8 Best Colorado State Parks

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There is no denying that Colorado is a beautiful state full of picture-perfect destinations with mountains, prairies, and wildlife. So it’s no wonder Colorado is home to many state parks that are worth a visit. No matter if you’re into biking, hiking, fishing, or wildlife viewing, there is a state park on this list that is perfect for you. Get out of the city and explore a new part of Colorado by visiting these eight awesome state parks in the Centennial State.

Mueller State Park
Mueller State Park

Mueller State Park

Photographers, hikers, and wildlife lovers must visit Mueller State Park in Divide, Colorado. Hiking the 50 miles of trails here is the perfect way to see the local elk herd. However, some trails also are open to horseback riding and mountain biking. Mueller State Park is a great place to visit year-round, but the autumn season brings color to this gorgeous and scenic landscape. The changing aspen trees during the fall make for a great photo op, so don’t be surprised to see a number of local photographers catching a shot of the yellow-toned trees during that time of year.

Eldorado Canyon State Park
Eldorado Canyon State Park

Eldorado Canyon State Park

A top attraction near Boulder, Eldorado Canyon State Park is a rock climber’s oasis. With over 500 technical climbing routes, climbers from all over the world head to Eldorado Canyon State Park. However, there’s more to this park than rock climbing. Hikers and bikers will enjoy the 11 miles of trails here, while fishermen will find the areas near South Boulder Creek to be lucrative.

Rifle Falls State Park
Rifle Falls State Park

Rifle Falls State Park

Located near the small town of Rifle, Rifle Falls State Park boasts an incredible scene made up of a cascading waterfall. During the summer, the top-rated waterfall in Colorado is surrounded by lush greenery. However, Rifle Falls is a great place to visit during the winter too, as the frozen falls are stunning in their own right. Don’t miss out on the limestone caves underneath Rifle Falls. There are also a number of hiking and biking trails to keep many active Coloradans and visitors entertained.

State Forest State Park
State Forest State Park

State Forest State Park

For those wanting to catch a view of the local moose population in Colorado, head to State Forest State Park in Walden. Home to over 600 moose, this state park is known as the moose viewing capital of the state. Since State Forest State Park is located near Rocky Mountain National Park and two popular National Forests, you may just find some solitude while hiking and biking here. With views of the Medicine Bow Mountains and the Never Summer Range, State Forest State Park is a photographer’s paradise. With 90 miles of hiking trails and 130 miles of biking trails, there is sure to be a trail at this state park to fit any skill level.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park
Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Golden Gate Canyon State Park is a popular park to visit among Denverites since it’s only 30 miles from the Mile High City. Located near Golden, the park is open year-round. Head to this state park during the summer to hike or during the winter to snowshoe or ski. Don’t miss out on the Panorama Point Scenic Overlook where visitors can view up to 100 miles of Colorado’s interior mountains on a clear day. With more than 150 campsites, from RV campgrounds to backcountry sites, Golden Gate Canyon State Park is a great place to spend a few days in the Rocky Mountains.

Lory State Park
Lory State Park

Lory State Park

Those living or visiting in Fort Collins should definitely head to Lory State Park to escape city life and find some solitude in nature. This nearly 2,500-acre state park in Bellvue, Colo., is perfect for hiking, biking, boating, climbing, and camping. Bike the rolling hills, hike up to the jagged rock formations or simply view Horsetooth Reservoir from inside Lory State Park. There are 26 miles of trails to explore here that link to 29 miles of open-space trails in the area.

Eleven Mile State Park
Eleven Mile State Park

Eleven Mile State Park

This Colorado state park, just 40 miles west of Colorado Springs, is perfect for fishermen, hikers and campers alike. Eleven Mile State Park is home to Eleven Mile Reservoir, which was created by the Eleven Mile Canyon Dam on the South Platte River. This massive reservoir draws boaters, windsurfers, fishermen and paddlers. Since the reservoir is home to many different varieties of trout, this state park is an oasis for fishermen. However, don’t miss out on the bird-watching here or the lengthy trail system that is sure to please even the most avid of hikers.

Navajo State Park
Navajo State Park

Navajo State Park

A 35-mile reservoir is the main attraction drawing visitors to Navajo State Park. Although only a quarter of the reservoir is actually located in Colorado and the rest in New Mexico, the area inside of the Centennial State boasts the most incredible views Navajo State Park has to offer. Boaters, swimmers and fishermen enjoy the water recreation. However, there are also a number of hiking trails to explore. Since this area is teeming with a variety of birdlife, birders also will enjoy spending some time at Navajo State Park.

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