Enjoy Akron, Colorado: A Hub for History and Outdoor Fun


Once a bustling railroad hub, Akron celebrates its frontier heritage through events like the annual Eastern Colorado Roundup and the Washington County Fair. The small town is located two hours east of Denver and Fort Collins, and almost three hours from Colorado Springs. Akron is at Washington County’s highest point and is a gateway to expansive grasslands, reservoirs, and state wildlife areas offering hiking, fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or simply passing through, Akron invites visitors to slow down and savor its rural charms.


  • Akron is a small Eastern Plains town with Old West roots and modern outdoor attractions.
  • Must-see sights include the historic downtown and the Eastern Colorado Roundup rodeo.
  • Nearby reservoirs, grasslands, and wildlife areas provide year-round recreation.

Local Experiences and Culture

Akron embraces its Western heritage through various cultural events and traditions. The annual Eastern Colorado Roundup in July immerses visitors in the frontier lifestyle, with activities like chuckwagon dinners, cowboy mounted shooting competitions, and living history encampments. Locals also don their best cowboy hats and boots for the July 4th parade, where equestrian groups and floats wind through downtown.

Stop by the Akron Farmers Market on summer Saturdays to taste Akron’s agricultural bounty. Vendors sell fresh produce, baked goods, honey, and meat from local farms. September/October brings the Washington County Fall Festival, where home cooks compete to see who makes the best pies and preserves.

Historical Significance

As a former railroad hub, Akron was integral to Colorado’s early development. The town sprang up in the 1880s as a water and coaling station along the Burlington Route railroad line. By 1900, Akron was one of Colorado’s busiest livestock shipping points. The boom era left a legacy of stately brick buildings downtown, like the Akron Museum.

Today, railroad history comes alive in Akron. The Depot Art Gallery, housed in the restored 1903 train depot, celebrates this heritage through rotating exhibits and railroad memorabilia displays.

Driving 35 minutes west, you can visit the Fort Morgan Museum, which has exhibits ranging from big band icon Glenn Miller to Native American artifacts.

Outdoor Adventures

With wide open spaces ideal for outdoor recreation, Akron offers year-round adventures to suit any interest. The Pawnee National Grassland surrounds the town, its rolling prairie vistas dotted with buttes and canyons. Hikers and mountain bikers traverse trails to landmarks like Paint Mines Interpretive Park, where vibrant clay deposits create a rainbow of colors across the eroded hillsides.

Anglers can cast lines for walleye, smallmouth bass, and channel catfish at Jackson Lake or Jumbo Reservoir. Hunters stalk waterfowl, pheasants, and pronghorn antelope during the right seasons. Wildlife lovers might spot mule deer, coyotes, prairie dogs, and species of raptors. Wintertime even brings opportunities for ice fishing and cross-country skiing when the lakes freeze over.

Seasonal Attractions

Akron celebrates each season with special events and natural spectacles. As one of the top sunflower-growing regions in Colorado, Akron is among the best places for those Instagram photo ops when summer brings bursting blooms that stretch to the horizon. Many local farms allow visitors to wander the floral fields and take photos–be sure to ask about prices since some farms charge a fee to use their fields for photography purposes.

Autumn foliage transforms the region as well. The blazing gold cottonwoods along the South Platte River make for stellar leaf-peeping.

From November through March, watch thousands of snow geese and bald eagles converge along the South Platte during the annual migration. Bitter-cold and snowy landscapes create prime wildlife viewing. Downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing take over as popular winter pastimes.

Accommodations and Amenities

Akron and the surrounding area offer various lodging options for different budgets and tastes. Smaller motels and inns can be found downtown, along with the Akron RV Park for RVers and van campers.

Jumbo Reservoir, Jackson Lake, and the Pawnee National Grassland have RV and tent camping campgrounds outside city limits. Area dude ranches even allow visitors to experience farm life and cattle drives. Whether you want to bed down in an old saloon or sleep under the stars, Akron has you covered.

Local Cuisine and Dining

Reflecting its ranching heritage, beef headlines menus across Akron. Residents and visitors rave about Snake Pit BBQ, At Ease Pub-N-Grub, and Cornerstone Coffee. Five Star Dining & Grill serves tacos, enchiladas, smothered burritos, and other local favorites, offering a taste of Southwestern cuisine with a Colorado twist.

Travel Tips and Resources

The Akron Chamber of Commerce and Washington County Tourism Office have additional information to help plan your visit. Their websites list upcoming events, recommended outfitters, dining guides, and more. Be sure to stop by the Akron Visitor Center when you arrive to speak with knowledgeable staff and pick up maps for self-guided walking and driving tours.

Popular events like the Eastern Colorado Roundup and the Washington County Fall Festival fill up fast, so book accommodations well in advance. If you’d like to catch the snow goose migration or sunflower blooms at their peak, target your trip for March and late July, respectively. Above all, embrace Akron’s laidback small-town hospitality – you might discover your new favorite home on the range.


What is there to do in Akron besides outdoor activities?

Akron has a charming downtown with historic buildings, shops, museums, and restaurants to explore. Cultural events like the fall festival, rodeos, and museum exhibits connect visitors to the town’s Old West roots.

When is the best time of year to visit Akron?

Late spring to early autumn provides the most pleasant weather for hiking, cycling, fishing, and wildlife viewing. March and July also align with the snow goose migration and sunflower blooms. Akron celebrates different seasons through various events and attractions year-round.

Where can I find information about seasonal hunting regulations?

Contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife for the most up to date rules, license requirements, and season dates regarding hunting small game like pheasant or big game like antelope in the Akron area.

What hotels or lodges do you recommend in Akron?

Within downtown Akron you’ll find Gemma’s Crossing, Mojo’s Inn, and the Akron RV Park. Jumbo Reservoir and Jackson Lake campgrounds also give you scenic views. Area dude ranches let you immerse yourself in rural ranch life.

What is the best way to experience the Pawnee National Grassland?

The Crow Valley Recreation Area has excellent hiking trails with interpretive signs highlighting local plants, wildlife, and geology. Guided tours, horseback rides, and Jeep rentals through local outfitters also provide great grassland access.


About the author

James Ranson

I’m an editor, traveler, and fan of the great outdoors. I’ve been to all 48 continental US states, and my drives through Colorado’s rugged peaks and snowy forests (not to mention whiskey tastings in Denver!) still stand out in my memories. I’m excited to use my ten years of editing experience to develop engaging and informative guides and articles that enhance the outdoor experiences of both Colorado residents and visitors. Whether a piece is about exploring the best ski resorts, uncovering scenic trails for hiking, or finding the most inspiring drives through the Colorado Rockies, my aim is to provide comprehensive and accessible content that encourages adventure and exploration.