State Park campgrounds in Colorado.
Whether it’s snowy or sunny, Colorado’s state parks offer ample opportunities to get out and play.
Colorado offers a robust state park system, with 42 parks in total, most of which offer developed camping options in the warm summer months. The state's parks are generally open year-round, closing only for maintenance or weather-related issues, and many transform from summer playgrounds—complete with hiking, rock climbing, and water sports galore—to winterRead more...
Colorado offers a robust state park system, with 42 parks in total, most of which offer developed camping options in the warm summer months. The state's parks are generally open year-round, closing only for maintenance or weather-related issues, and many transform from summer playgrounds—complete with hiking, rock climbing, and water sports galore—to winter recreation hotspots used for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and even ice fishing. Many Colorado State Parks offer visitor centers with interpretive exhibits and some offer guided hikes and lectures for visitors who want to deepen their understanding of the local ecosystems.
Where to Go
Western Colorado features a mix of high desert, mountains, lakes, and rivers, plus more than its fair share of ski resorts. State parks found in the western region are often centered around bodies of water, including Pearl Lake, Steamboat Lake, Elkhead Reservoir, and the Yampa River, all of which are found in Northwest Colorado’s Medicine Bow–Routt National Forest area. Southwestern state parks include Mancos, Ridgway, Navajo, and Sweitzer Lake state parks.
The Denver-Fort Collins Area
The Denver area has a ton of state parks, many within a quick drive of downtown Denver or Boulder. Popular options include Cherry Creek State Park, the rocky Staunton State Park southwest of town, and Eldorado Canyon State Park, a popular spot with rock climbers situated just outside of Boulder. If mountain biking is more your thing, head up to Lory State Park near Fort Collins, which offers some 26 miles of multi-use trails and easy access to Horsetooth Reservoir.
Central and South-Central Colorado
The Central and South-Central sections of Colorado offer a mix of rugged mountainscapes, rivers, forests, and even hot springs. The region is also home to the first state park in Colorado, Lathrop State Park, which attracts boaters and anglers to its two lakes. Lake Pueblo is also well-known for fishing, and has an excellent trail system for those who'd rather stay on land. If you want to spot wildlife, head to Mueller State Park near Pikes Peak, where it's not unusual to spot elk, mule deer, and even bears.
Vast and quiet Eastern Colorado doesn't have much in terms of state parks, so if you're camping in this plains-filled area, you may want to find something private. Options include North Sterling State Park in the northeastern plains and the John Martin Reservoir, known for boating, water sports, and bird-watching opportunities.