Every Day is a Vacation with Colorado Recreation

Bear-Lake-RMNPAs I biked along the Yampa River last weekend, I marveled at my energy level. We’d hiked five miles of steep terrain earlier that day, yet were still going strong. I knew it was because I could take in the beautiful Colorado scenery all day, every day.

When I first visited Colorado back in 1985, I was a Texas 20-something awed by the Rocky Mountains. Today I call Colorado my home and am still inspired by its magnificence.

There’s something even more healing about being active in majestic surroundings. It soothes the soul to hear your own beating heart as your boots hit ancient granite. It clears the mind to be dwarfed by towering mountains that formed over many  millions of years. Coming across a quail mama guarding a chick, an elk grazing peacefully in a meadow, or a marmot sunbathing gives an instant perspective on life.

At the top of Rabbit Ears Pass near Steamboat Springs

At the top of Rabbit Ears Pass near Steamboat Springs

Clarity, Not Cardio

So when you’re visiting Colorado, you shouldn’t worry about hitting the hotel treadmill. Hop on a mountain bike and find yourself immersed in wooded trails or flower-studded meadows. Strike out on a hike and find spectacular views, as we did when we took on Rabbit Ears Pass recently.

I’ve been photographing my outdoor adventures for years. I love sharing how my daughter took on mountain biking (and a few tumbles) and coming across our elusive state flower, the columbine.

Exploring Colorado

My daughter loves exploring streams!

Family-friendly but gorgeous trails abound within 20-40 minutes of the Denver area. When you’re surrounded by natural beauty, “cardio” is something you don’t even think about and the kids are too busy finding the next caterpillar to be tired.

The columbine and a really pretty sunflower

#COmeToLife Contest

~Contest Closed ~

The winner of my #COmeToLife giveaway is Heather Iacobacci-Miller of wheres-the-beach.blogspot.com! Heather will receive a Osprey daypack loaded with hiking and cycling gear. Congrats Heather! And thanks to all who entered.

Although I’ve been talking about my love of Colorado for years, I was recently offered the opportunity to promote Colorado for current #COmeToLife campaign. The Colorado Tourism Office sent me two amazing #COmeToLife packs, one of which my family has been enjoying on our adventures, and the other which you have a chance to win.

I’m so excited to share this pack with you. I don’t do a lot of giveaways so your chances to win are super high. Here’s what is included for one lucky winner:


  • Osprey Day Pack. Headquartered in Cortez, Colorado, Osprey creates performance gear that reflects their love of adventure. This pack is fabulous! We love the convenient hydration pack, adjustable waist strap, big pockets, water bottle pockets, and lightweight design.
  • USA Pro Challenge Fleece. “America’s Race” takes place in the Colorado Rockies this August 18-24, and we’ve attended the downtown finale several times. It’s a crazy cool experience being so close to world-famous elite cyclists as they whiz feet away. This fleece is pretty cool too! Learn more about the USA Pro Challenge here.
  • SmartWool Cycling Socks. The makers of SmartWool are headquartered right in Steamboat Springs, where we just vacationed over the Fourth of July. These socks keep your feet happy and dry – super high quality.
  • Colorado Water Bottle. I love this bottle! Liberty Bottleworks has made a great stainless steel bottle that’s made with recycled materials and is entirely recyclable.
  •  New Belgium Beer Koozie. Fort Collins, CO is home to New Belgium Brewing Company, the third-largest brewer of craft beer in the nation and eighth-largest brewery in the U.S. If you visit be sure to visit the brewery for a free 90-minute tour (complete with beer samples).
  • Lots of Goodies for Fueling Up. 
    • Honey Stingers. Another company located in Steamboat Springs. My daughter LOVES their organic chews, protein bars, and honey waffles.
    • Justin’s Nut Butter. These handy squeeze packs of nut butters are perfect for throwing in the pack.
  • Colorado Bike Map. This guide shows you all the best routes for cycling Colorado.
  • Colorado Vacation Guide. This book is a must-have when you visit.

Can you believe this stash?

Contest Rules

You may receive (2) total entries. This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only. Winners will be selected via random drawing and notified by email. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. Contest runs through 7/20/14.

First Entry

Complete ALL THREE steps below for one entry:

1. Subscribe to the Workout Nirvana newsletter by clicking HERE. (If you’re already a subscriber, complete steps #2 and #3.)

2. Leave a comment below about why you’d like to visit Colorado (or win the pack if you live here).

3. Do one of the following:

  • Tweet (public message) the following message:
    I want to win the #COmeToLife backpack from @WorkoutNirvana and @Colorado! https://workoutnirvana.com/?p=1895
  • Blog about this contest, including a disclosure that you are receiving a contest entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
  • For those with no Twitter or blog, share THIS STATUS with your Facebook followers.

Second Entry (Optional)

  • Complete steps #1-3 above AND add me to your blogroll (post the URL in your comment).

Also check out the Colorado Tourism Office to enter a contest for a three-day, four-night trip to Colorado!

This article originally appeared on www.workoutnirvana.com.

39 thoughts on “Every Day is a Vacation with Colorado Recreation

  1. My husband and I LOVE nature and have had Colorado on our list of places to see for many years – but never got the chance to make it out there. We really hope to be able to visit in 2015 and visit some of our friends there as well!


  2. We used to live in CO and can’t wait until we can move back! We still have dear friends that live there, so coming back to visit would be special! Subscribed and shared thru FB….


  3. heck, the #1 reason to visit CO is to finally MEET YOU!!!!!!
    and i have some other dear friends there, so that’d be cool, too.
    and the mountains? yes, please!
    winning the prize pack will help motivate me to make a trip to CO a reality!!!



  4. I’ve never been to CO and it’s not a place I thought I wanted to go. I always just thought of snow and skiing, but when I see blogger post such beautiful pictures it really makes me want to go. I love being outdoors. I think that’s one reason I enjoy running so much!


  5. I’d love to visit Colorado again with some more time on my hands. All the photos I could take if I could bring all my equipment! Plus, it would be a great excuse to see some old family members.


  6. I love Colorado! I’ve only been in the winter to see Denver play….would love to visit in the Spring, Summer or Fall and see all it has to offer.


  7. I’d love to just be able to walk outside and go hiking! There’s so many outdoor activities that we just don’t have in Houston. I went to visit my cousin in Eugene, OR and it was the same thing, I didn’t “workout” once but my legs were sore all week, and I was just fascinated by so much green!


  8. I’ve wanted to go to CO for years! I love the outdoors and the beach, so to give the mountains a shot would be a fantastic adventure!


  9. Great giveaway. I have never been to Colorado but it looks so beautiful and I would love to explore the outdoors and enjoy the peacefulness! Thanks for an awesome giveaway.


  10. Colorado is beyond beautiful. I’ve always wanted to visit.. if not for a race or a hiking trip, just to explore the beauty. My sister and brother in law actually got engaged in Pikes Peak!! (I was insanely jealous I wasn’t invited on their vacation just to take pictures!!!) 🙂


  11. I’ve always wanted to “get away from it all ” and see all of the beauty Colorado has to offer! This would be just the ticket! What a great giveaway 🙂


  12. I love Colorado and it has been way too many years since I have visited. I love hiking and think it’s an awesome way to get your cardio in. LOVE your pictures!!!


  13. I have never been to Colorado but would love to! Pictures I have seen make it look amazing to explore and it would be an amazing experience to be able to!


  14. You know, I’ve visited Colorado so many times, but always at the top of a mountain with waxed planks of fiberglass strapped to my feet. I’ve never been there without snow on the ground! It looks absolutely beautiful, I’d love the opportunity to hike the hills rather than shred them. =)


  15. I just got back from taking my 8 year old son to Colorado. We did the Manitou Incline and it was amazing! Everywhere you look is breath taking and inspiring. I would love to take him back and do even more hiking. He’s quite the trooper and free spirit. I may stay quiet and not comment a lot, but I certainly enjoy reading your articles. I’d love to win this pack!


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