10 Colorado Parks

admin April 11, 2011 0

1. Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site – An adobe fort built in 1833 located near La Junta, Colorado in Otero County. The fort was built by William and Charles Bent as well as Ceran St. Vrain. The fort remained in operation for 16 years and, during that time, was the only main settlement along the Santa Fe Trail between Mexican settlements and Missouri. The main reason the fort was constructed was to trade for buffalo robes with the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Plains Indians.
2. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park – This park is located in western Colorado near the town of Montrose. The canyon within the park got its name from the fact that it is so steep that sunlight cannot penetrate very deep into the canyon, thus, making it appear black.
3. Canyons of the Ancients National Monument – This monument is located within Montezuma and Dolores County in southwestern Colorado. This site, Canyons of the Ancients, protects and showcases archeological sites from the Paleo-Indian civilizations.
4. Chatfield State Park – A state park located in both Douglas and Jefferson County. This park contains a wide variety of wildlife and beautiful scenery. Over 300 bird species (native and visitors) can be found within the boundaries of Chatfield State Park.
5. Cherry Creek State Park – This park is located in Arapahoe County in Aurora, Colorado and boasts a natural prairie landscape with a reservoir at its center. All sorts of boats can be found in the reservoir. A swim beach made of imported sand lines the reservoir’s northeast coast. Inside the park itself there are 12 miles of paved roads and 35 miles trails for runners, cyclists, rollerbladers, walkers, and horseback riders.
6. Dinosaur National Monument – Located on the border of Colorado and Utah, Dinosaur National Monument is near Vernal, Utah and Dinosaur, Colorado. As its name suggests, the park sports fossils of dinosaurs like the Allosaurus, Abydosaurus, and many more.
7. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve – Great Sand Dunes is located in Alamosa and Saguache County near Alamosa, Colorado. The tallest sand dunes in North America reside at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. These amazing sand dunes are approximately 12,000 years old!
8. Mesa Verde National Park – Like Canyons of the Ancients, Mesa Verde National Park is located in Montezuma County. Since 1906, Mesa Verde has protected and displayed the cliff dwellings of the Anasazi Indians. These cliff dwellings are perhaps the best preserved in the world.
9. Mount Evans Wilderness – This wilderness area is located within Arapaho National Forest and Pike National Forest, about 40 miles west of Denver. This area is named after Mount Evans, a “Colorado Fourteener” that stands at 14,265 feet above sea level.
10. Rocky Mountain National Park –This world famous park is located in north-central Colorado near Estes Park and Grand Lake, Colorado. Rocky Mountain National Park boasts storybook scenery, an abundance of wildlife, trails, campsites, and varied environments such as tundra and wooded forests.

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