Chatfield State Park

Denver Metro Area, Colorado

Start Exploring
Chatfield State Park

Share:

Advertisement
  • Perimeter trail network at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Hobie airfield at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Group picnic area and horseshoes at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Heronry group picnic area at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Bicyclist at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Gravel Ponds at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Horseback riders at the Gravel Ponds at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Gravel Ponds at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Massey Draw Day Use Picnic Area, Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • View of North Boat Ramp and Chatfield Reservoir from the dam.- Chatfield State Park
  • Off-leash dog area at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Off-leash dog area at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Off-leash dog area along the South Platte River at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Fox Run group picnic area at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Horse Stables at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Horse Stables at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Horse Stables at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Marina (private) on Chatfield Reservoir, Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • South boat ramp and marina at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Beach (swimming prohibited) adjacent to the south boat ramp.- Chatfield State Park
  • Chatfield State Park Campground.- Chatfield State Park
  • Typical group site at Chatfield State Park Campground.- Chatfield State Park
  • Playground at Chatfield State Park Campground.- Chatfield State Park
  • Chatfield Reservoir Swim Beach.- Chatfield State Park
  • Picnic area at Chatfield Reservoir Swim Beach.- Chatfield State Park
  • Stand-up paddleboarder on the Gravel Ponds at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • South Platte River at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Discovery Pavilion and Audubon Center at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Discovery Pavilion and Audubon Center at Chatfield State Park.- Chatfield State Park
  • Chatfield wetlands near the Discovery Pavilion and Audubon Center.- Chatfield State Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Large campground with group sites. Public boat access. Swim beaches. Extensive trail network.
Cons: 
Marina is private. Swimming allowed in limited areas.
Advertisement
Region:
Denver Metro Area, CO
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

In the early 1870s, Civil War Lieutenant Isaac W. Chatfield purchased a 720-acre swath of land at the confluence of Plum Creek and the South Platte River. Over the next 20 years he added modest developments and farmed the land, and when he left, not much remained save for his namesake, which would later be used for the dam and the reservoir.

Nearly 100 years later, just after the dam’s completion, Chatfield State Park was officially sanctioned by Colorado State Parks and Recreation Association. Today it’s a bustling hub of recreation, and during the summer months, it’s unusual to see the reservoir without stand-up paddlers, waterskiers, swimmers, fishermen, and people enjoying the beach. Colorado Parks and Wildlife periodically stocks Chatfield Reservoir with rainbow trout and several other species of fish, and it’s renowned as some of the best lake trout fishing in the state. Additionally, anglers can hook into walleye, bass, perch, crappie, and catfish. Be sure to purchase a license from the park office before you head out.

The miles of trail that wind through the huge park are both paved and non-paved, and they provide ample opportunity for road and mountain biking, running, hiking, and after the first snowfall, cross-country skiing. Additionally, the park draws birdwatchers year round, and many don their ice skates and take to the frozen reservoir when the temperatures drop in January and February. 

Chatfield State Park Campground boasts nearly 200 campsites, and 10 of them are reservable group sites. The campground is packed full of amenities—flush toilets, hot showers, laundry, centrally located water, firewood, and a scat machine are available for all campsites. Note that fire bans are often in effect during the high season, and it’s highly frowned upon to bring firewood from out of state (it notoriously spreads insect pests and can carry other diseases that local flora and fauna are unequipped to combat). Dogs are allowed, and the park has a 69-acre off-leash dog park that includes several small ponds and miles of trail. There’s a small $2 daily self-serve fee to use the park, and annual passes are also available.

If you’re within the Denver metro area, reservations can be made by calling Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 303.470,1144; if  you are outside the area, call 1.800.678.2267.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(44 within a 30 mile radius)

Advertisement
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
2 Members
Who's Done It
11 Members
Submission by
Contributor
206 Adventures Explored
183 Adventures Published
Team
1260 Adventures Explored
1258 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info