The 10 Best Parks in Colorado!

The Centennial State is home to a variety of parks. National parks, state parks and city parks span the state, and all of them are beautiful in unique ways. No matter if you want a scenic drive, a nice canyon to climb, a challenging hiking trail or just a picnic table to snack at, the parks on this list are sure to please. Experience the beauty of this colorful state at these 10 best parks in Colorado. 

1. Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO

Rocky Mountain National Park, located in Estes Park, is by far one of the best parks not only in the state but in the country. Established in 1914, this iconic park is like no other. View the park’s iconic 14,000-foot mountain, Longs Peak, see huge herds of elk, or take a drive up a scenic high-elevation road called Trail Ridge Road. No matter if you are looking for the perfect place to picnic for the day, seeking an epic backcountry backpacking trip or in search of the perfect pitch to climb, Rocky Mountain National Park is for you. You won’t be able to stop staring at the majestic scenery found at this Colorado park.  

2. Great Sand Dunes National Park

This national park boasts 1,500 acres of sand dunes that raise up to 750 feet high, making them North America’s tallest sand dunes. Daredevils board down the dunes as if they were riding down a snow-capped mountain, which is seen in the distance. If “sand-boarding” isn’t your thing, try four-wheeling or even backpacking across these majestic dunes. If all you got is a day however, there are still numerous picnic spots with full facilities.  

3. State Forest State Park, Walden, CO

State Forest State Park in Walden is known as Colorado’s moose-viewing capital. There is a huge herd living in the park. Nearly 600 moose live within the parks 71,000 acres. Take a scenic hike to catch a glimpse of these huge, majestic creatures. Black bears and elk also frequent the area too, making it a true haven for wildlife. Even if you don’t see any impressive wildlife, the views of snowcapped mountains, lodgepole pine forests and alpine lakes are still pretty great. 

4. Eleven Mile State Park, Lake George, CO

If you are looking for a nice cool down during the summer months, head to Eleven Mile State Park, which is about 40 miles from Colorado Springs in Lake George, Colorado. The park is home to a massive reservoir perfect for fishing, boating and even windsurfing. Wildlife is plentiful here, so keep an eye out for a variety of bird species, moose and even black bear. Hikers can even find a great trail system at Eleven Mile State Park. 

5. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in western Colorado is a geological wonder. Find 2,700-foot drops in deep gorges, all carved out by the Gunnison River over the past two million years. This park is perfect for kayakers and noteworthy for climbers wanting some exhilarating thrills. Hikers will find some great and challenging canyon trails. If you just want to see the views, take a scenic drive or even visit the railroad museum located in the park. 

6. Mesa Verde National Park, Mesa Verde, CO

For those who are history buffs, Mesa Verde National Park, located in Mesa Verde, is for you. This park was once the home of ancestral Puebloans. View their adobe homes that were made over 700 years ago. The cliff dwellings are something that should not be missed. Take a scenic drive through the park, which has a number of pull offs and picnic areas. 

7. Mueller State Park, Divide, CO

Mueller State Park in Divide, Colorado is a hiker’s dream with over 50 miles of trails. Find granite mountains and meadows full of wildflowers. The chance of seeing wildlife is high here, so always keep a careful eye out. With over 5,000 acres of aspen groves, meadows and wetlands, Mueller State Park is sure to enhance your appreciation for the outdoors. One of the best times to visit the park is during early fall when the aspen trees start to change into a bright gold-yellow color.

8. Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Denver, CO

Thirty miles west of Denver is Golden Gate Canyon State Park, which is 12,000 acres of Colorado wild. With easy loop trails, picnic areas and magnificent mountain views to the west, this state park can’t be beat. Visit this park year-round. The trails are perfect for hiking and biking in the summer, while they make for great snowshoe and cross-country ski trails in the winter. 

9. Eldorado Canyon State Park, Eldorado Springs, CO

Near Boulder is Eldorado Canyon State Park. Hikers, bikers and fishermen enjoy the area at this Colorado gem. The sandstone cliffs are great for rock climbing with over 750 technical routes. If you aren’t into climbing however, take a nice picnic at one of the 33 picnic tables in the park, which all boast peaceful views of South Boulder Creek. 

10. Lory State Park, Fort Collins, CO

This nearly 2,500-acre park in Fort Collins offers 26 miles of hiking trails and access to Horsetooth Reservoir. Rock climbers, hikers, bikers and even boaters will find something to enjoy at Lory State Park. From meadows to pine forests to rock formations, this state park is a peaceful spot for a picnic or even a weekend backpacking trip. 

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715 South Forest Street, Denver, CO
The mission of Four Mile Historic Park is to educate, preserve, and interpret the western rural heritage of Colorado to a diverse public. Read More
4218 Fremont County Road 3A, Canon City, CO
The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is a one-of-a-kind place for your family and friends to make memories that will last a lifetime! More than 360 acre... Read More
1000 Highway 36, Estes Park, CO
History : When Congress passed the Rocky Mountain National Park Act in 1915, the legislators focused on Rocky's scenic and natural wonders. Still,... Read More
2989 S Hwy 83, Franktown, CO
FRIENDS of Castlewood Canyon State Park is a nonprofit corporation that provides private support for the interpretive and educational activities o... Read More
53rd and Chambers Road, Denver, CO
The park development preserves and enhances the best of the precious natural areas including the lake, the shore-line and walking trails, while als... Read More
3280 Redstone Park Circle, Highlands Ranch, CO
Amenities:Creekside Shelter - accommodates 100+ peopleFishing Pier, Gazebo and Pumphouse Shelters - accommodate up to 40 people/ea.PlaygroundDrinki... Read More
1526 County Rd 982, Arboles, CO
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Navajo State Park is Colorado's Answer to Lake Powell. Navajo Reservoir Extends for 20 miles South into New... Read More
61105 RCR 129, Clark, CO
One of the true jewels of Colorado, Steamboat Lake State Park has something special for everyone. Whatever your preference, well-deserved relaxatio... Read More
30703 Co. Rd. 24, Hasty, CO
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Sometimes called a sapphire on the plains, John Martin is a peaceful paradise in which ... Read More
11500 N Roxborough Park Road, Littleton, CO
Float your boat in the lake, bicycle or hike on a trail that provides scenic views of the neighboring foothills and Platte River valley, camp, ride... Read More
25500 County Road 14, Oak Creek, CO
Stagecoach State Park sets the stage for great recreation in the lush Yampa Valley by Steamboat Springs. Vistas and views are backdrops to the 820-... Read More
26363 County Road 3, Orchard, CO
This park is an "Oasis in the Plains," for swimming, boating, fishing and waterskiing. But that's not all...Jackson Lake is ranked one of the "Top ... Read More
640 Pueblo Reservoir Road, Pueblo, CO
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Lake Pueblo, rated a fishin... Read More
28555 Highway 550, Ridgway, CO
Mountain scenery mingles with magnificent campgrounds at Ridgway State Park.  Modern, universally-accessible recreation areas and the five-mil... Read More
5775 Hwy 325, Rifle, CO
The clean, clear waters of Rifle Gap State Park’s 350-acre reservoir provide some of the best boating, fishing, swimming, water-skiing and wi... Read More
Harvey Gap Road (County Road 237), Silt, CO
Harvey Gap State Park is a favorite spot for anglers in the winter and summer.Anglers catch catfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch, crappie... Read More
708 Lodgepole Drive, Bellvue, CO
Hit the trail at Lory State Park and enjoy mountain biking, hiking, picnicking and horseback riding amid some fabulous foothills scenery just minut... Read More
13401 Picadilly Road, Brighton, CO
Bicyclists of all ages and abilities, nature hikers and horseback riders enjoy the level 8.8-mile multi-use trail that circles the lake, ... Read More
61105 County Road 129, Clark, CO
Nestled in the mountains north of Steamboat Springs, this peaceful park sits in a quiet lakeside setting.  Overlooking Farwell Mountain, ... Read More
410 JL Ranch Heights, Colorado Springs, CO
Come visit “The Trail’s End” visitor center for boundless resources, educational exhibits, souvenir and refreshment shopping, or ... Read More
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