Colorado Parks and Wildlife advises residents to rush for the gold -- and red, yellow, orange and brown -- in one of Colorado's 42 state parks this month. Fall is officially here and Colorado state parks provide some of the Centennial State's best showcases for changing nature.
Fall means dramatic changes to aspen trees, blooming saffron crocuses and unique animal mating rituals such as elk bugling, all of which are accessible in Colorado state parks.
Fall is the perfect time to picnic near the water at Rifle Falls State Park (near Glenwood Springs), camp on the shore of Lake Trinidad in Trinidad Lake State Park (near New Mexico), see some moose in State Forest State Park (near Fort Collins) or take photos of the Grand Mesa in Ridgway State Park (near Grand Junction).
Many Colorado state parks provide programs and activities to maximize time-limited features of the season. Families and park fans can learn about mule deer or bird watching in Roxborough State Park (near Denver), join the fall hiking challenge or start geocaching at Mueller State Park (near Colorado Springs), attend a family fishing clinic at Golden Gate Canyon State Park (near Boulder) or learn archery at Cheyenne Mountain State Park (near Colorado Springs).
With hundreds of miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding as well as a wide variety of camping options, Colorado State Parks are sure to have a trail or site to fit every age, ability and interest.
For help deciding, use the Colorado Parks and Wildlife's online park finder tool: http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/Pages/parkMap.aspx.
For camping questions and reservations, call toll free at 1-800-678-CAMP or 303-470-1144 (Denver metro area).
Read eight ideas for autumn car trips on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website here: http://cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/Gold-Rush-Colorado-Style.aspx.
State park entry is $7-$9 daily per car or visitors may purchase an annual Colorado State Parks Pass for $70. Most additional events on state park land are free. For more information or to register for an event, visit cpw.state.co.us.