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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Celebrate Colorado Day: Free state park admission on Aug. 1

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

In celebration of Colorado Day, and the 146th birthday of the state, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is offering free entry to all Colorado state parks on Monday, Aug. 1. 

Colorado Day was created by the Colorado Legislature to mark the anniversary of statehood, granted in 1876 by President Ulysses S. Grant. The state recognizes this annual holiday on the first of the month and state parks celebrate the occasion with free entrance on the first Monday of August.

This free entry day provides a chance to experience Colorado’s state parks and the diverse landscapes they showcase. All other park fees remain in effect, including camping reservations, boat and off-highway vehicle registrations, and hunting and fishing licenses.

“Colorado Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the natural beauty of our state and spend time outside,” said Statewide Public Information Officer Bridget O’Rourke Kochel. “Coloradans have a rich tradition of embracing an outdoor lifestyle, and our state parks offer a variety of outdoor activities that people of all ages and skill levels can enjoy.”

To begin planning a Colorado outdoor adventure, visit the CPW park finder at https://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/Pages/ParkMap.aspx. 

State park outdoor recreation activities include: 

• Water sports — boating, kayaking, paddle boarding and swimming.

• Wildlife and wildflower viewing, birdwatching and tours with naturalists.

• Hiking, horseback riding, biking and rock climbing.

• Stargazing and geocaching.

• Accessibility programs are available to people with disabilities.

Nature belongs to all of us and recreating responsibly is important to keeping our landscapes healthy and wildlife thriving. Park visitors are encouraged to follow outdoor safety tips and Leave No Trace principles when spending time in Colorado’s great outdoors, such as:

• Know before you go. Be aware of weather conditions, water temperatures and trail closures where you plan to visit. 

• Wear a life jacket. Enjoy the water, but always do so with a life jacket on — they save lives. Regardless of your age or experience level, cold water can quickly create a drowning emergency.

• Be careful with fire. Check fire restrictions or bans before you go. Visit www.coemergency.com to find county fire information. Avoid driving on dry grass and check exposed metal dragging from your vehicle that may create sparks. 

• Be bear aware. Staying bear aware while on trails and when camping helps keep bears wild and reduces human-bear conflicts. Stay alert and respect forage areas like berry patches and oak brush. Keep dogs leashed at all times and never feed or approach a bear. For more resources and information on how to be “bear aware,” visit cpw.state.co.us.

• Dispose of waste properly. Help protect our land, wildlife and water. Pick up all your trash, dog waste bags and food waste and throw it away in a trash can. Please pack it out of the park all the way if a trash can is full or not available. 

For more information about Colorado’s state parks and outdoor recreation, visit cpw.state.co.us. 

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