Discover Colorado's stunning natural landscape. From the highest sand dunes in North America to 54 mountain peaks over 14,000 ft, Colorado has one of the most unique and varied natural landscapes in the entire nation. As you travel through the state, you'll see emerald-green forests, fields of vibrant wild flowers as far as the eye can see, picturesque mountain lakes, abundant grasslands and rich red rock formations. You'll find many places to enjoy Colorado's vast natural beauty. There are four national parks, five national monuments and 41 state parks waiting to be explored. If you're looking for a beautiful drive, Colorado is also home to 25 scenic and historic byways, noted for their distinct qualities. They include ghost towns, ancient ruins, alpine tundra, some of the oldest trains in the West and much more. Wherever you go in Colorado, have your camera ready for pictures of the postcard-perfect beauty.
- Mesa Verde National Park, www.nps.gov/meve
- Rocky Mountain National Park, www.nps.gov/romo
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, www.nps.gov/blca
- Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, www.nps.gov/grsa
National Monuments, Recreation Areas, Historic Places
- Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, www.nps.gov/beol
- Colorado National Monument, www.nps.gov/colm
- Curecanti National Recreation Area, www.nps.gov/cure
- Dinosaur National Monument, www.nps.gov/dino
- Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, www.nps.gov/flfo
- Hovenweep National Monument, www.nps.gov/hove
- Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, www.blm.gov/co/st/en/nm/canm.html
- Yucca House National Monument, www.nps.gov/yuho
- Chimney Rock Archeological Area, www.chimneyrockco.org
From the mountains to the plains, Colorado's 41 state parks are great places to experience the state's natural beauty. The list of activities at each of these areas is amazing. Boating, hiking, fishing and camping are among the most popular, but lesser-known activities range from model aeroplane fields to target shooting.
Here are a few things to do in Colorado's state parks:
- Go boating in North Sterling State Park's reservoir, featuring 3,000 acres of water.
- Go rock climbing at Eldorado State Park, outside Boulder.
- Spend a wintry night tucked warmly into a Mongolian-inspired yurt at Mancos State Park.
- Navigate your way through the terrain in a treasure-hunting event at State Forest State Park.
Simply put, Colorado has to be seen to be believed. From the incredible red rock formations jutting up from the earth at Garden of the Gods to the towering sand dunes at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, you'll see things here you can't see anywhere else. Our natural wonders are everywhere you look, just waiting to be explored.