Chatfield State Park is a sprawling park located just outside the Denver, CO metro area in Littleton. In August 1967, with a project budget of 85 million dollars, Chatfield began with the development of the recreational area of 5600 acres and in 1974 the State Parks of Colorado began a 25-year lease to manage the area. The dam and reservoir with recreation area opened to visitors in 1975.
The beautifully maintained natural landscape offers opportunities for hikers, fishermen, boaters, campers and those simply wanting a quiet day to picnic. It is the perfect hot spot for dog lovers with an off-leash dog walking area and if you like to swim there is a summer-time swim beach available. The day rate is $8 or you can take advantage of an annual plan for $70 and visit all year long.
Chatfield is open year-round and operates from 5 am – 10 pm. If you are traveling in or love to camp, there are 197 sites available and you are allowed to camp a maximum of 14 days out of 45. They have motorcoach parking and wifi available for convenience which makes for an ideal getaway without being completely disconnected from everything.
Some of the most popular activities for nature enthusiasts include bird watching, nature trails, as well as a popular nature interpretive trail. Many people are happily surprised by the rolling foothills, abundance of wildlife and large scale reservoir considering Chatfield is located so close to Denver. On-site is the Audubon Society of Greater Denver with year-round educational programs. Mammals that you could see on your visit range from; Whitetail and Mule deer, elk, Bald eagles, coyote, Red Fox, Cottontail rabbits, Prairie dogs, and bear. If bird watching is your favorite pass time, there are over two hundred twelve bird species to see as well as the Bald Eagle, White Pelican and elusive Burrowing Owl which may be observed either as migrants, winter, or summer residents.
Two hundred twelve bird species frequent Chatfield,
If you love water sports you have tons of options including, jet skiing, canoeing, kayaking and rafting, fishing, boating, paddleboarding and swimming during warmer months. Also, a unique consideration is the floating restaurant and a marina. If fishing is your pleasure, Chatfield remains the perfect spot to catch trout and bass plus you’ll find walleye, channel catfish, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, sunfish and carp.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife periodically stocks the lake with rainbow trout and other fish.
For the adventurer, Chatfield also offers cycling on the bike trails and tons of terrific hiking opportunities where visitors can explore and revel in the natural beauty while escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. There are 26 miles of trails available to explore. For the equestrian, there are 24 miles of horseback riding trails, day and overnight corrals for horses, unloading ramps and if you are not bringing your own, horses may be rented at the Chatfield Livery.
Chatfield has another fun option for model airplane enthusiasts and provides paved runways, frequency posts and field regulations for radio-controlled aircraft in an area south of the campgrounds. There are plenty of family and exploration options for those who love nature education. Chatfield offers a full range of quality learning opportunities and ranger-led programs for families or individuals. They also offer regularly scheduled hikes and a fun campfire program from Memorial Day to Labor Day at the Swim Beach and Campground Amphitheater. Chatfield is without a doubt a favorite spot for nature lovers and those wanting to enjoy the beauty of nature not far from the city.