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The Best of Colorado’s State Parks

By: Spencer McKee

Home to more than 40 state parks with plans to open new ones in the near future, Colorado is one state where you never have to travel far to enjoy the great outdoors. Here's a collection of our favorite state park shots from around the Centennial State.

State Forest State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

State Forest State Park


Sunset clouds gathering over aspen groves in State Forest State Park. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Rifle Falls - Rifle Falls State Park - OutThere Colorado.

Rifle Falls State Park


Rifle Falls State Park is best known for the trio of falls on site.
Steamboat Lake Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

Steamboat Lake State Park


A sunset falls over Steamboat Lake in Steamboat Lake State Park.
Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Roxborough State Park. Photo Credit: Thomas Shahan - OutThere Colorado.

Roxborough State Park


The famous red rocks in the area are one of the many reasons to visit Roxborough State Park. Photo Credit: Thomas Shahan.
Vega State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

Vega State Park


Springtime wildflowers bloom everywhere in Vega State Park. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Sylvan State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

Sylvan State Park


A view from above of Sylvan Lake during the fall. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
State Forest State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

State Forest State Park


Boaters enjoying the view in State Forest State Park. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Sweitzer Lake Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

Sweitzer Lake State Park


Located 1 mile south of Delta, Colorado, Sweitzer Lake State Park is known for it’s 137-acre reservoir. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Sweitzer Lake State Park. Photo Credit: Taimur Mahmood - OutThere Colorado.

Sweitzer Lake State Park


This beautiful aerial shot shows summertime action at Sweitzer Lake State Park. Photo Credit: Taimur Mahmood.
San Luis State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

San Luis State Park


Spring runoff collects in a shallow lake within San Luis State Park. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Stagecoach State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

Stagecoach State Park


A fisherman tries his luck at Stagecoach State Park. Stagecoach State Park is known for being home to a 771-acre reservoir on the Yampa River. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Spinney Mountain River Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

Spinney Mountain State Park


Lakes and waterways near the reservoir in Spinney Mountain State Park. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Ridgeway State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

Ridgway River State Park


Ice starts to form on Ridgway River State Park. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Rifle Gap State Park. Photo Credit: Jimmy Thomas - OutThere Colorado.

Rifle Gap State Park


Near Rifle, Colorado, Rifle Gap State Park is a great place to visit during the summer thanks to its 360-acre reservoir. Photo Credit: Jimmy Thomas.
Rifle Falls - Rifle Falls State Park - OutThere Colorado.

Rifle Falls State Park


The less-frequently-seen view from behind Rifle Falls.
Roxborough State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

Roxborough State Park


Roxborough State Park was established in 1975 and is located in Douglas County, Colorado. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Vega State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

Vega State Park


A sunset falls over Vega Lake at Vega Lake State Park. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Pearl Lake State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

Pearl Lake State Park


Fall colors surround Pearl Lake at the base of Hahn’s Peak. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Ridgeway State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

Ridgway River State Park


Located near Ouray, Colorado, Ridgway State Park spans 3,201 acres. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Paonia State Park. Photo Credit: cpw - OutThere Colorado.

Paonia State Park


Near Gunnison, Paonia State Park was established in 1964. Photo Credit: cpw.
Paonia State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

Paonia State Park


At 1,857 acres, Paonia State Park is home to fossilized leaf imprints, a place to boat, and wildlife ranging from mule deer to marmots. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Navajo State Park. Photo Credit: Zenhaus - OutThere Colorado.

Navajo State Park


Due to its popularity amongst water-sport enthusiasts, Navajo State Park is often considered the Colorado answer to Lake Powell. Photo Credit: Zenhaus.
Mueller State Park

Mueller State Park


Found outside of Divide, Colorado near Colorado Springs, Mueller State Park is home to over 50 miles of trails making this perfect for hiking, biking, and snowshoes.
Mueller State Park - @olivemoonstudio (Instagram) - OutThere Colorado

Mueller State Park


Not only are views stunning in Mueller State Park, the area is also home to a variety of wildlife including elk, black bears, eagles, and bighorn sheep. Photo Credit: @olivemoonstudio (Instagram).
Elkhead State Park Sunset Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

Elkhead State Park


A sunset hangs over Elkhead State Park. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Lory State Park. Photo Credit: Kimon Berlin - OutThere Colorado.

Lory State Park


Close to Fort Collins, Colorado, Lory State Park can be found north of Horsetooth Reservoir. It’s a popular place for horseback riding, as well as mountain biking. Photo Credit: Kimon Berlin.
Lone Mesa State Park. Photo Credit: cpw - OutThere Colorado.

Lone Meas State Park


This state park is unique because it’s not open to the public. Currently in a planning and development phase, the only people allowed to enter this land are hunters with special permits for the area. Photo Credit: cpw.
Fishing Boat Lathrop State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

Lathrop State Park


Here’s a fun fact! Lathrop State Park was named after Harold Lathrop, the first director of state parks.Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Lake Pueblo State Park. Photo Credit: Ron Drummond - OutThere Colorado.

Lake Pueblo State Park


Boasting 60 miles of shoreline and roughly 10,000 acres of land, Lake Pueblo State Park has two marinas and a designated swim beach, making it the perfect place for some summer fun in the sun.Photo Credit: Ron Drummond.
Mancos State Park. Photo Credit: McGhiever - OutThere Colorado.

Mancos State Park


Close to Mesa Verde National Park, Mancos State Park was once home to Ancestral Puebloans that inhabited the Four Corners area until 1300 AD. Photo Credit: McGhiever.
Landscape John Martin State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

John Martin Reservoir State Park


This state park is known amongst bird watches, as over 400 different avian species have been spotted in Bent County. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Reservoir Eleven Mile State Park - OutThere Colorado

Eleven Mile State Park


Established in 1970, Eleven Mile State Park is quite large, consisting of 7,662-acres.
James M Robb Canyon State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

James M. Robb – Colorado River State Park


Near Grand Junction, this park is known for having five separate areas with access to the Colorado River. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Jackson Lake State Park. Photo Credit: Karen Harris - OutThere Colorado.

Jackson Lake State Park


This state park gets very popular in the summer thanks to its 260 camping spaces. Photo Credit: Karen Harris
Jackson Lake State Park. Photo Credit: Karen Harris - OutThere Colorado.

Jackson Lake State Park


While boating is very popular in Jackson Lake State Park, it’s also the perfect place for a summer day of fishing. Photo Credit: Karen Harris.
Highline State Park. Photo Credit: Patty Hedrick- OutThere Colorado.

Highline State Park


Known for the many migratory birds that visit Highline State Park throughout the year, this state park is home to two waterfowl overlook kiosks where visitors can spot blue heron, whooping crane, and white pelicans. Photo Credit: Patty Hedrick.
Highline State Park. Photo Credit: Patty Hedrick- OutThere Colorado.

Highline State Park


Highline State Park stretches 563 acres and is open year round, making this a popular place in the winter for snowshoeing and cross country skiers. Photo Credit: Patty Hedrick.
Harvey Gap State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado

Harvey Gap State Park


Home to some of the bluest waters in the state, Harvey Gap State Park is quite popular amongst fishers. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Eldorado Canyon Alyssa Wendt OutThere Colorado

Eldorado Canyon State Park


With it’s peaks, cliffs, and rock outcroppings, it’s easy to see why Eldorado Canyon State Park is so popular with rock climbers. Photo Credit: Alyssa Wendt
Cheyenne Mountain State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife - OutThere Colorado.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park


Located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, this state park is relatively new, established in 2006. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Cherry Creek State Park. Photo Credit: Spokenhope - OutThere Colorado.

Cherry Creek State Park


Close to Aurora, Cherry Creek State Park is a popular place amongst the outdoorsy living in the Denver metro. Photo Credit: Spokenhope
Castlewood Canyon State Park. Photo Credit: Bob Decker - OutThere Colorado.

Castlewood Canyon State Park


Castlewood Canyon is home to the Castlewood Canyon Dam, notable for breaking and flooding Denver with several feet of water in 1933. Photo Credit: Bob Decker.
Chatfield State Park - OutThere Colorado.

Chatfield State Park


With over 300 different types of birds, Chatfield State Park is located near Littleton, Colorado and the perfect place for a summer day-trip.
Barr Lake State Park. Photo Credit: bgburke91 - OutThere Colorado.

Barr Lake State Park


Close to Brighton, Colorado, Barr Lake State Park is home to the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory. It probably has something to do with the fact that more than 350 bird species have been observed in the area. Photo Credit: bgburke91.
Boyd Lake Sunset Marek Uliasz OutThere Colorado

Boyd Lake State Park


One of the smaller state parks, Boyd Lake State Park is 334 acres. That being said, the lake its on has 1,700 acres of surface area. Photo Credit: Marek Uliasz

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We are driven by our deep respect for our environment, and our passionate commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation. We believe in the right for everyone - from all backgrounds and cultures - to enjoy our natural world, and we believe that we must all do so responsibly. Learn More