Rocky Mountain National Park (02:47)
Rocky Mountain National Park is the most visited of Colorado's five national parks. It contains more than 400 square miles of mountain habitats. The park has more than 100 mountains.
Mesa Verde National Park (03:59)
Mesa Verde National Park contains ruins of the ancient Pueblo civilization that lived in the rocky conditions. The park opened in 1906 and was the first dedicated to preserving ancient homes.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (03:02)
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve protects the sand dunes in the San Luis Valley in Colorado. There is wetland to the south and mountain wilderness to the north of the dunes.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (04:15)
The canyon at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is more than 2,000 feet deep. The canyon was carved by the Gunnison River and runs for 48 miles. Some of the exposed rock dates back to before life on earth.
Colorado National Monument (03:37)
Colorado National monument includes canyons, cliffs, and red rock formations. The iron oxide in the rocks gives them their reddish color. The monument was specifically created to protect the rock monoliths.
Natural History of the Rocky Mountains (05:53)
The Rocky Mountains were formed more than 70 million years ago from cycles of uplift and erosion on the earth's crust. Glaciers founded on the mountains during the Ice Age and changed the landscape as they moved down the mountains. The glaciers have left 147 alpine lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Pueblo Dwellings (06:07)
Overtime, water eroded the canyon walls in what is now Mesa Verde National Park. The water created alcoves, which the Pueblo people built villages in 800 years ago. They first built their homes atop the canyons but then moved into the alcoves.
Creating the Dune Field (05:18)
The 30 square miles of sand dunes in Colorado is known as a geological oddity. The San Luis Valley that contains the dunes was once a large lake. When the lake dried up, the sand remained and the winds trapped the sand in the valley.
Carving the Black Canyon (04:37)
Rock in the Black Canyon is Precambrian rock, meaning it predates life on earth. The rock was pushed up as the Rocky Mountains were forming, creating the Gunnison Uplift. It met with the Gunnison River and created the Black Canyon.
Geology in the Colorado Plateau (07:22)
Colorado National Monument is part of the Colorado Plateau, which covers land in four southwest states and includes the Grand Canyon and Utah's Canyonlands. The plateau has layers of rock that display its geological history. The stone monoliths formed overtime due to erosion.
Stargazing in Colorado (03:45)
Sunsets highlight the beauty of Colorado's national parks. Stargazing is a common activity and views can see distant stars and galaxies.
Credits: Heart of the World: Colorado's National Parks - Part 1 (00:30)
Credits: Heart of the World: Colorado's National Parks - Part 1
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