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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The park offers 87 campsites. You can reserve camping spots on the Reserve America page for the park.
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
St. Vrain Sunset Video
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…
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
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…