Over the last two years, I’ve made four or five trips to or through Colorado, accumulating all kinds of pictures. Most of my time was in the Denver area, Great Sand Dunes probably being the farthest away. So far I’ve really enjoyed it all and hope to see a lot more of it next summer. Here’s my parks and nature guide to Colorado!


Great Sand Dunes National Park

  • Mosca, Colorado* – Alamosa is the closest city or large town.
  • You can climb the dunes, hike in the mountains, or go sand boarding.
  • Park entrance is $15 per vehicle (I would recommend the America the Beautiful pass if you’ll be going to multiple parks.)
  • Bring water, sunglasses, tennis shoes (in the summer), and a backpack to carry everything.
  • Bring food if you plan on staying the whole day, there isn’t a whole lot in the area, and in the winter most isn’t open.

Where to stay: Holiday Inn Express Alamosa

Estes Park Tramway, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Estes Park, Colorado
  • You can hike in the mountains, hang out by the lakes, and search for wildlife.
  • Park entrance is $20 (one day) or $30 (seven day)
  • Bring water, good hiking shoes, snacks, bear spray*, and snacks.

Estes Park

  • Near the Denver area
  • No entrance fee
  • Wander around the shops, take the aerial tramway, walk around the lake, visit breweries, and tour the Stanley Hotel.
  • Make this a day trip from Denver or spend the night and take time to explore Rocky Mountain National Park, too.

Where to stay: Hotel Estes

Garden Of The Gods, Colorado

Garden of the Gods

  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • No entrance fee
  • Hike the trails or go rock climbing
  • Bring lots of water, wear good walking shoes*, watch the weather. (I think I was just there on a rainy day, but I love the pictures because of it.)
  • A full day trip from Denver or an afternoon from Colorado Springs.

Devils Backbone, Colorado

Devils Backbone

  • Loveland, Colorado
  • No entrance fee
  • This is easy to see in a couple hours. Wander around downtown Loveland before or after.
  • Wear good walking shoes and keep and eye out for rattlesnakes.
  • A good day trip from Denver or any of the surrounding towns. It’s on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Horsetooth Reservoir, Colorado

Horsetooth Reservoir

  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • No entrance fee
  • This is a cool place to drive along. There is hiking available.
  • I would recommend this if you’re in Fort Collins, but I wouldn’t make a trip here from Denver just for this, though.

Where to stay: Candlewood Suites Fort Collins

Author: Hi, I’m Megan. I’m a Wisconsin native currently working my way around the US, exploring the world any chance I get. You can usually find me reading, drinking coffee, or wandering around. You can follow along on my adventures at Red Around The World.

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