Exploring Colorado Nature at Low Altitude

Looking for low altitude adventures in Colorado? They may be tough to find!

Colorado is known for its rugged beauty – and the highest mean elevation of any state at 6,800 feet above sea level! Altitude sickness is a real risk.

Often, we think of altitude sickness as affecting elite mountain climbers on peaks measuring 20,000 feet or higher. But many people may be affected by altitude sickness at elevations as low as 8,000 feet.

Colorado has 58 peaks that measure over 14,000 feet. We also have the highest “low” point, at 3,315 feet. But, don’t fear! There are plenty of outdoor adventures in Colorado, even if you’re most comfortable at lower altitudes!

Explore the High Plains of Northeast Colorado

The 60 miles between Fort Morgan and Greely offer a great view of the high plains, all at an elevation between 4,300 and 4,600 feet. You can hike, camp, and ride horses at Pawnee National Grassland. This is also a birdwatcher’s paradise with over 300 species of birds in the area. Hunting is allowed during the appropriate season. Similarly, check lakes and reservoirs for any fishing restrictions that might be in place.

Camp and check out wildlife at Sterling State Park. Swimming, fishing, boating and water sports are offered at Jackson Lake State Park, near Orchard.

Hike the Pawnee Buttes trails, and perhaps you’ll spot hawks and falcons. Or drive the Pawnee Pioneer Trails Scenic Byway, and stop for a picnic along the way.

Check Out the Canyons and Plateaus of Western Colorado

Grand Junction is the biggest town in Western Colorado, and at 5,483 feet above sea level, it’s also relatively low-altitude. There are plenty of trails in the area with elevations under 6,000 feet. Trails surrounding the Colorado National Monument range from 4,700 to over 7,000 feet. Finally, this list offers more great area hikes.

You can go try whitewater rafting the Colorado River near Grand Junction, or take a kayak on the calmer Westwater Canyon, located at the Utah/Colorado state line.

Explore the Fort Collins Area

Fort Collins has an elevation of 5,000 feet, which is 1,800 feet below the state mean. The city is one of the most bike-friendly in the US, according toThe League of American Bicyclists. It has over 285 miles of trails and bike lanes. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking, fishing, kayaking and whitewater rafting nearby. Horsetooth Reservoir has campgrounds and camper cabins, as well as plenty of trails and water activities.

If you’d like to mix some city adventures into your vacation, Fort Collins offers breweries, museums, restaurants, and live music.

Stay Safe and Hydrated!

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to help beat altitude sickness! A hydrated body handles elevation much better than a dehydrated body. It’s also a good idea to have life insurance and personal liability insurance, just in case of an accident. Contact a local Colorado Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to learn more about getting yourself insured.