6 Colorado State Parks to Add to Your Summer Bucket List

Cheyenne Mountain in Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Photo credit: Miguel Vieira (flickr)

If you’re looking for a little outdoor time and adventure right in your own backyard, state parks are a great way to fulfill those goals. What do you like best in a state park? There is something here for everyone.

1. Eldorado Canyon State Park

6 Colorado State Parks to Add to Your Summer Bucket List

Eldorado State Park. Photo Credit: Max and Dee Bernt

Enjoy over 500 rock-climbing routes that are some of the most technical and well known in the area.  Visitors can hike or bike along trails. Be advised that this park is day use only. Pro Tip: Avoid the weekend crowds, as parking will quickly fill to capacity.

2. Golden Gate Canyon State Park

6 Colorado State Parks to Add to Your Summer Bucket List

Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Photo Credit: Brian Dearth

Come to Golden, Colorado for hiking, camping, horseback riding, fishing, picnicking, and mountain biking.  Yurts and cabins make for a great long weekend visit. If you are visiting in the winter, pack your ice skates, snowshoes, cross-country skis, and head out to over 12,000 pristine acres. Pro Tip: Stay in a first-ever offered (by a Colorado State Park) guesthouse!

3. Navajo State Park

6 Colorado State Parks to Add to Your Summer Bucket List

Navajo State Park. Photo Credit: Zenhaus

In Arboles, Colorado, about 17 miles south of Pagosa Springs, sits one of the largest reservoirs in southwest Colorado. 12,000 surface acres make for a boaters paradise. You can also fish, camp, hunt, and bike at this park. Pro Tip: Swimming is not allowed.

4. St. Vrain State Park

6 Colorado State Parks to Add to Your Summer Bucket List

St. Vrain State Park. Photo Credit: Ken Lund

Located in Firestone, Colorado, this park has some of the best views of the Rocky Mountains and is a well-known birders paradise. Come stay for winter camping and check out the nesting eagles. The summer birds are large and graceful hunters searching the water for fish. Biking, walking, and kayaking are also enjoyed at St. Vrain State Park. Pro Tip: This park was formerly named Barbour Ponds.

5. Cheyenne Mountain State Park

Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Photo Credit: Miguel Vieira - OutThere Colorado. Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Photo Credit: Miguel Vieira[/caption]

This park is known for its archery and geocaching. Sure, you can still hike, horseback ride, or bike on the 20 miles of trails, but doesn’t archery sound fun? Cheyenne Mountain State Park also has another unique feature, an amphitheater that is available for rental.  Come to Colorado Springs, Colorado to enjoy the year round camping in more than 2700 acres at this state park.

6. Mueller State Park

6 Colorado State Parks to Add to Your Summer Bucket List

Mueller State Park. Photo credit: Patrick Standish (flickr)

Mueller is best known and enjoyed for the plentiful wildlife that call this state park home. Deer, elk, bear, and many birds of prey are seen here. Because of the presence of so much wildlife, pets are allowed in camping and parking areas only.

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