A Colorado vacation is the perfect complement to a Yellowstone National Park visit. In addition to the state’s accessibility to Yellowstone, Colorado is home to nine magnificent national parks and monuments, from the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, home to the tallest sand dunes in North America; to Rocky Mountain National Park, a living showcase of Rocky Mountain grandeur.
Fly into Denver International Airport (DIA)
Denver, Colorado is a popular start to a Yellowstone vacation because of its international airport and ample car rental locations. It’s about an hour and a half (107 miles) from the airport to Cheyenne, Wyoming. From Cheyenne, there are multiple routes you can take to Yellowstone.
Go Jurassic in Colorado
At the Dinosaur National Monument, visitors can explore lands where dinosaurs roamed. The Green and Yampa Rivers converge here, offering dramatic views of beautiful canyons, an area that, legend has it, Butch Cassidy and his gang once called home. Visitors can also get up close and personal with wildlife.
Nestled underneath a lush mountain valley in central Colorado lies the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, one of the richest fossil deposits in the world. Here, visitors can experience pre-historic Colorado through thousands of detailed fossil remains.
See Colorado Through Ancient Eyes
At Mesa Verde National Park, visitors can glimpse into the lives of Ancestral Puebloan people who made this area their home. Today, the park boasts 4,000-plus archeological sites.
Hovenweep National Monument allows visitors a further look into the life of the Ancestral Puebloan people, with six prehistoric Puebloan-era villages spread over a twenty-mile area.
Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site features a reconstructed 1840s adobe fur trading post on the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail. Today, living historians lead guided tours that allow visitors a glimpse back in time.
Experience Nature’s Artistry
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park boasts a unique and spectacular landscape, formed over time by water and sediment sculpting hard Proterozoic crystalline rock into massive formations.
Curecanti National Recreation Area is in the heart of three reservoirs: Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest body of water and the largest Kokanee Salmon fishery in the U.S.; Morrow Point Reservoir, the beginning of the Black Canyon; and East Portal, the site of the Gunnison Diversion Tunnel, a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
Call 1-800-COLORADO for a free copy of Colorado’s 2007 Official State Vacation Guide.