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Eldorado Canyon State Park Management Plan
Eldorado Canyon State Park Management Plan

Eldorado Canyon State Park Management Plan

Once finalized, the Eldorado Canyon State Park (ECSP) Management Plan will serve as the guiding document for the park by providing a framework for management of park resources and visitor experience. 

The plan is the result of extensive information gathering and collaboration with stakeholders. 

Public comment on the draft plan was April 26 - May 25, 2021. The final plan will be released in late summer/early fall 2021. 

Please review the following sections of the plan which highlight key plan components.

What information was used to create the draft plan?

Establishing the plan’s purpose and Eldorado Canyon State Park’s vision and goals helped CPW to determine what information was needed and create the planning process. The plan inputs ( information used to craft the draft plan included the Resource Stewardship Plan, and public and partner engagement) are described in Chapter 1.

The resulting Management Plan and its use will lead to results that support the park’s vision and goals.

Existing Conditions: What did CPW hear, learn and confirm?

In addition to the inputs summarized in Chapter 1, Chapters 2-4 detail the park’s resources (natural, cultural, scenic, recreational, facilities and infrastructure) and visitation trends.

Stakeholders (local residents, recreation and conservation groups, park visitors and more) had important but differing views on the increasing visitation to ESCP and the potential impacts to the community, visitor experience and park resources. The ‘perception gaps’ in these differing viewpoints needed to be bridged through listening, data gathering and documenting existing conditions.

Please review the information in Chapters 2-4:

Proposed Management Approach

Chapter 5 explores using Management Zones (designated areas within the park) to create a spatial framework for long-term management of the park. Zone types and boundaries are based on “Desired Future Conditions” (see Chapter 1).

Consider the following questions while reviewing Chapter 5:

  • Beyond the timeframe of this plan, what should the park resources, management focus and visitor experience be into the future?

  • How did CPW use the inputs? What are we going to do? What are indicators of success for plan implementation?

Please review the information in Chapter 5:

Chapter 6 outlines ongoing and new efforts to minimize the impacts of high visitation to neighbors, visitors and staff.

In order to  (1) maintain a quality visitor experience, (2) avoid surpassing CPW’s ability to maintain the high quality resource conditions in the park, and (3) improve working conditions for staff and volunteers, management strategies in the following focus areas are being considered for implementation:

  1. Health, Safety and Staffing

  2. Natural and Cultural Resource Protection

  3. Communication

  4. Access and Parking

  5. Trails and Picnic Area

  6. Other Facilities and Infrastructure

Please review the information in Chapter 6:

Do you want to see the entire draft plan? 

Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch Multi-use Connection

CPW participated in multiagency discussions, a feasibility study and public meetings regarding accommodating bicycles on the trail between Eldorado Canyon State Park and Walker Ranch Open Space. The ‘influences on management’ and ‘management considerations’ described in the plan as well as the findings shared throughout this plan indicate that the threshold for recreational opportunities has been reached in ECSP. 

Specifically, with around half a million visitors a year, park operations cannot support building and maintaining a new segment of trail or exacerbated safety concerns on the congested park road. Even as CPW works toward decreasing and/or dispersing visitation in the coming years we will not add the multi-use connection to ECSP. 

CPW is committed to the long-term sustainability of the natural and cultural resources and positive visitor experiences in Colorado’s State Parks. And, CPW will continue to work with our partners, neighbors and all recreationists to find solutions to the growing demand for recreation opportunities in the state.