The Sustainable Travel Guide to Colorado’s Best Summer Adventures


Although Colorado is an amazing place to adventure year-round, the whole state comes alive in the summer. Whether you’re unwinding in the wilderness, unwinding in a quaint mountain town, or soaking up vibrant urban cultures, Colorado is the perfect place to have fun in the summer. Eco-conscious communities and businesses across the state make it easy to experience all Colorado has to offer while minimizing your impact. Read on to learn more about low-impact ways to explore the Centennial State.

Adventure on the road less traveled

Take a look at any outdoor enthusiast’s to-do list and you’ll likely find classic Colorado stops high on their agenda. Most-visited parks are popular for a reason, but nothing practically beats having the whole place to yourself when you visit. Colorado’s Lesser Known Public Lands. From volcanic cliffs and rushing rivers to rust-red desert canyons and sprawling grasslands, there’s no shortage of places you probably haven’t heard of but definitely want to see in Colorado. Whether you’re exploring miles of hiking trails or paddling scenic waterways, venturing off the beaten path is one of the best ways to minimize your impact on public lands.

Stay in eco-friendly accommodation

Whatever your style, Colorado has sustainable lodging options ranging from luxury resorts and boutique bed and breakfasts to backcountry huts and convenient dude ranches and everything in between. You’ll find green amenities, such as solar-powered lighting and heating, electric transport shuttles, electric vehicle charging stations, farm-to-table or vegan dining options, use of the environmentally friendly water and plastic-free initiatives. Many properties are taking an active role in managing acres of conservation land and working to rehabilitate land that was once damaged by overgrazing.

Visit Colorado’s Carbon Neutral Cities

Colorado’s outdoor recreation gets a lot of attention, but there are also so many unique towns to explore here. Aspen and Glenwood Springs, two Colorado towns powered by 100% renewable energy, are great choices for eco-conscious travelers. Aspen is powered by hydroelectricity, wind and geothermal heat while Glenwood Springs uses wind and hydroelectricity. These towns are also home to green businesses and community initiatives focused on the environment, including tree planting.

Point: If you plan to hop between cities and small towns, the Colorado system Eco-friendly scenic and historical routes makes road trip in an electric vehicle scenic and easy.

Harvest and gather local summer specialties

When the sun shines in Colorado, local produce is abundant. Roadside farm stalls and farmers’ markets are brimming with fresh fruits, vegetables and other goodies, all locally grown or made from local ingredients. For a hands-on experience, head to the Palisade Orchards to pick your famous Palisade peaches, or take a foraging class to learn about wild sources of berries, mushrooms and other forest delights. Of course, you can also enjoy farm-fresh food at one of Colorado’s many farm-to-table restaurants.

Drink sustainably (and responsibly)

Colorado’s distillery and craft brewery scene is moving forward when it comes to sustainability. Industry leaders are adopting greener practices, including wind and solar installations, water-efficient filtration systems, recycling cans and bottles, and zero-waste production. Colorado is also home to the first carbon neutral beer distributed nationally, New Belgium Brewing’s Fat Tire Amber Ale. Many distilleries and breweries also partner with local farmers to transform locally grown produce – Palisade fruits, Pueblo peppers and a variety of local grains and hops – into unique spirits and beers that bring the flavors of the Colorado.