The National Parks of Colorado | TravelResearchOnline

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The National Parks of Colorado

 

Colorado is a nature-lover’s dream come true. Snow-tipped mountains in the distance, with trails and valleys snaking through its pristine landscapes. Lush alpine forests, desert dunes, and sights that bring forth inspiration from scenery nearly unmatched. These qualities are more than abundant at the national parks of Colorado.

 

The most popular example of this is Rocky Mountain National Park. With over 300 miles of hiking trails, the coming sunny, summer days provide a chance to wander about the park and take in nature. The traveler can wake up from camping, at one of their many campsites, surrounded by stunning views. Rocky Mountain National Park also features a look at animals in the wild, including: bighorn sheep, black bears, elk, beavers, moose, and even a few endangered species. But, one of the best views of the park is driving along Trail Ridge Road. Closed during the winter months due to snow, this road weaves and rises up to a little over 12,000 ft. Perfect for posting pictures to post on Instagram, or simply reveling in the majesty of the mighty peaks and valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Though, parts of the park are amazing in the winter as well, where cross-country skiing, sledding, ice climbing and exploration await the traveler.

 

 

Given Colorado’s history during the time of the wild west, it is no surprise that trains are a good way to see the countrysides. Not only do these scenic lines offer up an alluring view of outdoor Colorado, but the traveler can experience train travel from the era before modern trains with narrow-gauge rail lines. This traditional method of laying tracks with a narrow width, 3 ft compared to the more modern 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in, is found in two rail lines in Colorado. One of these is the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. It runs for 64 miles, and passes by two astounding geographical sites (which give the line its name): Cumbres Pass, rising to an elevation of 10,022 ft; and Toltec Gorge, a deep and rocky cut in the mountains with waterfalls. The second line is the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Operating between the towns of Durango and Silverton, it has run continuously since 1881. This line runs 45.2 miles, in the summer, and passes along and over the Animas river multiple times. Reliving a time gone by, while taking in the wildlife and wild landscapes, is easy with these classic locomotive trips.

 

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Glenwood Springs is a historic town visited often by travelers. There are many reason to drop by this destination that sits in the gorgeous Fork River Valley. For one, the hot springs have provided a relaxation space for over a hundred years. The traveler can soak it up in one of many hot spring facilities. A prime example of this is the Yampah Hot Springs vapor caves, once used by the Ute Indians, which consists of three connecting rock chambers that average 110 to 112°. A gondola ride from the valley floor to the top of Iron Mountain, will take the traveler to the Glenwood Caverns – where they can explore the King’s Row and Fairy Caves. If that wasn’t enough to entice the traveler, Glenwood Springs has more outdoor activities than one could do in one trip. From whitewater rafting to paragliding, and from skiing to golf, adventure awaits.
The national parks of Colorado await the traveler with its wide-open spaces and legendary scenery. That’s why Southwest Adventure Tours has created an itinerary for varied experiences, including visits to the must-see destinations above (and more). When the traveler walks the trails and valleys of the Rocky Mountains, or takes part in the adventurous activities available – there will no doubt in their mind that this is some of the best natural surroundings in the world.

 

For more information on how the National Park Service is handling COVID-19 plans, please click here.

 

 


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