Veteran’s Day is November 11th. Celebrated on the anniversary of the end of World War 1, this holiday honors the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces. In Colorado, approximately 8.4%, or roughly 371,081 residents, have served our country.
We can’t think of a better way to recognize the people who have protected our freedom more than getting out and enjoying it. In honor of this day, all National Parks across Colorado are FREE. So grab the family and lace up your hiking boots; we’re about to take you on a tour of Colorado's many national parks.
Choose between hiking, horseback riding, or driving through Rocky Mountain National Park. Of course, with all outdoor adventures, the weather will most likely be your deciding factor. If sightseeing from the comfort of your car with the heated seats sounds great to you, be sure to check road conditions for Trail Ridge Road before you travel. Or perhaps taking in the scenery on horseback sounds right up your alley. A quick search can provide you with information on reputable stables that offer guided tours and experiences.
Calling all hardcore hikers and fledgling archeologists! Mesa Verde National Park is where you can find cliff-dwellings that date back as far as 600AD, with some of the most fascinating and well-preserved historical sites in the country. This adventure is not for the meek; you’ll do more than hike a well-beaten path to see these local treasures. Difficult and totally worth it.
Looking for some solitude? The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park just might be your spot. Considered Colorado’s least populated park, this national gem is a natural wonder. Steep canyons give way to Gunnison River, which winds its way below the cliffs of the park. Still, there is more to offer than heart-pounding views. Hiking, fishing, and some of the best stargazing in all of Colorado can be found in the Black Canyon.
Grab your mountain bike and head to the dunes! Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is known for its challenging bike runs, hiking, camping, horseback riding, and sand sledding. This park feels like you’ve landed in another world. Here you will find the tallest dunes in North America. Choose a moonless night for the best star gazing, a night photographer's delight.
However you might choose to celebrate Veteran’s Day, be sure to take a moment to be thankful. After all, we are the home of the free and the brave. Here’s to all our veterans. We salute you.