Go Explore Colorful Colorado State Parks
Wherever you go in Colorado, there’s a state park waiting to welcome you.
Mountains or prairies, rivers or forests, out in the country or next to the city… Colorado’s 41 state parks are as diverse as the state itself, and they offer something for everyone.
Take a hair-raising whitewater river trip, or kick back in a lawn chair and watch the sunset. Enjoy a family picnic, cast a line in the water, take a hike, ride a horse, try snowshoeing or discover geocaching. From Eastern Plains parks at 3,800 feet to high-mountain parks at 9,500, the network of state parks offers a wealth of activities for busy people of all ages, or the chance to do nothing at all.
You can play on land or on water. On a high peak or on the prairie. In the country or the city. In spring, summer, winter or fall.
Here’s a list of our favorite:
Known as a premier bird-watching locale, Barr Lake State Park is just down the street from Brighton Crossings and offers its visitors prime wildlife viewing with access to designated fishing locations. Plus, on-site activities like archery, biking, boating, horseback riding, hiking and backpacking, and interpretive nature trails circle the lake and beyond.
This is Denver’s playground. With so much to see and enjoy, and take part in, this natural gem just outside the big city is where dogs come to play in the massive dog park with creek, and where their human partners let out some steam on the 880 surface acre reservoir.
Jump in the lake, hop on a boat, ride your bike, camp, horseback ride, and even fly a model plane. It’s all possible at Chatfield State Park. The park, and its reservoir, sit just south of Denver along Santa Fe Blvd with breathtaking views of the foothills and Platte River valley.
A true showcase of Colorado’s ecology because Eldorado Canyon and Eldorado Springs sit between the grassland plains and the forested Front Range foothills. Hiking and biking trails may be more challenging, especially as you reach the higher points, so check conditions before you go.
Hunt, camp, and gaze at the golden hues of changing seasons. Golden Gate Canyon State Park is one of the closest state parks to Denver, and is just an hour away from home in Brighton Crossings. Although public spaces like restrooms, picnic areas and playgrounds are closed, there’s still plenty of space to roam.
Just on the other side of Chatfield State Park lies the gorgeous locale of Roxborough. Dramatic red-rock formations jutting out of lush green valleys call for you to stop, take a breath, and take it all in. A day use only park, which means no camping, but plenty of birdwatching, hiking/backpacking and taking in scenic views during the spring and summer.
Protecting one of Colorado’s historical sites, the Castlewood Canyon Dam, which burst in 1933
that caused 15-foot waves to rush toward Denver. Remnants of the original, busted dam and its historic homestead still exist among the area’s golden hues of vegetation and the state’s largest population of Turkey Vultures.
The St. Vrain State Park that sits along the St. Vrain Creek is a family-friendly destination offering a simple outdoor respite. With 604 acres of land and 152 acres of water split amongst multiple ponds, this is a great place for bird-watching and landscape photography, and is just north of home in Brighton Crossings.
Talk about a water-sports haven. Boyd Lake is where your boat, your kayak, and your paddle board get to stretch out. Enjoy the time in nature, or on the water, while catching memorable views of the snow-capped Long’s Peak and mountains of the Continental Divide.
Grab the keys, neighbors. Let’s go explore!