Originally, our trip was going to be a massive tour of the western U.S. with stops at as many National Parks as we could manage but after a few unexpected curves in life’s road we decided to focus our time in Colorado and see as much as we could.
After a few days of climbing in Rifle we made our way to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. This ended up being one of our favorite stops – it was beautiful and there was hardly anyone there! We both agreed, Black Canyon is way underrated.
We made a brief pit stop in Telluride on our way to Mesa Verde and I fell in love. Definitely on the list of places to return to.
The campground at Mesa Verde felt like a little camping neighborhood, completely different from our other campsites. We toured one of the Pueblo cliff dwellings before hitting the road for our next site.
Our final night camping was in the San Juan National forest, and where we had probably our best camp food yet.
The last National Park on the list before heading for civilization was Great Sand Dunes, which feels absolutely otherworldly.
Before making our way back to Denver we stopped in Salida to rest at the Amigo Motor Lodge. We ended up rolling into town the opening night of a Whitewater festival so we enjoyed walking around the small town, watching whitewater rafters and kayakers compete, and listening to a free concert in the park. The Amigo Motor Lodge was the perfect place to wash the dust off our feet and recharge before making our way back to the big city.