Commerce City, Colorado: Front Range Adventures


Commerce City rose to prominence as a railroad and industrial hub but has blossomed into a tourism gateway. The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge offers prime wildlife viewing right in town. And adventures from hiking to ziplining await at nearby attractions like Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and Apex Field House.

Beyond city limits, visitors can explore a long list of iconic routes and scenic byways. Mount Evans Scenic Byway climbs over 14,000 feet through multiple climate zones. The winding curves of Peak to Peak Highway link mountain towns like Nederland. And Pawnee Pioneer Trails takes travelers back through time across the prairie.


  • Commerce City borders Denver and sits near several of Colorado's iconic scenic byways.
  • The area features urban attractions like professional sports and outdoor recreation, from hiking to extreme sports.
  • Nearby scenic drives include Mount Evans, Peak to Peak, and Pawnee Pioneer Trails.

Local Experiences Connect Past and Present

In the bustling city of Commerce City, Colorado, modern attractions blend seamlessly with historical sites to offer a rich tapestry of experiences that cater to residents and visitors alike. Enjoy the thrill of a soccer game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, home to the Colorado Rapids professional soccer team, representing both the spirit and the competitive edge of Commerce City in the heart of Adams County. Nearby, the FirstBank Center arena in the greater Denver area stages electrifying concerts that draw crowds from Commerce City and beyond, including those commuting from nearby Denver International Airport and the Rocky Mountain region.

Annual events like the Buffalo Run Stampede marathon and the nearly century-old Adams County Fair celebrate local heritage. Locally grown produce and craft beverages bring farm-to-table dining full circle. Cultural encounters range from Hispanic cultural dances to Arapaho storytelling.

Scenic Byways Link Commerce City to Colorado’s Best

With proximity to Denver International Airport and major highways, Commerce City is an ideal home base. From here, visitors can embark on day trips to many of Colorado’s most beloved scenic drives.

Popular accessible routes include:

  • Mount Evans Scenic Byway- Ascend over 14,000 feet to mountain vistas and alpine lakes.
  • Peak to Peak Highway- Connect between Estes Park, Nederland, and Black Hawk.
  • Pawnee Pioneer Trails- Journey back to the 1800s across the Pawnee National Grasslands.

Additional nearby byways reach fossils, hot springs, gold rush relics, and desert canyonlands. Ask the local experts which high-country highways and backroad trails match your interests.

Summer Adventures Captivate Families

As sunny days stretch, Commerce City and its environs become a playground for family fun. Top area attractions like Water World Water Park, Lakeside Amusement Park, and Elitch Gardens Theme Park promise screams of thrill alongside splashes of fun. Gentler enjoyments like hiking wildflower-dotted trails, fishing cool mountain streams, or paddling Standley Lake await nearby.

Overnight family lodging abounds both in town and around Denver. Recommendations include the Residence Inn Denver Commerce City, Homewood Suites by Hilton Denver International Airport, and Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs.

View Wildlife and Hunt Dinosaur Relics

Two area wildlife refuges flush with fauna and flora sit just minutes outside Commerce City. The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge offers bison, deer, bald eagles, prairie dogs, and more with over 15 miles of trails. Barr Lake State Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise with a nature center and wildlife viewing blind.

Embark just a bit farther to walk where dinosaurs once lumbered. Dinosaur Ridge has famous fossil tracks, a quarry exhibit hall, and outdoor trails. At the Morrison Fossil Discovery attraction, kids can dig for dinosaur bones and view robotic prehistoric beasts.

Extreme Sports Find a Mountain Home

Commerce City’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains opens unlimited adventures for adrenaline junkies. Apex Field House and Adventure Park have indoor climbing, ninja courses, trampolines, and more to pump your heart. Add on outdoor ziplining, axe throwing, snow tubing, or racing at nearby attractions.

Experience world-class rafting on the scenic Cache La Poudre River in the heart of the Colorado Mountains, just a short drive from Commerce City, Colorado. This river, part of the majestic Rocky Mountain range, offers unforgettable adventures and is easily accessible for any Commerce City resident looking for natural thrills.

Beyond rafting, you can arrange activities such as bouldering, mountain biking, paddle boarding, or even tall-timber “TreeTop Adventures” in state parks around the area, all within an hour of the bustling Commerce City. These parks serve as gateways to the greater Rocky Mountain National Park, providing vast trails and rich wildlife experiences. Winter Park Resort is a drive away for those seeking higher altitudes, perfect for downhill skiing or snowboarding. The proximity to Denver International Airport also means easy access to remote destinations.

Plan Your Visit By Season

Though attractive year-round, Commerce City is best enjoyed during temperate spring and fall. July’s Buffalo Run Stampede launches summer festival season, including mid-August’s Mile High Music Festival. September brings the Adams County Fair, beautiful fall foliage, and crisp air.

Winter activities in the town center include holiday-themed events, ice skating, and nearby skiing. Summer sizzles with water play, amusement parks, and baseball. Whenever visiting, prepare for sun and altitude with hats, hydration, and sunscreen. Reach Commerce City via Denver International Airport or ample highways and public transit.


What are the top things to do in Commerce City?

Commerce City itself offers attractions like Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, and Derden Farm Museum. The city also serves as a gateway to Denver venues and numerous front-range scenic drives.

What is there to do with kids?

Family-friendly activities include Water World, Lakeside Amusement Park, downtown Denver’s Children’s Museum, and area hiking trails. Overnight lodging caters to kids at resorts like Great Wolf Lodge and Homewood Suites DIA.

Where are the best areas for outdoor recreation?

Must-visit outdoor attractions surround Commerce City, including Rocky Mountain National Park, Roxborough State Park, and Golden Gate Canyon State Park. These offer hiking, climbing, mountain biking, and more against beautiful Colorado backdrops.

What events happen annually?

Summer brings the massive Mile High Music Festival, while September sees the traditional Adams County Fair. Quirky events like October’s beautiful Balloon Glow add seasonal fun as well. Winter holiday events range from parades to New Year’s fireworks.

So come and experience Commerce City’s unique blend of urban, natural, and historic attractions! This gateway community provides easy access to quintessential Colorado through its wealth of iconic drives and abundance of outdoor adventure.


About the author

Ransom Patterson

My expertise in Colorado life extends beyond just residing here; it’s also about living actively within the community. I spend my time cycling through Denver’s trails, experimenting with local cuisines, and immersing myself in the local music scene. These activities give me a unique perspective on the cultural and outdoor offerings of Colorado. This hands-on approach allows me to provide insider tips and personal recommendations that resonate with both locals and visitors alike.