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National Park Journal

National Park Journal Colorado 2020

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Get the digital version of the National Park Journal with its four separate park editions (Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone and Yosemite) to discover all-time favorite road trips to the national parks. From Utah’s dazzling deserts, the adobe-lined streets of New Mexico’s charming towns, Wyoming’s authentic outposts, California’s stunning coastline and Colorado’s mountain towns, we feature all the amazing places to explore en route to the parks, no matter where you begin your adventure. Plus , our insider’s guide includes our top things to do in each national park in 48 hours. Discover the best hiking trails, campsites and attractions in our magazine. Our illustrated wildlife guide will help you discover the best of the park's wild animals, including tips on where to find them, and our packing list ensures you don’t leave anything at home.

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United States
Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC
4 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
editor's note

So when I read Brand, now 88, had donated 40 acres to Rocky Mountain National Park, I called him up. It turns out in 1967, Brand purchased 160 acres of land leaning up against the national park. He paid $32,000 with the intention of building a family cabin. But being an astronaut literally launched him out of this world, and the land remained untouched. “In my younger days, I felt I got a lot from the park,” Brand tells me. “It’s a marvelous thing. It’s good for families and for kids and for people like me and my friends who just wanted to hike and climb mountains.” While in high school and college, Brand worked in Estes Park, the town sitting on the eastern edge of the national park. He started as…

1 min.
insider's tips

ONLINE Visit MyColoradoParks.com to find out where to stay and what to do during your vacation. Interested in exploring other national parks? Check us out at NationalParkTrips.com. WORKSHOPS Join us for our online and in-person National Park Photography Workshop series. With Tamron’s professional photographers, we offer instruction on how to take night skies, sunset and sunrise photos. Learn more at NationalParkTrips.com/ workshops. FREE TRIP PLANNER Start planning your dream vacation by requesting our tip-filled Colorado Trip Planner online. You also can request vacation planning materials from our Colorado, New Mexico and Utah partners. ENEWSLETTER Sign up for our stunning weekly national park travel enewsletter online at on MyColoradoParks.com. We cover tips on what to do and how to avoid the crowds. SOCIAL facebook.com/nationalparktrips @nationalparktrips @nationalparktrips…

1 min.
traveler's checklist

□ REFILLABLE WATER BOTTLES OR A HYDRATION SYSTEM Refill at the park’s bottle-filling water stations. □ BUG SPRAY Spend more time enjoying the scenery and less time swatting bugs. □ BINOCULARS Catch sight of animals and rock climbers. □ CLOTHING LAYERS Temperatures can fluctuate 30-40 degrees in one day, so pack layers for day and night. □ A SUN HAT, SUNGLASSES AND SUNSCREEN These are a must to protect yourself from the sun. □ RAIN JACKET Stay dry during afternoon showers. □ STURDY HIKING BOOTS Pack supportive, waterproof and breathable hiking boots. □ ICE-TRACTION DEVICES In winter and early spring, ice-traction devices like Yaktrax prevent you from slipping on icy trails. □ DAYPACK Carry snacks, layers and extra water inside. Read our complete packing list at MyColoradoParks.com/park/what-to-pack.…

2 min.
colorado’s big four

GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK & PRESERVE Is this south-central Colorado or the Sahara? The continent’s tallest sand dunes join the rugged Sangre de Cristo mountains here. Hike the striking High Dune on First Ridge, a 2-hour, 2.5-mile round trip walk up 699 feet of sand to the top. Then sled down with a sand sled rented at Kristi Mountain Sports in Alamosa for extreme speed. Or beach it along Medano Creek, which flows April through June. Track the current and forecast river flow on the park’s website. MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK Described as the pyramids of North America, the ancient ruins at Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado hold the early stories of our nation. About 1,400 years ago ancestral Puebloans built more than 600 dwellings into the gorgeous sandstone cliffs.…

2 min.
discover mesa verde’s best

EARLY BIRD GETS THE BEST TOUR Buy tickets in advance at recreation.gov for the Balcony House Sunrise or Earlybird tours. These early tours will let you experience one of Mesa Verde’s most adventurous cliff dwellings before the heat of the day. You’ll climb with a ranger up exposed ladders and through narrow tunnels to explore Balcony House, an Ancestral Puebloan compound on the side of a cliff. Sound like a little more adventure than you’re up for? Be at the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center when it opens at 7:30 a.m. to get same-day tickets for the more moderate Cliff Palace Tour. While you still have to climb exposed ladders, they are shorter and there is no crawling through tight tunnels involved. TAKE A HIKE Hike the 2.4-mile Petroglyph Trail and see…

2 min.
cliffside fun

EXPERIENCE THE VIEWS Black Canyon is named for its sheer black cliffs that plummet 2,000 feet to the river below. Get a peek into the canyon’s depths at one of the South Rim’s 12 overlooks on Rim Drive. Our favorites? Chasm View, Painted Wall, Pulpit Rock and Sunset View. TAKE A DRIVE THROUGH A TIME PORTAL Drive down into the canyon via the East Portal. This 16-percent-grade road is paved the whole way but is very steep and includes many switchbacks. Leave your RVs at the top and take your personal vehicle down into the canyon. Before you go, grab a brochure on the history of the East Portal from the visitor center to learn about the amazing engineering feat that turned Montrose into fertile farmland. BOAT DOWN THE RIVER Curecanti National Recreation Center, Black…