Go Now: Mesa Verde National Park

By Natasha Gardner      October 1, 2012 1:50 PM

It may seem counterintuitive, but this might just be the perfect time to visit Colorado's Mesa Verde National Park. (Read more about the park here.) Don't believe us? Here, four reasons to go—now.

Reason 1. It has taken this Colorado transplant a few years to accept, but the Centennial State's fall colors rival the East Coast version. The aspens aren't as colorful as their eastern cousins, but they make it up for it in brilliance. While the scrubby landscape around the park isn't as photogenic as the mountain passes, you'll pass through those kaleidoscope areas (pictured, right) on the way to and from, which makes the seven-hour car drive just about as delightful as possible.   

Reason 2. School's in session, meaning that family vacations are on the wane. The result? Shorter lines and less-crowded tours. In truth, this might just be the perfect time to pull the kids out of school for a long-weekend—with an educational twist. 

Reason 3. During the summer, the park roads are so busy that you feel like you are stuck in rush-hour traffic. Come October, the thoroughfares are much more peaceful. So much so, that you can wander at your own speed without fear that the caravan of cars behind you will honk, and honk, and honk. 

Reason 4. We're all about playing well with others and sharing our national, jaw-dropping beautiful areas. Then again, we won't complain if every photograph we take doesn't include a ball-cap wearing tourist that we'll never seen again. If you prefer nature shots to people poses, this is the time to practice your John Fielder skills.

Follow senior editor Natasha Gardner on Twitter at @natashajgardner or on Pinterest.

Tags: travel, Outdoors, Mesa Verde, Fall

Call of Duty

Meet the man who took charge of the Colorado DOC in the wake of his predecessor’s murder....

33 Things Every Coloradan Should Know How To Do

The 33 things every Coloradan should know how to do.

Spring Break

This season’s nine top looks for men and women exude a casual but polished elegance...

Best New Restaurants 2014

Behold, the 10 very best restaurants to hit the Mile High City in the past year.

Modern Glamour

Elegant taste, feminine colors, and just a touch of sparkle: How a city girl got her dream home...