There are many beautiful National Parks to visit in the USA, but few states offer as much variety and natural beauty as Colorado. The climate and landscape make it one of the best places to go in search of outdoor adventures, such as hiking and snowboarding, and it has a wide array of flora and fauna that is unique to the state. Whether one wishes to explore the sandy dunes or hike up tall mountain peaks, there is so much to do and see across this incredible state. While there are only four National Parks across the state, there are a wide array of Nationally run and protected monuments and landmarks. The following is a list of the most popular and interesting National Parks and Monuments found throughout the state.

8 Rocky Mountain National Park

From extraordinary outdoor adventures to beautiful views, there is little wonder why this park is one of the most visited in the entire country. Featuring over 100 majestic mountain peaks, abundant wildlife, and endless trails to hike and explore, there is something magical here for everyone. This incredible park is located in northern Colorado and is home to Longs Peak and Bear Lake — both lending to gorgeous scenery. In the fall, visitors can listen to the male elk bugle, a sound that is both beautiful and eerie.

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7 Great Sand Dunes National Park

Colorado is home to America's largest sand dunes, the tallest towering over 750 feet high, and they can be found within the Great Sand Dunes National Park near the city of Alamosa. If travelers go in mid to late May, they may even be able to visit Colorado's only natural "beach" along the Medano Creek, which is only present for a few short months out of the year. This desert region offers a variety of activities, from hiking the dunes to sand sledding and much more.

6 Mesa Verde National Park

For over 700 years, the Pueblo people carved their homes and built thriving communities in the cliffs and mesas of what is now Mesa Verde. Today, this park is home to many species that are not found anywhere else in the world. The park features some of the United State's best-preserved archeological sites of the Ancestral Puebloans. It also features what is thought to be the largest cliff dwelling in all of North America, the Cliff Palace. It is still considered a sacred site by the Ute and other Native American tribes as being the home of their ancestors.

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5 Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Colorado has its own version of the Grand Canyon, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Home to the Peregrine falcon, the fastest bird in the world, this canyon features some of the steepest cliffs in all of North America. Because of its immense size, sunlight only reaches some parts of the gorge for a mere 33 minutes a day, hence the name of the Canyon. It may not have any record measurements, but its intensity of it is enough to take viewers' breath away.

4 Garden Of The Gods Park

Arguably one of the best places to visit in Colorado, the Garden of the Gods lives up to its name. Not only is the park free to all visitors, as its founder wished, but it is home to the Theiophytalia Kerri, a species of dinosaur that is the only one of its kind. From hiking among incredible red rock formations to the free and educational interactive museum, the park features fun and excitement for the whole family. Nestled close to Colorado Springs, it is easily accessible and features a restaurant at the visitor's center with an amazing view.

3 Colorado National Monument

Sandstone towers and deep canyons join with Colorado's famous red rock to form what is now the Colorado National Monument. The panoramic view and vast plateaus are home to a population of desert bighorn sheep, who are most commonly spotted atop the plateaus. A 600-ton boulder is perched perfectly on a rock pedestal and is called Balance Rock, and it is one of the most notable attractions in the park. The park is located very close to Grand Junction in southwestern Colorado.

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2 Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

One of the world's richest fossil deposits resides within this park, from petrified redwood stumps to fossils of other plants and insects. This site provides an interesting glimpse into the prehistoric history of Colorado, and many of the fossils can be seen along the many trails throughout the park. The adventures don't end after dark, as the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society sends volunteers to host programs regularly to teach visitors about the night sky. From the park, guests can even see the Milky Way and other galaxies.

1 Chimney Rock National Monument

Over a thousand years ago, the Ancestral Puebloans built homes and ceremonial buildings in the area that is now Chimney Rock. Some of the building sites have been excavated, allowing visitors to view and explore in the footsteps of the ancients. Hikers can traverse the half-mile to the top of Chimney Rock, where they can see a 360-degree view of not only Colorado but New Mexico, as well. It is a breathtaking sight, at around 7,000 feet above sea level. Located at the southern end of the San Juan Mountains, this site is a wonderful place to visit, day or night.