Colorado Won’t Seem So Landlocked Anymore
As temperatures rise, we found ways for you to paddle, fish, swim and more in Colorado’s best kept secret. Our tour will cover areas all over Park County, including reservoirs, lakes and rivers.
Hitting the Northeast from Denver
Hop in the car and head southwest on Highway 285, and you’ll find yourself in the Northeast corner of Park County.
Stop #1: The Town of Bailey offers multiple fishing options. McGraw Park has public fishing access, and if you’re looking for a private guided experience with great lodging, check out nearby Lynwood Park.
Stop #2: Headed further west on Highway 285, you’ll come to another great fishing area, Boxwood Gulch. Reservations, guides and more are required for this area on the North Fork of the South Platte River. Find out more.
Stop #3: Just north of Jefferson lies Jefferson Lake, thought to be one of the deepest lakes in CO. Fish from the shore for brown trout and cutthroat trout, or take a hike on the Jefferson Lake Trail for a new perspective on the bright blue water.
The GREAT Northwest
You just visited the Northeast, now it’s time to head west on Highway 285, welcome to the Northwest portion of Park County. Known for its high elevation and historic sites, you’ll want to explore the local towns as much as the water!
Stop #1: Fairplay Beach Recreation Area is a great spot to have a picnic by the water and even cast a line!
Stop #2: If you’re looking for public stream access to brown trout and more, check out the Alma State Wildlife Area.
Stop #3: A small detour north of Alma sits Montgomery Reservoir, well worth a visit! Although no boating or swimming is allowed, you’ll be able to hike and fish in this beautiful and historic area.
The Outer Reaches of the Southwest
Time to head south from Alma. Take Highway 9 to Highway 285 south towards Antero Junction. Park County’s Southwest corner features bold mountain backdrops and many areas to dip your toes in the water.
Stop #1: Paddlers and anglers rejoice! Antero Reservoir is a vast and beautiful reservoir that can accomodate boats (including motor boats) and is a hot spot for large trout. The lake is fairly shallow, which also means it’s warmer than surrounding reservoirs.
Stop #2: Heading West on Highway 24, you’ll enter Badger Basin State Wildlife Area near the Town of Hartsel. Public access to the middle fork of the South Platte River makes these Gold Medal waters a must-visit on your trek west!
Swinging Back Around Through the Southeast
The mecca of all things water lies in the Southeast corner of Park County. Whether you like to paddle, fish or simply take in stunning views of water and mountains, you’ll be amazed by many of these destinations.
Stop #1: Both paddlers and anglers can get the best of the best at Spinney Reservoir. Fish from the shoreline or by boat, paddle the vast shorelines via kayak, canoe or stand up paddleboard and take in the wild scenery.
Stop #2: If you want to catch a big fish, a visit to Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area should be your top priority. Known as the “Dream Stream”, its location just south of Spinney Reservoir is the perfect habitat for brown trout, rainbows and cutbows.
Stop #3: If paddling is more your style, Eleven Mile Reservoir is the place to be! Stand Up Paddleboard or kayak the endless shores, or simply sit on the water and soak up the sun. Its size will make you feel like you’re on an ocean within Colorado. In addition, there is great camping right on the shoreline, so you’ll barely have to leave the water. For fishing, head up Eleven Mile Canyon.
Stop #4: As you wrap up your water tour, head north after Lake George on Highway 77 to Tarryall Reservoir State Wildlife Area. On the foothills of the Lost Creek Wilderness, you’ll have incredible views and impressive catches!