Where is Roxborough State Park
Seated near the dead center of the state of Colorado, just on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountain Range and attached to a series of other large tracts of public lands. Roxborough US State Park is an easily accessible state park that is only about a 46 minute drive from downtown Denver. The park is also an hour drive from downtown Boulder Colorado, one of the closest tracts of public land is Pike National Park, that’s over a two-hour drive from Roxborough State Park.
How Big is Roxborough State Park
Being a relatively large state park, there is plenty of room to stretch your legs on and maintain a sense of solitude across the park. Roxborough State Park is about four thousand acres across beautiful and unique geography. Within these acres is a trail system of 8 separate trails that total around 14 miles that explore the geography. The largest trail being just over three miles long and the shortest one is only a mile and half and is located just beside the visitor center.
Roxborough State Park Weather
The weather that occurs in the area of Colorado that Roxborough State Park is located in is typically hot during the summertime and then cooling off into very cold and dry winters. The warmer part of the year typically lasts about 3.3 months of the year, normally from the month of June until the beginning of September. The hottest temperatures will average out at approximately 76 degrees Fahrenheit, often peaking around 84 degrees. During the winter the coldest considered months are often November to March, with the coldest temperatures reaching near 20 degrees. The wettest part of the year is from April until September with a greater than 20% chance of rain on any given day within that time.
When did Roxborough Become a State Park?
The Arapahoe, Cheyenne and Ute Native Americans were the original inhabitants of the area that is now Roxborough State Park until the 1860s. In 1820 the Long Expedition traveled through the area, opening up the way for the eventual homesteads and farms that would eventually be bought by the State of Colorado, the park was formed in 1975 but wasn’t open to the public until 1987.
Things to do in Roxborough State Park
Roxborough State Park offers several activities, some of them year-round and others that are better suited for one season versus another. Our State Park Visitors Guide prepared the following list which covers some of the most popular options.
There are ample opportunities for visitors to hike across Roxborough State Park, with 8 separate trails that weave throughout the entire park visitors have access to about 14 miles to explore when they visit. The longest trail is the Carpenter Peak trail that rounds out to about a 6.5-mile round trip.
Because of the special designations and protections that have been set apart in the establishment of Roxborough State Park, it has led to the park to be dubbed an IBA or Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society. For visitors to the park this means that as they hike along the trails there are plentiful opportunities to see the many local native birds that live here.
Because of the rich, and even contentious, history of the area that is now considered Roxborough State Park, educational programs and tours have been designed to provide interested visitors that sign up for the scheduled events the chance to learn as much of the park as they would like.
It’s not advised to leave the trails of Roxborough State Park, which limits the areas that you should picnic at when visiting the park. There are 5 provided picnic benches within the visitor center’s main patio, there are also benches along most of the trails for those that wish to enjoy a meal while hiking.
Because of Colorado’s high elevation and intense winter conditions, snow is an almost definite phenomenon each year and the same trails around Roxborough State Park that people hike during the summer, can still be enjoyed when snow falls. Visitors can bring snowshoes, as long as they stay on the trails, and enjoy the pristine winter landscapes.
Just like those that enjoy snowshoeing, visitors to the incredible Roxborough State Park during the coldest and snowiest months of the year can also participate in cross-country skiing along the natural beauty. There are only a few designated trails that are open to skiers when the proper snow conditions are present, there are also no off-trail opportunities.
Wedding and Other Functions
There are some of the most incredible landscapes and sceneries all throughout the year in the area that encompasses Roxborough State Park, and because of this the park has been developed to provide 2 overlooks available to rent for weddings and a single amphitheater with a large screen.
When to go to Roxborough State Park
While the unique geological formations and the incredible Colorado landscape behind them provide year-round photography and sightseeing opportunities, there are only a few other year-round recreational opportunities available throughout this state park. With proper considerations for upcoming weather, the warmer summer months can provide the thousands of yearly visitors to Roxborough State Park to participate in activities like hiking, birdwatching, and picnicking comfortably. When the temperatures drop in the winter months and snow begins to fall visitors can come enjoy the trails and scenery cross country skiing or snowshoeing on top of the snow. The park allows weddings, group gatherings, and functions throughout the year, allowing you to choose the ideal time of the year for your function.
Must-Have Things to Bring to Roxborough State Park
Roxborough State Park provides its visitors with a plethora of activities, what it doesn’t provide is all the necessary gear, equipment, and food that you need to have a fun and safe time. List of Parks created the following list which will help you know what you need to bring.
While it’s possible to not bring any water on your visit to Roxborough State Park, it’s not a good idea. The human body needs a lot of water each day to function properly and as the trails throughout the park can be somewhat challenging you will need plenty of water to keep yourself safe.
While there are no restaurants or food merchants within the limits of Roxborough State Park or its immediate area, there are opportunities to eat a nice meal, you just have to bring it yourself. Be sure to bring enough food for you and your party to last the extent of your visit.
Season Appropriate Clothing
The weather can be intense on your visit to Roxborough State Park, especially if you intend on hiking around its trails during the middle of the summer or winter when these conditions can be the most extreme. Bring the appropriate clothing and layers to match the temperature and weather conditions you’ll experience on your visit.
You could try and hike around the 8 different trails throughout Roxborough State Park either barefoot or with a less than ideal pair of shoes, but your feet will pay the price. Bring a pair of shoes that can keep your feet both protected and comfortable across the difficult terrain and trail conditions found at the park.
There are so many things to see throughout the entire extent of Roxborough State Park, and because off trail travel is prohibited there are a lot of wildlife, birds, and scenery that you will not be able to get an up-close encounter with. Bringing a good pair of binoculars will allow you to get a good look at anything that catches your eye but can’t wall to.
Bringing a camera is a great way to capture a memory that can last your entire lifetime. Between the natural landscapes, geological formations, and wildlife you can see around Roxborough State Park on many miles of trails, there is sure to be a moment that you will want to capture during your visit.
Cross Country Skis and Gear
The winters in the state of Colorado can be intense and full of snow, the area that Roxborough State Park encompasses is no exception. Because of this, visitors that want to travel on top of the snow should remember to bring the appropriate footgear, such as skis or snowshoes, and any other gear to have a safe and enjoyable experience.
First Aid Kit
While the trails throughout Roxborough State Park may not be the most rugged or intense, it doesn’t mean that during your visit that an emergency could happen. Bringing along a first aid kit will help ensure that you and all those in your party will be sure to make it home safely even in the event of something happening.
Where to Stay in Roxborough State Park
There are no camping opportunities in Roxborough State Park, the archeological and environmental impact would contradict the designated purpose and goal of the park, but because the park is seated so close to both the city of Denver and other public lands visitors can still find a place to rest their head near the park. The nearest hotel is about a 23 minute drive from the park, and for those looking to camp the nearby National Forests are great places to do so.
Food Nearby Roxborough State Park
Because picnicking is allowed within the limits of Roxborough State Park, bringing your own food can be a pleasurable experience when visiting the park, as long as you clean up after yourself properly. But for those visitors that would rather go to a restaurant or diner for a meal, the nearby city of Denver Colorado provides a plethora of dining experiences.
Airports Near Roxborough State Park
Because of the natural geographical splendor, rich history, and relative remoteness of Roxborough State Park’s location, people from all across the country (if not the world) come to visit it all year round. For those that aren’t planning on taking the time and effort to drive to the park, they can buy a ticket and travel by plane to the Denver International Airport, which is only a 57-minute drive from the park.