More than a third of Colorado’s 100,000 Sq miles belong to people. Forests, state parks, national parks,rivers, wilderness areas,grassland and wildlife refuges are open to the public for sightseeing and recreation purposes. Start experiencing Colorado with these 10 special experiences.
1. Cool off in perfectly chilled waters in Great Sand Dunes National Park & preserve.
The Park is located in the Alamosa country. The park contains the tallest sand dunes in North America, rising about 750 feet from the floor of the San Luis Valley on the western base of the Sangre de Cristo Range, covering about 19,000 acres.
Medano Creek is something of a mystery which is located on the east side of the dunes next to the visitors center. Each spring it emerges from the mountains behind the dunes to form a wide shallow and gently flowing stream.Travelers and visitors wade into it to cool off hot feet after tromping around the dunes. The creek disappears in early July until the following year. The ideal combination of sultry desert and refreshing water is not the park’s only charm- the dunes themselves are quite bewitching as well. Ranger tours are available for you to learn how they were formed and about their ever changing nature. The national park also equipped with hiking trails, year round camp grounds and wetlands to enjoy. In autumn, colorful aspen trees can be seen.
Location: Alamosa, CO
2. See Mountain goats scale Mt Evens in the Arapahoe & Roosevelt National forests.
Mt Evens is one of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners, the air is thinner and cold. What really takes your breath away is the sight of a tiny, white baby mountain goat scurrying to keep up with its mama as she crosses rocky outcroppings and beds of green grass and wildflowers. Even thought, the road is only open during the summer months, this is enough time to get a glimpse of these magnificent creatures. There is also a good chance to see the Colorado state mammal- the Bighorn sheep with their massive rack of curved horns.
Location: Front range, CO
3. Spy Bold Eagles swopping above the reservoir in Navajo State Park.
The park is located closer to Arboles, Colorado.It was originally inhabited by the ancient Pueblo people who abandoned the are due to a severe drought.
Navajo state park with its 15ooo glassy acres make a popular summer destination for boaters and visitors. But it’s in the winter that the park really sings nature’s song. In late October, the reservoir, which doesn’t get cold enough to freeze, lure many bald eagles to its shores to feast on its rich trout population. if you are hiking on of the park’s nature trails, you are most likely to spot a few, sunning themselves majestically in the trees near the water. There are also other wild animals such as red foxes, river otters, white pelicans and golden eagles can be seen in the park and the surrounding areas. Boats can be rented year around at the Marina.
Location: Arboles, CO
4. Walk in the footprints of Dinosaurs in Comanche National Grassland.
The grassland is located in the southwestern Colorado closer to the city of Pueblo. Standing in Picketwire Canyon with your foot swallowed by a three-toed impression left in the bedrock by a dinosaur 150 million years ago, one’s imagination runs wild picturing what it might have looked like when dinosaurs inhabited the area. The canyon found in the Comanche National Grassland was home to a lake during the Jurassic period. The footprints can be found after a 5 mile hike and along the way, visitors can see pteroglyphs left on canyon walls by the Native Americans who lived there hundreds of years ago.Because this area has sandy land and dry air, people are advised to have plenty of water with them at all times. There are no admission or camping fees.
5. Picnic in the Golden Gate Canyon State Park.
The park is only about 30 miles from downtown Denver and just a few from the bustling gambling towns of Black Hawk and Central City. Hiking the park’s winding trails between lush meadows scattered with blue harebells, Scarlet paintbrushes and lavender columbines in the spring and summer is a journey to straight serenity. The Elk Trail from Reverend’s Ridge Campground to Ole’ Barn Knoll is just strenuous enough to make you feel you’ve earned your picnic. but not enough to make you miss the flowers.
Location: Golden, CO
6. Raft the tumbling rapids of the Cache La Poudre River.
This is Colorado’s nationally designated Wild and Scenic River. It caves down Poudre Canyon through narrow sections flanked by alpine mountainsides and natural rock cliffs West of Ft Collins. The triumph of paddling over a rapid named Devil’s Staircase is 2nd only to views and the chance to bighorn sheep and deer scampering along its rocky hills. The river is also popular with anglers and kayakers. North Park Scenic Bi way, four wilderness areas for camping hiking and backpacking are few of the attraction around the Cache La poudre river.
Location: Greeley, CO
7. Experience the profound quiet of a snowy Black Canyon of the Gunnison National park.
The park is located in western Colorado closer to Montrose. When the snow starts to fall in November, the road closes to cars and becomes an exemplary track for snowshoers and cross country skiers. They make their way across the powder to an overlook where they can peer into one of the country’s most dramatic landscapes. The canyon is so deep that the light only makes it down to the river for a few hours a day. The snow stays pristine and incandescently white without the traffic. And because the canyons are so dark, a striking natural juxtaposition emerges.
Location: Montrose, CO
8. Marvel at the masonry of Colorado’s ancient people at Hovenweep National Monument.
defensive forts or ceremonial structures. The monument is an excellent place for quiet contemplation and discovery, where wind whistles through arroyos and ravens soar above red-rock formations. These were the construction of the ancient Puebloans who lived in Southwest CO, that parts of their structures stand still more than 700 years later. Archeologists think they could have been homes, storage, silos for crops, defensive forts or ceremonial structures. The monument is an excellent place for quiet contemplation and discovery where wind whistles through arroyos and ravens soar above red rock formations.
Location: Bluff, UT
9 Feel the 1st pole of a foot-long walleye at Bonny lake State Park.
Fishers relish lazy summer days perched on the shore of Bonny Lake, surrounded by the wide open short grass prairies of Colorado’s NE planes. Being awakened from that reverie by the first mighty tug of The Big One makes it even more than fish tales. 10 to 20 inch walleye, largemouth and white bass, channel catfish, bluegill, northern pike and yellow perch are on the menu of the lucky anglers. The park is also a favorite for those looking for nonaquatic wildlife. Visitors might see white -tailed deer, wild turkeys, red-necked pheasants, prairie falcons, cardinals, eastern bluejays and great heron.
Location: Burlington, CO
10. Hear the crescendo of the powerful Triple Waterfall in Rifle Falls State park.
On a hot summer day, the mist that drifts from the exhilarating gush of water over 70- foot-high limestone cliffs and the dark caves below them in Rifle Falls State Park are a sublime natural air conditioner. These geologic attractions draw photographers, spelunkers, fishers and campers to the singular State Park. It is an understatement to say the scene created by the waterfall is picture perfect, which is why its no surprise the park is a popular place for outdoor weddings. Beyond the falls, where water cascades over moss- covered rocks, it’s especially fun to explore the caves. A few are so deep they require flash-lights to see and maybe even a bit of squeezing, ducking and crawling.
location: Rifle, CO
Sources: wikipedia. nps.gov byway.org visitlajunta.net parks.state.co.us