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Looking for an Adventure? Learn more about Visiting Colorado State Parks this Summer

Looking for an Adventure? Learn more about Visiting Colorado State Parks this Summer

by Mikayla Merchant | June 18, 2020

The desire to get outside is higher than ever, and visiting state parks is a great way to safely experience the great outdoors with the whole family. Here at Arrive Outdoors, we aim to give you all the tools you’ll need to plan your summer travel. While this year’s camping season may look very different due to the impacts of Covid-19, we are here to help you navigate this time so you are able to get outside in the safest way possible. You can even check out our Park Status Tracker to see all the up to date information on park openings. 


Colorado State Parks are just one of the many amazing outdoor destinations available for you to visit this summer. These parks feature mountains, forests, grasslands, and more, making these parks an ideal location for camping and hiking this summer! Lucky for you, we have the inside scoop if you’re looking for an adventure at any (or all 41!) of the Colorado State Parks. Here’s more about specific destinations within Colorado State Parks and what to expect when you get there, so you can easily plan your travels.


What should travelers expect when visiting Colorado State Parks this summer? 

 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife remains committed to providing outdoor recreation activities while also ensuring everyone stays safe. 


State park outdoor areas, including trails, boat ramps, marinas, and shorelines have remained open throughout the spring, so visitors can expect to do most activities with some updated guidelines. Park visitors are asked to follow outdoor recreation best practices and visit parks responsibly. Outdoor recreation opportunities include hiking, biking, fishing, boating, climbing, and camping. 


Many CPW offices around the state are being reopened for public access. Standard office hours may differ per location, so we recommend visitors call ahead or see individual park pages for more information on office and visitor center hours. Offices will limit access to the front counter areas and only offer CPW products for sale (licenses, passes, registrations, etc.) as they open, and will continue to modify operations as needed based on Executive Orders from Governor Polis. 


State Park campgrounds are open to the public at all state parks that offer camping. We ask that campers please be mindful that camping today may look different from what they might be used to, but we are excited for people to enjoy camping trips at our beautiful state parks. Campsite availability and the type of camping differs per state park (tent, cabin, yurt, electric hookup). Summer camping dates are still available and park availability can be found at cpwshop.com.


We recommend campers review our camping best practices before they head out for their camping adventure so they can pack accordingly and have a more enjoyable camping experience. 


While camping may be allowed, there is a chance that restrooms, trash receptacles, and other facilities may be closed or have limited service. Bring your own supplies like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and trash bags as a back-up. 


Campers should also follow best practices for recreational travel, including bringing your meals with you, filling up on gas prior to leaving home, bringing cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items, and remembering to wear masks when out in public.


Group shared facilities like pavilions, laundry, showers, playgrounds, and swim beaches are closed until further notice. This is subject to change based on guidance from health officials. 


What are 3 lower-traffic parks that would be a good option for visitors to explore this summer and avoid crowds?
  • Mueller State Park 
  • Jackson Lake State Park
  • Mancos State Park

For each of the above state parks, can you name one trail or site that is a must-see? 

 

Mueller State Park - With more than 5,100 acres of terrain, Mueller is an outstanding destination for wildlife viewing and outdoor recreation like biking, fishing, hiking and horseback trails. Campgrounds located in a mountain forest offer panoramic views of the Continental Divide. 


Jackson Lake State Park- The lake provides wonderful opportunities for water sports like jet and water skiing, sailboaters, paddle boarding, and fishing. The park is also conveniently located only one hour outside of the Denver metro area. 


Mancos State Park - Surrounded by the stunning scenery of the San Juan Mountains and the archaeological mysteries of southwest Colorado, Mancos is a great destination for a vacation getaway. The calm waters of Jackson Gulch Reservoir offer great opportunities for canoeists, kayakers and wakeless power boaters. Anglers will find abundant yellow perch and the lake is stocked with rainbow trout. 


Any interesting facts that visitors might not know about Colorado State Parks?

 

Colorado has 41 state parks that provide amazing outdoor spaces, with opportunities to bike, hike, fish, climb, watch wildlife, boat and camp. 



CPW understands being outdoors provides physical and mental health benefits. As we all work through this time, CPW encourages all outdoor enthusiasts to keep a social distance, wear masks when around others and, above all, be courteous.  Send a wave to your campsite neighbors or fellow hikers and bikers you pass on a trail. We’re all in this together.



For more information about Colorado State Parks we recommend visiting their website directly. If you are planning a trip outdoors, and either don’t have all of the necessary gear you need, or you are unsure about what to pack, contact our Arrive Outdoors team and we are more than happy to help!

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