8 Best Colorado National Parks and Sites

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park includes hiking routes, canyon vistas, and well-preserved Ancestral Puebloan cliff houses that reveal Indigenous culture.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

The highest North American dunes are in southern Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park. Visitors may climb and slide down the massive dunes, which are best seen at dawn and sunset.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

One of the state's most beautiful parks is lesser-known. Gunnison River cuts a deep, steep-walled valley in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park

The continental divide in northern Colorado makes Rocky Mountain National Park the most accessible from Denver. The park's 265,807 acres include almost 300 miles of hiking trails.

Colorado National Monument

The Colorado National Monument overlooks Grand Junction on the Colorado Plateau. The monument's steep, red rock canyons, stunning rock formations.

Santa Fe National Historic Trail

Western Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico, are connected via this 19th-century route across five states. The route's Colorado section includes Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site.

Curecanti National Recreation Area

Three reservoirs in Curecanti National Recreation Area sit at the foot of large rock formations and scrub-covered slopes.

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument preserves Colorado's historic past. With nearly 8,300 historic sites, the monument's 174,000-plus acres provide the largest U.S. archaeological site density.