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Celebrate Colorado’s Public Lands

By: Stephen Martin

May 19 is Colorado Public Lands Day! Did you know that 35% of Colorado is Public Land? This percentage is made up of National Parks, National Forest, Wildlife Refuges, National Monuments, Wilderness Areas, and lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. These Lands feature a diverse variety of canyons, mountains, forest, lakes, and various other features we love in Colorado. Find a State Park or public land area near you and enjoy the outdoors. Either it's free, or for a small fee, but DEFINITELY not private!

Shelf Road - Climbing - 3 - OutThere Colorado
Shelf Road
The “Crack of Dawn” route at Shelf Road. This area just north of Canon City offers a great mix of climbing and camping all in Bureau of Land Management areas. Photo Credit: Stephen Martin.
Mount Evans - OutThere Colorado
Mount Evans
A cyclist makes the climb up Mount Evans Scenic Byway, the highest paved road in the country. This route up the mountain is home to the yearly Bob Cook Memorial Mount Evans Hill Climb.
Chasm Lake Hiker OutThere Colorado
Rocky Mountain National Park
This hiker enjoys a calm and empty Chasm Lake. Not to be confused from still having to pay fee, Rocky Mountain National Park is on the list of Colorado Public Lands. Just think if it was private and we weren’t allowed access to some of Colorado’s most scenic views.
Mount of the Holy Cross Photo Credit Drew Kelly - OutThere Colorado
White River National Forest
Passing day hikers up Mount of the Holy Cross. This Wilderness area is surrounded by not just a 14er, but some incredible hiking, camping, and beautiful wildflower fields. Photo Credit: Drew Kelly.
Hiker Walking Along The Great Sand Dunes - OutThere Colorado
The Great Sand Dunes National Park
Hiker walks along some pristine sand lines at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The sands dunes is one of Colorado’s 4 vast national parks.
Rifle Gap SUP Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado
Rifle Gap State Park
A pair of stand-up paddle boarders enjoy a valley view over the dam at Rifle Gap State Park. Colorado’s State Parks offer visitors some of the absolute best family fun campgrounds across the state. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Pearl Lake State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado
Pearl Lake State Park
Due north of Steamboat Springs, Pearl Lake State Park gives public access to some great fall scenery areas and beautiful lake views. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Mountain Biker Racing Through Rolling Turns on Joe's Ridge in the Bookcliffs - OutThere Colorado
Joe’s Ridge – Book Cliffs
This mountain biker is racing through the rolling turns on Joe’s Ridge in the Book Cliffs/18 Road area north of Fruita, CO. Some of Colorado’s most challenging terrain is open to public access and is completely free. Photo Credit: Christian Murdock
Steamboat Lake Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado
Steamboat Lake State Park
Catch a sunrise, or a sunset, and cast a perfect line at Steamboat Lake State Park. Many of Colorado’s State Parks are situated next to lakes and rivers, which is perfect for your next fishing adventure. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Lory State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado
Lory State Park
If you live in Fort Collins, hit the trails at Lory State Park for some close to home public access with great winding biking trails. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Steamboat Lake Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado
Steamboat Lake State Park
Snow is a thing that can happen just about anytime as most Coloradans are well aware of. Thankfully many of our higher elevation State Parks have great backcountry ski access. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Lory State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado
Lory State Park
This State Park isn’t just known for its mountain biking access, a savvy trail runner and/or day hiker can hit the chutes and enjoy a great outdoor day close to home. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Lory State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado
Lory State Park
Another great view found at Lory is on Arthur’s Rock Trail​. Over look the lake and Fort Collins, which is just a short 25 mins away. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Hiking Paved Trail Lathrop State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado
Lathrop State Park
If you are headed to The Great Sand Dunes National Park, make sure to pull off for a peak at Lathrop State Park, with incredible views of Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Hot Air Ballon Chatfield State Park Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado
Chatfield State Park
Enjoy a scenic hot air ballon ride in Chatfield State Park. Denver is home to many public State Parks that offer amazing day hikes close to home. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Castlewood Canyon Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife - OutThere Colorado
Castlewood Canyon State Park
Nestled between Parker and Castle Rock off Highway 85, this State Park has climbing, hiking, and a great visitor center to learn about the different types of wildlife in the area. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Elkhead State Park Sunset Colorado Parks and Wildlife OutThere Colorado
Elkhead State Park
Enjoy a perfect sunset at Elkhead with easy hikes and clear horizons. Colorado’s public access is amazing! Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

What We Believe

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