Every Day is a Vacation with Colorado Recreation

Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

As 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! http://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.

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  1. The perfect place for my dear husband to get some amazing photos! I’ve always wanted to go to Colorado. Maybe if I win the pack I can convince him?

  2. 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!

  3. 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….

  4. I love your hiking pictures. 🙂

  5. Love Colorado. Used to live in the Springs and loved hiking and rock climbing and river rafting and horseback riding and snowboarding! So much to do there!
    Running Hutch recently posted..Rough Starts | Marcia & MelissaMy Profile

  6. 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!!!

    gene recently posted..Community, perspective, and talking it out.My Profile

  7. No need to enter me just an amen on Colorado being amazing…yup on my list of places I hope we will move!
    Amanda – RunToTheFinish recently posted..How to pick a marathon training planMy Profile

  8. 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!
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..Summer RunfessionsMy Profile

  9. I tweeted http://twitter.com/WTBFitness/status/486566554499579904 (wasn’t sure if you wanted a separate post for that)
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..Summer RunfessionsMy Profile

  10. I *dream* of visiting Colorado! It’s beautiful over here in Vermont, but our mountains are tiny in comparison 😉
    Relentless Forward Commotion recently posted..8 Tips for Hiking with Kids (A Survival Guide Based on a True Story.)My Profile

  11. Great giveaway! I love to visit Colorado… hiking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting — it’s all so much fun.
    Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout recently posted..Sam at 11 monthsMy Profile

  12. Wish I lived closer to places like this so I will let others win it! 🙂
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..Gratitude Monday & My Days OffMy Profile

  13. We visited CO once and loved it! I’d love to go back and do more hiking now that I’m healthier.

  14. Who doesn’t want to go to Colorado? It’s my dream to live there one day, despite the tumbleweeds.
    Amber! recently posted..Tiptoe Through the Tulips!My Profile

  15. 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.

  16. Suzette says:

    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.

  17. 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!

  18. John Donovan says:

    Hey we could go have a beer!

  19. I love Colorado! Those flowers are beautiful!
    Coco recently posted..Walking The Dog For Total Mind-Body FitnessMy Profile

  20. I live in Colorado, so of course I’d love to win this prize! So many cool things to take on adventures!
    Cassie @ Rural Running Redhead recently posted..Ten SecretsMy Profile

  21. I would like to visit Colorado because of the endless possibilities for exploration and the majestic beauty!

  22. Suzi Sunshine says:

    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!

  23. I love hiking in Colorado and I can’t wait to try out my first 14er. I also can’t wait to show the Brit the beauty that is Colorado. So, I need this…thanks!

  24. 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.
    Toni recently posted..Weekly Workout Wrap Up 6/30/14-7/6/14My Profile

  25. 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!!!) 🙂
    Anastasia H recently posted..#fridayfive {Fourth of July} linking up with @marmaone1 @yousignedup & @eatprayrunDCMy Profile

  26. This looks gorgeous!! What a great way to recharge!!
    Krysten (@darwinianfail) recently posted..Lessons Learned at the Welland TriathlonMy Profile

  27. I think Colorado is beautiful and have several friends that live there. It would be great to visit them!

  28. Gretchen Wesserling says:

    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 🙂

  29. Kirsten says:

    I’d pack up and visit my college-aged kids in Colorado. I miss the motherland!

  30. 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!!!
    Jenn Speer recently posted..#30dayeatinghealthyMy Profile

  31. nicole thomas says:

    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!

  32. I have a good friend who lives in Colorado who I need to visit… Winning this will be a helpful reminder!
    Chris Pugh recently posted..Celebrating Independence Day in Northern CaliforniaMy Profile

  33. Robyn Morton says:

    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. =)

  34. 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!

  35. My husband and I are moving to Colorado on August 1 and I can’t wait to do EVERYTHING! We visited a couple of weeks ago to get the lay of the land and we cannot wait 🙂 Winning one of the packs would be perfect!
    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen recently posted..Weekend PicsMy Profile

  36. I subscribe to your newsletter 🙂
    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen recently posted..Weekend PicsMy Profile

  37. You’re in my feedly AND I tweeted 🙂
    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen recently posted..Weekend PicsMy Profile

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