Colorado State Parks

Guide 2018

brochure Colorado State Parks - Guide 2018

Guide to Colorado State Parks. Published by Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

COLORADO PA R K S & WILDLIFE Your Guide to Colorado’s 41 State Parks 2018 Edition CAMPING RESERVATIONS • 1-800-244-5613 • i Welcome to Your State Parks! Wherever you go in Colorado, there’s Cheyenne Mountain a state park waiting to welcome State Park 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. Golden Gate Canyon State Park State parks are great places for families. There are plenty of activities for families to enjoy together such as boating, hiking or picnicking, as well as organized nature walks, talks and events. Junior Ranger programs, activity backpacks, kid-friendly hikes and fishing ponds for kids are among the many offerings for youth. From toddler to teen and adult to senior, every family member can enjoy their activity of choice, then come together to share a meal and stories around the campfire. Whether you’re an active outdoor recreationist or prefer to spend time watching clouds go by, you’ll enjoy the special moments waiting for you in the state parks. Rifle Gap State Park Cover photos: Large photo: State Forest State Park; lower left: Pearl Lake State Park; lower center: Elkhead State Park; lower right: Lory State Park Plan Your Visit Colorado’s state parks are open every day of the year, weather permitting. Day-use areas are generally open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., and some parks may have closed gates after hours. Campgrounds are open 24 hours a day. Contact individual parks for hours of operation. Check our website for seasonal or maintenance closures: Entrance Passes All Colorado state parks charge an entrance fee. Cost of a daily pass may vary by park ($7–$9). A pass covers all occupants of a vehicle and is valid until noon the day after purchase. Some parks may charge a per-person fee for cyclists and walk-ins. Fees are used to help pay operating costs. Cherry Creek State Park charges an additional fee for the Cherry Creek Basin Water Quality Authority. Annual Pass Who doesn’t love a deal? And the state parks annual pass is a great one. For just one low price, the annual pass lets you enjoy all 41 state parks for unlimited visits for 12 months from date of purchase. That’s all the parks. That’s unlimited times. The annual pass pays for itself in as few as 10 visits. If you’re a Colorado resident who’s 64 years or older, there’s even a further discounted Aspen Leaf annual pass. There are also passes for disabled and income-eligible residents. For details and to purchase a pass, visit a Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) office, state park or buy online: Extend Your Stay Make more of your state park visit by staying overnight. Bring your tent or RV, spend a cozy night in a cabin, camp in a tipi or discover a comfortable, year-round alternative State Forest State Park to traditional camping with a yurt. All together, the state parks have more than 4,000 campsites and 58 cabins and yurts. Almost 300 campsites are ADA accessible. Many parks offer campsites or cabins for large groups. Heated cabins and yurts make a park getaway suitable any season of the year. Camping Reservations Summer weekends fill up quickly so advance reservations for overnight stays are recommended. Reservations can be made six months to three days ahead of arrival. Reserve online: Toll Free: 1-800-244-5613 A nonrefundable reservation fee applies to bookings, and visitors must purchase a daily or annual entrance pass in addition to paying camping and reservation fees. Unreserved sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 1 What Can I Do There? Colorado’s state parks are places to have fun, get away, recreate and re-create. Here are some park activities to help you do that: Fishing Top-notch fishing awaits anglers in 37 state parks across Colorado. Think Gold Medal Waters and trophy fish. A valid fishing license is required for all anglers 16 years and older. Licenses and our annual Colorado Fishing regulations brochure are available online, at most parks and at CPW authorized sales agents. Water Sports Many state parks are built around a lake or Crawford waterway, which means boating and other water State Park sports are among the headliners. Larger parks offer boat rentals and full-service marinas. Any boat with a motor or sail operated in Colorado on any public waters must be registered with CPW. All watercraft operators should be familiar with the Colorado Boating Statutes and Regulations, available at CPW offices, parks, visitor centers and online: Trails Want to take a hike or ride an off-highway vehicle (OHV)? You’ll find more than 700 miles of trails in parks statewide, from easy to difficult, and paved to natural surface. Most trails are open to nonmotorized activities, including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Offhighway vehicles and snowmobiles are allowed on trails in some parks. Check trail-use rules before you visit. Nature Getting close to nature is a major reason people visit the state parks. Park visitor centers often have interpretive displays on natural and human history. Most parks offer walks and talks on wildlife, native plants, geology, astronomy, local history and other subjects. Be a good steward and leave our natural treasures as you find them. Observe wildlife from a distance and don’t feed them, even if they beg! Special Events Looking for a special place to hold a wedding, family reunion or special event? A number of parks have facilities and special locations available for rent. Recite your vows against a stunning mountain view. Reserve a group cabin for all the kids and cousins for the next reunion. It’s different, it’s special and there’s always something to do. Pets While most parks allow pets in vehicles and campgrounds, they must be kept on a leash at all times. Some parks do not allow dogs on trails or within the park at all. Check with each park for specific rules for pets. In the Denver metro area, both Chatfield and Cherry Creek state parks offer Dog Off-Leash Areas. In addition to a valid park pass, either a daily or annual Dog Off-Leash Pass is required to use these areas. They are available at the entrance stations and park offices. 2 Why State Parks Are Important Your state parks are here for everyone to enjoy and they belong to you. The parks represent a commitment made by the citizens of Colorado more than 50 years ago to set aside treasured places where people of all ages can enjoy the outdoors, learn about our state’s natural heritage and be inspired to preserve and protect it for the future. As you enjoy the state parks, take care of them as if they were your own…because they are! Learn More Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW): CPW Headquarters: 303-297-1192 CPW Regional Offices • Northeast Region: 303-291-7227 Denver • Northwest Region: 970-255-6100 Grand Junction • Southeast Region: 719-227-5200 Colorado Springs • Southwest Region: 970-247-0855 Durango Camping reservations:  • Toll Free: 1-800-244-5613 Boat, OHV and snowmobile registration: 303- 791-1920 Hunting and fishing information and licenses: 303- 297-1192 Volunteering Grow, Explore, Learn and Serve! Get involved in your state parks from the inside, as a volunteer! Become a volunteer naturalist, campground host, park photographer or tour guide. Try out trail Eldorado crew and special events assistant, or pitch Canyon trail in on a construction project. CPW strives building volunteers to match you to the park and opportunity of your choice. Volunteer enough hours and you can earn a free Volunteer Parks Pass. Younger volunteers may participate with a group or supervising adult. Apply online at, call 303-866-3437 or email at Invasive Species They have exotic names and are nothing but trouble. Nonnative, nuisance plants, animals, insects and diseases can invade lakes, reservoirs, rivers, streams and lands. They ruin recreational opportunities and degrade wildlife Quagga mussels habitat. Some of these unwanted pests, such as the zebra or quagga mussels (pictured at right), live in water and hitchhike to new places on boats. Invasives such as the gypsy moth, which travels by hiding in firewood, live on land and damage trees. Noxious weeds are commonly transported in mud on hiking boots and tires. Whether by water or land, invasive species crowd out and kill native species and are often accidentally spread by people. Prevention is the best defense against them. You can stop the spread and help protect Colorado’s state parks by remembering to “Inspect, Clean, Drain and Dry” your boats, tires, gear and equipment. Never bring in firewood from another state. For more information, visit . 3 Steamboat Lake 36 26 Pearl Lake Walden Elkhead Reservoir 11 41 Yampa River Craig HaydenSteamboat 40 Springs Oak Creek Fort Collins 14 Estes Loveland Park 125 14 33 Stagecoach 131 134 Kremmling 40 28 Rifle Falls 13 Harvey Gap Rifle Gap 29 Collbran Fruita 330 40 Vega Aspen 82 16 Grand Junction James M. RobbColorado River 65 Delta Paonia Hotchkiss 133 25 Paonia Olathe 8 Crawford Montrose Gunnison 92 50 Chatfield Staunton 35 24 285 36 5 6 Cherry Creek Roxborough 30 Arkansas Headwaters 1 Recreation Salida Area (AHRA) Mueller 22 Cripple Creek Castle Rock 9 7 67 Dolores 21 27 Ridgway Kit Carson 287 Lake Pueblo 18 Pueblo 50 Lamar 25 Lathrop 19 Cortez Monte Vista 550 Mancos 160 John Martin Reservoir 350 Walsenburg 150 La Veta Springfield 12 172 151 23 Navajo Colorado State Parks Map 1. Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) pg. 8 2. Barr Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 9 3. Boyd Lake . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 10 4. Castlewood Canyon . . pg. 11 5. Chatfield . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 12 6. Cherry Creek . . . . . . . . pg. 13 7. Cheyenne Mountain . . pg. 14 Alamosa 17 La Junta Pagosa Springs Durango 8. Crawford . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 15 9. Eldorado Canyon . . . . . pg. 16 10. Eleven Mile . . . . . . . . . pg. 17 11. Elkhead Reservoir . . . pg. 18 12. Golden Gate Canyon pg. 19 13. Harvey Gap . . . . . . . . . pg. 20 14. Highline Lake . . . . . . . pg. 21 15. Jackson Lake . . . . . . . . pg. 22 COLORADO PARKS & WILDLIFE • • 303-297-1192 Burlington 70 24 Cheyenne Mountain 285 Mancos Limon Colorado Springs LM Lone Mesa 491 86 Canon City 50 160 4 4 Castlewood Canyon 40 Ouray Dove Creek 385 85 Spinney Mountain 32 10 Eleven Mile 550 Ridgway 2 Barr Lake Denver Fairplay Buena Vista Crawford Sweitzer Lake 37 Breckenridge Leadville Wray 70 Frisco Sylvan Lake 34 Brighton 287 93 38 Glenwood Springs Rifle 85 Golden Gate Canyon 12 Golden Avon Vail Fort Brush Morgan 76 St. Vrain 31 6 15 Jackson Lake 34 Boyd Lake 3 Eldorado Canyon 9 Highline 14 Lake Greeley 36 13 Meeker Sterling 14 Lory 20 State Forest 34 138 North Sterling 24 285 Trinidad Lake 39 16. J ames M. Robb Colorado River . . . pg. 23–25 17. John Martin Reservoir pg. 26 18. Lake Pueblo . . . . . . . . pg. 27 19. Lathrop . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 28 LM. Lone Mesa . . . . . . . . .pg. 29 20. Lory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 30 21. Mancos . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 31 160 Trinidad 22. Mueller . . . . . . . . . . 23. Navajo . . . . . . . . . . . 24. North Sterling . . . . 25. Paonia . . . . . . . . . . . 26. Pearl Lake . . . . . . . . 27. Ridgway . . . . . . . . . . 28. Rifle Falls . . . . . . . . . 29. Rifle Gap . . . . . . . . . CAMPING RESERVATIONS • 1-800-244-5613 • 30. Roxborough . . . . . . . pg. 40 31. St. Vrain . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 41 32. Spinney Mountain . . pg. 42 33. Stagecoach . . . . . . . . pg. 43 34. State Forest . . . . . . . . pg. 44 35. Staunton . . . . . . . . . . pg. 45 36. Steamboat Lake . . . . pg. 46 37. Sweitzer Lake........ pg. 47 pg. 32 pg. 33 pg. 34 pg. 35 pg. 36 pg. 37 pg. 38 pg. 39 5 38. Sylvan Lake . . . . . . pg. 48 39. Trinidad Lake . . . . pg. 49 40. Vega . . . . . . . . . . . . pg. 50 41. Yampa River . . pg. 51–52 CAMPING RESERVATIONS • 1-800-244-5613 • 6 Legend The legend below indicates some of the activities you can find at Colorado state parks. Check the listing for each park online at for more detailed information on specific activities. FACILITY ICONS RECREATION ICONS Visitor/nature center Biking trails Archery/shooting range Basic campsites Boat ramps Boat/jet ski rental Cabins Campsites with electrical Dump station Fish cleaning station Full hookup campsites Group campground Group picnic area Laundry Marina Mooring/docking Picnic sites Primitive campsites Showers Stables/horse rental Tipi Yurts Boating (motorized) Boating (nonmotorized) Cross-country skiing/ snowshoeing Fishing Geocaching Hiking trails Horseback trails Hunting Ice fishing Ice skating Jet skiing Off-highway vehicle (OHV) riding Ranger/nature programs Rock climbing Sail/paddle sports Snowmobiling Snow tubing/sledding Swimming Water skiing Wildlife/bird viewing Winter camping 7 COLORADO PARKS & WILDLIFE • • 303-297-1192 1. Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area 2. Barr Lake State Park 13401 Picadilly Road • Brighton, CO 80603 303-659-6005 • 307 W. Sackett Ave. • Salida, CO 81201 719-539-7289 • “We are the river.” That’s the catchphrase for fun and adventure at this recreation area along one of the most popular whitewater boating rivers in the United States, which also features the longest continuous (100+ miles) Gold Medal fishing waters in Colorado! Experienced whitewater boaters can bring their own raft, kayak, whitewater canoe or stand-up paddleboard, and for those less experienced there are a number of professional outfitters with skilled guides who can help facilitate your experience down the river. From Leadville to Lake Pueblo a range of whitewater awaits, from Class II and III for beginner and family trips, to roaring Class IV and V rapids for the adventure-minded. Check the AHRA website for river conditions and a list of licensed outfitters. For those more interested in land-based recreation, there’s plenty to do along the river’s winding course. Walk & wade anglers can try their luck in the Gold Medal waters. Others might want to pan for gold at the river’s edge, rock climb in steep walled canyons, enjoy a picnic lunch or watch for wildlife along the river and amid the gentle valleys and high mountains. In addition, there are eight campgrounds and numerous recreation sites along the river within the AHRA that also provide a variety of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding or jumping off points that provide access to hundreds of thousands of acres of motorized OHV trails. 36 BOAT RAMPS FACILITIES: visitor center, boat ramps, basic campsites, group campground, group picnic area, picnic sites RECREATION: biking, boating, cross-country skiing/snowshoeing, fishing, geocaching, hiking, horseback trails, hunting, ice fishing, ice skating, OHV riding, ranger/nature programs, rock climbing, swimming, wildlife/bird viewing, winter camping DAY-USE ONLY DIRECTIONS: From the intersection of Hwys. 50/291 in Salida, go N on Hwy. 291 (1st Street). Go 1 block past stoplight to G Street, turn right 1 block to Sackett Ave., turn left. Visitor Center is on left corner of Sackett and G streets. CAMPING RESERVATIONS • 1-800-244-5613 • Birds. They’re the headliners at Barr Lake, a mecca for birdwatchers from throughout the West. 371 species of birds have been sighted here, and records date back to the 1880s.Visitors can see bird banding in action at the migration-season banding station. Many bald eagles spend winter in the area and one pair regularly nests here in summer, raising young in a tree at the water’s edge. A visit might start with a stop at the nature center and a talk with a naturalist. Circling the lake on the level 8.8-mile, multi-use trail, much of it through a designated wildlife refuge, is a good way to see the park, particularly by bicycle or horseback. Several wildlife-viewing stations interpret the park’s wildlife and offer good places to stop and watch for birds, deer, coyotes and other wildlife, both on water and on land. This 1,900-acre prairie reservoir on the northeast side of Denver makes a great family fishing adventure or weekend picnic spot. Anglers can catch channel catfish, small and largemouth bass, rainbow trout, walleye, bluegill, wiper and tiger muskie in the lake. Kayakers and canoeists particularly enjoy the calm waters because boat motors are limited to 10 horsepower. The archery range — free with park entrance — is another fun activity. The archery range features 12 lanes from 10–60 yards. Classes on basic archery are occasionally offered. There is a 3D walking archery range. FACILITIES: nature center, archery range, boat ramps, group picnic area, picnic sites RECREATION: biking, cross-country skiing/snowshoeing, boating: motorized and nonmotorized, fishing, geocaching, hiking, horseback trails, hunting, ice fishing, ranger/nature programs, sail/ paddle sports, wildlife/bird viewing DIRECTIONS: From Denver, take I-76 E to Exit 22, Bromley Lane. Go E about 1 mile to Picadilly Road, then go S about 2 miles to park entrance on right. 8 CAMPING RESERVATIONS • 1-800-244-5613 • 9 3. Boyd Lake 4. Castlewood Canyon Colorful sailboats skimming blue water. Ski boats and jet skis cutting the waves. Canoes paddling the lake edge. All against a stunning mountain backdrop. That’s the scene at Boyd Lake, a 1,747-acre water-sports haven lying between the plains and the mountains at the very foot of snow-capped Longs Peak. Power zones for water skiing, wakeboarding and riding personal watercraft and no-wake zones for paddle sports, fishing and “floating” offer an enjoyable boating experience for all types of users. The campground features 148 paved, pull-through sites; it’s a perfect spot for a getaway focused around the water. Anglers have the chance to hook white, large and smallmouth bass, bluegill, carp, catfish, crappie, walleye and yellow perch. There’s a beach for sunbathing, sand play and a swimming pavilion. The marina is open seasonally, offering mooring slips, boat and watercraft rental, and a store that sells fishing supplies and groceries. For a breakaway from the water, visitors can hike, picnic, watch wildlife, hunt in-season and bike along a paved, lake-edge trail that links to the City of Loveland trail system. Pets must be kept on a 6-foot leash. Located an hour north of Denver, Boyd Lake is a great destination for residents all along the northern Front Range. A dramatic, steep-walled canyon etched into the Colorado prairie is the focus of this park along Cherry Creek. The diversity of landscape delights visitors and creates habitat for a great variety of wildlife. Cherry Creek winds along the canyon bottom with riparian communities of willows and cottonwoods along its banks. The rock-tumbled canyon walls, with differing natural communities on the shaded versus sunny sides, rise upward to caprock and grassy uplands. A designated Colorado Natural Area, the park offers outstanding bird and wildlife watching. Species include turkey vultures, bluebirds, canyon wrens, golden eagles, prairie falcons, coyotes, rabbits, foxes, bears and numerous reptiles and amphibians. Geology lovers will discover a “rock layer cake” with rock as old as 56 million years. Fourteen miles of trails, from easy to strenuous, traverse the park. Rock climbers will discover walls up to 60 feet high and canyon-face climbing for all skill levels. The canyon’s scenic beauty makes it a popular site for weddings and gatherings, particularly at the natural amphitheater and the Bridge Canyon Overlook gazebo. There are dramatic traces of human history as well, including the remnants of a homestead and the Castlewood Dam, which burst in 1933, causing major flooding through Denver. There is no biking allowed on trails in this day-use park. Pets are allowed on most trails but must be kept on a leash. 3720 North County Road 11-C • Loveland, CO 80538 970-669-1739 • 90 PICNIC SITES 10 FACILITIES: visitor center, boat ramps, boat/jet ski rental, campsites with electric, dump station, group picnic area, laundry, marina, mooring/ docking, picnic sites, shower RECREATION: biking, boating, cross-country skiing/snowshoeing, fishing, geocaching, hiking, hunting, ice fishing, ice skating, jet skiing, ranger/ nature programs, sail/paddle sports, swimming, water skiing, wildlife viewing, winter camping DIRECTIONS: From I-25 Exit 257 West (Hwy. 34) 2.3 miles, go right on Boise Ave 1.5 miles, turn right on 37th St (T intersection). Turn right. Park is on the right (800 ft). COLORADO PARKS & WILDLIFE • • 303-297-1192 2989 South Highway 83 • Franktown, CO 80116 303-688-5242 • DAY-USE ONLY FACILITIES: visitor center, group picnic area, picnic sites RECREATION: cross-country skiing/ snowshoeing, hiking, ranger/nature programs, rock climbing, wildlife/bird viewing DIRECTIONS: From I-25 at Castle Rock, go E on Founders Parkway to Hwy. 86; go E 4 miles to Franktown; go S on Hwy. 83 (S. Parker Road), and go 5 miles S to park entrance. CAMPING RESERVATIONS • 1-800-244-5613 • 11 5. Chatfield 6. Cherry Creek Fun on land and water. That’s the draw at this park along the South Platte River where it flows out of the mountains onto the prairie at the mouth of Waterton Canyon. The meeting of multiple habitats makes Chatfield a great spot for bird watching, with 345 documented species, including bald eagles, American white pelicans and burrowing owls. Deer, elk, coyotes, foxes, rabbits, prairie dogs and numerous reptiles and amphibians inhabit the park. The reservoir is a popular destination for swimming, fishing, water and jet skiing, sailing and boating of all kinds, especially on warm weekends. This is one of the most popular parks in the Denver metro area, so plan ahead. Amenities include four campgrounds, boat rentals, a floating restaurant and a marina. Chatfield offers 26 miles of trails (12 of them paved) for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Horses can be rented at Chatfield Stables and riding is restricted to the park perimeter. Pets are allowed on trails but must be on a leash. There’s a model airplane field and a 69-acre dog off-leash area. Many mornings, colorful hot air balloons rise from the park and winter offers ice fishing for dedicated anglers. Surrounded by the Denver metro area, Cherry Creek offers a recreational oasis amid the hectic urban world. Almost any day, the park’s 35 miles of multi-use trails, including 15 miles of paved trails, are abuzz with walkers, hikers, bikers, inline skaters and families on outings. In winter there might be snowshoers or cross-country skiers. The cool waters of Cherry Creek Reservoir attract water-skiers, anglers and boaters of all kinds. The top-notch fishing offers walleye, trout, crappie, bass, perch, bluegill and more. Families crowd the swim beach on warm weekends. The campground boasts 133 newly renovated, modern campsites. Other amenities, some of them seasonal, include an amphitheater, boat ramps, marina, model airplane field, family shooting range, horse rental, group picnic facilities and dog off-leash area. Because of its easy accessibility, Cherry Creek can be very crowded, so plan ahead and arrive early. The diversity of natural communities makes the park a wonderful site for nature study, attracting waterbirds, shorebirds, songbirds and raptors of all kinds, including bald and golden eagles, American white pelicans, white-faced ibis and a mix of prairie and woodland songbirds. 11500 North Roxborough Park Road • Littleton, CO 80125 303-791-7275 • 207 CAMPSITES DOG OFF LEASH AREA HIGH USE SEASON MAY - OCTOBER PARK MAY REACH CAPACITY ON WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS FACILITIES: boat ramps, boat rental, campsites with electric & full-hookup campsites, dump station, group picnic area, group campground, laundry, marina, mooring/docking, picnic sites, shower, stable/horse rental RECREATION: biking, boating, cross-country skiing/snowshoeing, fishing, hiking, horseback trails, ice fishing, ice skating, jet skiing, ranger/ nature programs, sail/paddle sports, swimming, water skiing, wildlife/bird viewing, winter camping DIRECTIONS: From Denver, go W on C-470 to Wadsworth (Hwy. 121) exit. Go S on Wadsworth 1 mile. Deer Creek entrance is on E of road. Or, from C-470 and Santa Fe Drive (Hwy. 85), go S on Hwy. 85, go W on Titan Pkwy., turn right on Roxborough Park Road to Plum Creek entrance. 12 COLORADO PARKS & WILDLIFE • • 303-297-1192 4201 South Parker Road • Aurora, CO 80014 303-690-1166 • MODEL AIRCRAFT FIELD HIGH USE SEASON MAY - OCTOBER PARK MAY REACH CAPACITY ON WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS FACILITIES: archery/shooting range, boat ramps, boat/jet ski rental, dump station, full-hookup campsites, group camping, group picnic area, laundry, picnic sites, shower, stable/horse rental, marina RECREATION: biking, boating, cross-country skiing/snowshoeing, fishing, hiking, ice fishing, ice skating, jet skiing, horseback trails, ranger/nature programs, sail/paddle sports, swimming, water skiing, wildlife/bird viewing, winter camping DIRECTIONS: From I-225, go 1 mile S on Parker Road to Lehigh Ave., turn right to reach the east entrance of the park. CAMPING RESERVATIONS • 1-800-244-5613 • 13 7. Cheyenne Mountain 8. Crawford Discover nature, from prairie to peak, at this 2,701-acre former ranch tucked beneath the eastern flank of Cheyenne Mountain. Twenty-three miles of easy to moderate hiking and biking trails lead visitors from prairie grasslands through a stunning foothills transition zone of Gambel oak and ponderosa pine/Douglas fir. The natural habitats are remarkably undisturbed and unfragmented, offering outstanding wildlife viewing. Visitors may glimpse coyotes, foxes, deer, elk, black bears, bobcats and prairie dogs as well as golden eagles, wild turkeys and red-tailed hawks. The bird list boasts more than 100 species. To protect the park’s spectacular natural landscape, pets are allowed on approximately 2 miles of trails and smoking is strictly prohibited on all trails and in the backcountry. After a stop at the visitor center, visitors can take a guided nature hike or family mystery hike, enjoy geocaching or attend an interpretive program. Youngsters 7 to 12 can earn their Junior Ranger badge or try their skill at the archery range. The campground offers 51 full-service campsites and 10 basic tent sites. The camper services store is open mid-April to mid-October with camping supplies, showers, laundry and playground. Imagine fishing, water skiing or camping on a 400-acre reservoir against the backdrop of stunning mountain peaks and you’ll have an idea of the scene at this park just 12 miles from Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. At 6,600-foot elevation, the mild climate offers outdoor recreation four seasons of the year. Anglers will find rainbow trout, perch, crappie, largemouth bass, catfish and northern pike in the lake’s waters. Boating opportunities include jet and water skiing, sailing, canoeing and swimming. Winter sports include cross-country skiing and ice fishing — when snow cover or ice thickness allows. Piñon-juniper woodlands with mountain mahogany, Gambel oak and other shrubs dominate the uplands, with areas of sagebrush, desert shrubs and grasses. Wetlands and riparian areas around the reservoir attract a variety of wildlife and songbirds. Wildlife watchers will often find beavers, chipmunks, rabbits and mule deer at the shoreline late in the evening. Migratory waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors are attracted to the reservoir and surrounding habitats in spring and fall. Two campgrounds, Iron Creek and Clear Fork, accommodate tents, trailers and campers with shower facilities. Iron Creek has electric and water hookups at each campsite. 410 JL Ranch Heights • Colorado Springs, CO 80926 719-576-2016 • 23 TRAIL MILES FACILITIES: visitor center, archery range, basic campsites, group picnic area, fullhookup campsites, laundry, picnic sites, shower RECREATION: biking, cross-country skiing/snowshoeing, geocaching, hiking, horseback trails, ranger/nature programs, wildlife/bird viewing, winter camping DIRECTIONS: From I-25, exit on South Academy (Exit 135), go W on Academy to Hwy. 115. Go S on Hwy. 115 to first traffic light at Gate 1 of Fort Carson. Turn W at the light into the park entrance. 14 COLORADO PARKS & WILDLIFE • • 303-297-1192 40468 Highway 92, P.O. Box 147 • Crawford, CO 81415 970-921-5721 • 40 66 PICNIC SITES CAMPSITES FACILITIES: visitor center, basic campsites, boat ramps, dump station, campsites with electric, group picnic area, picnic sites, shower RECREATION: biking, boating, cross-country skiing/snowshoeing, fishing, hunting, hiking, ice fishing, jet skiing, ranger/nature programs, sail/paddle sports, snow tubing, swimming, water skiing, winter camping, wildlife/bird viewing DIRECTIONS: From Delta, take Hwy. 92 E to Hotchkiss. Veer right on Hwy. 92. Go 10 miles to Crawford. Park is 1 mile S on Hwy. 92. CAMPING RESERVATIONS • 1-800-244-5613 • 15 9. Eldorado Canyon 10. Eleven Mile A stunning canyon with towering sandstone cliffs, outstanding rock climbing, 1.6 billion years of geology on display and the flora and fauna of a foothills canyon…all in the backyard of the city of Boulder. Visitors will find this and more when they go in search of Eldorado. With more than 500 technical routes up scenic cliffs with names like Wind Tower, The Bastille and Whale’s Tail, Eldorado is a mecca for rock climbers from around the world. The park’s popularity makes weekends and holidays from May through September very busy, so it’s best to visit on weekdays in the warm months. Trails for hiking and mountain biking vary from easy to difficult and connect with Boulder’s trail system. Visitors can picnic, fish in South Boulder Creek and watch for mule deer, elk, golden eagles, wild turkeys and other wildlife. Large colonies of bats breed in summer in the caves of the Inner Canyon. Winter visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The park’s two separate parcels — Inner Canyon and Crescent Meadows — are connected by the 3 ¼-mile Eldorado Canyon Trail, with an elevation change of 1,000 feet. Eldorado is a day-use only park. It closes at sunset and camping is not permitted. Camping is available, however, at nearby Golden Gate Canyon and St. Vrain state parks. Water, water everywhere — for fishing, boating and fun! Ringed by high mountains, this 3,400 acre reservoir at 8,600 feet elevation offers trophy-sized fishing opportunities for rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout and northern pike. Some of the largest fish ever caught in the state have been pulled from these waters. Visitors may enjoy motor boating, kayaking, canoeing, sailing or winds

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