Colorado is known for its four true seasons and blue skies year-round. The lifestyle and entertainment options that match the seasonality are key considerations for retirees who need adventure included in their personal retirement plan.
Because Denver located within close proximity to several national parks, it’s even easier for retirees to find adventure throughout the year. Not to mention, U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over pay only $80 for a lifetime pass and military personnel get free national parks passes, making it an affordable adventure as well.
Our Top Three Picks
At Wealth Legacy Institute, our Denver-based wealth advisors have over sixty years of combined living in the Mile High City. And, we’ve each spent a good amount of time in the state and national parks near us. So, it’s only natural that we discuss our favorites.
After polling the office, we want to share with you our top three favorite national parks near Denver:
1. Rocky Mountain National Park
It’s hard to beat a majestic park located within a 1.5-hour drive from Denver. This is why this park makes it to the top of the list. If you’re not in Colorado for long or are looking for a little weekend escape, the ease of Rocky Mountain National Park cannot be missed.
Trail Ridge Road is one of the most popular trails in the park. It has over 300 miles of hiking trails, and according to NPS.gov the trial, “crests at over 12,000 feet and includes many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine worlds.”
The park itself offers something for everyone:
- It’s easy driving for those looking to relax while enjoying the sights
- There’s extensive hiking throughout the season
- Cross-country fanatics can enjoy heavy snow opportunities
- Fishing is bountiful in the summertime.
Both entrances of the park are located within charming towns (Estes Park and Granby) which make for fun lunch stops when you’re traveling.
2. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
If you’re drawn to lakes and rivers for your national park experiences, Gunnison is sure to inspire.
The deep caverns created by the Gunnison River are breathtaking. At first entrance, you’ll see some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America.
This park is known for its:
- Extensive hiking
- Rock climbing
- Outstanding trout fishing
If you’re a kayaker, there are great rapids. But, make sure you know what you’re getting into - some parts of the river are better for expert kayakers.
Expert tip: If you’re traveling to Black Canyon between June and September, consider taking Morrow Point Boat Ride. Because it’s ranger-guided, it is a unique opportunity to learn about geology, wildlife, early inhabitants, the local railroad, and dams throughout Black Canyon.
3. Great Sand Dunes National Park
Want to feel like you’re on a different planet? Come to this park. The sand dunes in this park are dubbed the tallest in North America.
Thrill seekers use the dunes for sandboarding, and sand-sledding. For those seeking less of an adrenaline rush, you can also enjoy “sand dunes beach” at Medano Creek during the summer time. It’s the perfect location for a family getaway when the grandkids come to visit!
Red Rocks has incredibly unique red rock formations (hence the name) and a one-of-a-kind music amphitheater to check out. Oftentimes, you’ll see a busy group of hikers and bikers there over the weekend. They even offer yoga on the rocks if that’s your thing.
Summit Lake Park is at the top of Mt. Evans scenic byway. It is the highest city park in the county. For those needing to experience parks car-side, this is a beautiful opportunity to do a little car-adventuring.
Making Your Personal Retirement Plan Work for You
Our clients often ask us, “What should we consider when retiring?” Of course, savings, the rate of return, and how to find a financial advisor, are important components of a personal retirement plan, but equally important are lifestyle choices.
Planning for retirement isn’t just about the dollars and cents, it’s also about how to use your money as a tool to fulfill your retirement goals. And, for many retirees having close proximity to outdoor experiences is an important consideration for their personal retirement plan.