Eldorado Canyon State Park is a Colorado State Park located in Eldorado Springs, and is approximately 9 miles south from the city of Boulder. The park offers fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and biking with breathtaking views of Eldorado Canyon.
There are a plethora of amusements available to Eldorado Canyon State Park explorers.
Here are several of the many things to do at Eldorado Canyon Park:
Boating At Eldorado Canyon State Park
South Boulder Creek is open to kayaking, weather and water flow permitting. However, there is no tubing, rafting, or any other form of watercraft allowed on the creek due to regulations. Visitors can, however, purchase boat registrations from the Visitor Center, however, they do not do HIM inspections on site.
Biking At Eldorado Canyon State Park
Eldorado Canyon State Park is home to two main biking trails: the Rattlesnake Gulch Trail and the Walker Ranch Loop, which is located near the Crescent Meadows area of the park.
Rattlesnake Gulch Trail is a 3.6-mile trail for the experienced mountain biker. This is far from a casual trail, as the ride features a 1.4-mile uphill section that has an 800 foot gain in elevation. Bikers can check out what is left of the Crags Hotel, a hotel that burned down in 1913, as well as railroad tracks that used to make their way through the park.
Walker Ranch Loop is 7 miles from beginning to end, and meets up with Crescent Meadows and Boulder County Parks, making it a great loop to bike along if you are looking for varying difficulty throughout your ride. Keep in mind this trail is also open to pedestrians and horseback riders, and that horseback riders always have the right of way.
Hiking At Eldorado Canyon State Park
If you are looking to witness the wonder of Eldorado Canyon up close and personal, there are three main trails to explore in this state park. While some trails also allow mountain biking and horseback riding, it is important to note that there are no motorized vehicles allowed on the various trails, and that horseback riders always have the right of way.
Here the main trails at Eldorado Canyon State Park:
- Fowler Trail – This ADA-accessible trail takes you through a self-guided nature walk, complete with a brochure and appropriate signage to help you learn more about the incredible flora and fauna that make up Eldorado Canyon State Park. There are also fixed binocular stands throughout the trail so you can take a peek at rock climbers making their way up Canyon walls. Length: 0.9 miles Degree of Difficulty: easy
- Rattlesnake Gulch Trail – This trail is not for the faint of heart, as it features a steady climb over the course of 1.4 miles. Hikers can take in views of the Crags Hotel, which was built in 1908 and burned down in 1913, as well as historic railroad tracks and the Continental Divide. Length: 3.6 miles Degree of Difficulty: moderate
- Eldorado Canyon Trail – This trail is not for the faint of heart. Gaining over 1,000 feet in elevation over the length of the hike, adventurous visitors can combine a variety of trail loops for a truly intense workout that covers over 15 miles of trails throughout the park. Length: 3.5 miles Degree of Difficulty: moderate to challenging
Horseback Riding At Eldorado Canyon State Park
Horseback riding is allowed on appropriate trails, as well as the main park road. However, it is worth noting that due to the influx of visitors in the park, horse trailers cannot be parked on-site on weekends or holidays.
Fishing At Eldorado Canyon State Park
Fishing is welcome with the correct licensure, as Eldorado Canyon State Park is an incredible fly-fishing location for both rainbow and brown trout. It is always a good idea to check out the park conditions before planning your fishing trip, as the weather and time of year can greatly impact how well the fish are biting.
Rock Climbing At Eldorado Canyon State Park
Rock Climbing is the true main attraction at this state park. With over 500 technical climbing routes, Eldorado Canyon State Park is a climber’s paradise. There is no chipping or drilling, and chalk use is minimal in order to help preserve the rockface for future climbers. It is always a good idea to check out the weather before planning to go climbing at the park, as conditions can shift with very little warning depending on the season.
Picnicking At Eldorado Canyon State Park
There are 10 beautiful picnic areas throughout South Boulder Creek that allow you to take in the sights and enjoy your meal. Keep in mind that these picnic areas are first-come-first-serve, and tend to fill quickly during the summer and high-traffic seasons. It is also worth noting that picnicking is only allowed in the designated sites, and this includes the use of portable grills and stoves.
Seasonal Activities At Eldorado Canyon State Park
Hunting is allowed within the park in the correct season, though hunting is relegated to Crescent Meadows and only allows archery and black powder. All hunters need the appropriate licensing as per state and local guidelines, and the hunting limits that apply to all Colorado State Parks apply.
During the winter months, visitors can take to the road or Fowler Trail on a pair of cross-country skis, to really gain an appreciation for how the beauty of Eldorado Canyon morphs throughout the seasons. Snowshoeing is allowed so long as there is enough snow coverage to protect plants, and is best done along Fowler Trail or Rattlesnake Gulch, though the individual trails’ difficulty levels should be kept in mind.
Pets At Eldorado Canyon State Park
Dogs are allowed within the park so long as they are on a lead that is six feet or shorter in length, are under control, and their waste is properly removed from the park. Dogs are not to be left unattended.
Horseback riding is allowed in the park, though it is worth noting that weekends and holidays make bringing horse trailers to the park nearly impossible, so it is best to plan ahead.
Camping At Eldorado Canyon State Park
There is no camping at Eldorado Canyon State Park, and RVs are prohibited from entry due to the small roadways leading into the park itself.
Below is an interesting video showing several things to do at Eldorado Canyon State Park: