Colorado Historical and Natural Attractions

Colorado is home to national parks and monuments, from the Great Sand Dunes and Preserve to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Mesa Verde in Colorado

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.


Steamboat Rock in Dinosaur National Monument

A Jurassic Journey through Moffat County, Colorado

An uncrowded national park site and animals from prehistoric times and today meet in Moffat County, Colo.

Elk grazing in Rocky Mountain National Park

Denver, Colorado to Yellowstone Road Trip

Explore three national parks and one national monument on this breathtaking, 1,300-mile road trip that starts in Denver.

“Covered,” copyright A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art in Trinidad

A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art in Trinidad, Colorado

See the Old West through nationally-renowned artist A.R. Mitchell at the museum known by locals as “The Mitch” housed in a 1906 department store.

The sun sets over the sandy peaks in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Photo by Grant Ordelheide

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Bring your sled, beach chairs and shade umbrella to explore the tallest sand dunes in North America near Alamosa, Colorado.

Old Bedlam at Fort Laramie National Historic Site, where bachelor officers lived. Photo by Jim Bowen via Flickr

Historic Sites in the Greater Yellowstone Area

Visit forts, monuments, historic buildings, and battlegrounds of the old west in Wyoming, Montana, Utah, and Idaho.

Rebecca Walsh, Owner of Basecamp outdoor store in Laramie, Wyo.

Locals in Laramie

On your way to or from Rocky Mountain National Park or Yellowstone, stop in the Laramie area to stretch your legs. Three enterprising locals share tips on where to go in Laramie and what to do.

Officers Row has some of the 35 remaining structures from the 1890s to the early 1900s when the U.S. Army oversaw Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Sheffieldb via Flickr

Historic Fort Yellowstone Remains in Park Today

U.S. Army cavalry men protected the park from poachers and those looking to exploit its natural resources before the National Park Service 32 years later.

Lander, Wyoming Sculpture. Photo by Gloria Wadzinski

Lander, WY - An Old West Town

On your way to Yellowstone, be sure to visit Lander, Wyoming. Enjoy the spectacular views of the Wind River Mountains while hiking alone or with an outfitter, or strolling our historic Main Street.

Rafting on the Green River inside Dinosaur National Monument

Vernal's Hidden Gem says, "Welcome to Dinosaurland"

An easy day’s drive southwest of Yellowstone is Dinoland in Utah. You’ll dig ancient animal history at a museum and life-sized dinosaur garden.