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National Park Guide | Colorado's National Parks

Colorado's National Parks

Mesa-verde

Colorado is a state filled with magnificent sites and natural wonders. Within the state there are many different types of National Parks. Here are a few of the state's National Parks. Each of these destinations is unique and offers numerous opportunities to view some of the special landscape within Colorado as well as enjoy plenty of recreational activities.

Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site
This historic site is a reconstructed fur trading post, which was an important destination for both Indians and fur traders. Today the site is an adobe reconstruction of the actual fur trading post located along the Santa Fe Trail. Visitors can learn about the stories of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, as well as the other trappers, traders and travelers that came to the site. This National Historic Site has living historians, which can recreate the stories of Bent's Old Fort, bringing history to life for visitors.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
The magnificent canyon at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park was formed by the waters of the Gunnison River. This unique canyon is deep, with a narrow opening and almost vertical canyon walls. Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a fantastic destination for hiking, fishing, kayaking, rafting, and it also has a great scenic drive. Experienced rock climbers may want to try climbing the difficult vertical walls of the canyon. The canyon is known for its high walls and crumply rock, which makes it appropriate for only the most experienced rock climbers.  Read more.

Colorado National Monument
This National Monument protects one of the region's most beautiful landscapes. The land is covered with towering monoliths within surrounding plateau and canyons. Visitors will be greeted with stunning views as well as plenty of activities. The Rim Rock Drive is a great option for car travelers wishing to enjoy the views of the landscape. In addition, Colorado National Monument is great for hiking, known as canyon country hikers can gaze up at . It is also a great destination for camping and biking. Visitors should be sure to start the trip at the Saddlehorn Visitor Center and take the opportunity to learn about the park and about all of the ranger programs that visitors can enjoy.

Dinosaur National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument is an amazing place to learn about the natural splendor and natural history of this region of Colorado. In fact, this area has many significant fossils. Combine the natural history of the National Monument with the amazing recreational opportunities of Colorado. Visitors can see fossils, hike, and river raft through the river canyons. One great option during a visit to the National Monument is the Tour of the Tilted Rocks. Another great option is the Fossil Discovery Trail, which is one great way to enjoy the areas fossils and recreation. The rugged terrain offers both simple and challenging recreation.  Learn more.

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Visitors to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument will find one of the world's largest deposits of fossils. There are huge stumps of petrified wood and thousands of different fossils of plants and insects. During the summer months visitors can enjoy a variety of guided ranger walks. At the visitor center travelers can learn about the National Monument through the introductory video. After watching the video travelers can then explore the fossil beds on one of many hiking options. There is a trail through the Petrified Forest Loop, as well as 14 miles of hiking trails and other options for viewing fossils.

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve
This destination preserves the tallest sand dunes in North America. In addition it has amazingly diverse ecosystems, including grasslands, wetlands, forests and more. Visitors can enjoy learning about the diversity of the land while enjoying the beauty of the region. Medano Creek is a great destination in the National Monument and Preserve, children love playing in the creek. Great Sand Dunes is also a fantastic destination for building sand castles and even enjoying some Sandboarding. This destination is also great for hiking and backpacking, including hiking up Medano Creek, as well as hiking on the Mosca Pass Trail. Great Sand Dunes National Monument and Preserve is filled with fun activities and amazing points of interest, sure to interest any visitor.

Hovenweep National Monument
Hovenweep National Monument preserves a variety of prehistoric structures. These structures were part of prehistoric villages that were home to over 2,500 people. Travelers can explore the multistory towers and many other options while enjoying the site. There is a trail system, which  provides access to each of the sites. Many of the sites are fairly remote, and require plenty of hiking to see the fantastic architecture. Sites that visitors can explore include the Square Tower Group, and a two-mile self-guided tour around Little Ruin Canyon.

Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is an excellent spot to spend time hiking and enjoying some amazing archeological sites. The mesa can be seen from a long way off when approaching the park, it looks like a broad cliff. Mesa Verde National Park celebrates the history of the Pueblo people in the southwestern United States. The park has over 4,000 archeological sites, which includes 600 cliff dwellings. Some of the best cliff dwellings including Cliff Palace, Balcony House and Long House require the purchase of tickets for guided tours. Visitors to the park will see how the people created homes in the cliffs, with cut out doors and windows, some of the dwellings are several stories high. The Mesa Top Loop Road is another great way to enjoy the park. The scenic drive takes travelers to overlooks offering views of the dwellings. Visitors can also enjoy a wide range of amazing hikes, some of which culminate in cliff dwelling overlooks.  More articles about Mesa Verde.

Rocky Mountain National Park
Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park is a stunning introduction to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. During the summer months, when the weather is at its best, the Rocky Mountain National Park really allows visitors to Colorado to experience all of the nature and wildlife of the Rocky Mountains. The park has an amazing array of trails that take hikers into the backcountry of the Rocky Mountains, even trails that are great for the whole family. Children will love the Ranger-led programs, including guided horseback tours, and the After Dark program. Campers should be sure to look out for elk, bighorn sheep and many other species of wildlife.

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
The Sand Creek Massacre took place on November 29, 1864. Over 150 Indians were killed during this attack. The Sand Creek National Historic Site preserves the location and the memory of this event. Visitors to this site can learn all about this event, including learning about the stories of the people involved in the attack. In addition, visitors can explore the location of the attack and much more.
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