There’s a near-endless list of ways to play outdoors waiting in Colorado’s 23 million acres of public land, covering everything from prairies to mountain peaks. Travelers can paddle the day away on aquatic adventures or escape into the wilderness for a few days on a backcountry expedition in one of 42 parks in the state.
The best state parks in Colorado are as diverse as the Centennial State’s topography, scattered throughout the state’s varied landscapes. All are open year-round and managed by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, established way back in 1897. Colorado’s oldest state park is Lathrop State Park, opened in 1962, and the newest is Fishers Peak State Park, which opened in late 2020.