If you're looking to plan a vacation to Colorado, it's important to know all there is to know about the national parks in this state. From Rocky Mountain National Park to Mesa Verde, there are several great sites to visit in this beautiful state.
The national parks in Colorado are among the most beautiful in the US. In this ultimate guide, you'll learn everything you need to know before your visit!
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the world's premier wilderness destinations, drawing millions of visitors every year. The park encompasses a variety of mountain environments from meadows and forests to alpine peaks and tundra.
The mountain vistas and wilderness solitude of this national park make it an unforgettable experience for all. Take a scenic drive to enjoy the majestic views, hike one of the many trails, and watch wildlife like elk and bighorn sheep.
The park's diverse terrain and protected status help support a wide variety of wildflowers, including the Colorado state flower, the Colorado columbine. The wetlands, mountains, and alpine ecosystems in Rocky Mountain National Park also provide habitat for an incredible number of insects and butterflies.
Established in 1906, Mesa Verde National Park protects over 600 cliff-side structures and 1000s of archeological sites. It is one of the most famous archaeological parks in the United States.
Aside from its incredible cultural heritage, Mesa Verde is an important natural area for wildlife and plant life. Its diverse climatic conditions and microclimates support many species of plants such as prickly pear, Douglas firs, mosses, and ferns.
In addition to its impressive archeological sites, Mesa Verde has a large variety of hiking trails. Some hikes are easy, while others are moderate to strenuous.
Hiking trails at Mesa Verde can be challenging and tiring as they are at an elevation of 7000 to 8572 feet (2130 to 2613 meters). Be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks for the duration of your trip.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a stunning, dramatic natural wonder in Colorado. It features some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock and craggiest spires in North America. The Gunnison River has carved out this vertical wilderness over two million years.
The rocky terrain of the Black Canyon is home to wildlife that thrives in its harsh environment. Look for eagles and peregrine falcons overhead, mule deer, bobcats and skunks as you hike.
You can also spot a variety of wildflowers in the Black Canyon, especially in June. These delicate petals contrast beautifully with the red, brown and black rocks of the canyon.
Several ranger-led programs are available to visitors at the park, including walks, talks and hikes. Check out the park’s calendar to find out what is happening during your visit.
Located at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Great Sand Dunes National Park features the tallest dunes in North America. The park also encompasses a vast range of habitats, including wetlands, forests, and grasslands.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities at the park, including sandboarding and sand sledding. Moreover, they can enjoy scenic hikes and wildlife viewing.
The park’s 149,137 acres include tundra, forest, and soaring sand dunes in an out-of-this-world setting. It also features a variety of unique geological formations, such as rock outcroppings, caves, and cliffs.
During winter, you can admire the landscape transforming into a snowy wonderland. In addition, you can float down the popular seasonal stream called Medano Creek during peak runoff.