National Public Lands Day is Saturday, which means there’s no better time to visit Colorado’s federally protected treasures.

Fees to national parks will be waived for the 26th year of the celebration. Keep that $20 or $25 in your pocket (the daily price at the parks) and gain a new appreciation for Mother Nature.

No doubt Front Range dwellers will flock to Rocky Mountain National Park or south to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

Rocky Mountain National Park's 'wilder side' ripe for exploring

Or perhaps it’s a weekend to roam the Western Slope, especially with fall foliage set to glimmer across the San Juan Mountains. That side of the state is home to the wild and rugged Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and the history-rich Mesa Verde National Park.

Or perhaps you’ll elect to stay closer to Colorado Springs and give back.

The sixth annual Creek Week Cleanup starts Saturday, with volunteers banding together to restore the all-too-trashed Fountain Creek watershed. For details and registration, go to

Friends of the Peak also has listed a workday Saturday on Barr Trail. Register at friends

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