Situated in North Park, Colorado, near the border of Wyoming, Walden is the “Moose Viewing Capital of Colorado”. There are a lot of fun outdoor things to do in this remote location, including camping, fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing.
It’s a small town isolated about two hours west of Fort Collins on Highway 14. There are several places to eat and shop in the quaint, historic downtown. Walden is located on a high glacial plain known as North Park. You pass by the detour to town when you head to Steamboat Springs.
Though it’s smaller than neighboring towns, there are views that you can only see when you’re in the humble town of Walden. It’s an ideal destination for leisure and recreational travel. From retirees, children, families, to newly-wed couples, the North Park charm definitely captivates everyone.
Though a small town, it’s a place that still has its old Americana roots, and the ruggedness is a part of its charm. You’d see cattlemen, cowgirls, rangers, and loggers all over town. Farming families are still dominant in these areas, too.
Fishing and Hunting – Surrounded by national forests, Walden is a center for big game hunting throughout the season. Its multiple rivers and reservoirs are also frequented by fishermen throughout the year.
State Forest State Park – The biggest state park in Colorado. There’s great camping, fishing, wildlife viewing, and 4×4 roads. It’s located to the south of Walden near Gould.
Walden Journeys: Day Trips – As part of the cultural heritage program, there are day trips here called “Walden Journeys” where you get to visit the town’s museum, go over iconic buildings in the region, and see breathtaking landscapes.
Wildlife – North Park’s mix of landscapes including wetlands, forests, and mountains are perfect for big game, like moose. Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge is free to enter and a smart place to check for moose around sunset. One-third of the moose in North Park resides in the State Forest State Park.
- State Forest State Park has camping of all kinds, from cabins and pull-through RV sites to dispersed car campsites and backcountry camping.
- Buffalo Pass is the back way to Steamboat Springs located just south of town. Camping is permitted along most of the pass within the Routt National Forest.
- There is a campground and free car camping in Roosevelt National Forest, accessible from the town of Gould, south of Walden on Highway 14. Take County Road 21 in Gould.
- Read about the camping near Walden and Gould, around North Park.
- Delaney Lakes, Lake John, and Walden Reservoir all offer lake fishing close to town. Take County Road 15 west of town and follows signs to the respective lake.
- Cowdrey Reservoir to the north on Highway 125 features solitude and good fishing.
- The Walden Reservoir is only a couple of miles west of downtown Walden.
- State Forest State Park has hiking trails of all lengths.
- Arapahoe National Wildlife Refuge features a beautiful half-mile hike through the meadows and riparian swampland.
- The Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest and Thunder Basin National Grassland are perfect hiking trails here in Walden, CO. There’s also an opportunity to do winter sports in these regions.
Hotels and lodging:
- Read about the best hotels in Walden.
- Moose Creek Cookhouse & Saloon – First opened in 1996, Moose Creek offers an all-day menu and accommodation. They are known for the restaurant’s cowboy vibe. If you’re dining here, make sure to check out their must-have “Burger Barn” menu. They also have a gift shop where you can get a variety of local memorabilia.
Activities near Walden
- Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge (5mi)
- Illinois River
- Michigan River
- Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area
- Never Summer Wilderness Area
- North Platte River
- Platte River Wilderness Area
- Rawah Wilderness Area
- Roosevelt National Forest
- Routt National Forest
- Walden Reservoir
- Teller City (31mi)
- Buffalo Pass (32mi)
- Cache La Poudre Byway
- Cameron Pass (30mi)
- Muddy Pass (34mi)
- Rabbit Ears Pass (37mi)
- State Forest State Park (29mi)
State Wildlife Areas:
- Coalmont (16mi)
- Cowdrey (9mi)
- Fort Collins (98mi)
- Granby (56mi)
- Grand Lake (70mi)
- Gould (21mi)
- Kremmling (61mi)
- Laramie, WY (64mi)
- Rand (21mi)
- Rustic (57mi)
- Steamboat Springs (59mi)
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