Colorado libraries want you to take a walk in the park with free state parks passes.

Colorado libraries are encouraging patrons to take the adventure outside with free passes to Colorado State Parks.

Check Out State Parks is a program that local libraries across the state participate in to help get people out and exploring state parks. The program allows library patrons to check out a special backpack for a visit to a state park. Inside the backpack is a state parks pass, a guidebook to Colorado’s 41 state parks, educational materials, binoculars, activity instructions and guides, fishing information, and more. The backpacks can be kept for seven days and the passes are good for any of Colorado’s State Parks.

Pretty awesome, right?

back pack parks pass
Courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Over 7,500 backpacks were checked out in 2018, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, who has partnered with the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado State Library, and close to 300 local libraries to give this opportunity to library patrons.

Most libraries in the program will have two backpacks with passes to check out, check with your local library branch to see if they are participating. The full list of libraries with backpacks across the state can be found here.

Passes through the backpack program are good for park admission only and do not cover camping fees or license fees. The pass must be hung from the rearview mirror and be easily visible from the outside of the car. Participants are also asked to honor the Leave No Trace outdoor ethics principles observed by the state parks.

Colorado has 41 state parks where visitors can explore the beautiful landscapes of mountains, prairies, rivers, and forests, see wildlife, go geocaching, ski, swim, fish, bike, hike, and more. There is no end to the opportunity to get outside on a new adventure and learn new things about the state we all call home. A yearly state park pass costs $120, and daily entrance fees are about $10 per car. With the backpack being available for seven days, library patrons can visit many parks on one checkout cycle or can spend quality time in a favorite location.

We love the idea of the library helping people get out and explore and are excited to share this program with you!

Did you know about this program through the libraries and Colorado Parks and Wildlife? Let us know your favorite state park to visit in the Centennial State in the comments.