Top 3 Colorado State Parks of Western Colorado

This time of year means pulling out that hiking backpack, loading up snacks and water and hitting the trails. But where to go...? Colorado is a stunning state, we are known for our scenery, rugged mountains, dinosaurs and so many other natural resources it's hard to pick the first destination. 

We've gathered up some of our favorite Western Slope Colorado State Parks and wanted to share them with you so you can get out and explore outdoors Colorado. 

Rifle Gap State Park

 Photo by Matt Schuler, one of Rifle State Park's rangers snapped this shot while on ATV patrol

Photo by Matt Schuler, one of Rifle State Park's rangers snapped this shot while on ATV patrol

Mountains in Colorado make for lush areas of green and Rifle Gap State Park is no exception. With 13-drive in and 7 walk-in campsites, this area affords not only modern convenience (through electricity available at many campsites) but is also hosts gorgeous waterfalls, excellent fishing and caves to explore5280 notes this is a great area for beginners for the year with easy trails to get you started on the hiking season. 

One huge benefit is that this area has been equipped to be more handicapped accessible as well. One big thing to note is that this area stays busy during summer, so reserve early if you want to explore the Rifle Falls caves, be amazed by the Rifle Falls and enjoy the scenery all around. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has a page devoted to Rifle Falls and can help you reserve, plan ahead, and pay ahead for dates between April 1 and October 31st. 

 Crawford State Park

 Photo Courtesy of  Crawford State Park

Photo Courtesy of Crawford State Park

Crawford State Park will be undergoing construction this fall so if you want to explore this gorgeous area it is important to get going before August. Campgrounds will not be available from August 1 through Spring of 2019. 

Jet Skiing, fishing, boating, trails and more await you in this gorgeous park just a short jaunt from Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park which makes this a great 2-for-1 getaway. A beautiful lake with gorgeous trees encapsulate this little paradise. Great for a weekend getaway and a ton of fun. The Gazette's writer, Seth Boster, noted some of the great features of this park as well!

For information about fees and restrictions, be sure to check out the Colorado Parks and Wildlife's page for more information. 

Ridgeway State Park

 Photo by Mike Boese courtesy of  Ridgway State Park  for more of amazing scenery, check out the park's Instagram Page @RidgwayCPW

Photo by Mike Boese courtesy of Ridgway State Park for more of amazing scenery, check out the park's Instagram Page @RidgwayCPW

This luscious "Switzerland of America" features a family friendly atmosphere that is hard to beat.  With training, opportunities for education, and fun events like the "Year of the Bird" on April 22nd, this park is a fun traveling destination. 

Don't leave your fishing poles behind, some of the best fishing in Western Colorado is to be had with large rainbow and brown trout available. Colorado Parks and Wildlife suggests coming during "off hours and days to maximize fishing experience." 

The Denver Post highlights the fly fishing opportunities, family friend activities with the Huck Finn fishing tournament, archery tournaments and more. 

14 miles of trails make for great hiking, amazing photography opportunities- catch an up close view of mule deer, marmots, elk, moose and black bears in the area. Follow Ridgway State Park's Facebook Page to keep up with events and plan a visit for a weekend, or week-long get away this spring or summer.