We have a lot of potential Colorado visitors ask us on social media, where is Park County? Park County is in the heart of Colorado, conveniently located about half an hour from Colorado Springs and Denver, Colorado, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The best part about the Colorado experience is that you can visit Denver, a large and diverse city, then drive about 40 minutes to experience Colorado’s vast landscapes, beautiful animals, and one of a kind experiences.
Park County is home to 2 State Parks, Eleven Mile State Park and Spinney Mountain State Park, where camping, fishing and hiking opportunities abound. While you’re here, visit our access to three wilderness areas, Lost Creek, Mount Evans, and Buffalo Peaks Wilderness Areas, as well as 12 state wildlife areas we have access to. When visiting our county, don’t forget that you will be visiting parts of the state that reach 8,000 feet and higher, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to accolade yourself when you visit. See our page here for more info on Park County safety and high altitude precautions.
Park County is known for its water activities, as well as its Gold Medal fishing waters! We also have access to one of a kind hiking and biking trails! See some of our visitor’s favorite locations below!
1. Water Activities & Fly Fishing in Park County, Colorado!
You might not expect a location located so close to two big cities would have so many water activities, but Park County has vast water opportunities all family members can enjoy. The following areas have award-winning fishing opportunities and recreational water activities like kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, sailing, windsurfing or boating!
- Eleven Mile Reservoir – Home to multiple fishing tournaments throughout the year, Eleven Mile Reservoir is the perfect place to learn how to fly fish or go boat fishing! Eleven Mile Reservoir is located in Lake George, Colorado.
- Antero Reservoir – West of Hartsel is Antero Reservoir set beneath Buffalo Peaks, an extinct volcano, providing for a beautiful landscape.
- Spinney Mountain Reservoir – experience fishing and recreational opportunities in this beautiful location where you can see views of the Collegiate Peaks. Located East of Hartsel, Colorado.
- Tarryall Reservoir – Sixteen miles southeast from Jefferson on County Road 77, experience adventure in some of the most pristine land Colorado can offer.
- Badger Basin State Wildlife Area – This area can be accessed north of Hartsel along County Road 439 and has an abundant 22 miles of fishing access along the Middle Fork of the South Platte River. Expect to catch Brown and Rainbow Trout sometimes up to 15 inches long!
- Boxwood Gulch – West of Shawnee along 285, Boxwood Gulch provides access to private water along the North Fork of the South Platte River, where you might just catch a trophy sized Trout!
- Montgomery Reservoir – perfect for shore fishing, this heavily stocked mountain reservoir is great for catching trout in an absolutely stunning area.
2. Hiking and Biking
Discover your adventurous side by exploring one of Park County’s hiking or biking trails! There are so many wonderful places to hike and experience mountain biking in Colorado, and Park County Colorado is no exception. Take some time to come explore the county by hiking its diverse trails or biking some spectacular landscapes. There are so many different opportunities to get active in Park County, there is a chance for those of all ages to experience the adventure of a lifetime here.
- Mt. Bailey Trail, Bailey Colorado – Mount Bailey Trail is a 0.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bailey, Colorado that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
- Abyss Trail to Helms Lake, Grant Colorado – Great for hiking and bird watching, this is a 11.7-mile trail that features a river as well.
- Limber Grove Trail, Fairplay Colorado – Rated as moderate, this 3.5 mile trail features wildflowers and allows dogs on a leash.
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- Sheep Creek Loop, Fairplay CO – This bike ride follows mostly raw singletrack through aspen groves with beautiful meadow crossings and is highly recommended in autumn during the color change.
- Kenosha Pass to Georgia Pass and West Jefferson – “One of the best rides of the mountains within one hour of the Front Range!” – Brandon Eifrid on mtbproject.com.
- Bailey Outdoor Education and Recreation Area (BOERA) – Located in Bailey, Coloroado, BOERA features a 21-hole world-class golf course, and trails for hiking, snowshoeing, biking and more! See their site for more details!
One of Park County’s most bountiful resources is our camping destinations. Spend a night under the stars at one of our campgrounds, and enjoy crystal clear views of the skies, view wildlife, enjoy a picnic and spend time making some memories.
- Kenosha Pass Campground – With access to the Colorado Trail, you can spend some time here hiking and enjoying the views. Located in Jefferson, Colorado.
- Lost Creek Wilderness Area – The Lost Creek Wilderness area has a variety of campsites where you’ll truly feel in the wilderness. Chances are you may see some moose here! Access in Jefferson, Colorado via CO Rd.
- Eleven Mile State Park – Fishing, camping, you name it. Enjoy some excellent water activities and stay overnight to enjoy the Colorado stars. Located in Lake George, Colorado.
- Spruce Grove Campground – The beautiful Spruce Grove campground is positioned beside large rock outcroppings on Tarryall Creek. Magnificent hiking trails leading into the Lost Creek Wilderness Area are just steps away from the creek bridge.
- Meridian Campground – The Meridian Campground provides access to the Meridian Trail, which heads north as it rises out of the Elk Creek drainage, then begins to bear in a northeasterly direction. This portion of the trail passes through several aspen groves, and offers some interesting vistas looking east and south.