As Colorado celebrates its 140th birthday Monday, entrance to all its 42 state parks will be free.
Colorado Day is Aug. 1, marking the date in 1876 when the state joined the Union, and as usual, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will waive gate fees to the lands it protects. License and permits still will be required for fishing and camping.
Colorado prides itself in the fact that most residents live within 30 minutes of a state park. Those who live in Colorado Springs can get to Cheyenne Mountain State Park in about that time. In less than an hour, locals can head west on Highway 24 and reach Mueller State Park.
Other nearby parks include Lake Pueblo to the south; Eleven Mile and Spinney Mountain to the west; and Castlewood Canyon, Roxborough, Staunton, Chatfield and Cherry Creek to the north. Cherry Creek was the first to enter the state park system in the 1930s.
Looking for free access to Colorado's national parks?
Wait until Aug. 25, when the National Park Service celebrate its 100th birthday. From that day through Aug. 28, entrance fees will be waived at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado National Monument, Dinosaur National Monument, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Mesa Verde National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.