Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Overview

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most popular parks in the US National Park System, due to is close proximity to the city of Denver. It is a great representation of the Rocky Mountain ecosystem which can be found throughout much of Western Colorado. Getting to the park is very straightforward. The gateway to the park is the town of Estes Park, which is one of the first mountain towns you encounter. It is about a 90-minute drive from the Denver International Airport or from Downtown Denver.

Rocky Mountain National Park was one of the earliest national parks established President Woodrow Wilson in 1915.

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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, also known as the Black Canyon National Park, is a national park outside Montrose, Colorado. It is managed by the US National Park Service since it was established as a national monument in 1933. It was later upgraded to national park status in 1999. The entire park spans a total land area of 30,750 acres with over 238,000 annual visitors (as of 2016).

The area covered by the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park includes the deepest and most dramatic part of the canyon in the area. This canyon continues to travel upstream towards the Curecanti National Recreation Area until it merges into the Gunnison George National Conservation Area. The canyon is named after the fact that the depth of the canyon means that it only gets up to 33 minutes of sunlight per day. While there are many other canyons in the US that are known for their depth, this one is unique as it comes to the narrowness and darkness to its quality.

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Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada/Arizona

Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada/Arizona

Overview

Lake Mead National Recreation Area is located in southern Nevada and western Arizona along the Colorado River and Lake Mead, which is the reservoir created along the Colorado River by the Hoover Dam. It also included the smaller Lake Mojave which is created by the Davis Dam. It was the first National Recreation Area to be created by an act of Congress in 1964. It is one of four National Park Service Sites in Nevada and one of twenty-two National Park Service Sites in Arizona.

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11 Amazing North American National Parks That Hardly Anyone Visits

The national parks of the United States and Canada are some of the greatest in the world. However, most of the attention is taken up by the superstar parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Banff. Each of these parks gets millions of visitors per year, and visiting during the peak season it’s like visiting an amusement park.

These popular parks are not the only parks, however. There are some amazing parks in North America which get only a fraction of the visitors of the popular parks. Often times these parks are hard to reach and are expensive to get to. Sometimes, they just aren’t on anyone’s radar because they haven’t become popular.

I have visited all 11 of the parks listed here as part of my quest to visit every national park in North America.

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