Colorado State Parks:
Colorado State Parks – A western U.S. state, that has a diverse landscape of arid desert, river canyons and snow-covered Rocky Mountains, which are partly protected by Rocky Mountain National Park. Elsewhere, Mesa Verde National Park features Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings. Perched a mile above sea level, Denver, Colorado’s capital, and largest city, features a vibrant downtown area. You would figure that a state as beautiful as Colorado would have an abundance of state parks and recreation areas. But for the Rocky Mountains cutting a wide swath right through the state that would be the case. However the State Parks include: Eldorado Canyon State Park, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Lathrop State Park, Lory State Park, Pearl Lake State Park, Steamboat Lake State Park, and 2 State Fish Hatcheries, 5 State Wildlife Areas, 11 National Forests, 3 beautiful National Parks, a National Historic Landmark, a National Monument, 4 National Wildlife Refuges, and 2 National Recreation Areas. Below you will find our choices to share with you.
Garden of the Gods: Located at the base of Pikes Peak, this National Natural Landmark and popular park features stunning geological formations, rock climbing, nature trails and the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center. Fantastic! Wonderful place to visit, take pictures, leisurely walk, visit the center for food, prehistoric presentations, postcards, views of kissing camels, Pikes Peak – which is at 14,110-14,112 feet above sea-level, tours, and Glen Eyrie castle monument. A great place to be through winter, spring, summer, or fall. There are great biking trails; all trails are manageable for all ages! Visit this park In Colorado Springs.
Cherry Creek State Park: This is a huge area where everybody can find something of interest. Great spot for low HP watercraft and sport. You will see kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, swimmers, sailboats, and jet-skis. There are some beach areas, lots of picnic spots and things for the kids to play on. There is an abundance of wildlife, lots of birds so bring your camera. You can bring a dog and let him play in this great dog park, you can ride a bike, or horse, run or just take a walk. If you like to play with radio-controlled airplane models, there is a spot for that, too. This park is located in Aurora.
Bear Creek Lake Park: Lots to do such as hiking, biking, archery range, kayaking, fishing, and horseback riding. If you have family members that are into horses this may be where you might want to come. They have fully trained horses and guides to help you have a great riding experience. It also has a very nice campground. Found in the town of Lakewood which is near Denver.
Barr Lake State Park: This park is a hidden gem outside of Denver! It’s relaxing. Over the years the Park Manager, Michelle, has made a lot of improvements & features to improve the park enjoyment. Staff are always kind and willing to help you. Some people complain about the park fee. The positive is if the park isn’t for you, you can use that same park pass until 10 AM the next day at another park or get an annual pass so you could visit many parks. It’s a bird sanctuary and you will see interesting wildlife, so it is a good place for photography. The lake is very pretty with the skyline of Brighton beyond.
Ridgway State Park: This park is very accessible and well maintained, Owl Creek Pass does not require four wheel drive but we recommend taking it slow and bringing your camera. Abundant wildlife can be seen like deer, elk, marmots and even bald eagles. The reservoir is often like a mirror and makes for some postcard like photographs. Drive to Ridgway to enjoy this park.
Owl Creek Pass and Silver Jack Reservoir: Owl Creek Pass is a sightseer’s dream come true, in Sept and Oct. Fall colors and blue skies every day! It’s a gravel dirt road off highway CT Route 12, and climbs to approx. 13000 ft. so a 4X4 is probably best. Since there is access to streams, you may see Elk Herds, Pumas, and brown/black bears. Great flowers in spring, mushrooms for serious mushroom hunters in the fall! You’ll see mostly aspen that turn a beautiful gold in the fall and pine trees. This park is In Ridgway.
TravelKatz.com is looking forward to helping you and yours have a great vacation in Colorado. Give us a call at 352-277-7300 or go online to www.travelkatz.com scroll to the middle of the page, locate the radio microphone icon, and click to listen to the podcast.