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Chatfield State Park- Colorado

Updated on December 17, 2012

Colorado has 42 State Parks, which attract over 11 million people each year. Of these many parks one of the most popular is Chatfield State Park. Chatfield's close proximity to the city of Denver makes it a short trip for those that live in Denver or many of it's suburbs. The opportunities for recreation are plentiful at this particular park, you can fish in the reservoir or take a hike along the many trails. If you want to spend the night there are plenty of camp sites and a popular activity in the summer is hot air ballooning, providing a peaceful float above the metro area.  There is a reason why so many people enjoy this piece of the outdoors located so close to many of their homes.  I'll introduce you to some of the activities you can get involved in at the park.

Chatfield State Park

Water Activities

With almost 1,500 surface acres of water near Denver, Chatfield State Park is a very popular place for boating. Whether you want to wet your line and catch a fish, or get in some water skiing, Chatfield has plenty to offer. There is a large multi-use are where you can ski, fish or just motor around. There are also no wake zones perfect for relaxed fishing or just taking a break to enjoy the scenery. Boating is certainly one of the main draws for Chatfield.

Fishing is another obvious activity when visiting such a large State Park. Whether you are fishing from the shore or out on the middle of the lake, there are many fish to catch at Chatfield. Among the species of fish you can catch are trout, bass, walleye, channel catfish, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, sunfish and carp. In the winter the reservoir is even open to ice fishing when the weather conditions are right.

Trolling with Lead Core at Chatfield State Park
Trolling with Lead Core at Chatfield State Park | Source

SCUBA Diving

Colorado may not be the first place that many people think about when they think of SCUBA diving. In fact, what comes to mind is probably crystal clear waters with coral and colorful fish. Colorado has one of the highest concentrations of divers. A lot of that has to do with how active many residents here are.

Chatfield Reservoir offers a rock quarry that serves as a dive training location for many local shops' Open Water Diver certification. Although it isn't as warm and clear as a tropical destination. Many people decide to get their certification here so that when they get to their vacation location they can jump right into the water and enjoy the beauty of the ocean without worrying about additional training dives.

Other Activities

If you aren't interested in the water, or just want some other activities to balance out your day this State Park won't disappoint.

For those of you that want to hit the trails, Chatfield offers 26 miles of trails, 12 of which are paved. And don't you worry if you'd rather bike, those trails are opened to bicycles as well. At the end of the day you can stay at the park in one of the 197 campsites available. Many of these sites are available with electric hookups and some even offer full water and sewer for those of you traveling in an RV.

There are other activities as well. Chatfield has one of the front range's most popular hot air balloon launching sites. There is a dog park for you canine lovers out there, plus you can take your dog with you on the trails as long as you have a leash. If you are an equestrian you can hit most of the trails on your horse. There are even places to hitch your horse overnight if you are camping. Don't forget there is a model airplane field as well!

Chatfield State Park offers many different opportunities for recreation in close proximity to the city of Denver. Join the thousands of visitors that already spend parts of their vacation enjoying the edge of the Rocky Mountains from one of the states most popular parks.

Chatfield State Park Marina
Chatfield State Park Marina

Check out some of my other hubs and information about the Colorado State Parks and what to do in Colorado:

Barr Lake State Park

Boyd Lake State Park

Chatfield State Park

Cherry Creek State Park

Eldorado Canyon State Park

Eleven Mile State Park

Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Jackson Lake State Park

Pueblo Lake State Park

Spinney Mountain State Park

Here is a link to the Rocky Mountain Adventure Blog with more outdoor topics and articles:


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