Today we include Colorado in our A Walk In the Park, State Park Spotlight. For those of you not familiar with our 50 week series, Blogging Babies and the Bayou will take readers into a new state every week and feature local State Parks. My mission is to open the eyes of many readers and give a small glimpse of what your own state may offer. If you haven’t included Colorado into your U.S travel bucket list, then get ready to brag a pen and paper to make it official! Enjoy our Walk in the Park.
Colorado is spacious, mountainous, snowy, full of forests, streams and hiking trails- and it is perfect for outdoor adventures for the entire family. Here you can find just about every outdoor activity for anyone in your group, so get ready to head to the fun and family-friendly terrains of Colorado this year for some amazing State Parks unlike others in the country.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park
Offering visitors more than 12,000 acres of forest, rocky peaks, and meadows with miles of trails awaiting hikers, horseback riders, bikers and more, Golden Gate Canyon State Park is a must-stop on your Colorado State Parks visit. Located just 30 miles outside of Denver, Golden Gate Canyon has electrical hook-ups, two campgrounds, stocked fishing ponds, picnic areas, and other outdoor spaces with indoor amenities. Visitors can also stop at the Panorama Point Scenic Overlook, where they will be able to see 100 miles of the Continental Divide.
Five cabins and two yurts are also located at Golden Gate Canyon for those that like to have a little more luxury than camping provides. And if you can’t make it during hot weather, no worries! Winter is the best time to visit Golden Gate Canyon State Park because it is the season that brings cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, ice fishing and ice skating- all things the park can and does accommodate.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park is open for hunting in the Jefferson County portion of the park. Per regulation, hunters must sign in and out daily at the Visitor Center. Hunting is limited to 35 hunters per day. For more information, go online to http://www.parks.state.co.us/Parks/goldengatecanyon/Pages/GoldenGateStatePark.aspx.
Lake Pueblo State Park
A fishing hot spot providing more than 4,600 surface acres of water, 60 miles of shoreline and almost 10,000 acres of land, Lake Pueblo State Park has lots to do and see for days, which is good because one day is simply not enough to enjoy the park.
Lake Pueblo State Park offers full service marinas, diverse campsites, water recreation such as sailing, motor-boating, water skiing, river tubing and fishing, as well as land recreation like hiking, biking, picnicking and nature exploration. Here visitors can play along the Arkansas River and explore the 200-year-old Juniper trees in the area. This isn’t just camping- it’s a vacation!
Views of the Greenhorn and Wet mountain ranges, as well as Pikes Peak are a spectacular way to end a long day of fun at the park. For information on Lake Pueblo State Park visit them online at http://www.parks.state.co.us/Parks/lakepueblo/Pages/LakePuebloStatePark.aspx.
Navajo State Park
If you are looking to see wildlife such as river otters, opossums, foxes, porcupines, cougars, jack rabbits, birds and more, then Navajo State Park is where you want to be. Wildlife enthusiasts, boaters and campers enjoy the park year-round because it has something for everyone. The 15,000 surface-acres of the giant reservoir often support sailors and boaters, fishers and swimmers, all at once, and boat rentals and gasoline for boats are available at the park’s Two Rivers Marina. Fishers can catch crappie, large-mouth and small-mouth bass, northern pike, trout, bluegill and catfish.
The campgrounds at Navajo State Park have 138 campsites that are open year-round, but it is important to remember that spring, summer and fall can bring varying weather conditions and temperatures in Colorado, so always pack extra clothing when camping anywhere in the state. Mosquitoes are also prevalent, so bring some repellent and netting to cover tents so that you can enjoy the beauty of this state park that is truly a frontier where wildlife and people come together to enjoy and share Mother Nature.
Yampa River State Park
Yampa River State Park, located in Yampa Valley, is actually three parks combined to make one large park with camping, a Visitor Center and nature trail with 35 RV electric sites, 10 tent sites and five sites for group camping. It is a popular spot for hunting, fishing, and OHV riding and a 134 – mile stretch of the Yampa River is at the heart of Yampa River State Park, offering 13 access points all the way to the Utah border. With all of the parks combined to make Yampa River State Park, visitors can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, camping and picnicking, as well as wildlife viewing, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. For more information on the parks, visit http://www.parks.state.co.us/Parks/yampariver/Pages/YampaRiverStatePark.aspx.
Castlewood Canyon State Park
Castlewood Canyon State Park has a challenge for you! You are invited to hike, run, snowshoe, or cross country ski 100 trail miles in the park and earn a Castlewood Canyon State Park 100 Mile Challenge Coin. This challenges your fitness level and helps you to better enjoy your adventure in the park. Simply keep track your trail miles, bring your log to the Visitor Center when you have completed the challenge, and receive your Coin.
If fitness and challenges aren’t your things, though, you can still enjoy the environmental diversity on several hiking trails at Castlewood Canyon State Park ranging from mild to moderate difficulty. While on your hike, enjoy the winding Cherry Creek that flows along the canyon floor. Or stop at the natural amphitheater and the Bridge Canyon Overlook gazebo. These are also fantastic places for weddings or other outdoor ceremonies. For history buffs in your group, remnants of geologic and local history combine here with the ruins of the Castlewood Dam, which burst in 1933, sending a 15-foot-high wave of water into Denver. There is no camping at Castlewood Canyon State Park, as it is a day-use only site.
Has a Colorado State Park sparked your interest? If so, which State Park would your family love to visit one day?
Additional Walk in the Park State by State Spotlight
Alabama State Parks
Alaska State Parks
Arizona State Parks
Arkansas State Parks
California State Parks
Connecticut State Parks
Colorado State Parks
Delaware State Parks
Florida State Parks
Georgia State Parks
Hawaiian State Parks
Iowa State Parks
Illinois State Parks
Indiana State Parks
Iowa State Parks
Kansas State Parks
Kentucky State Parks
Louisiana State Parks