Even though the anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service
isn’t until August 25th, events celebrating the NPS’s 100th birthday will be going on all year.
One of the biggest events is National Park Week
, which runs from April 16-24. For 9 straight days, entry fees to the more than 400 National Parks, Monuments and properties managed by the NPS are waived.
Colorado is home to a number of sites operated by the NPS, and National Park Week is your opportunity to visit your favorites, and explore new places like Browns Canyon National Monument
near Buena Vista, created just last year.
Of course, you can take advantage of National Park Week and visit nearby places like Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
or the ever popular Rocky Mountain National Park
. But keep in mind that more unique places like Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
, are just a couple hours away from Colorado Springs.
Nymph Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park
And while you’re at it, take a road trip to the western slope and check out the stunning views at the Colorado National Monument
, or the remote and pre-historic setting of Dinosaur National Monument
You can't beat the history on display at Mesa Verde National Park
or Hovenweep National Monument
— taking you back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. And you may want to visit the little known Yucca House National Monument,
while you're out there — I didn’t even know about it until I was doing research for this blog.
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
and nearby Curecanti National Recreation Area
are vastly different from each other and offer many recreation options, both deserve to be on your list as well.
Among other places to visit: Bent’s Old Fort
and the Sand Creek Massacre
National Historic Sites, and parts of the historic California
, Pony Express
, Santa Fe
Trails also pass through Colorado, you won't be disappointed by any them.
There is no shortage of National Parks, Monuments and Sites to visit in Colorado. National Parks Week is the perfect opportunity to re-visit your favorites and explore new places.
Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, college instructor and business owner who has lived in Colorado Springs for over 24 years. You can follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob
), Facebook (Hiking Bob
), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO
) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com
). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: firstname.lastname@example.org