Posted on 8 Comments

Road Trip Must-Stop: St. Vrain State Park (Colorado)

Rocky Mountain Sunset Reflection in Coot Pond in St. Vrain State Park, Colorado

St. Vrain State Park invites you off the highway for a refreshing break along the river, with fishing ponds, big birds, short trails, and views of the Rocky Mountains – and incredible sunsets if you time it right.

This nature roadside attraction is conveniently, located right along I-25 between Denver and Ft. Collins, Colorado. Or if you’re going the distance between Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Buffalo, Wyoming.

St. Vrain State Park Overview

St. Vrain State Park is a wonderful place to stop over for a lunch break and a stroll or an overnight stay. Since it’s less than an hour north of Denver, it’s the perfect place to spend the night before or after you explore the city on your #vanlife / RV / camping road trip. You might enjoy the fishing, birding, sunset viewing, and the proximity to both the Rocky Mountains and the grasslands of Eastern Colorado so much, you’ll keep staying.

St Vrain State Park, Colorado

Of course, if you live in the area, St. Vrain State Park serves as a very easy access for fishing, birding, wildlife spotting, and walking among the wildflowers. And in the winter, St. Vrain State Park is supposed to be great for ice fishing.

Whiskey Dog in St. Vrain River

The Colorado state park was named after the St. Vrain River, which flows out of a curvy canyon (worth checking out) through the Rock Mountain Foothills and then along the north side of the park. However, the river is not the main attraction and not even that accessible from within the park. The over 150 acres of water surface, which make up almost a third of the park, are split among several ponds and the reservoir. Not sure why the name of the park was changed at some point from Barbour Ponds to St. Vrain.

Because the park has so many RV-friendly camping spots and is right off the interstate, in a quick drive-by glance, it might just look like an RV Park. But don’t be fooled. This Colorado State Park is very worth a visit and a great opportunity for you to discover all the nature and wildlife and relaxation you can discover along a highway and amidst developed land.

The ponds serve as a popular fishing destination since they get stocked and the Colorado Parks Department even provides a convenient spreadsheet listing what fish can be found in which St. Vrain pond. Of course, with so many fish, it’s also a popular destination for large birds, like cormorants, egrets, white pelicans, blue herons, and also migrating waterfowls and birds of prey, including bald eagles. Oh, and all the ponds are named after birds, which delights every bird nerd’s heart.

Two cormorants on old logs in pond, Colorado

St. Vrain State Park Map

Hours, Fees, Location, Contact and other FAQs


St. Vrain State Park is always open.


Daily vehicle pass: $9

Annual Colorado State Park Pass: $80 (as of May 2021)

Camping charges are in addition to a daily park fee and are currently (5/2021) $36 for an electric hook-up campsite or $41 for a full hook-up campsite.

View through the trees of Pelican Pond in St Vrain State Park

Location, Contact, Website

To get to the park from I-25 take Exit 240 (to CO 119 West).

3785 Weld County Road 24 1/2 – Firestone, CO 80504
Phone: 303-678-9402

Official park website and Facebook page


The park offers 87 campsites. You can reserve camping spots on the Reserve America page for the park.

dog splashing in the St. Vrain River in Colorado

Additional Visitor Information

Pets are allowed in the park and on the trails around the ponds.

Fishing license is required and can be picked up at entrance station.

For Statewide Colorado COVID-19 updates and guidance for recreating throughout the state, please visit Colorado’s Covid-19 page.

More Photos from St. Vrain State Park

wild sunflower with skipper or moth in Colorado
Bee on yellow wildflower shrub in Colorado foothills
tall tree and trail around pond in St Vrain State Park, Colorado
Rocky Mountains and foothills seen from St Vrain State Park, Colorado
St Vrain State Park, Colorado
low white wildflower with yellow, thistle, Colorado foothills
abandoned farm house, Colorado, ghost farm
cormorant on pond with Rocky Mountains backdrop in St Vrain State Park, Colorado
Twilight dusk sunset and Rocky Mountains reflection in Saint Vrain State Park Pond
Twilight dusk sunset and Rocky Mountains reflection in Saint Vrain State Park Pond

St. Vrain Sunset Video

Luci shot this time-lapse video for her “In A Colorado MinuteMoving Postcard video series some time ago – but sunsets are timeless, right?

Nearby Attractions

Horsetooth Reservoir
The beautiful Horsetooth Reservoir, just west of Fort Collins, is the perfect Colorado getaway: swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, biking, wildflowers, wildlife, stunning sunsets and lots of places for secluded picnics…

Lory State Park
Colorado State Park rising from the western shore of Horsetooth Reservoir and featuring lots of trails, including to the peak of Arthur’s Rock.

Pawnee National Grassland and Pawnee Buttes
When you turn your back on the Rocky Mountains in the west and head east, you suddenly find yourself in a completely different landscape: the Pawnee Grassland – a section of the Great Plains that borders Wyoming and Nebraska.

Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park’s 415 square miles encompass and protect spectacular mountain environments.

Other Colorado Guides

See It To Believe It: Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado)

(Literally) Awesome: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Colorado)

Much More Than Just a National Park: Mesa Verde (Colorado)

Royal Gorge Bridge and Park (Colorado) + VIDEO

If the Gods Had Built a Beer Garden: Garden of the Gods (Colorado)

America’s Mountain: Pikes Peak (Colorado)

St. Vrain State Park, road trip must-stop in Colorado along I-25 north of Denver

All photos and videos in this post were created by Luci Westphal.

Let’s Inspire Each Other

Have you been to St. Vrain State Park – or Denver or Ft. Collins or the Rocky Mountains? Want to share stories or tips? Do you have other must-stop places along highways to recommend?

Please leave a comment below – inspired by these questions or whatever you’d like to share…

8 thoughts on “Road Trip Must-Stop: St. Vrain State Park (Colorado)

  1. I love, love, love the photos!! Especially the flowers. This looks like such a beautiful place to visit!!

  2. I have never been to Colorado, but I would love to take a road trip out west and explore some of these places.

  3. Wow this place looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing, I would love to visit one day.

  4. Colorado is on my bucket list mainly for the white water rafting but I would lover to visit St Vrain State Park as well while I am there, looks like such an amazing place

  5. How scenic and beautiful! I’ve never been to Colorado but it looks like a gorgeous state.

  6. I love hearing about new places. Definitely want to visit here soon.

  7. I’ve heard Colorado is so beautiful! I hope we can take a road trip there one day.

  8. This place looks amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. I live far away from USA but through your pictures I feel that you took me into an adventure. Loved it!

Leave a reply...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.