Did you know it’s National Parks Week? While we may be in the midst of “mud season”, now is a great time to get out and Explore Colorado’s Wild Side. We may be famous for our incredible downhill skiing but as soon as the snow melts, the hiking boots come out and summer activities begin. Here are several incredible National Parks practically right in our backyard!
Rocky Mountain National Park
With over 300 miles of trails, it’s no wonder the Rocky Mountain National Park is Colorado’s most visited park. Take in over 415 square miles of protected mountain wilderness. This Rocky Mountain paradise has everything from flowering meadows and alpine lakes to its famous towering peaks.
Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve
Located on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley, the Great Sand Dunes National Park is open 24/7, 365 days a year. Visitors will enjoy the vast ecosystem which includes not only the famous sand dunes, but also alpine lakes, tundra, conifer forests, wetlands, grasslands, and towering peaks. Home to the tallest dunes in the world, the Great Sand Dunes are a must see.
Black Canyon of The Gunnison
Of course one of our favorite is the Black Canyon of The Gunnison National Park. It’s taken millions of years for the 14 mile stretch of the Gunnison River to carve out the deep, narrow gorge that is now the Black Canyon. Roads and hiking trails wind along both the north and south rims proving year round enjoyment and jaw dropping views. Explore Colorado’s “little Grand Canyon”.
Mesa Verde National Park
Head to the southwest most corner of Colorado and see how native Americans in the region lived 1,400 years ago. Enjoy camping and hiking throughout the park. Pack a picnic and explore and learn about the Ancestral Pueblo people who made these cliffs their homes for over 700 years.
Roxborough State Park
Located just 20 miles south of Denver, just outside of Littleton, the Roxborogh State Park is best known for its incredible sandstone formations. Visitors can hike or trail run the 14 miles of trails throughout the park.
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
An easy driver over Cottonwood Pass to Leadville and you will find yourself at the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area. The fast flowing river is a favorite for whitewater rafting and kayaking. Not into the extreme water sports? Enjoy hiking, camping, gold panning and other activities throughout the valley.
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