Colorado has more than its fair share of weather. From hundreds of inches of snow in the winter months to temperatures that eclipse one hundred degrees in the summer, there is something to do in every season whether it’s hot or cold. This post examines seven fun activities to do when it’s hot in Colorado. Cool off with some of these awesome outdoor summer activities!  

What are Some Fun Outdoor Activities to do When it’s Hot?

The Summer days in Colorado seem to get hotter and hotter every year. Hot conditions can lead to Colorado residents looking for a reprieve from the heat. 

Some of the best outdoor activities in the Summer months include:

Hiking at Elevation

Hiking at higher elevations is much cooler compared to hiking at lower elevations. A general rule of thumb is it drops 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1,000 feet of vertical incline. 

This means that if it’s 100 degrees in Denver (5,280 ft) it will be nearly twenty seven degrees cooler, or 73 °(F) in Leadville (10,151 ft). This sizable difference in elevations makes it much cooler for those in higher elevations compared to lower elevations. 

Leadville is just off I-70 and is the highest incorporated city in North America.  The largest city by population in Lake County, CO – Leadville boasts some of the best restaurants, breweries and hotels in the county. 

Rafting in the Rockies

Not far from Leadville lies the mountain town of Buena Vista, CO. The Arkansas River rips through the Rocky Mountains and offers spectacular views and adventures of a few fourteeners (14,000+ ft peaks).

Raft the Arkansas River with great half day, full day and overnight rafting trips. Whitewater sections in Buena Vista, CO vary from novice to expert and is fun for the whole family across different age groups! 

Tubing in One of the Many Colorado Rivers

There are plenty of tubing options near Denver. Adventurers can hit up the South Platte River near Downtown Denver or go to one of the most exciting whitewater parks in the country in Salida.  

Tubing is a great activity in the summertime. Experienced tubers and river goers will remember to pack their essentials in dry bags so that their electronics and valuables are safe and dry during the river ride!

Grab a few tasty beers, some lunch and pack everything in when you head out and tubing is a fantastic Summer activity to stay cool!!  

Lake and River Kayaking

Single kayaks, Double kayaks – whatever the kayak size – take a kayak out on a Colorado lake or river. 

Local raft outfitters offer guided tours for kayakers on the Arkansas River. This is a great option if you don’t already have all the necessary kayaking gear or are just looking for a great Summer adventure. 

Cool off for a few hours or the day with a kayak adventure this Summer! 


SUP – Stand Up Paddleboarding in Colorado 

Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP), is a great anaerobic and aerobic exercise that engages the whole body and requires great core strength. Stand up paddleboards are available at many rivers and lakes across the country.

River stand up paddleboarding is much more difficult compared to the more calm water of a lake. Individuals that chose to stand up paddleboard in a river should wear the proper equipment including a vest, a helmet, floatable keyrings and drybags. Frequently, this equipment is available through a local whitewater rafting guide. 

Camping in Colorado 

Long days, starry nights and camp fires. Beat the heat this summer by camping at elevation next to a body of water. There are a plethora of camping options in Colorado and individuals should follow camping guidelines and follow proper food storage to avoid local fauna attracted to any food items. Colorado is bear country and encountering a brown bear in close proximity can be very dangerous. 

Be sure to carry bear spray, and safely store your food in proper equipment. 

Camping provides a recharge from the hustle and bustle of city life. Slow down, cook food by the fire and make some lifelong memories with the best people in your life. 

Go Exploring in Colorado Caves

Elevation can cool you off, waterways and lakes can too, but what’s cooler than all of them – caves that’s who! 

The average temperature of caves in Colorado range from low to mid 50’s, caves offer a needed reprieve for spelunkers that truly want to beat the heat. 

Cave of the Winds is located just outside of Colorado Springs and offers a break from the “normal” outdoor activities.  

Road Trip Through The Rockies 

Can’t decide what cool off activities you want to do this Summer? Why not pick a few, grab some buds and hit the road for a long weekend road trip! 

Camping provides some of the most affordable summer trips out there where one can engage in numerous activities including hiking, fishing, tubing and other outdoor activities. 

A great road trip from Colorado Springs involves stopping at the Cave of the Winds, going on an overnight rafting trip and ending it with a ducky trip down the Arkansas River!