Best National Parks To See During Your Colorado Road Trip

A Colorado road trip holds the potential to be memorable. If you do it right, this trip will be that one trip you look back on a decade later because it was the most fun you’ve ever had. But how do you plan the best trip? 

Start by making a list of Colorado road trip ideas. And its national parks need to be at the top of the list. They are beautiful, fun, and everything you would want from a road trip destination. 

There are four national parks in Colorado. And each is unique in its own way. So even if you only have a little time to spare for parks on your trip, make the most of it and take part in as many of these colorado road trip ideas as possible.

Great Sand Dunes National Park 

Start your Colorado road trip in the Great Sand Dunes National Park. And for colorado road ideas, making an itinerary always helps make the trip go smoother. 

As an example, we’ll design a two day (48 hours) trip for this national park and cover all the spots. You can change up the timeline for your actual trip by spending more or less time on an activity. 

For day 1, just take in the views. Hike to the top of sand dunes or find a trail to follow. There are various spots like the Star Dune at 750 feet just waiting for you. Do remember to take a lot of water with you. After a day of hiking, you’ll probably need to cool off. 

Take the rest of the evening off and enjoy the sunset. You can do it from your home or find a ranger-led expedition. The latter has more of an adventure, but both are fun. And at night you can enjoy the starry night. 

Get a good night’s rest and start day 2 with a picnic. Locavores is an excellent restaurant in the area with healthy and fresh food. Then go for a drive and fly a kite or two. Spend as much time as you would like with the former. The terrain is varied and offers an excellent way to end your time at the park. 

Throughout the colorado road trip, you’ll have many great photo opportunities, and the great sand dunes park is no exception. The great sand dunes visitor center and the Medano pass primitive road are ideal for the best pictures. 

Mesa Verde National Park 

Mesa Verde is a hidden gem. And you can spend over a week exploring the area. But for the sample itinerary, we’re keeping colorado road trip ideas to 48 hours per national park. You can just spread out these colorado road trip ideas across the time for a longer colorado road trip. 

For day 1, preplan a tour to see the cliffs at Mesa Verde. Two of the most popular tours are the Earlybird Tour and the Balcony House Sunrise. You can take a look at the specifics for both and pick the one you like better. Also, stop by Cliff Palace, buy a ticket, and tour the place. 

Then take a drive through archaeological sites on Mesa Top Loop Road. The sites are breathtaking, and tourists are advised to allocate buffer time for this spot on your colorado road trip because you’ll want to stop and take pictures. End the day by visiting the archeological museum and then have dinner at the Metate Room. 

Start day two by taking a hike along the Petroglyph Trail and then tour the Puebloan villages. On your way out of Mesa Verde, stop by the Burger Boy drive-in and eat a good old fashioned burger and milkshake.

Gunnison National Park 

`The next on this list of colorado road trip ideas is the Gunnison national park. And there are a ton of things you can do while you visit. First and foremost, just live in the moment and enjoy the scenic beauty. The black canyon at Gunnison has two thousand feet of black cliffs and is a sight for sore eyes. At a certain height, you can see over 12 different views. 

You can also fish at this park. There is a river with fantastic angling chances just waiting for you. You can also camp, go boating, enjoy the night sky, and visit the north rim. The east portal ground is the ideal camping ground, a nearby park offers ranger-led boat rides, there are plenty of stargazing spots, and the north rim has beautiful trails. Each is an exceptional idea for a colorado road trip

If you choose to visit, make an itinerary dividing the activities mentioned above across the time you have. Just remember not to overburden yourself and divide them equally. 

Rocky Mountain National Park 

The last national park you can visit on your Colorado road trip is the Rocky National Park. It is the ideal road trip spot for people interested in hiking or wildlife. The terrain and wildlife are diverse and breathtaking. 

Getting to the park is always a lot of fun. In the summertime, you have to go on Trail Ridge Road. However, the road is blocked in the winter because of snow, and you’ll have to travel south before you can reach the park. Either way, once you get to the park, you’ll have a ton of activities waiting for you. 

There is multiple campgrounds ideal for picnics. And since you’re always going to be surrounded by a beautiful landscape, you can spend your time in your car just admiring the view. 

Get insured

That’s a wrap our list of the best national parks for a colorado road trip. Before you leave for your trip, remember to get insured by a reputable company. It will help you avoid outrageous damages costs and protect you if you ever get in an accident. 

At Bonzah, we offer our services in all fifty states in the United States of America and hope to be of service to you. Contact us now, and we’ll help set you up with a hassle-free Colorado road trip