COLORADO NATIONAL PARKS & MONUMENT TOUR
Welcome to Colorado – home of the majestic Rocky Mountains, three National Parks, five National Monuments and America’s number one destination for outdoors adventure.
For more information please contact: Colorado Tourism Office
Day 1 - Begin your Colorado Vacation in Denver the Capitol of Colorado and known around the world as the “Mile High City.”
In Denver explore the museums and attractions including the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center, Buffalo Bills Museum, Denver Art Museum, Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Molly Brown House. Shop and dine at Denver Pavilions, Larimer Square and the 16th Street Mall, a mile-long pedestrian walkway in downtown Denver, and Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Overnight in Denver.
Day 2 - Travel south to Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region known for its majestic beauty and abundance of attractions: Garden of the Gods Park, U.S. Air Force Academy, Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, Olympic Training Center, Pikes Peak Cog Railway, Seven Falls and the Flying W. Ranch. Overnight in Colorado Springs.
Day 3 - Travel South to Walsenburg and west on Hwy 160 over La Veta Pass to Alamosa and the Great Sand Dunes National Monument & Preserve – www.nps.gov/grsa/index.htm, North America’s tallest dunes rising over 700 feet high against the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Overnight in Alamosa.
Day 4 - Travel west via South Fork to Durango and ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, an authentic turn-of-the-century steam-powered, coal-fired railroad through the scenic San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado. Overnight in Durango.
Day 5 - Travel to Cortez and on to Mesa Verde National Park - www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm, a World Heritage Cultural Park, and the nation’s best collection of ancient Anasazi Indian cliff dwellings built during the 13th century. Overnight in Cortez or Mesa Verde.
Day 6 - Travel to Montrose and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park -www.nps.gov/blca/index.htm. Return to Montrose and drive north to Grand Junction. In Grand Junction explore the Colorado National Monument - www.nps.gov/colm/index.htm. Overnight in Grand Junction.Day 7Travel East on Hwy I-70 to Hwy 46 and then north to Winter Park, Granby, Grand Lake and Rocky Mountain National Park - www.nps.gov/romo/index.htm, Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous highway in North America crossing the Continental Divide more than two miles above sea level, into Estes Park, a resort village and home of the famous Stanley Hotel the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel The Shining. Overnight in Estes Park.
Day 8 - Return to Denver
Option A - Travel Hwy 34 to Loveland, known as a sculpture colony. Take I-25 north to Fort Collins home of Colorado State University. Return to Hwy 34 and drive east to Greeley the Centennial Village and the Greeley Stampede headquarters (2 weeks June/July each year). Take Hwy 85 to Denver.
Option B - Travel Hwy 7 to Hwy 72 to Boulder, home of the University of Colorado, Chautauqua Park Historic District, Pearl Street a four-block pedestrian mall, Celestial Seasonings, and the Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art, the nation’s largest private collection of contemporary western art. Take Hwy 36 to Denver.
Other National Monuments and Historic Sites
Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site www.nps.gov/beo/index.htm Curecanti National Recreation Area www.nps.gov/cure/index.htm Dinosaur National Monument www.nps.gov/dino/index.htm Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument www.nps.gov/flfo/index.htm Hovenweep National Monument www.nps.gov/hove/index.htm
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site www.nps.gov/sand/index.htm
Colorado’s 23 Scenic By-Ways