When I was asked to put together a list of five wonders in Colorado, the hard part was narrowing it down to five. City girl that I am, I can think of at least five urban wonders that I think Denver and the surrounding areas have to offer families. But what really draws people to Colorado from all over the world are our natural wonders. We have magnificent mountain ranges, dramatic drives in the hills and even a naturally occurring dessert. I’m proud to share Colorado’s natural wonders with That’s IT Mommy readers. There are far more than 5, so come to Colorado to discover them all.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
A beige smudge at the base of purple peaks surprises you as you drive closer by transforming into North America’s tallest sand dunes. Time it right, and a small stream flows at the base in the early spring, forming a delightful beach for children and adults alike. Hiking the vast dune fields is thrilling, and you may spot a black bear traversing remote stretches. (photo above)
Black Canyon of The Gunnison National Park
A vast gash in the pine-scented landscape, veins of pink-tinged granite emphasize the vertical plunge of the Black Canyon. From below you hear the roar of the Gunnison river, reverberating against the hard jagged canyon walls. Take a hike along the rims or to the bottom on the Curecanti Trail for an unforgettable experience.
Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park
The highest continuously paved road in the US provides an alpine experience filled with rugged peaks, forests, streams, cliffs and wildlife. Take a short hike along the top to experience the alpine tundra up close, feel the cool wind in your face and marvel at views of mountain and plain.
Flat Tops Wilderness / Trapper’s Lake
Colorado’s second largest wilderness area is also home to its second largest body of water. Not easy to reach, this remote spot rewards with vast stretches of wildness, peace and few visitors. Take a long hike to the top of the flat tops for an unforgettable view of a vast mountain meadow, filled with wildflowers. Along the way are gushing streams, waterfalls and snow fields that may last into August.
Colorado National Monument (Grand Junction)
Just outside the city limits of Grand Junction is a scenic drive of red sandstone canyons and spires, accented by sage and green pinon trees. Hiking trails provide and easy escape into the high desert wilderness. Views of the valley below and surrounding mountain ridges, especially at sunset, make this a memorable place.