About 16 miles west of Golden, Golden Gate Canyon State Park is considered a four-season park by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. Covering over 12,000 acres, the park has a variety of trails to explore with terrain ranging from meadow to forest to mountain. The park is open year round. Golden Gate Canyon gained state park status in 1960 and was only the second state park in Colorado at the time (now there are 41!). Some of the land was settled as part of the Homestead Act back in the 1800’s. Several buildings still stand in the park today.
Visitors to the park enjoy hiking, back-packing, fishing, camping, biking and rock-climbing. During the winter months popular activities include a tubing hill, cross-country skiing, winter camping and ice-fishing.
There is a Christmas tree cutting event every year. This year 250 permits will be issued through application drawings. The drawings will take place from November 1 – November 15. To apply visit the licensing page and choose “Visit A Park” then follow the link under “Special Events.”
The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife. Moose, bighorn sheep, elk, bobcats, marmots, birds and many other animals can be spotted while exploring the park. The State Library’s Emma Serna spotted this moose just last weekend.