When you visit the Colorado National Parks, you see the wild land that the explorers and early settlers encountered as they moved west.
As you can see by the above map, the four National Parks are all west of Interstate 25, the north to south route from the border of Wyoming to New Mexico.
Shown also, are the National Monuments located in Colorado. These will be covered in another chapter of the site.
Beautiful vistas and valleys, plateaus and rock formations tell of the pre history of Colorado. Millions of years of geology are found in these parks, as well as the remains of dinosaurs and a vanished Native American tribe, called the Anasazi.
Mesa Verde National Park, the green placemark in the southwest corner of the state, is an anthropologists dream. Carved out of the hillside are “apartments”, sacred kivas, wall art and found all over the area, artifacts left behind by the first Native Americans in Colorado.
Rocky Mountain National Park, marked in yellow, is a beautiful spot to take a day trip and view the wildflowers, wildlife and ghost towns of the Pikes Peak gold rush.
Located at the blue placemark, the Grand Canyon of Colorado, Black Canyon National Park is an awe inspiring site. Imagine yourself as an early settler, heading for the western slope of the territory, and have this geologic wonder in your path.
Great Sand Dunes National Park, showing a purple marker, boasts the largest sand dunes in the U.S. Thousands of years ago, as glaciers slid down the Rocky Mountains, this trough was cut in the southern part of the state.
The winds of the plains blows the sand up against the mountains and then back out again, forming these unusual dunes found in a land locked state.
No matter where you travel in the state, the national parks in Colorado are a wonder to see and experience. Let your imagination run wild!