Places to Visit After Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

A strikingly beautiful national park located in southwestern Colorado, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park surrounds a massive 12-mile gorge. The steep walls of the canyon showcase dramatic cliffs and gorgeous landscapes. Once you’ve had your fill of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, check out the following destinations to continue your trip!

Rocky Mountain National Park – Just under six hours outside of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park lies Rocky Mountain National Park. This breathtaking park sits along the continental divide and offers a variety of hiking trails and stunning landscapes.

Mesa Verde National Park – Only three hours from Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Mesa Verde National Park is home to ancient cliff dwellings that have been incredibly well preserved. This unique cultural and historic site makes for the perfect next stop along your way. 

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve – Renowned for its massive sand dunes, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve sits just about three-and-a-half hours outside of Balck Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Head here for stunning landscapes of mountains, sand dunes, and the Medano Lake.

Denver – Denver is five-and-a-half hours from Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and offers a perfect urban destination to continue your trip. Explore museums, nearby ski resorts, restaurants, shops, and a bit of Old Western history and culture.  

San Juan National Forest – Under 4 hours outside of the park, San Juan National Forest conserves over a million acres in western Colorado. Brimming with mountains, lakes, and hiking trails, you’ll be amazed by the serene beauty of this vast national forest.

Places to Visit After Mammoth Cave National Park

A small tour group gathers at the Historic Entrance of Mammoth Cave on a summer day, preparing to enter. The cool cave air, meeting the warm, humid outer air, creates a sudden zone of mist that both delights the skin and fogs spectacles, and gives a sense that one is on the threshold of another world.

Established in 1941, Mammoth Cave National Park protects the world’s oldest cave system and lies in southern Kentucky. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park welcomes nearly two million visitors every year. Once you’ve had your fill of Mammoth Cave National Park, head to any of the following destinations to continue your trip!

Nashville, Tennessee – An hour and a half outside of Mammoth Cave National Park lies Nashville, Tennessee, home of Vanderbilt University and a world renowned country music scene. Head here for delicious food, great music, and an overall good time.

Louisville, Kentucky – Louisville is Kentucky’s largest city and home to the Kentucky Derby, a world-renowned horse race. Louisville is only an hour and a half away from Mammoth Cave National Park, making it the natural next stop along your way. 

Bowling Green, Kentucky – A charming city half an hour outside of Mammoth Cave National Park, Bowling Green is home to the National Corvette Museum and the Corvette manufacturing factory. Here you’ll also find the Kentucky Museum, which delves into the history of the region and the Civil War. 

Lexington, Kentucky – Renowned as the “horse capital of the world,” Lexington, Kentucky boasts a large number of thoroughbred horse farms and race tracks. Around two hours outside of Mammoth Cave National Park, Lexington makes for a lovely stop either before or after your visit to the park.

Barren River Reservoir State Resort Park – A scenic man-made reservoir half an hour from Mammoth Cave National Park, there are plenty of opportunities for boating and fishing at Barren River Reservoir State Resort Park. This area also contains a lodge and campground for overnight accommodation. 

Places to Visit After Capitol Reef National Park

A popular national park located in southern Utah, Capitol Reef National Park is home to dramatic desert landscapes and fascinating geological formations. Cliffs, canyons, and domes make this park a wonderful place for hiking and exploring. Once you’ve had your fill of Capitol Reef National Park, continue your trip by heading to the following nearby destinations!

Anasazi State Park – Home to an Ancestral Puebloan village of the ancient Anasazi people, Anasazi State Park and museum feature the ruins of this historic site. Less than an hour outside of Capitol Reef National Park, Anasazi State Park makes for the perfect next stop along your way. 

Bryce Canyon National Park – A gorgeous national park known for its colorful hoodoos and unique geological features, Bryce Canyon National Park is an excellent place to stop before or after your visit to Capitol Reef National Park. 

Goblin Valley State Park – Under an hour outside of Capitol Reef National Park lies Goblin Valley State Park. The “goblins” that are this park’s namesake are the thousands of hoodoos that appear throughout the park.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area – An area that surrounds Utah’s Lake Powell and lower Cataract Canyon, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area boasts beautiful rugged desert landscapes. Just over an hour away from Capitol Reef National Park, this is the natural next stop along your journey. 

Salt Lake City, Utah – About 3.5 hours from Capitol Reef National Park lies Salt Lake City, Utah’s bustling capital city. A sparkling metropolis situated against the backdrop of towering mountains, you’re sure to fall in love with Salt Lake City. 

Arches National Park – Home to spectacular red rock scenery, Arches National Park is among the country’s most unique national parks. Head to Arches after your visit to Capitol Reef National Park for hiking and breathtaking landscapes.

Places to Visit After Petrified Forest National Park

An ancient national park situated in northeastern Arizona, Petrified Forest National Park is characterized by forests of colorful petrified wood. A fascinating feat of nature, you will no doubt be intrigued by this unique national park! When you’ve had your fill of Petrified Forest, continue on your journey to these nearby destinations.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument – Just 2 hours outside of Petrified Forest National Park, Canyon de Chelly National Monument is a massive park situated on lands that belong to the Navajo tribe. Rife with prehistoric petroglyphs and gorgeous sandstone landscapes, this monument makes for the perfect next stop along your way.

Grand Canyon – About a 3-hour drive from Petrified Forest National Park, the Grand Canyon needs no introduction. One of the 7 natural wonders of the world, this massive landmark offers breathtaking views of the carved out canyon and the Colorado River.

Phoenix, Arizona – The capital of Arizona, Phoenix is under 4 hours outside of Petrified Forest National Park, making it an excellent choice to stop at either before or after your visit to the park. A bustling metropolis known for golf courses, high-end spas, and nightclubs, you’re sure to fall in love with Phoenix.

Sedona, Arizona – A beautiful desert city, Sedona, Arizona is located about 2.5 hours outside of Petrified Forest National Park. Brimming with red rock landscapes and geological marvels, Sedona makes for a unique pitstop during your trip.

Hopi Reservation – A vast Native American reservation situated just north of Petrified Forest National Park, the Hopi Reservation is home to a variety of historic and geographical wonders worth exploring. Some of the noteworthy things to see here include ancient dinosaur tracks, Blue Canyon, and Antelope Mesa.

Monument Valley – Just over 3 hours from Petrified Forest National Park lies Monument Valley at the Arizona-Utah border. Known for stunning sandstone buttes, this area is popular for filming Western movies.

Places to Visit After Denali National Park

Denali National Park is a vast, rugged park situated in southern Alaska. Dramatic mountains, lakes, streams, and wildlife make this national park one of the country’s most spectacular destinations. If you’re looking to continue your journey after Denali National Park, check out the following locations. 

Fairbanks

Fairbanks is situated just 120 miles north of Denali National Park, making it the natural next stop on your trip. The largest city in Alaska’s interior region, Fairbanks offers museums, restaurants, bars, shops, and more.

Anchorage

Just 240 miles south of Denali National Park lies Anchorage, Alaska, the largest city in the state. With a variety of cultural sites and activities, breathtaking wilderness areas, and plenty of bars, restaurants, shops, and lodging, Anchorage is an excellent next stop after visiting Denali National Park.

Kenai Fjords National Park

A stunningly beautiful Alaskan national park, Kenai Fjords National Park offers visitors a plethora of outdoor activities. From wildlife viewing to exploring the park’s glaciers, you could spend days traversing this gorgeous national park.

Katmai National Park

Katmai National Park is renowned for its native bear population, making this the perfect place to enjoy wildlife viewing. The wild landscape here consists of towering mountains, freshwater lakes, streams, and ancient lava flows.