Representing Colorado’s southwest region in all its rugged natural beauty, Navajo State Park is often called the Centennial State’s Lake Powell. Expansive stretches of water wrap around flat-topped mesas and steep-sided canyons as Navajo Reservoir extends 20 miles south into New Mexico.
Ute and Navajo tribes settled the tranquil area during the 14th century. Today, park visitors fish, boat and swim in the 15,000-acre reservoir. Nearly 150 campsites dot the wooded landscape and mellow temps allow for year-round adventures. Sit quietly for a minute and you’re likely to witness bald eagles perched on high branches and deer wandering campgrounds for berries.
Treat yourself to a glowing orange and pink sunset hike on the scenic Piedra Trail. Climb alongside Navajo Lake from Windsurf Beach to Arboles Point and gaze out over the streaming river. Spot native flora and fauna along the way, including alfalfa, prickly pear cactus and colorful families of birds.
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Photo: Courtesy of Colorado Parks & Wildlife.