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Staunton State Park a new experience for Colorado hikers, climbers

December 12, 2016 Updated: June 29, 2017 at 6:41 pm
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Staunton State Park, Pine, Colorado, 5/26/2014. (Photos by Ken Papaleo//High Country Coloring)

A look at Staunton State Park near Denver:

Description: A bounty of scenery awaits past the gates of Colorado's newest state park, opened in 2013. Take a 10.8-mile hike and be rewarded with Elk Falls, regarded as the highest waterfall within an hour's drive from Denver. Lions Head, the peak tipping slightly 9,450 feet in the sky, looms in view most anywhere in the 3,828-acre park. More than 20 miles of trails take hikers, bikers and horseback riders through meadows and forests, past ponds and granite cliffs. Climbers can take on the Staunton Rocks area, with more than 60 established routes.

Activities: Hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing/snowshoeing, geocaching, rock climbing.

Wildlife: Elk, deer, bobcats, coyotes, bears, mountains lions; more than 100 species of birds counted, including golden and bald eagles.

Fun fact: The park in October unveiled an all-terrain wheelchair to be rented by handicapped visitors. No other park in the state offers such a chair.

Address: 12102 S. Elk Creek Road, Pine, 80470

Contact: 303-816-0912, staunton.park@state.co.us

Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Directions: Head west on U.S. 24 to Woodland Park and turn right onto Colorado 67. Follow for about 23 miles and turn onto County Road 126. After 24 miles, turn right onto U.S. 285 and follow to park.

SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE

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