Hunting Colorado’s State Parks

Ducks land against a vibrant sunset at Barr Lake. Barr Lake is just one of many state parks that offers hunting opportunities. Photo by © Jerry Neal/CPW.

Colorado’s 42 State Parks are famous for providing world-class hiking, camping, boating and fishing opportunities. But did you know that 30 state parks also offer hunting? Whether you’re interested in pursuing small game, waterfowl or hunting elk or deer, don’t overlook a state park as a potential hunting location. In addition, many parks offer overnight camping amenities, which provide a great place for families to enjoy a day’s hunt and share a relaxing evening around the glow of a campfire. With fall fast approaching, now is a great time to make plans to hunt one of these prime locations.

Note: This provides a basic summary of the hunting opportunities that are available at Colorado State Parks. However, hunters must check the hunting regulations for each location before planning a hunt. Hunting is restricted to the first Tuesday after Labor Day through the first Friday before Memorial Day at all state park properties. Reservations are also required to hunt and camp at most areas. View Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Park Finder for driving directions and further information.

1. Barr Lake

Waterfowl and dove hunting is available at this beautiful, Front Range reservoir. Hunters can make reservations by calling 1-800-846-9453. (Adams County, GMU 104)

2. Boyd Lake

Limited waterfowl hunting is permitted in three designated “Red Zone” areas. (Larimer County, GMU 20)

3. Crawford

Both waterfowl and big-game hunting are available here. Hunters must stay at least 100 yards away from shoreline anglers and 150 yards away from campgrounds. (Delta County, GMU 63)

4. Eldorado Canyon

Both Small-game and big-game hunting are permitted in the Crescent Meadows section of the park, which is accessed via Gross Dam Road. Only archery and muzzleloaders are allowed. (Boulder County, GMU 29)

5. Eleven Mile

This South Park reservoir is famous for its exceptional fishing but also offers hunting for big game, small game and waterfowl. (Park County, GMU 581)

6. Elkhead Reservoir

Hunting is allowed in designated areas around the reservoir during special hunting seasons. Big-game hunting is permitted on the north side of the park. (Moffat County, GMU 4)

7. Golden Gate Canyon

Big-game Hunting is permitted in controlled areas of the Jefferson County and Green Ranch sections of the park from the first Tuesday after Labor Day to the Friday before Memorial Day. (Gilpin and Jefferson counties, GMU 38)

8. Harvey Gap

Waterfowl hunting is permitted on the north side of the reservoir. Hunters must stay at least 100 yards away from buildings and day-use areas. (Garfield County, GMU 33)

9. Highline Lake

Waterfowl hunting is permitted Monday through Friday. Hunting blinds are available on a reservation system.

10. Jackson Lake

Hunting is available for waterfowl, rabbit, squirrel and pheasant with shotguns in designated areas. Shotguns are restricted to size “T” or smaller shot. Waterfowl can be hunted along the shore in Lakeside Campground after the campground has closed for the season. The shoreline is also open from Sandpiper Campground north to the boundary fence, providing approximately 1 mile of hunting access.  Building hunting blinds or using live or dead vegetation to construct blinds is prohibited. Hunting from boats is permitted from the first day of regular duck season through Oct. 31.  Jackson lake closes to all boating Nov. 1.  Archery deer hunting is available in all areas except open campgrounds. Reservations  are not required to hunt Jackson Lake State Park lands. (Morgan County, GMU 30)

11. Lake Pueblo

Hunting is available for waterfowl, rabbit, dove and quail with shotguns in designated areas within the park. Shoreline hunting is also permitted in designated areas only.  (Pueblo County, GMU 84)

12.  Lathrop

Both waterfowl and small-game hunting are allowed with shotguns and archery equipment at Horseshoe Lake. (Huerfano County, GMU 85)

13. Lone Mesa

A limited number of Special Use Permits are available for big-game hunting (elk, deer and bear) on more than 12,000 acres. (Dolores County, GMU 711)

14. Lory

Both big-and small-game hunting are allowed on weekdays in specific areas. Spring turkey hunting is also permitted but is restricted to Monday and Tuesday only. All hunters must register and report all harvests to the park Visitor Center. (Larimer, GMU 19)

15. Mueller

Approximately 800 acres on the western edge of the park are open to hunting during established seasons. Hunters should contact a park ranger to pick up maps and information prior to their hunt. Hunting with Firearms and bows is permitted in the park. Hunters must access the hunting areas with unloaded weapons via three trailheads (Black Bear, Rock Pond, Lost Pond). No vehicle access is permitted to the hunting area. (Teller County, GMU 581)

16. Navajo

Deer, elk and bird hunting is allowed. (Archuleta County, GMU 771)

17. North Sterling

Small game, waterfowl, and archery deer hunting is permitted. Deer hunting is restricted to the south end of the park. Hunters must remain at least 150 feet from developed structures.  Please see the hunting brochure on North Sterling’s website for more information. (Logan County, GMU 89)

18. Pearl Lake

Hunting is not permitted on state park property. However, Pearl lake backs to USFS land where waterfowl hunting is permitted. Dusky (blue) grouse hunting is also popular in this area on the adjacent USFS property. Many hunters use the Pearl Lake camground as a base camp to access other nearby hunting areas during the regular big-game seasons. (Routt County, GMU 214)

19. Paonia

Big-game hunting is allowed during the regular seasons. (Gunnison, GMU 521)

20. Ridgway

Big-game, small-game and waterfowl hunting is permitted during specified seasons. All hunters must check in with ranger staff at the visitor center prior to hunting.

21. Rifle Gap

Both waterfowl and big-game hunting are permitted. Water levels fluctuate from year to year, which impacts waterfowl hunting. The best big-game opportunities are on the west side of the park where there is access to BLM land and additional state land. Hunters must remain at least 150 feet from developed structures. (Garfield County, GMU 33)

22. San Luis

Waterfowl, small-game and big-game hunting is permitted. (Alamosa, GMU 82)

23. Spinney Mountain

This North Park reservoir offers waterfowl, small-game and big-game hunting. (Park County, GMU 58)

24. Stagecoach

Both waterfowl and small-game hunting are permitted during the regular hunting seasons. Waterfowl and small-game hunting is available in the western portion of the park. Waterfowl hunters must ensure they are at least 100 ft from trails and other developed areas. Hunting is not allowed on the eastern portion of the reservoir, the ponds at the new wetland area or tailwater area. Signs are posted throughout the park showing designated areas. (Routt County, GMU 15)

25. State Forest

Big-game hunting is allowed during designated hunting seasons with special permits. (Jackson County, GMUs 6, 171)

26. Steamboat Lake

Hunting for waterfowl, small game and big game is permitted. Hunters must remain outside of the developed campgrounds and trails. Waterfowl hunting is popular at the Rainbow Ridge and Meadow Point areas. Big-game hunters harvest deer from this area every year.  (Routt County, GMUs 4, 14, 214)

27. Sweitzer Lake

Waterfowl hunting is allowed on weekends, Wednesdays and legal holidays. (Delta County, GMU 64)

28. Sylvan Lake

Hunting is allowed in undeveloped areas of the park during all legal seasons. The park primarily offers opportunities for turkey, bear, deer and elk. The Sylvan Lake campground is also a popular base camp during big-game seasons with convenient access to the White River National Forest.  (Eagle County, GMU 44)

29. Trinidad Lake

Hunting is allowed for any species of game that is in season. Hunting is restricted to archery equipment and shotguns with birdshot. The most common game species at the park are elk, doves, rabbits and waterfowl. A park map is available at the visitor center that shows legal hunting areas.

30. Vega

Hunting is restricted to archery and shotguns loaded with birdshot during designated hunting seasons. Vega’s cabins also provide a convenient base camp for hunting in nearby national forest lands. (Mesa County, GMU 421)

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