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Spread out across the southern region of the magnificent Rocky Mountains and the Colorado Plateau, Colorado is famous for its superb natural high-country beauty as well as for its numerous ski resorts. Its vibrant capital is Denver, the ‘Mile-high City’, and it’s home to historic frontier towns such as Dunango, Pueblo and Fort Collins, all accessible with car hire in Colorado.
Given that travelling by car is almost mandatory here due to the state’s varied topography and remote areas, it’s no surprise that the major international vehicle rental firms have pick-up points in the state’s airports and in all of the larger towns and cities. The choice includes Hertz, Avis, National, Budget and Enterprise and UK visitors looking for the best deal should compare car hire rates well before their travel date.
Denver International Airport is the aviation hub and is the fifteenth-busiest airport on the planet, with regular flights to London and Frankfurt as well as a comprehensive array of domestic routes. Interstate 25 runs north to south, linking Denver with Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Pueblo and Interstate 70 links the capital with the mountain regions and their isolated communities.
Interstate highway driving is generally safe and fast, but less-than-experienced drivers will need to take care when negotiating mountain roads and roads in remote districts, especially if they’re visiting during the winter months. A general rule for speed limits in the state is ‘reasonable and prudent’ – taking into account the changing weather and geographic conditions – and speed limits are clearly posted on all roads. Slower rather than faster on rural and mountain roads is the best idea.
To get the best from this spectacular state, car rental in Colorado is the way to go. The main attractions are the state’s glorious scenery, seen at its best in the Rocky Mountains National Park and the canyon and mesa country in the northwestern region. For ancient, mysterious Anasazi Indian cave settlements and spooky, silent ‘ghost’ mining towns in the mountains, head for the southwest of the state.
Due to its topography, Colorado’s climate is complex and variable, with the eastern region the best for sunshine, little rain and summer highs of around 35˚C. However, the eastern area is in Tornado Alley and is infamous for the deadliness of its tornadoes. Elsewhere, winter lows of -10˚C at altitude ensure snow and, generally, weather in the remainder of the state is totally unpredictable, including spectacular thunderstorms, floods, droughts and massive hailstorms.