While the city itself possesses a fascinating history, culture and ambiance, the natural wonders of Wyoming lie just beyond its borders.
With stunning landscapes ranging from rugged mountains to vast prairies, Wyoming is a nature lover’s paradise. So it would be a shame to come all the way to Cheyenne and not explore even a little bit of it.
For those wanting to do this, there are a number of state parks located within easy driving distance of the city.
In this article, we will take a look at five of the best of them, outlining some of the reasons why you should visit each one.
So let’s get into it!
Map of State Parks Near Cheyenne WY
Here is a map of the Wyoming state parks and Colorado state parks covered in this post:
List of State Parks Near Cheyenne
Spread across two states, these 5 state parks near Cheyenne in Wyoming are all terrific destinations to visit.
From hiking to fishing, camping to bird watching, they all offer something for everyone who loves the great outdoors.
1. Curt Gowdy State Park
Curt Gowdy State Park is located approximately 30 miles west of Cheyenne, making it easily accessible for those visiting the area.
Overall, the park encompasses over 3,000 acres of stunning natural beauty, containing no less than three reservoirs and over 35 miles of trails for visitors to explore.
The park is named after Curt Gowdy, a famous sports commentator who grew up in Cheyenne and spent much of his childhood exploring the park. One of its main drawcards is its excellent fishing opportunities.
Each of the reservoirs are stocked with a variety of fish, including rainbow trout, brown trout, and walleye, making it a popular spot for anglers of all levels. In addition to fishing, visitors can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing.
For those looking to stay overnight, Curt Gowdy State Park has a variety of camping options, including both tent and RV sites. The park also has yurts available for rent, providing a unique and comfortable camping experience. Some of its amenities include picnic areas, a playground, and a visitors center with information on the park’s history and wildlife.
2. Lory State Park
Tucked away in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Lory State Park is just a short drive from Cheyenne.
Boasting over 2,500 acres of natural beauty, the park is a renowned spot for hiking. Throughout it are various trails that range in difficulty from easy to strenuous, thus providing a course for hikers of all skill levels.
One of the most notable trails takes you to Arthur’s Rock, a prominent rock formation that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can hike to the top of Arthur’s Rock via a moderate path that winds through the park’s scenic terrain.
Aside from hiking, visitors can enjoy mountain biking, horseback riding and picnicking. In terms of camping options, the park presents several powered and non-powered tent and RV sites. It also has a number of backcountry campsites for visitors who want to get off the beaten path.
3. Boyd Lake State Park
If you are a fan of the great outdoors you should pay a visit to Boyd Lake State Park.
Located on the shore of Boyd Lake, the 1,700-acre reservoir offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of recreational opportunities. This includes fishing, boating and swimming, the latter of which takes place around a large beach area which is also perfect for sunbathing.
In addition to these water based activities, hiking and biking along the park’s many trails is another popular activity. Many people also enjoy an al fresco meal at one of the several picnic areas that are dotted around the park.
Additionally, there is a large campground onsite that makes a great spot for a weekend getaway with family and friends. It offers both electric and non-electric tent and RV sites, as well as several cabins.
What sets Boyd Lake State Park apart from some of the other state parks near Cheyenne is that it offers a variety of amenities for visitors. This includes a boat ramp, fish cleaning station, playground and a visitors center.
The park also hosts several events throughout the year, including fishing tournaments, guided hikes, and nature programs for kids.
4. St. Vrain State Park
St. Vrain State Park is a scenic outdoor recreational area that is actually located in Colorado, about a 2-hour drive south of Cheyenne. It enjoys a stunning location on the banks of the St. Vrain River and is a noted spot for fishing.
As well as the lake which the park is named after, there are several ponds that are stocked with a variety of fish species. There are also good opportunities for boating and kayaking on the water, and the park also has a marina with boat rentals and a bait shop.
Additionally, it is also a prime spot for birding with over 200 species of birds residing in it, including bald eagles, great blue herons and sandhill cranes.
There are also several picnic areas and nature trails for hiking and viewing dotted throughout it, while its camping facilities include both tent and RV sites with electrical hookups, as well as showers and laundry facilities.
5. Hawk Springs State Recreation Area
Location: La Grange, WY 82221
Though not technically a state park, Hawk Springs State Recreation Area is worth visiting.
It is located in the southeastern part of Wyoming, about 50 miles north of Cheyenne and is another renowned spot for fishing. The likes of catfish, perch, walleye and rainbow trout regularly bite, attracting anglers from all over the state.
Hikers will find plenty to explore at Hawk Springs. Overall, there are several trails that wind through the area’s grasslands, offering scenic views of the reservoir and surrounding hills. Visitors can also explore the nearby Hawk Springs Wildlife Habitat Management Area, which offers additional hiking opportunities.
If you are in need of RV and tent sites, the park’s campground has you covered with both powered and non-powered sites. It also has a range of modern amenities, including showers and flush toilets, picnic tables, a dump station and children’s playground to make your stay more comfortable.
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