Colorado’s 41 state parks are as diverse as the state itself. Mountains or prairies, rivers or forests, out-in-the-boonies or next-to-the-city locations, the parks offer something for the outdoor enthusiast and families alike.
Take a hair-raising whitewater river trip, or kick back in a lawn chair and watch the sunset. Enjoy a family picnic, camp in our comfortable accommodations, cast a line in the water, take a secluded hike, learn about nature during a state park education program, ride a horse, try snowshoeing or discover geocaching.
World-Class Views in Eldorado Canyon State Park outside of Boulder
When you are hiking in the solitude-filled Eldorado Canyon State Park, it’s hard to believe you are just a couple miles from Boulder, a thriving university town filled with a vibrant downtown and restaurants catering to foodies.
A magnet for climbers from around the world, Eldorado features jaw-dropping cliffs that soar into the blue sky. As you gaze at the walls above you, you’ll start to spot tiny, bright-colored figures climbing the park’s 500-plus climbing routes.
Bring a picnic here [two grocery stores are 6 miles away, Lucky’s Market and King Soopers] and sit alongside South Boulder Creek to gaze up at the climbers. Or cast your line in the creek in search of brown and rainbow trout. Then explore the trails. Fowler Trail is an easy hike while the more moderate Rattlesnake Gulch Trail starts in the canyon before climbing 1.4 miles up 800 feet to give you spectacular views.
Stop in the visitor center to buy a fishing license and get hiking information. The best time to visit Eldorado is during a weekday. If you go on a weekend, arrive early as the park reaches capacity often during summer months.
When you get hot, jump off the diving board at Eldorado Swimming Pool literally right outside the park. It opened in 1905 and is fed by an artesian spring.
The Walden of the West at State Forest State Park
Looking to escape the crowds after you visit Rocky Mountain National Park?
Head to State Forest State Park in Walden, an hour and 30 minutes from Grand Lake. Alpine lakes, peaks that stretch to the sky and a mixture of camping and yurt and cabin rentals await.
Hike less than a mile to Lake Agnes, an alpine lake filled with stunning turquoise waters. There's actually an island in the middle of it.
Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for moose. The North Park area, where the park is located, is considered Colorado’s "moose capital" with more than 600 of the large animals living here. Stop at the Moose Visitor Center for maps, information and to view interpretive displays.
For More Information:
Colorado Parks and Wildlife