Natural Wonders

Visit Colorado’s National Parks Virtually

You don’t have to visit Colorado’s national parks in person to experience their spectacular views and trails.

Even if you can’t travel to the park right now, you can still see, hear and experience what’s happening in Colorado’s national parks, thanks to some amazing technology. Here are some of our favorite ways to feel like we are in the park, even when we’re nowhere near it.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park
Longs PeakAdobe Stock

Fly to Rocky

One of the best ways to experience Rocky Mountain National Park when you can’t visit is to fly there via Google Earth. You can reach the summit of Longs Peak, the highest peak in the park at 14,259 feet. You can also follow Trail Ridge Road, the highest paved road in the National Park Service, up and over Alpine Visitor Center at 11,796 feet, no matter what the weather.

See Kawuneechee Valley and the Alpine Visitor Center Now

Dreaming about the park and want to see it live? Check out the view and the weather conditions in Kawuneeche Valley on the west side of the park, on Longs Peak, at the Alpine Visitor Center and the Continental Divide areas of the park.

Hear the Park’s Animals, Birds and Landscapes’ Noises

You don’t need to be in Rocky Mountain National Park to hear its elk bugle, coyotes howl and a black-billed magpie sing.

Listen to the park’s sound library created by Jacob Job, a researcher with Colorado State University and the NPS Natural Sounds & Night Skies Division. Job’s research aims to create an acoustic record of sound diversity in the park.

Watch Rangers and Others in the Park

Prepare for your next trip to Rocky Mountain NAtional Park with this series of videos that bring the park to you.

Other Resources

For more webcams, virtual tours, photo galleries, apps, videos, and other digital content at

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Hikers look like ants climbing the sand at Great Sand Dunes National Park
The dunes with a mountain backdropDaniel Forster

Fly to Great Sand Dunes

This park is so striking because its enormous rippling sand dunes are nestled next to the gorgeous Sangre de Cristo mountains in Colorado. See it all from the sky as you drop down closer to the park with help from Google Earth. You’ll get a sense of the vastness of the dunes and will be able to spot High Dune and Star Dune amid the ripples of sand below you.

Scenes from the Park via Video and Photos

To bring the park into your home, check out the Great Sand Dunes YouTube channel featuring scenes and activities in the park. The park also has a Flickr collection of beautiful photos from the last five years.

Mesa Verde National Park

Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde's third largest and best preserved cliff dwelling
Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde’s third largest and best preserved cliff dwelling. Image from the park’s photo gallery.NPS Public Domain

See the Spruce Tree House

Unfortunately, geology gets in the way for Mesa Verde’s incredible cliff dwellings tucked under, well, cliffs. You can see part of Cliff Palace and the cliff lip over Balconey House if you fly to Mesa Verde National Park via Google Earth. But the majority of the structures tucked under cliffs are obscured from view.

You’ll have better views if you visit the park’s webcam, you can see one of the ancient cliff dwellings that led to the creation of this national park. It was the first park created to protect the nation’s cultural history Ancestral Pueblo peoples lived here for more than 700 years starting in 550 AD.

Through the park’s webcam, you can view the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling from the back porch of the chief ranger’s office. Spruce Tree House is one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the park. Up to 80 people once lived there.

Listen to a Park Podcast

Listen to the history of Mesa Verde National Park come alive when you tune into the park’s podcast series exploring the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people. The podcasts connect the experiences of ancient people with people of today. To download, visit

Other Resources

For more other digital content and photo galleries, go to

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

View of the Canyon from Oak Flat Trail in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
View of the Canyon from Oak Flat Trail. Image from the park’s photo gallery.NPS/Zach Schierl

Fly to the Black Canyon

Catch an incredible bird’s eye view of this park when you fly there with Google Earth. The canyon’s deep canyons stand out dramatically from overhead.

See the Sights

To see what’s happening live, the park has two webcams for visitors to check out, both on the South Rim. View Grizzly Ridge and Gunnison point live.

The park has a number of photo galleries that can keep you busy for quite some time. Check them out here.