Must-Visit Colorado National Parks

August 31, 2022

Colorado is home to some of the most scenic terrain in the country, and our state’s national parks depict that perfectly. We have four national parks  scattered around the Centennial State, and each is worth a long weekend trip, at the very least. In fact, you could spend a lifetime exploring Colorado’s National Parks and still not see everything there is to see. Here are a few of our favorites:

Rocky Mountain National Park

This legendary national park tops the list. Rocky Mountain National Park is the closest national park to the Front Range and is well-worth a visit or two each year. Reservations are required to enter the park during peak season, so be sure to plan ahead. Trek to sparkling alpine or sleep under a starry night sky to soak in the majestic beauty of this place. Drive over Trail Ridge Road and experience the thrill of moseying over one of the highest paved roads in the country. Spot elk, moose, deer, and more by visiting off-the-beaten-path trails or by going during the off season.  

Black Canyon of the Gunnison 

This national park is one of Colorado’s best kept secrets. Regardless of the season, peace and quiet are easily attained  in this deep canyon. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison has steep walls that can reach over 2,000 feet in some places – talk about views! On hot days, you can hike winding trails all the way to the canyon’s floor and dip in the chilly waters. 

Mesa Verde 

For archaeology enthusiasts or history buffs, Mesa Verde can’t be missed. Visitors should plan to camp out and enjoy the dark skies and Milky Way views over the park. Mesa Verde was once home to ancestral Pueblo tribes whose former homes can still be seen nestled throughout the park. As one of the best preserved archaeological sites in North America, Mesa Verde will transport visitors back to a time before colonization and industrialization to understand more about the people who originally called our state home. 

Great Sand Dunes

Unlike any other state or national park in Colorado, the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Alamosa, Colorado, is remarkable to witness. Open 24/7, this park boasts the tallest sand dunes in North America, right  in the middle of mountain ranges. Miles upon miles of yellow sand dunes undulate like waves in the ocean, beckoning exploration and enjoyment. Rent a sandboard and practice surfing the biggest ‘waves,’ or pack a picnic and hope for minimal wind. Because it’s basically one large sand box, kids of all ages can find something fun to do at the Great Sand Dunes. 

Colorado’s national parks are some of the best that our country has to offer. Captivating landscapes, swathes of wild earth, and solitude in the great outdoors can all be earned by planning a trip to any of these four destinations. 

Independence neighborhood in Elizabeth is conveniently located in Denver’s southeast metro area, making it easy for residents to hop on the highway and take a scenic road trip to any of these national parks. Our community-focused neighborhood encourages both roots and wings by creating welcoming spaces to engage with neighbors and scenic views that inspire adventure, enthusiasm, and wonderment. Contact us today to learn more.