Monday, April 18, 2011

Rifle Falls State Park

Rifle Falls State Park's lush vegetation and waterfalls have attracted photographers and movie crews from around the country who come to capture the area's unique scenery.

The falls is a lush area of trees and greenery kept moist by the spray of the cascading triple waterfall. Picnicking near the falls is very popular. Mysterious limestone caves beneath the falls entice spelunkers and other curious visitors to explore their dark depths. Because of its dramatic setting, many wedding and events have been held at Rifle Falls.

Rifle Falls State Park has 13 drive-in and seven walk-in campsites that sit to the south along East Rifle Creek. In 1998,  the park underwent a facelift: new pavement, picnic tables, interpretive signs and increased handicapped access. "Roughing it" is a little easier with electricity at many campsites. Walk-in tent sites and sites with electric hookups are also available in the winter.
Fire Restrictions
Every vehicle entering the park needs a valid park pass. Rifle Falls State Park does NOT have any fire restrictions in place. Remember fires are only allowed in designated rings and grills. Please remember to fully extinguish your fire.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Yampa River State Park

Yampa River State Park, located in the beautiful Yampa valley west of Steamboat Springs, is actually three “parks” in one.

The Headquarters on the Yampa River near Hayden, Colorado, provides excellent camping, a Visitor Center and nature trail. The Headquarters has 50 camp sites; 35 are RV electric sites, 10 tent sites and five sites for group camping. The proximity to Hwy 40 makes the Headquarters the base camp for many outdoor activities in the Steamboat area: hunting, fishing, and OHV riding.

A 134 - mile stretch of the Yampa River is the heart of Yampa River State Park. It has 13 access points stretching from Hayden to the Dinosaur National Monument near the Utah border. The river access sites offer recreationists six camping areas, excellent fishing on miles of flat-water and Class I-V river boating

The Elkhead Reservoir is the third major component of the Yampa River State Park system. Elkhead Reservoir is now open for public access.  Currently it is open for day use only from 8 am to 10 pm for boating and fishing.  There will be 2 swim beaches available later in the season. Other recreation facilities will be available in the future

Bonny Lake State Park

Bonny Lake State Park is a recreational oasis on Colorado’s eastern plains, just a few miles from the Kansas border.
Due to on-going negotiations for Colorado to come into interstate water compact compliance, Bonny Lake State Park has approximately 1000-surface acres. (When full the reservoir contains 1,900 surface acres.)

Currently, the plan for 2011 is to operate the lake like last year with trailer-launched boating available until Labor Day.  Wagon Wheel and part of Foster Grove campground will again be available for camping.  The OHV area in North Cove with its several miles of trails is also open. 

As part of the budget reduction, North Cove and East Beach campgrounds have closed permanently.  West Beach (along with the swimbeach and swimming) have closed permanently.  Upper management is currently discussing turning the park into a state wildlife area after the summer, due to the anticipated lowering of the lake in the fall.

The reservoir is known for excellent fishing for walleye, channel catfish, and a variety of bass. Hunters go to Bonny Lake for deer (draw permit only), turkey (draw permit only), waterfowl, dove, pheasant, quail, rabbit and squirrel. Due to budget reductions, the visitor center is closed during the winter (Oct 1 to May 1) and hunting and fishing licenses are no longer sold at the park. Located in the South Republican River valley with thousands of trees, Bonny Lake State Park offers a shady retreat from the grasslands of the high plains. Camping is available year-round and Bonny is the perfect destination for that first and last trip of the year. The park also has excellent wildlife and bird watching.

colorado state parks

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

The AHRA – and its avid patrons – follow the beautiful but unpredictable, wild-to-mild river for 150 miles from the historic town of Leadville, through the Sawatch mountain range and Colorado’s tallest mountains, all the way down to Pueblo on the edge of Colorado’s plains.

Boaters can find anything from roaring Class IV and V rapids to milder Class II and III sections, which are ideal for beginner and family trips. The upper Arkansas River is the most popular whitewater boating river in the United States. On any spring or summer day, hundreds of private and commercial rafters and kayakers will challenge the churning rapids or glide through the calmer sections of the Arkansas.