Updated March 20, 2019
Nestled in the center of the Front Range Urban Corridor, Denver and its outlying communities sit astride the border between the Rocky Mountains to the west and the High Plains in the east, blessing residents and visitors alike with an immensely diverse geography and an equally numerous choice of outdoor activities from which to choose and enjoy.
For many, Denver is considered a jumping-off point for exploring and enjoying the Rocky Mountains, and small wonder. Colorado is home to the Rockies’ 30 highest major summits, as well as four national parks, six national monuments, two national recreation areas, two national historic sites, three national historic trails, a national scenic trail, 11 national forests, two national grasslands, 41 national wilderness areas, two national conservation areas, eight national wildlife refuges, 44 state parks, a state forest, 323 state wildlife areas and numerous other scenic, historic and recreational attractions. Surrounding the city limits itself are many opportunities for enjoying the outdoors, such as golfing, skiing, camping, hiking, bicycling and fishing.
In fact, the outdoor lifestyle is so integral to the identity of Colorado, that the region has its own regional sports television network. Altitude Sports and Entertainment focuses on all things outdoors and athletic in the Rockies, but specifically in and around Denver. The state also has garnered a well-deserved reputation for having an active, athletic population with the lowest obesity rates in the United States. The Winter X Games, an ESPN-produced annual event profiling action sports such as various skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling events, has been hosted on-and-off in Colorado since 1998, and since 2002 has taken place in Aspen.
A NOTE ON ALTITUDE: Denver isn’t called “The Mile High City” for nothing. Visitors and newly arrived residents—especially those who are used to living at or near sea level—should not engage in strenuous activity until they are fully acclimated to the region and are cleared by a doctor. Immediately engaging in such activity puts one at the risk of altitude sickness, when the body removes enough carbon dioxide but doesn’t take in enough oxygen. Symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue or weakness and persistent rapid pulse, to name a few.