The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
Coloradans love to play outside. We hike. We bike. We ski. We camp. If it can be done in the open air, count us in. But that passion for the great outdoors—plus 77.7 million annual visitors—means that many of the state’s most beloved spots, such as Hanging Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness, are experiencing overcrowding, which not only hinders our ability to find solitude but also damages the environments we cherish. In an attempt to spread the love, and therefore lessen the impact, the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) launched the Colorado Field Guide in May. The online trip planner features a collection of more than 20 curated but customizable itineraries—daily suggestions include recommendations for three activities, three meals, and lodging—that send explorers to lesser-known parts of the state. Following the Field Guide (which the CTO hopes to eventually expand to about 100 itineraries) could translate to strolling the Cortez farmers’ market, hiking in Curecanti National Recreation Area, or snapping photos of North Clear Creek Falls near Creede. “The idea,” says Amber King, director of U.S. marketing for the CTO, “is to get people, especially along the Front Range, to places they haven’t been before.”