Eldorado Canyon’s steep sandstone cliffs are a magnet for climbers, offering more than 500 technical routes in a canyon with sheer rock walls along South Boulder Creek.
Crawford State Park features a lake and campgrounds. It’s just east of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and has similarly dramatic scenery.
Cheyenne Mountain State Park, perched on a mountside overlooking Colorado Springs, offers the same vista that inspired “America the Beautiful.”
Chatfield State Park offers boating, bicycling and hiking at Chatfield Reservoir. All types of boats are accommodated.
Castlewood Canyon, a day-use park, offers climbing, hiking and viewing the ruins of the Castlewood Dam, which burst in 1933, sending a 15-foot wall of water into Denver.
Boyd Lake State Park just east of Loveland offers hiking, bicycling, swimming, boating, fishing, picnicking and hunting.
Cherry Creek State Park features prairie surrounding 880-acre Cherry Creek Reservoir and calls itself “Denver’s big back yard.”
Barr Lake State Park, located just north of metro Denver, is loved by fishermen, boaters, birders and all other fans of nature.
The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area between Leadville and Pueblo is a favorite for kayaking and whitewater rafting.