Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is not just a national park; it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in Colorado’s southwestern corner, the park encompasses about 5,000 archeological sites and 600 cliff dwellings. The dwellings, built by Pueblo Indians and dating from 600 to 1300 AD, offer a fascinating glimpse into the past. You can tour four cliff dwellings on foot, or take the Mesa Top Loop Road, a six-mile route with multiple overlooks.
Where to stay: Far View Lodge, located inside the park. Book the Cities of Sandstone Package to enhance your Mesa Verde visit. In addition to a two-night stay, you’ll get two tickets for the 700 Years tour, a 4-hour guided outing that explores archaeological sites and Cliff Palace.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Travel north for the last stop on your national park tour, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The canyon, which features steep, black cliffs upwards of 2,700 feet high, was formed over two million years by the Gunnison River. The park has hiking options that vary in length and difficulty – we like the Cedar Point Natural Trail, a short, easy route that has two overlooks of the river from 2,000 feet up and a view of the Painted Wall, Colorado’s tallest cliff.
Where to stay: Stay Wise Inns Montrose, just a short drive from the park. In addition to comfortable rooms and complimentary breakfast, the hotel is hosting a “Warm Welcome” this summer with free create-your-own Italian sodas. Book their Mid-Week ‘Hookey’ Special for a special rate Monday through Thursday.