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Add these places to your Colorado tour

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Coke Ovens, Colorado National Monument

This month I’m introducing our readers to four wonderful, yet lesser-known national parks and monuments in the Centennial State: Great Sand Dunes National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado National Monument and Dinosaur National Monument. Although it is likely that many of you have never even heard their names, please be assured that each of these sites offers outstanding, easily accessible sightseeing opportunities, and can readily be combined with visits to some of Colorado’s “big name” attractions to create a superior tour experience. 

Most group leaders already have at least some familiarity with Denver, Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak, Rocky Mountain National Parks, Royal Gorge, historic railroads like the Silverton and the Cumbres & Toltec, and year-round resorts like Vail, Breckenridge and Aspen. However, these four areas (actually two national parks and two national monuments) are all distinctly different from each other and are conveniently located near a variety of group accommodations. Three of them can each be done adequately in a half-day’s time, leaving time for enjoying other attractions in the area. Only the fourth, which Colorado shares with neighboring Utah, requires a full day’s visit.       

Bob Hoelscher, CTC, CTP, MCC, CTIE, is a longtime travel industry executive who has sold his tour company, bought a motorhome and is traveling the highways and byways of America.  He is a former chairman of NTA, and was a founding member of Travel Alliance Partners (TAP).

Well-known in the industry as both a baseball and symphony aficionado, Bob is also one of the country’s biggest fans of our national parks, both large and small.  He has already visited more than 325 NPS sites and has several dozen yet to see.  He is currently traveling the country to visit as many of those parks as possible.  His blog, “Travels with Bob,” appears periodically on The Group Travel Leader’s blogsite, “Are We There Yet”.

Bob is available for contractual work in the industry and may be reached at or by calling (435) 590-1553.