A look at Crawford State Park in western Colorado:
Description: The 400-acre reservoir sitting 6,600 feet high on the Western Slope is but one scenic aspect of the area; Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park lies a short drive away. But here lies a sliver of the vicinity's paradise: shimmering waters overlooked by mahogany peaks. Surrounded by pinon-juniper woodlands and shrub-covered uplands, the lake hosts boaters as well as anglers who have a good variety to catch. Two campgrounds with electric and water hookups accommodate tents and trailers.
Activities: Boating, fishing, jet/water skiing, sailing, paddle sports, waterfowl hunting in fall, camping, cross-country skiing/snowshoeing, limited hiking and biking.
Wildlife: Mule deer, coyotes, prairie dogs, beavers are common; bluebirds, ravens, red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds are common, with sightings of ibis, sandhill cranes and bald eagles; largemouth bass, northern pike, channel catfish, rainbow and brown trout, yellow perch among fish.
Fun fact: The town of Crawford is the epicenter of the cattle industry that dominates the area. Cattle drives are common through the main street.
Address: 40468 Colorado 92, Crawford, 81415
Contact: 970-921-5721, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: Open 24 hours
Directions: Take U.S. 24 west and turn south onto U.S. 285 near Buena Vista. After about 30 miles, turn right onto U.S. 50 west and continue for about 85 miles before turning west onto Colorado 92. Follow for about 41 miles to park entrance.
SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE