Things to Do: Colorado Plateau

Colorado Plateau
Wolfgang Staudt-Flickr
There are so many ways to get outside and enjoy the Colorado Plateau that a list of things you cannot do might be shorter.

From hiking 14,000 ft peaks, mountain biking through aspens, to rafting down wild rivers, the Colorado Plateau is a recreation magnet.  Here are some of the best places to get outside in one of the Rocky Mountains’ wildest landscapes.

There are so many ways to get outside and enjoy the Colorado Plateau that a list of things you cannot do might be shorter.

Getting Outside in the Colorado Plateau

Outdoor opportunities abound in the Colorado Plateau. 

Some of the best places to get outside are in the same places that we are trying to protect. 

  • Grand Staircase-Escalante
  • San Juan Mountains
  • Desolation Canyon
  • The Grand Canyon

Hiking

There are innumerable hiking opportunities in the Colorado Plateau.  Some of our favorites are:

  • Backcountry hiking in the San Rafael Swell in Utah
  • Exploring Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah
  • Hiking through the Vermillion Cliffs in Arizona

And for some fantastic history with your hike, check out the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado.  The Canyon has some of the most archaeological sites of Ancestral Pueblo than any other place in the country.

Paddling

Having some of the wildest and most scenic rivers in the country means also having fantastic paddling opportunities. River rats and lily-dippers alike can find some relaxation on the rivers. Check out these rivers:

  • Colorado River through the Grand Canyon
  • Green River through Utah’s Desolation Canyon
  • Yampa River in the Greater Dinosaur Region of Colorado

For a first-hand look at rafting on the Yampa, see this video from the Friends of the Yampa River

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is a big part of the outdoor recreation landscape in the Colorado Plateau. One of the most popular trails is the Sand Canyon trail in Canyon of the Ancients. Other trails can be found in Dinosaur National Monument and Hermosa Creek. Hardcore bikers can challenge themselves by traversing the Colorado Plateau and biking from Telluride, Colorado to Moab, Utah. 

See also: 

Outdoor Recreation

Stories from the Colorado Plateau

Experience the Colorado Plateau