Tour Colorado’s national parks, monuments
Colorado has four national parks and five monuments.
Visit them all in a clockwise route:
■ Rocky Mountain National Park — Trail Ridge Road, Longs Peak, 300 miles of hiking are some of what can be found in this 415-square mile park.
■ Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument — Find petrified redwood stumps and fossils here.
■ Great Sand dunes National Park & Preserve — Leave the mountains behind and sled down the towering dunes of this unique park.
■ Mesa Verde National Park — Tour cliff dwellings and stand in awe of what was left behind by the Ancestral Puebloan people. You also can get a look at the new visitor and research center that is under construction and expected to open later this year.
■ Yucca House National Monument — More Ancestral Puebloan artifacts and sites can be found here.
■ Hovenweek National Monument — This monument is along the Utah, Colorado border and contains six prehistoric villages.
■ Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park — Not far outside of the city of Montrose, this park is the home of the steep, jagged Black Canyon and flowing Gunnison River.
■ Colorado National Monument — Red rock monoliths, canyons and more can be found in this monument in the Grand Valley.
■ Dinosaur National Monument — Track down dinosaurs at this monument that features fossils as well as plenty of recreation opportunity.
The National Park Service also manages several historic areas and other sites in the state. For information on all these areas, as well as those in eastern Utah, go to http://www.nps.gov.