The Mighty Seven: Colorado’s Majestic National Parks & Monuments

Learn about Colorado’s natural wonders as you journey across the state exploring seven of its most stunning and diverse national parks and monuments.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22961RJ
11 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Known for its towering Rocky Mountains and rushing Colorado River, the Centennial State is bathed with magnificent landscapes unlike any other in the United States. Immerse yourself in these landscapes as you loop around western Colorado to explore seven uniquely beautiful national parks and monuments. From the tallest sand dunes in North America, to one of the richest and most diverse fossil deposits in the world, discover Colorado’s geographic phenomena with expert instructors, and take a peek into the lives of the natives that thrived off these lands long ago.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walk up to 2 miles a day on uneven terrain with elevations up to 12,000 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore Mesa Verde, the only National Park dedicated to human habitation, as you look into the lives of ancestral Pueblo people.
  • In Rocky Mountain National Park, discover massive monoliths within a vast plateau and a canyon panorama at the lesser-known Colorado National Monument.
  • Venture off the beaten path to the Dinosaur National Monument, and experience its 210,000 acres of colorful rock layers, spectacular faults and deeply carved river canyons.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Joan Fields
A Colorado native, Joan Fields has always had a deep interest in the culture and history of the state. She is a member of several historical organizations and has had many years of experience in leading study explorations for various groups. She is a past president of Ghost Town Club of Colorado, an organization that focuses on the preservation and study of Colorado’s past. Her deep love of the state and passion for history brings everything together.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Lee Dahl
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Joan Fields
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
by James A. Michener
Written to commemorate the Bicentennial in 1976, James A. Michener’s magnificent saga of Colorado is an enthralling celebration of the frontier. Brimming with the glory of America’s past, the story of Colorado—the Centennial State—is manifested through its people: Lame Beaver, the Arapaho chieftain and warrior, and his Comanche and Pawnee enemies; Levi Zendt, fleeing with his child bride from the Amish country; the cowboy, Jim Lloyd, who falls in love with a wealthy and cultured Englishwoman, Charlotte Seccombe. In Centennial, trappers, traders, homesteaders, gold seekers, ranchers, and hunters are brought together in the dramatic conflicts that shape the destiny of Colorado and the West.
Colorado Scenic Byways Road Atlas & Travel Guide
by Jim Steinberg, Susan Tweit
This book is a guide to the open road, to the opportunities that beckon just around the bend, over the next hill, beyond the far horizon. But not just any open road: this Road Atlas & Travel Guide details the sights and stories of Colorado's 25 scenic and historic Byways, reveals the heart and soul of each route in spectacular photography and insightful essays. These diverse byways shows off the state's extraordinary variety in landscapes and history, from ruler-straight roads traversing the wide-open expanses of the far eastern plains where bison once flowed in herds like dark rivers, to winding routes through rumpled foothills dissected by river canyons and dotted with aspen groves and historic lodges; from bumpy jeep tracks to ascending nose-bleed heights over alpine ridges splashed with summer wildflowers and acid-bright mine tailings; from the surprise of two lanes traversing mountain parks to gravel roads winding between massive walls of red sandstone that hide centuries-old cliff dwellings in the canyon country of the far western edge of the state. This rich network of scenic and Historic Byways shows off Colorado's captivating spaces and lives, both wild and human. Colorado Scenic Byways Road Atlas & Travel Guide is for travelers who prefer winding roads to straight, choose to explore a new route rather than get there fast, are curious enough to stop and read a roadside sign, and marvel at a waterfall, wildflowers or a flock of sandhill cranes high overhead. It is for those who think they know Colorado, as well as those who are new to the state's enchantments. Open these pages, pick a byway at random, and set off on a journey.
The Ute Indians of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico
by Virginia Simmons
Using government documents, archives, and local histories, Simmons has painstakingly separated the often repeated and often incorrect hearsay from more accurate accounts of the Ute Indians.
Messages in Stone: Colorado's Colorful Geology
by Vince Mathews and the Colorado Geological Survey
Introduction to the rocks, structures and geologic history of Colorado. Includes discussion of landforms and geologic hazards. Lavishly illustrated with photographs of Colorado sites and maps. Appropriate for geologists and non-geologists.

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