10 EPIC National Parks close to Denver Colorado (inc. Map!)

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All positioned inside an 8-hour drive, these 10 Stunning National Parks close to Denver Colorado will aid you uncover the Great American Outdoors.

Discover the pure wonders surrounding Denver, Colorado, with our information to 10 beautiful nationwide parks all inside an 8-hour drive. From breathtaking landscapes to wealthy biodiversity, these parks supply a various vary of experiences for out of doors fans.

In this submit, you’ll discover driving occasions and distances for every park, together with important data for every together with highlights, must-dos, and the perfect occasions to go to.

With Rocky Mountain National Park being the closest to Denver, and Grand Teton National Park being the furthest away (by way of this record) – there of loads of miles of outside adventures to cowl in all instructions!

Whether you’re searching for towering mountains, serene lakes, or rugged wilderness, these nationwide parks close to Denver promise unforgettable adventures for all.

And in the event you’re not prepared to depart the Mile Hile citys borders simply but, our Locals Guide to Denver and Essential Denver Travel Tips could be simply what you want.

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Map of the National Parks Closest To Dever Colorado

Map of National Parks near Denver Colorado Click the map itself or this hyperlink to open in Google Maps the place you may get A-to-B driving instructions and extra.

 

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado – 66 miles | 1hr 30mins

Rocky Mountain National Park Year Established: 1915 
Annual Visitors: 4.7 million 
Best Time to Visit: June to September 
Rocky Mountain National Park Highlights: Hike Sprague Lake, Emerald Lake and Sky Pond Lake, Drive Trail Ridge Road & Fall River Road.

Rocky Mountain National Park is positioned near Denver, spans over 415 sq. miles of rugged mountain terrain and is without doubt one of the hottest nationwide parks to go to within the USA.

The park is house to a various array of wildlife, together with elk, bighorn sheep, and moose, in addition to over 300 miles of mountaineering trails that provide breathtaking views of the park’s peaks, valleys, and alpine lakes.

The park’s highest peak, Longs Peak, stands at 14,259 ft and is a well-liked vacation spot for skilled hikers and climbers.

The finest time to go to Rocky Mountain National Park is dependent upon what sort of actions you propose on doing. The park is open year-round, however sure seasons supply completely different experiences.

Summer is the most well-liked time to go to, with gentle temperatures and wildflowers in bloom. This can be the perfect time for mountaineering and tenting.

Winter provides the chance to see the park’s wildlife and revel in winter sports activities similar to cross-country snowboarding and snowshoeing.

Spring and fall are additionally nice occasions to go to, because the park’s colours change with the altering of the seasons.

Visitors ought to be ready for variable climate and convey acceptable clothes and kit. It can be vital to concentrate on altitude illness and take crucial precautions when planning your journey.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado – 236 miles | 4hr 7mins

Great Sand Dunes National Park Year Established: 2004 
Annual Visitors: 530,000 
Best Time to Visit: March to May, September to November 
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Highlights: Go Sandboarding, Go Stargazing, and Hike Dunes Overlook, High Dune, Star Dune and Medano Creek.

Great Sand Dunes National Park is positioned in southern Colorado, only a 4-hour drive from Denver. 

It is house to the tallest dunes in North America, was established in 1932 and covers an space of over 150,000 acres.

The dunes have been shaped by the erosion of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which brought about the wind to blow sand onto the valley ground.

Visitors can take pleasure in quite a lot of actions inside the park similar to sandboarding, mountaineering, and horseback driving.

The finest time to go to Great Sand Dunes National Park is in the summertime months, when temperatures are heat and the park’s amenities are open.

However, guests ought to be conscious that the park can get very popular through the day, so it’s finest to plan out of doors actions for early within the morning or later within the night.

Additionally, guests ought to come ready with loads of water, sunscreen, and durable sneakers because the sand might be fairly scorching to stroll on.

Ready for More? Check out our Complete Guide to All 63 US National Parks which incorporates pics, maps, highlights, historical past, and even a free printable guidelines! OR in the event you’re centered on the West, we have now a whole information to all of the National Parks on the West Coast (additionally with a free printable guidelines!)

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado – 262 miles | 5hr 20mins

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Year Established: 1999 
Annual Visitors: 430,000 
Best Time to Visit: May to October 
Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP Highlights: Hike to Warner Point, See Gunnison Point and Exclamation Point, Drive East Portal Road & South Rim Road

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is positioned in western Colorado and is understood for its steep and dramatic canyon partitions.

The park’s essential function is the Black Canyon, which was carved by the Gunnison River over tens of millions of years.

The park is open year-round, however the perfect time to go to is through the spring and fall when the temperatures are gentle and the crowds are smaller.

The park provides quite a lot of leisure actions similar to mountaineering, tenting, and fishing. Visitors can hike all the way down to the river on the North Rim Road and take within the breathtaking views of the canyon, though you will need to word that a number of the park’s trails are strenuous and never appropriate for all hikers.

The park additionally provides ranger-led applications, together with guided canyon ground hikes and stargazing applications. 

Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota – 342 miles | 5hr 36mins

Wind Cave National Park Year Established: 1903 
Annual Visitors: 615,000 
Best Time to Visit: March to September 
Wind Cave National Park Highlights: Tour Wind Cave, Hike Rankin Ridge

Wind Cave National Park is positioned within the Black Hills of South Dakota and is house to one of many longest and most advanced caves programs on this planet.

The cave is understood for its distinctive formations, together with boxwork, a uncommon honeycomb-like sample present in just a few different caves worldwide. Visitors can take guided cave excursions to discover the underground tunnels and study concerning the geology and historical past of the cave.

The park additionally provides quite a lot of out of doors actions, together with mountaineering, tenting, and wildlife viewing. Visitors can discover the park’s numerous ecosystems, from the mixed-grass prairie to the ponderosa pine forests.

The finest time to go to Wind Cave National Park is through the late spring and summer season when the climate is gentle and the cave excursions are in full operation.

Fall can be a good time to go to, because the altering colours of the bushes make for a ravishing panorama.

Arches National Park, Utah – 351 miles | 6hrs

Arches National Park Hike - Turret Arch North Window Year Established: 1971 
Annual Visitors: 1.7 million 
Best Time to Visit: March to May, September to November 
Arches National Park Highlights: Hike Delicate Arch for sundown, go to the Double Arch, see Balanced Rock and the Fiery Furnace & Hike Windows Loop (Read all concerning the finest Hikes in Arches NP right here!)

Arches National Park is positioned in northeastern Utah, six hours from Denver, and is understood for its over 2,000 pure sandstone arches which can be unfold all through the park.

The park’s crimson rock formations, canyons, and arches supply guests a glimpse into the pure fantastic thing about the American Southwest.

The park’s most well-known arch, Delicate Arch, is a must-see. The arch is seen from a viewpoint accessible by a reasonable 3-mile round-trip hike.

The Park Avenue space, which encompasses a 2-mile round-trip hike, can be a preferred spot, providing guests an opportunity to see towering crimson rock fins and different distinctive rock formations.

The finest time to go to Arches National Park is through the spring and fall, when temperatures are gentle and the park is much less crowded. During the summer season, the park can get very popular, and the park’s trails might be fairly strenuous within the warmth.

In the winter, the park is open however a number of the roads and trails could also be closed attributable to snow and ice.

Overall, the park is open year-round, however the perfect time to go to is through the spring and fall.

Canyonlands National Park, Utah – 363 miles | 6hr 15mins

Canyonlands National Park Year Established: 1964 
Annual Visitors: 735,000 
Best Time to Visit: March to May, September to November 
Canyonlands National Park Highlights Hike Mesa Arch for dawn, Hike Grand Viewpoint Overlook and the Needles, See Green River Overlook and Shafer Point Overlook, discover The Maze

Canyonlands National Park is a pure surprise positioned in southern Utah.

The park is understood for its beautiful canyons, mesas, and distinctive rock formations.

One of the highlights of the park is the Island within the Sky, a big mesa that provides panoramic views of the encompassing canyons and the Colorado River.

Visitors may discover the Needles district, the place they will discover towering spires, and the Maze district, which is understood for its difficult backcountry mountaineering.

The finest time to go to Canyonlands National Park is through the fall or spring, when the climate is gentle and the crowds are smaller. The park can get very popular through the summer season, so it’s best to plan your go to through the cooler months.

The park additionally provides many nice mountaineering trails, so make sure that to put on acceptable footwear and convey loads of water.

Badlands National Park, South Dakota – 374 miles | 6hr 15mins

Badlands National Park Year Established: 1978 
Annual Visitors: 970,000 
Best Time to Visit: April to May, September to October 
Badlands National Park Highlights: Hike Notch Trail, Hike Saddle Pass Trail, Drive Badlands Loop Road & Sage Creek Rim Road.

Badlands National Park is positioned in South Dakota, and is understood for its distinctive geological formations and numerous wildlife.

The park’s historical past is rooted within the Lakota Sioux tribe, who used the world for searching and non secular practices. The park was formally established in 1978 and covers 244,000 acres of land.

The park’s highlights embody the Badlands Loop Road, which provides scenic views of the park’s colourful rock formations, in addition to the Pinnacles Overlook, which gives a panoramic view of the park. The park can be house to quite a lot of wildlife, together with bison, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn.

The finest time to go to is through the spring and fall months, when the climate is gentle and the crowds are fewer. During these months, the park’s wildflowers and wildlife are additionally at their peak.

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado – 371 miles | 7hrs

Mesa Verde National Park Year Established: 1906 
Annual Visitors: 550,000 
Best Time to Visit: June to September 
Mesa Verde National Park Highlights: Hike Petroglyph Point, drive Mesa Top Loop, Tour Cliff Palace and the Balcony House.

Mesa Verde National Park is positioned within the south west of Denver Colorado.

The park was established in 1906 with a view to protect the traditional Puebloan cliff dwellings, that are believed to have been constructed by the ancestral Pueblo individuals between 600 and 1300 AD.

These dwellings are one of the vital vital archeological websites within the USA as a result of they’re a number of the best-preserved examples of historical structure within the nation.

The nationwide historic websites’ essential highlights embody the Cliff Palace, the most important cliff dwelling within the park and one of the vital well-known on this planet, and Balcony House, a smaller dwelling that requires guests to climb a collection of ladders and crawl via a tunnel to achieve it.

Other highlights embody the Long House, Spruce Tree House and the Sun Temple.

The finest time to go to Mesa Verde National Park is through the spring and fall when the temperatures are gentle and the crowds are smaller. Visitors must also word that a number of the park’s dwellings are solely accessible by way of guided excursions, so it is suggested to e-book forward of time.

Hiking can be an effective way to discover the park and take within the pure fantastic thing about the world.

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah – 428 miles | 7hrs 10mins

Capitol Reef National Park Year Established: 1971 
Annual Visitors: 1.2 million 
Best Time to Visit: March to May, September to November 
Capitol Reef National Park Highlights: Hike Cohab Canyon and Cassidy Arch, Drive Capitol Gorge Road & The Scenic Drive

Capitol Reef National Park is positioned in south-central Utah and was established as a nationwide park in 1971.

The park is understood for its colourful sandstone cliffs and rugged panorama, in addition to its historic orchards and pioneer settlements. The park’s essential function is the Waterpocket Fold, a 100-mile lengthy wrinkle within the Earth’s crust that has created a singular panorama of cliffs, canyons, and domes.

The park provides quite a lot of actions for guests together with mountaineering, backpacking, and mountain climbing.

The park’s scenic drive, the Capitol Reef Scenic Drive, provides guests an opportunity to see the park’s essential options, and the park has many mountaineering trails for guests to discover.

The finest time to go to Capitol Reef National Park is through the spring and fall when temperatures are gentle and the crowds are smaller. Summer might be fairly scorching and the park might be fairly crowded through the peak vacationer season.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming – 482 miles | 8hrs

Grand Teton National Park Year Established: 1929 
Annual Visitors: 3.4 million 
Best Time to Visit: June to September 
Grand Teton National Park Highlights: Visit Mormon Row and Schwabacher Landing, Hike Inspiration Trail and Hidden Falls, Backpack to Lake Solitude.

Grand Teton National Park is understood for its beautiful mountain landscapes and numerous array of outside actions. The park is known as after Grand Teton, the very best peak within the Teton Range, which stands at 13,770 ft.

The park provides quite a lot of highlights for guests to take pleasure in, together with mountaineering, tenting, fishing, and wildlife viewing. Visitors can take a scenic drive alongside the Teton Park Road to soak up the views of the Teton Range, or hike to the summit of Grand Teton for a panoramic view of the encompassing mountains.

Other in style actions embody fishing in Jenny Lake and exploring the park’s numerous wildlife, together with bison, elk, moose, and bears.

The finest time to go to Grand Teton National Park is through the summer season months of June to September, when the climate is heat and the snow has melted, making it simpler to entry the park’s many trails.

 

 

With so many unbelievable National Parks close to Denver Colorado, it may be a little bit overwhelming, however we hope our full information to the National Parks close by to Denver has helped you slender down which of them you need to tick off your National Park Bucket List first!

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