Crawford State Park is a state park in Colorado located in Crawford, and is about 72 miles southeast of the city of Grand Junction. The park offers biking, boating, fishing, and hiking with breathtaking views of Crawford Reservoir.
There are a number of activities available to Crawford State Park visitors.
Here are several of the many things to do at Crawford park:
Boating At Crawford State Park
Crawford State Park is home to two boat launches that help visitors enjoy the reservoir up close. Not only are both motorized and self-propelled boats allowed at the park, but water skiing is also a popular activity during the warmer months. As an added bonus, there are safe areas set up for those looking to swim or scuba dive, which means that boaters can navigate the boat-friendly areas of the reservoir with confidence. It is worth noting that the area has a maximum of 60 boats, with some margin for error if there are larger crafts present.
Crawford State Park also allows paddleboarding and sailboarding, so long as visitors follow the regulations set aside for small craft. And of course, traditional vehicles like kayaks and canoes are always welcome in the park.
Swimming At Crawford State Park
Crawford State Park has its own swim beach open during the summer months. While there is no lifeguard on duty, this incredible swimming area is nearby both picnicking and camping facilities, allowing visitors to enjoy everything this gorgeous park has to offer. Keep in mind that children must have adult supervision at all times and that scuba diving is only permitted in the proper areas with the correct permits.
Hiking At Crawford State Park
There are plenty of hiking trails to explore at Crawford State Park, including both paved and unpaved options depending on the level of difficulty you have in mind. While most of the trails focus on walking and taking in the incredible views of Crawford Reservoir, there are some trails that prioritize exploring other areas of the park. Keep in mind that while there are a total of 1.6 miles worth of dedicated biking trails within the park, a majority of the trails are for foot traffic only, and any bikes should yield to pedestrians. It is also worth noting that there are no Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) allowed in the park or on park trails.
Here are some of the trails at Crawford State Park:
- East Shore Trail – This easy trail meanders its way along the top portion of the reservoir, allowing you to take in the views while exploring a majority of the park. Length: 4.3 miles Degree of Difficulty: easy
- West Shore Trail – The West Shore Trail travels alongside Black Canyon Road, and can be accessed from the center of the west side of the park. Not only does this trail avoid some of the more heavily-trafficked areas of the park, it also starts at a restroom location. Length: 0.8 miles Degree of Difficulty: easy
- Indian Fire Nature Trail – Skirting the outside of the main camping area, this trail curves along the edge of the reservoir, and connects the campsite to the ADA swim beach, as well as a playground and restroom location. Length: 0.5 miles Degree of Difficulty: easy
Biking At Crawford State Park
Crawford State Park has 1.3 miles of interspersed biking trails that follow Highway 92, making the trip from Iron Creek campground toward the south swim beach. There is also a shorter trail that makes its way toward the Iron Creek interior, totaling about 0.3 miles. Keep in mind that all other trails in the park are made for hiking, and to follow the park rules at all times.
Fishing At Crawford State Park
Crawford State Park is a prime fishing location for catfish, largemouth bass, and northern pike, as well as crappie. Fishing is allowed anywhere in the reservoir, with the exception of swim areas. However, keep in mind the local and state fishing restrictions and requirements before taking to the park, and be aware that minnows or other kinds of fish are not permitted as bait.
Winter Recreation At Crawford State Park
Crawford State Park allows ice fishing, snowshoeing, tubing, and cross-country skiing in the winter months, though it is worth noting that there is no snowmobiling in the park at any time.
Ice fishing is permitted once the ice is deeper than 6 inches, and is largely dependent on the weather, while cross-country skiing and snowshoeing is allowed on unplowed roads or the lake only until there is enough snow to cover and protect local vegetation. It is always a good idea to check park conditions before setting out during the colder months and be prepared for closed facilities and inclement weather.
For those looking to go snow tubing, the Peninsula is an excellent location to go speeding down a hill, so long as there is enough snow to protect any local vegetation.
Picnicking At Crawford State Park
Crawford State Park has a group picnic site that can accommodate up to 100 guests. This site must be reserved in advance to guarantee use. However, there are over 30 individual picnicking areas throughout the park, complete with grill areas, shaded tables, and fire rings, depending on the location. With so many to choose from, you’re sure to find a new favorite picnicking spot each time you visit the park!
Hunting at Crawford State Park
Due to an abundance of water fowl, Crawford State Park is an excellent hunting location during the correct seasons, though it is worth noting that all hunters should follow state and local guidelines when looking to hunt at a state park, and should follow gun safety regulations. Hunting is acceptable throughout the park, so long as at least 100 yards away from anyone fishing on the shore and 150 yards away from campgrounds.
Pets At Crawford State Park
Dogs are permitted so long as they are on a 6 foot or shorter leash, any waste is taken care of, and they are accompanied at all times. Be sure not to leave your pets behind at your campsite or in your vehicle during warm weather, as this can be fatal. Also, keep in mind that dogs are not allowed at the swim beach.
Camping At Crawford State Park
There are two major camping areas in Crawford State Park: Iron Creek Campground and Clear Fork Campground. Both areas require advanced reservation. Iron Creek Campground houses 45 campsites, with electric and water hookups, hot showers, and flush toilets at each campsite. Clear Fork Campground is under construction until the spring of 2022. However, once complete the campsites will have potable water and showers, as well as both flush and vault toilets.
Below is a short video showcasing various attractions at Crawford State Park: