The Gazette's Colorado state and national parks series is your guide to exploring the diverse beauty of the Centennial State. Which Colorado park will you visit to hike, bike, boat or fish at next? Go to gazette.com/Colorado-State-
A look at Golden Gate Canyon State park near Golden:
Description: The 12,000-acre park offers sweeping mountain vistas along 12 trails that vary in length and difficulty. Raccoon Trail is a must - a 2.5-mile loop through the forest that starts at Panorama Point Scenic Overlook, where you can take in 100 miles of the Continental Divide. The park houses 20 campsites, five cabins and two yurts that are up for grabs year-round. Six ponds are regularly stocked for anglers.
Activities: Hiking, biking, horsebacking riding, camping, geocaching, fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing/snowshoeing, wildlife viewing, ice skating
Wildlife: Moose, bighorn sheep, bears, elk, mule deer, bobcats, coyotes and beavers; golden eagles, bald eagles, blue grouse, ptarmigan, Steller's jay and Clark's nutcracker among several bird species
Fun fact: The park's land was donated to Colorado Parks and Wildlife in 1977 by the Harmsens, the Golden family who invented Jolly Ranchers.
Address: 92 Crawford Gulch Road, Golden, 80403
Contact: 303-582-3707, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: 5 a.m.-10 p.m.
Directions: Drive north on Interstate 25 for about 65 miles. Exit onto 6th Avenue and continue west on U.S. 6 toward Golden. Keep left on U.S. 6 west and continue north on Colorado 93. Drive for 1.5 miles and turn left on Golden Gate Canyon Road. Park entrance 13 miles ahead.