(Clockwise from left)
no shortage of vistas at Black Canyon of the
South Rim Visitor Center;
A colorful wood lily at
Rocky Mountain National
Park; A Western Tanager
adds beauty and song to
Mesa Verde National Park.
Black Canyon of the
Gunnison National Park
Far View Lodge
Great Sand Dunes
National Park Preserve
Mesa Verde institute
Mesa Verde National Park
Rocky Mountain Nature
Need trivia for
your group? The
National Park websites are chock full
facts like these.
guided tour of Spruce Tree House if time allows
and consider a hike or tour offered by the nonprofit
Mesa Verde Institute. Also check the schedule for
the annual Four Corners Lecture Series.
Stay within the park at Far View Lodge, located near
the visitor center and offering panoramic vistas into
three states. The 150 hotel rooms are available from
late April to late October, and the lodge can host 75
guests for meetings and up to 100 for events. Another
option is staying in the nearby towns of Cortez and
Mancos or making the drive from Durango.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
One expect to find sand dunes in Colorado,
let alone the tallest dunes in North America that you
can hike on, slide down or just admire in the changing
light. Medano Creek at the base of the dunes makes
it especially fun to wade through the water. Because
the dunes and surrounding mountains are designated
wilderness, you also can indulge in the unspoiled
For the first six centuries, the
Ancestral Puebloans primarily
lived on the mesa tops. It was
not until the final 75 to 100
years that they constructed
and lived in the cliff dwellings.
Later, they migrated south to
New Mexico and Arizona.
Colorado Meetings Events
natural beauty in a variety of ways from bird watching
in ascending a 13,000-foot peak.
Concerned that the dunes could be destroyed by
gold mining or concrete-making spurred residents
of nearby Alamosa and Monte Vista into action
seeking national monument status, which resulted in
a bill that was signed into law by President Herbert
Hoover in 1932. A similar effort resulted in the
expansion into a national park and
preserve from 2000 to 2004.
The basic Great Sand Dunes Lodge is located just
outside the park entrance on Highway 150 and is
open April to October or check out the options in
Alamosa, Fort Garland, Monte Vista and San Luis,
ranging from 31 to 45 miles away.
A few miles south of park entrance is The
Nature Zapata Ranch, a 103,000-acre
working bison, cattle and guest ranch that has 15
rooms, a gourmet chef and a restored barn that holds
up to 50 for meetings and events. While staying at
the ranch, take part in horsemanship, ranching with
Before Congress established
Rocky Mountain National Park in
1915, the areas around Grand Lake
and Estes Park were filled with
cattle ranches. With the growing
popularity of tourism in the area,
many of these ranchers converted
their properties to dude ranching.
The Black Canyon stretches
far beyond the 14 miles within the national park. Including
the canyon within Curecanti
National Recreation Area and
Gunnison Gorge National
Conservation Area, the total
length is 53 miles.
co a i a a i ce
Morrow Point Boat Tours
970.641.2337 ext. 205