View of Sunny Day on Lake in Curt Gowdy State Park Wyoming

Where is Curt Gowdy State Park

Located in the southeastern quadrant of the state, Curt Gowdy State Park resides completely in the state of Wyoming. The state park lies in both Albany and Laramie county. The main features of Curt Gowdy State Park are an extensive trail system, three reservoirs, and the Hynds Lodge. The lodge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Curt Gowdy State Park is located about 24 miles east of Laramie and about 24 miles west of Chyenne. The park is also located 67 miles and about a one-hour drive north of Fort Collins, Colorado, 122 miles and about a two-hour drive north of Denver, Colorado, and about 112 miles and a two hour drive north of Rocky Mountain National Park.

How Large is Curt Gowdy State Park

Curt Gowdy US State Park covers over 3,300 acres. The park’s geography consists mainly of rolling hills and sharp granite outcroppings. The park also sits within the foothills of the Laramie Mountains. Elevations in the park range from between 6,450 feet to 7,000 feet. The park’s trail system consists of over 35 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails, and the park also offers visitors the opportunity to go boating, canoeing, water skiing, fishing, camping, rockhounding, and archery. Wildlife is abundant within Curt Gowdy State Park. In the foothills, mule deer, white-tailed deer, and coyotes thrive, and the park’s reservoirs hold kokanee salmon, perch, brown trout, rainbow trout, and lake trout.

Curt Gowdy State Park Weather

The weather at Curt Gowdy State Park varies throughout the year. Summer temperatures throughout the park average between 55- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, temperatures in the park drop and average between 15- and 40-degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest days of the year at Curt Gowdy State Park occur in June, July, and August. The coldest temperatures arrive at the park in December and January. On average, the park receives about 50 days of rain per year. Yearly precipitation totals in Curt Gowdy State Park consistently hover around 25 inches. Snowfall is common and heavy in winter months, but a light snowfall can also occur as late as June. Curt Gowdy State Park sees about 70 inches of snow per year.

View of Sunny Day on Lake in Curt Gowdy State Park Wyoming

When did Curt Gowdy become a State Park

Curt Gowdy State Park first became a state park in 1971. However, the park was originally named Granite State Park. In 1972, the park was renamed Curt Gowdy State Park in honor of national sportscaster Curt Gowdy. The outdoorsman was born in Wyoming and was a two-sport varsity athlete at the University of Wyoming at Laramie. The original acreage of the park only total around 2,400 acres and only included the Crystal and Granite Spring reservoirs. The park expanded in 2005 to include the Upper North Crow Reservoir. In 2014, the park designed and constructed a new ecologically conscious visitor center.

Things to do in Curt Gowdy State Park

Curt Gowdy State Park offers interested visitors the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities. These activities include hiking, camping, fishing, boating, and others. Our State Park Visitors Guide outlines the most popular adventures found in Curt Gowdy State Park below: 

Explore the Visitor Center

The visitor center at Curt Gowdy State Park is the best place for visitors to start their park adventure. This ecologically conscious visitor center was constructed in Curt Gowdy State Park in 2014, and it contains several exhibits and displays that discuss the area’s geography, geology, ecology, history, and culture. Park staff working in the visitor center can also supply visitors with park maps and other helpful information.

Hike a Trail or Two

The trail system at Curt Gowdy State Park contains over 35 miles of trails. These trails are very diverse and meander across the entire area of the state park. Visitors looking for magnificent views should hike the El Alto and Slabz trails. The Cow Creek trail found in Curt Gowdy State Park grants visitors’ access to a waterfall found in the park.

Float on One of the Park’s Reservoirs

Boaters arriving at Curt Gowdy State Park have a choice of three reservoirs to put their watercraft on. However, motorized boating is only allowed on Granite Reservoir and Crystal Reservoir. North Crow Reservoir can be accessed by kayaks and canoes. All boats should meet Wyoming state boating standards and carry all safety equipment.

Cast a Fishing Line

Anglers visiting Curt Gowdy State Park will have a hard time deciding where to fish first. The state park’s three reservoirs and several streams in the park all hold popular game fish. Specific species that can be targeted by fisherman visiting the park are kokanee salmon, brown trout, rainbow trout, grayling, lake trout, and splake.

Mountain Biking & Horseback Riding

A variety of the trails within the Curt Gowdy State Park trail system are designated for more than just foot use. These trails allow mountain bikers and horseback riders the opportunity to recreate within the park. The visitor center and park maps can provide additional information regarding direction of travel and trail openings and closures.

Wildlife Viewing

Curt Gowdy State Park provides a home for a variety of wildlife. The most popular species visitors are likely to see within the park are mule deer and white tail deer. However, the park also holds a variety of other woodland species, several amphibians, and flocks of migratory and residential avian species.

Let Some Arrows Fly

Curt Gowdy State Park also manages and maintains an archery range within its borders. This range can be used by visitors looking to practice their skills. The fee for the archery range is included in the park’s entrance fee. The archery range can be accessed from the Aspen Grove Trailhead.

Camping in Curt Gowdy State Park

The campground in Curt Gowdy State Park contains 159 campsites that are suited for recreational vehicles and tents. These campsites can be reserved online through the park’s website and reservation portal. Visitors looking to camp in the park in the summer months should book their reservations several months in advance.

Wooden Fence Along Lake in Curt Gowdy State Park Wyoming

When to Visit Curt Gowdy State Park

Curt Gowdy State Park is open year-round. However, the park is best visited during the summer months when temperatures are warmer, and more activities can be experienced in the park. In the summer, almost all of the park’s offerings are available to visitors. Spring and fall in the park are also nice. Spring is the best time to observe wildlife in the park. In winter the park occasionally becomes treacherous as average snowfall approaches 15 inches a month.

Must Have Items to Bring to Curt Gowdy State Park

A trip to Curt Gowdy State Park requires packing and planning. Several essential items visitors should consider bringing when they visit the park are listed below:

Water/ High Energy Snacks

List of Parks advises water and high energy snacks are essential for every outdoor adventure. Hikers and campers visiting Curt Gowdy State Park should look to bring additional water and snacks. Beef jerky, dried fruit, trail max, and protein bars are excellent high energy snack choices.

Sturdy Hiking Boots

The trails at Curt Gowdy State Park range in difficulty and traverse various terrain. To be well prepared for all of the park’s trails, hikers visiting Curt Gowdy State Park should come equipped with a sturdy and reliable pair of hiking boots. 

Layers of Clothing

Temperatures in Curt Gowdy State Park can vary throughout the day and depending on a visitor’s location. In the winter, these temperatures can become quite cold. To ensure their comfort on the water and on the trial, visitors should arrive at the park wearing various layers of clothing. These layers can be added and removed to suit a visitor’s comfort.

Fishing Equipment

Anglers hoping to drop a line in three reservoirs found in Curt Gowdy State Park will want to bring all of their freshwater fishing equipment with them to the park. The park’s several boat ramps will also allow boaters to put their watercraft into the water.

Wildlife Field Guides

Visitors interested in spotting various wildlife found in Curt Gowdy State Park will want to bring along a Wyoming wildlife field guide or a field guide specific to North America. Wildlife enthusiasts may also want to purchase a lightweight pair of binoculars they can carry with them while on the trail.

View of Plains on a Sunny Afternoon in Curt Gowdy State Park Oklahoma

Where to Stay in Curt Gowdy State Park

Visitors looking to camp within Curt Gowdy State Park should first decide which type of site they would like to stay in. The park’s campground contains both sites suited for recreational vehicles and sites suited for tent campers. Once a decision has been made, visitors can make a reservation for their site through the park’s website. Individuals who would prefer to stay in a nearby hotel can search for options in Laramie or Cheyenne. Each of these two cities are within 25 minutes of the park. Other lodging options can be found an hour away in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Food Near Curt Gowdy State Park

The closest dining options to Curt Gowdy State Park can be found in Laramie and Cheyenne. Each of these cities can offer visitors a variety of restaurants and a few grocery stores. Visitors searching for something specific or looking for more options should check out Fort Collins, Colorado. This Colorado city is centered around outdoor recreation and contains several restaurants and bars where visitors can grab a bite to eat. The visitor center at Curt Gowdy State Park also has a selection of snacks and drinks available for visitors to purchase.

Airports Near Curt Gowdy State Park

The closest international airport to Curt Gowdy State Park is located in Denver, Colorado. The city and the Denver International Airport are located about 126 miles away from the park. The car ride from Curt Gowdy State Park to the Denver International Airport is about two hours long.

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