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 Vega State Park near Grand Junction:
Description: The park to the far west has a name that stems appropriately from the Spanish word meaning meadow. The tall grass here surrounds a 900-acre lake, nestled at 8,000 feet along the slopes of the world's largest flattop mountain, Grand Mesa. Wildflowers burst in the summer, and the aspen-lined hillsides glow in autumn. Hikers, bikers, snowshoers and snowmobilers can venture from park grounds into Grand Mesa National Forest. Overnighters might take advantage of five rustic cabins available year-around.
Activities: Hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, water sports, camping, snowmobiling, OHV, cross-country skiing/snowshoeing, wildlife/bird viewing
Wildlife: Elk, mule deer, red fox, coyotes, marmots, beavers common; black-billed magpie, scrub jay, raven common among birds, with many others drawn to the water; trouts include rainbow, cutthroat and brook
Fun fact: In the Paleozoic era, a sea covered what is now the park's land. Fossils of sea turtles have been found over the years.
Address: 15247 N. 6/10 Road., Collbran, 81624
Contact: 970-487-3407, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: Day use 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Directions: Go west on Interstate 70, take exit 62 toward De Beque and follow Road 451/2 for 11 miles to Highway 65. After a short drive south, turn east onto Highway 330 and follow about 16 miles through Collbran. Turn south onto Road 64.6 and continue about 4 miles to park.