s National Soccer Team vs Australia, Denver, 4 April 2019

Heart sculptures at the Loveland Sweetheart Festival, credit Visit Loveland
Getting there
Virgin Australia and Qantas offer direct flights to the US and American, United and Delta airlines have connections into Denver International Airport (DIA), the gateway to Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. A new train service will connect you from DIA to downtown Denver in minutes.

Want to book?
What: Beat the summer crowds to Colorado’s National Parks in late Spring
Where: Fly into DIA
When: May/June

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