"Cottonwood Canyon State Park" Franktown by caffeine_induced78

Franktown Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 20 photos

Cottonwood Canyon State Park in Colorado is a fairly little known gem of a park even by Denverites. It is along the Palmer divide that seperates the Platte river and Arkansas river watersheds. This means that it is at about 2000 meters in elevation - although more on the plains than the Rockies. This is about 400 meters higher than the elevation of Denver. Notice when visiting that it appears to be several different ecosystems converging. You have a little bit of desert, plains, and mountain forests mixed together within the park.

One must see is the old Cottonwood Dam. This Dam was constructed in 1890 and failed in 1933 - unleashing a torrent towards Denver. To reach the park take Leetsdale rd. southeast from Denver. This road turns into Parker Road without making a turn. After about 10 miles on Parker Rd. you pass through the town of Parker. Then the road turns into Colorado hwy. 86 through the town of Franktown and finally 5 miles later - make a right turn into Cottonwood Canyons State Park. Entrance fees are $5.00 per vehicle - payable only in cash or check.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Wonderful little place just 30 miles South of Denver
  • Cons:several washed out bridges mean you may get wet
  • Last visit to Franktown: Oct 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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