Exploring Colorado’s National Parks: A Summer Bucket List
Colorado is well-known for its natural beauty. One of the biggest reasons that tourists visit the state, and sometimes fall in love and never leave, is the amazing natural wonders throughout.
While much of the tourism that Colorado sees is related to skiing and snowboarding in the winter, there are just as many reasons to visit the state in the summertime. In addition, some of the best places to witness Colorado's beauty are the state's four National Parks.
Keep scrolling to learn about each of Colorado's National Parks, and use the guide below to plan your own summer road trip to visit each of them.
A Summer Road Trip through Colorado's National Parks
We'll start our summer road trip at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, a magnificent place to get in touch with nature just outside of Montrose, Colorado. According to TripAdvisor, the best value as far as hotels in the area go is the Hampton Inn in Montrose.
Next, we'll travel to Mesa Verde National Park via CO-145, a 153-mile trip that takes roughly 3 hours and 13 minutes. Mesa Verde is known for its cliff dwellings, and the highest-rated hotel in the area is the Retro Inn in Cortez, Colorado.
After that, we'll take US 160 to The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, a 199-mile trip that takes roughly 3 hours and 43 minutes. The Great Sand Dunes is a great place to get your skiing in during the summer months, and the highest-rated hotel in the area is the Comfort Inn and Suites in Alamosa.
Finally, we'll head up US Highway 285 to Rocky Mountain National Park, a 253-mile drive that takes roughly 4 hours and 33 minutes. You can take a drive over the highest continuous paved road in the United States, the Trail Ridge Road, and enjoy a nice hike surrounded by waterfalls and wildflowers.
The best-valued hotel to stay at near Rocky Mountain National Park is Murphy's River Lodge in Estes Park.
Now that we've planned out our road trip, keep scrolling to learn even more about Colorado's amazing National Parks and plan a road trip of your own: