Colorado state parks have so much to offer you if you want to spend time outside and enjoy the great weather. Visits to the state parks can get expensive, though. Let us show you how to save money on your visit!
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The easiest way to save on Colorado state parks.
Each state park sets its own fees for getting into the park. The parks all range from $3 to $9 per person for admission. The $3-$9 passes are only good for one day and are not good for re-entry into the parks.
If you have a large family, are visiting more than seven times or you plan on spending more time at the Colorado state parks, you can get an annual pass for $70. The pass is good for one vehicle. While this is a great deal compared to paying over and over again, it’s still pretty expensive. We found more ways to save!
Free state park passes are available.
Do you visit your library often? Libraries are full of great programs, but did you know your library card could actually get you free admission to the Colorado state parks? Many Colorado libraries offer backpacks you can take with you to the state parks. The backpacks are free to check out with your library card. They offer a free state park pass for the day, free activities you can do at the park and even equipment you might need during your day. Just make sure you return the backpacks so the next family can use them.
Disabled veterans get free annual admission to the state parks. Disabled veterans with the disabled vet license plate can get into the parks without even using a permit. In fact, you don’t even have to apply to get in the parks for free if you have the plate. Next time you want to visit, just drive right in!
Volunteers who dedicate certain hours to Colorado state parks can get free admission to the state parks. Each individual state park has policies for volunteers to get free admission. You’ll usually be able to score free day passes, at least, for volunteering in the park!
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Get a discounted annual Colorado state parks pass.
Are you a low-income individual? You can get your annual state parks pass for only $14. The Centennial pass is for low-income families and individuals. The pass is good for one vehicle. You must provide proof of age, income and residency to qualify for the Centennial pass.
Disabled individuals may qualify for the Columbine pass. The pass is only $14 and provides you with a year of access to the state parks. You must provide proof of residency and proof of disability to qualify for it. You will need to renew your pass and provide this proof each year.
Colorado residents who are 64 years or older and do not meet the requirements for the Centennial or the Columbine pass can still save money on the annual pass. If you are 64 or over, you can get the Aspen Leaf pass. The pass is $60 and is good for one year. It’s good for your car so you can bring your family along as long as you are in the car as the pass holder!
Military members get free stuff at Colorado state parks!
During the month of August, active duty military members and veterans get free admission to all Colorado state parks. The free admission includes dependents, but it does not include extended family. If you are visiting the state park in one car, you and your immediate family can get free admission, but your extended family will need to pay for it.
On Veteran’s Day every year, veterans and active duty military members can get into Colorado state parks for free. You will just need to show your military ID to get into the parks without paying admission. This also applies to spouses and dependents.
Military members who are Colorado residents and are on temporary leave can go fishing for free. While you do not have to show a fishing license, you may be asked for your military ID to prove you are on leave and you are fishing using that benefit. Military members who are stationed in Colorado will be considered residents when fishing or getting admission to the state parks.
Family activities are available at Colorado state parks.
The first weekend of June is usually the free fishing weekend in Colorado. You can visit any of the state parks and fish for free with your family or just by yourself. Each of the parks may have different requirements to fish for free so you’ll need to check the regulations.
Similar to the activity backpacks you can get from libraries, you can also get free activities backpacks from the state parks. Check the list to see if your favorite state park is on it. If so, head to the visitor’s center at the park and check out your free activity backpack.
Among other free activities in Colorado state parks, you can learn to camp and learn to fish for free. These classes are offered for families and individuals. You will learn the basics of camping and what kind of things you’ll need. You may be able to rent free camping gear and may even get a discount on camping in the state parks!