Colorado State Parks: Crawford

boating at Crawford State ParkLocated in western Colorado not far from the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is Crawford State Park. The majority of the park area is occupied by Crawford Reservoir, so popular activities include fishing, boating, paddle boarding, sailboarding, water skiing, and swimming. Crawford also offers a variety of on-shore activities, such as camping, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Dogs are welcome in the park except for on the swim beach, and must be on a leash at all times.

Yellow-Headed Blackbird
Yellow-Headed Blackbird. Photo by Michael Seraphin.

Crawford State Park is well-known for its scenic mountain views. Park ecosystems include areas of pinyon-juniper woodlands, sagebrush shrublands, and grasslands, each providing habitat for a variety of wildlife species. Deer and coyote are among the larger animals in the area, while small mammals include rabbits, ground squirrels, and prairie dogs. Crawford is a great place for birding, too, with many species of raptors, songbirds, waterfowl, and shorebirds. Some of the more interesting species that can be seen in the park include Sandhill Cranes, Rocky Mountain Bluebirds, and Yellow-headed Blackbirds. Gunnison Sage-Grouse, a federally threatened species, also inhabit the area.

Want to visit Crawford State Park for free? Check out a parks pass from your local library. Crawford is just one of 41 great State Parks that you can visit with the pass.

 

Crawford State Park

 

All photos courtesy Colorado Parks & Wildlife

Amy Zimmer
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