The 4 Colorado National Parks in our Summer in Colorado Road Trip

Our goal on this trip was to visit the 4 National Parks in Colorado. We were excited because we had never been to these parks and we chose the fall season to also see the aspen trees in peak color.

It was a 4-day drive for us to get to Rocky Mountain National Park. Our stops along the way were in Las Vegas, the Fremont Indian State Park, Grand Junction, and then our end destination in Estes Park Colorado.

This trip covered 9 locations.

Stop 1:, Castle Rock Campground

Jagged peaks with trees in the foreground, and a clear blue sky

This was an overnight stop for us on the way to Colorado but it was so beautiful and secluded that we wanted to include it in the travel log.

Stop 2:Rocky Mountain National Park

Pine and Aspen on a hillside with fall color

Fall in Rocky Mountain National Park is really popular due to the annual elk rut but it was not as crowded as we expected.

Stop 3: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Jagged, black rock formations in the canyon

There was a lot to explore here and we didn’t even make it over to the North Rim.

Stop 4: Grand Mesa Scenic Byway-1st Time

Mick and Lorna on a viewpoint with colorful aspen trees and mountains in the background

While reading about the area this seemed like something we might want to explore and we are glad we did.

Stop 5: Great Sand Dunes National Park

Tall, beige Sandunes with mountains in the background

The dunes were awesome being the tallest dunes in North America and the photographic opportunities were endless.

Stop 6: Mesa Verde National Park

American Indian Clift dwellings

We were there in the middle of October so there weren’t any crowds. There was only 1 loop open in the campground but we didn’t have any trouble finding a spot.

Stop 7: San Juan Scenic Byway

Pine trees and colorful oaks on the hillside with a clear blue sky

We were so pleased with the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway that we thought we would check this one out and it was beautiful.

Stop 8: Monument Valley Again

Totem pole formation with a cloudy blue sky and sand in the foreground

This visit was during Covid so things were a little different but it was just as beautiful as the 1st time.

Stop 9: Grand Canyon South Rim

The canyon with trees and boulders

We have been to the North Rim, and the Toroweep Overlook before but this was our first visit to the South Rim.

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