4 Beautiful Nature Friendly Colorado National Parks
- NIYATI SHINDE
- UPDATED May 16, 2018
- 1.4K Views
The state of Colorado is known for its diverse landscape- from its snow-capped peaks to its baked deserts, from its intimidating canyons to its lush green forests. If you intend on going on a vacation there, how about you explore these beautiful national parks in Colorado and reconnect with peace and tranquillity? You’ll come back refreshed and in love (probably) with the state!
1. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park:
Image Source: Flickr/Ken Lund
Hiding millions of years of natural history within it, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is essentially a steep-walled gorge which was formed by the Gunnison River as it cut through Precambrian rock. Giving panoramic views of breathtaking vistas, this 53-mile stretch of narrow gorge is a part of one of the best national parks in Colorado. If you are an outdoorsy person, a visit to this park will provide you with plenty of opportunities to indulge in adrenaline pumping activities and thrilling experiences. Trivia: The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is named so because of its darkness. The canyon’s height and depth make it almost impossible for sun rays to seep through.
Activities: Hiking, rock climbing, scenic drives, camping, skiing, fishing, horseback riding.
Must See: Chasm View Nature Trail, Railroad Museum, Gunnison River, Black Canyon Visitor Centre.
2. Mesa Verde National Park:
Home to the most unique Ancestral Puebloan dwellings, do add the Mesa Verde National Park in your Colorado travel itinerary and witness a part of history that will leave you intrigued. Usually, national parks are established to preserve nature, but, the Mesa Verde National Park was the first national park which was established to preserve ancient manmade structures. Located in southwestern Colorado, near the Four Corners region, this is one of the best national parks in Colorado you can visit if you are an archaeology, architecture or a history buff.
Activities: Hiking, scenic drives, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing.
Must See: Cliff Palace, Chapin Mesa, Step House, Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum.
3. Rocky Mountain National Park:
The most popular national park in Colorado, the splendid Rocky Mountain National Park will leave you enchanted. With a landscape consisting of serene mountain lakes, huge mountains, gurgling streams, cascading waterfalls and a dense evergreen forest, this national park is spread across 415 square miles. Do pass on our ‘hi’ to the many elks and deer you will come across on your trip! Trivia: Did you know that the Rocky Mountain National Park spans the Continental Divide?
Activities: Hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, skiing.
Must See: Visitor centre at Beaver Meadow, Holzwarth Historic Site, Old Fall River Road.
4. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve:
Spread across approximately 132 square miles, the arid landscape of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve will make you feel like you have landed on another planet! One of the youngest national parks in Colorado, this one was established in the year 2004. Beware though; there are no marked trails, so you will have to explore the park on your own. Now that sounds like a fun adventure! Trivia: The tallest dune in the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is 750 feet high!
Activities: Sledging or sandboarding down the dunes, hiking, horseback riding, backpacking, fishing, four-wheel driving.
Must See: Mount Herard, Medano Pass, Visitor Centre.
All set to explore these magnificent national parks in Colorado? Hope you have a memorable trip. Please don’t forget to carry plenty of drinking water and food with you. Also, applying sun screen is always a good idea!
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