Take a casual stroll around the lake on the pathway and take in the incredible views you'll only find in southwest Colorado. There’s also plenty of to do in the winter including ice fishing, snowmobiling, sled-dog racing, and cross-country skiing. If you’re really lucky, you might even see some mountain goats lurking around the area. It sits less than a half an hour from both Montrose and Gunnison. Maroon Lake in Aspen Pro Tip: Rocky Mountain National Park and the north/south stretch from Boulder to Fort Collins are two areas with the most lakes in the state. If you’d rather enjoy the lake’s splendor from above the water, head to a lake perfect for boating or fishing. Just under an hour’s drive from Mesa Verde National Park, McPhee is an excellent place to set up shop while visiting southern Colorado’s incredible historical sites. You can even enjoy some right near the water. Steamboat Lake State Park has long been a popular destination thanks to its wide array of year-round activities. Take a right (turn east) onto Highway 62 and drive 18.6 miles to County Road 7, marked Dallas Creek (the road use to be marked East Dallas Creek). To help you navigate our five mountain lakes, we've compiled a guide to boating them: Grand Lake. If you're looking for a peaceful, activity-oriented Colorado vacation in the Denver Region, you can't go wrong with Aurora Reservoir. Fun fact: if you follow all the rules, you can even go scuba-diving at Horsetooth. Twin Lakes, Leadville: "Can you drive directly to twin lakes, I have an..." | Check out 7 answers, plus see 163 reviews, articles, and 132 photos of Twin Lakes, ranked No.4 on Tripadvisor among 53 attractions in … PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK. 10 “Drive-to” Lakes and Reservoirs in Colorado, Short video explains why Colorado's snowpack is so dangerous this year, NORAD tracking Santa Claus during Christmas Eve, "A matter of inches": Firefighters rescue litter of puppies after car crashes into Colorado home, Celebrity's son hospitalized after big fall from Aspen ski lift, Manitou Springs painter's colorful portraits are popping all over town, Man shot early Christmas Eve morning near Ruby Hill Park. The more difficult the trail, the better (should mean less pressure on the lake). Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, Error! Did you know there are over 300 lakes in Grand Mesa National Forest? Resting at an elevation of 9,450 feet, it may come as a surprise that this scenic lake is located just 250 feet from the parking lot. You can't just drive … Here in the Denver area, my backyard is the Rocky Mountains with all the adventure they offer. During the heat of a Colorado summer, it’s important to have a list of nearby lakes handy. 14 Most Swimmable Lakes in Colorado Located just west of Fort Collins, this massive reservoir sits at an elevation of 5,420 feet and offers a cornucopia of outdoor recreation including fishing, boating, camping, swimming, picnicking, and even rock climbing in several locations around the lake. As we approach the last few weeks of the summer season and Labor Day Weekend, you might want to cool-off at some of the best swimmable lakes we have in our beautiful state. The reservoir is surrounded with camp sites, cabins for rent, and RV hookups for you KuKu camper, and includes a list of activities to do, including fishing, hiking, swimming and camp fires with your friends. The 5 best lakes in Colorado. You can also call 1-800-COLORADO … Tweet on Twitter ... You can also take a boat out and fish for rainbow trout or hike the 2.2-mile walking trail that loops around the lake with views of the foothills. To reach the trailhead from the intersection of Highway 550 and the turnoff to Silverton (Highway 110), drive 2 miles north on Highway 550 to County Road 7, located between mile markers 72 and 73. Here in the Denver area, my backyard is the Rocky Mountains with all the adventure they offer. Some of the most popular include sailing, motor-boating, waterskiing, river tubing, fishing, and swimming. It is 20 miles long with 96 miles of shoreline. One of the best lakes in Colorado to live on is Lake Granby. Did you know there are over 300 lakes in Grand Mesa National Forest? You can customize the map before you print! Just be sure to park in the South Mineral parking lot, they have a sign explaining the trail. You’ll find beautiful views from every stretch at Blue Lakes, nestled outside the charming mountain town of Breckenridge, Colorado. Located on the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway, you can drive up to Lost Lake from either Paonia or Crested Butte. Plan to arrive early to avoid crowds or take a short shuttle ride to reach the parking lot for access to Bear Lake. If it’s hot enough to dive into these refreshing waters, take note of the lakes that allow swimming. In two miles CR-7 bears right where it meets CR-7A. Colorado Welcome Centers are open. Are there any under those parameters? Lake Granby . Entrance permits are $9 per vehicle ($18 for a vehicle with a boat trailer) and … Photo Credit: cpw – OutThere Colorado. So pack up your swimsuits, towels, sunscreen, some snacks and beverages and head out to these 14 most swimmable lakes in Colorado! Position your mouse over the map and use your mouse-wheel to zoom in or out. 4. One of the things I love most about Colorado is the vast mountain lakes that speckle the range. Don't knowingly lie about anyone racist or sexually-oriented language. Once you have reached Highway 72 and Brainard Lake Road (you can’t miss the big brown sign off the highway), travel uphill for about 2.5 miles to the fee station. At 10k elevation, the lakes in this northwest Colorado region stay pretty chilly in the summertime, and there’s enough of a variety of lakes that some of them can be reached with ATVs or four-wheel drive, but others are only accessible via hiking, biking, or horseback riding. You’ll need to pay a fee to get to this one. Video and descriptions of some of the best Alpine Lakes in Colorado.Be sure to Subscribe as I have many more best of videos on the way. Get an email notification whenever someone contributes to the discussion. For information on boat registration and Colorado's boatable waters, contact the Colorado State Park system. It provides awesome opportunities for jet skiing, boating and canoeing and other on-the-water activities like fishing during the summer, and ice fishing when the lake freezes over during the winter. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is a nationally recognized leader in conservation, outdoor recreation and wildlife management. This beautiful destination offers visitors pristine waters for fishing, waterskiing, swimming, windsurfing, and sailing. At this high-altitude reservoir, visitors can enjoy a wide range of recreational activities including hiking, picnicking, non-motorized boating, and fishing. The mountainous terrain of Summit County, Colorado offers beautiful lakes and rivers for fishing, sailing, water sports, and floating. Embark on an adventure to find fishing, … Formed by three reservoirs, the Blue Mesa is Colorado’s largest lake measuring an impressive 20 miles long with 96 miles of shoreline. An email has been sent to with a link to confirm list signup. It’s truly awesome to live where I do here in Colorado. A few are out of the way of the main road and require a brisk hike (which is just a bonus in my opinion) while others you can drive right up to in your KuKu camper. You have permission to edit this article. This ‘town’ (and to call it a town is a bit of a stretch) started life as a mining camp fed by steady stagecoach lines plying the trail between Leadville and Aspen. If you're bringing kids along, this is a great lake to visit as it never gets too strenuous. To me, there’s no question: eloping to Colorado is the best. From kayaking to boating to fishing to stand-up paddle-boarding, this gigantic outdoor playground has it all. ... Fort Collins, Colorado 271 contributions 112 helpful votes. You can hike or drive (4WD only) the roughly 2.5 miles to Lower Crystal Lake which rests at 11,959,' then continue on to Upper Crystal, which is nestled 1.9 miles further, in a cirque below three 13,000-foot peaks. We'd love to hear eyewitness each comment to let us know of abusive posts. Blue Lakes. Twin Lakes is a worthy destination in its own right. Both ways take you through some of … No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism Hallelujah! “ There are also hiking trails that are well worth the time to explore, among our favorites are Rock Cut, Lava Cliffs, the trail to the top at the Alpine Visitors Center, Lake Irene, and the Colorado River Trail. The Lake and Surrounding Area Situated between the Gore Range and Williams Fork Mountains in Central Colorado, the reservoir has some pretty impressive dimensions – where a 309-foot-high dam on the Blue River forms the 2,125-acre reservoir. It’s also worth mentioning that there is a $25 fee to enter the park with your vehicle. The town this body of water is named after is now submerged deep under its cold waters. person will not be tolerated. Visitors can drive up to the upper lake just below the dam and explore nearby hiking trails. Not only one of the best lakes in Colorado, Blue Mesa Reservoir is also the largest body of water in Colorado. With the high peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park serving as a backdrop — and regular moose sightings in the shallows — Grand Lake is a wonderful place to set sail on a summer's afternoon. that is degrading to another person. It’s truly awesome to live where I do here in Colorado. Whether you’re from Colorado or planning to visit this summer, here are just a few of our favorite lakes and reservoirs around Colorado that you can practically drive right up to. From Bear Lake, visitors can explore the following nearby hiking trails: Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, and Emerald Lake. You'll enjoy the well-maintained trail that leads to this beautiful series of alpine lakes. It’s a short drive and you’ll soon see the outhouse plus another trailhead, and the road circles around and goes back the way you came. Horsepower limits also apply to various bodies of water, so make sure your motors don’t overpower what’s allowed. Spud Lake requires a quick and easy two mile hike to access. or anything. These scenic drives can take anywhere from two to eight hours and is about 135 miles total. Get driving directions Launch map view. The serene waters, colorful blooms, and beautiful natural setting make the perfect backdrop for a family picnic. Signup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates. Notifications from this discussion will be disabled. From the lake, visitors can drive to the top of Pikes Peak for breathtaking 14,000-foot views and freshly baked donuts from the Summit House. The views of the mountains are gorgeous. Find adventure by cooling off at Horsetooth Reservoir. It's hard to imagine any view more quintessentially Colorado than the one you'll find at Twin Lakes in Leadville. Located off of Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, Bear Lakes makes for a quick pit stop. With much sunshine, now’s a great time to grab your camera, pack a cooler and backpack and take one of our KuKu Vans up to visit some of the most stunning lakes and reservoirs within hours of each other. Dillion Reservoir has so much to offer in terms of outdoor recreation. Twin Lakes in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Photo Credit: bauhaus1000 (iStock). Keep it Clean. Lakes in Colorado State Parks. Steamboat Lake State Park. About 45 minutes north of the town Steam Boat Springs, Steam Boat is hidden jewel and offers campgrounds, cabins and RV parking, as well as snow skiing and snowboarding. From short day hikes close to the city to multi-day backpacking trips deep in Rocky Mountain National Park, these adventures will take you to some of the most beautiful mountain lakes in Colorado. The serene waters, colorful blooms, and beautiful natural setting make the perfect backdrop for a family picnic. However, you don't have to be on the showerline to enjoy this lake. This is where you’ll surrender your hard-earned $11. There are also some great photo opportunities for those looking to chase down some fall colors. What makes it special: Colorado's largest natural lake also competes for Colorado's prettiest. The 41 Colorado State Parks are one of best places to start when looking for boating and other lake activities, check out these locations in the areas you plan to visit: Denver region: • Cherry Creek Reservoir • Staunton Lake. Distance: 1783.5 km; Duration: 14h 27m; What companies run services between Colorado, USA and Cold Lake, AB, Canada? O.K., now that I finally have all that information out of the way, I can tell you about the hike to Duck Lake which is one of the most remote Colorado lakes on this website. As you go all the way to the Upper Ice Lake it becomes rather treacherous just before the end because of how steep and rocky it is. Sign-up for our Free Colorado newsletter. There’s no need for a long hike or camping gear to see these beautiful water destinations in the Centennial State. Many of these lakes are nestled between some of the most incredible mountain scenery you'll ever lay eyes on, making them ideal for golden hour photoshoots. Lake Grandby has two sister lakes: Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Lake. Sneffels and its neighboring peaks and ridgelines, almost all over 13,000-ft. Get a taste of the beach and the mountains in one beautiful place – Grand Lake, the largest and deepest natural lake in Colorado with a total capacity of 68,600 acre-feet of water. Head west on Hwy 145 12.7 miles to where it dead ends at Highway 62 in Placerville. Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes are a trio of gorgeous lakes accessible via Bear Lake Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. Probably one of Colorado’s most notable lakes for its mirror waters and the Maroon Bell peaks that rise majestically in the background, Crater Lake is a coveted scenic destination by hikers, outdoor enthusiasts and photographers from all over the world, and for good reason. This is a popular destination for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, camping, picnicking, and hiking. The drive is quite scenic with views dominated by 14,150-ft. Mt. If you only have a weekend to escape there are options to keep busy. It’s also worth mentioning that the town of Grand Lake is home to the less-crowded, western entrance into Rocky Mountain National Park. Located just west of Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake offers swimming, sailing, fishing, paddleboarding, and relaxing opportunities on the sandy shores and alpine lake waters. These two glacial lakes reflect some of the highest mountains in the state. You can also rent boats like canoes, kayaks and fishing boats in Lake City. This will require a brisk hike from Monarch trail head where you will park. If you’re itching to get away from your campsite for a bit you can drive up Pikes Peak — one of Colorado’s most famous 14ers. Bear Lake located in Rocky Mountain National Park. With over 4,600 surface acres of water, 60 miles of shoreline, and nearly 10,000 acres of land, visitors can enjoy endless summer activities. Be Truthful. Visitors can enjoy fishing, boating, camping, and cliff diving. Driving Directions. Can I drive from Colorado to Cold Lake? Visitors can fish for rainbow trout in the mountain lakes of the area, kayak the man-made water park of the Blue River, or sail the “world class” Lake Dillon Reservoir. The agency manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado's wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs. If you visit on a hot day, air drying on a rock slab is a reasonable option. Northwest region: Success! If you don’t have time to drive the entire Top of the Rockies route, this stretch of Hwy 82 from Twin Lakes through Aspen’s back gate will do just fine. Colorado is crowded so visit these 15 destinations that you can reach in under 9 hours. These brilliant blue alpine lakes near Silverton are considered to be some of Colorado’s most beautiful. Many of these lakes are nestled between some of the most incredible mountain scenery you'll ever lay eyes on, making them ideal for golden hour photoshoots. Share on Facebook. From the blanket of gorgeous aspen trees and pines that surround the lake to the plentiful wildlife you’ll see, such as moose, fox, elk and bears, you too will see why its beauty draws so many seekers to its banks. Make the short yet incredible drive to Crystal Creek Reservoir, located at the foot of Pikes Peak. Lost Lake Elaine Elliott. There was an error processing your request. In the Ten Mile Range just south of Breckenridge are the glorious Crystal Lakes. The Blue Mesa Reservoir. Together the three lakes offer over 150 miles of coastline—forty of them around Lake Grandby alone. Discover adventure on the waters of Pueblo Reservoir. To stay on top of the latest conditions, we recommend keeping your plans fluid, researching county and destination websites before and as you travel, and becoming familiar with reservation cancellation policies. Soak in the scenery at these two naturally formed glacial lakes while enjoying the surrounding beauty. The following is a partial alphabetical list of lakes and reservoirs in the U.S. State of Colorado. This scenic drive takes you along the historic railroad and stagecoach routes where the most prominent, populated mining towns were located: Florissant, Victor, Canon City, Florence and nearby Cripple Creek. If you’re wanting to do some fishing, the lake is stocked with trout. Don't Threaten. There’s also plenty of camping opportunities (reservation only), and some great year-round mountain biking and hiking trails. You’ll find beautiful views from every stretch at Blue Lakes, nestled outside the charming mountain town of Breckenridge, Colorado. It takes approximately 24h 1m to drive from Colorado to Cold Lake. Although manmade and less secluded, if you’re looking for a great place to have all your friends gather for a weekend of fun, Green Mountain Reservoir is the place to be. The only downside is they don’t have electricity, so go easy on your electronics. Whether you’re approaching from the west or the east, the drive alone to Brainard is well worth it. And of course, they have campgrounds that will accommodate your KuKu camper and offers water, trash removal, vault toilets, picnic tables, grills and fire grates. Search 10 Best Lakes in Colorado. But at only 9,786 feet in elevation, Lost Lake will have the warmest water compared to the other lakes previously listed. Well, technically you can, and should, swim in all of these lakes. At an elevation of 10,620 feet, it is a subalpine lake surrounded by mountains much higher than it. Turn right onto CR-7. It's a little further from Durango (30 miles away) but it has multiple access spots for fishing, paddleboarding or even a lakeside picnic. 7. Looking for a good trail ride that has a lake I can throw a line in and hopefully have some good luck! From here, separate valleys lead to Upper Ice Lake and Island Lake. Front Range region: • Barr Lake • Boyd Lake • St. Vrain. Whatever adventure you prefer, you’ll find it waiting for you at Green Mountain Reservoir. The hike is a few miles, so be sure to bring bottled water and snacks. The Peak to Peak Highway is breathtaking. Here are five of our favorite lakes that you don’t want to miss. Visitors can drive up to the upper lake just below the dam and explore nearby hiking trails. Be Nice. Located near Lake County, Colorado – Twin Lakes offers a peaceful retreat for adventure seekers. All this beauty comes at a physical excursion cost, however. News, travel inspiration, podcasts, & more. 10 Best Lakes in Colorado - Tripping.com Anytime. The area is especially sublime in July and August when the wildflowers are at their peak. If you do come to Colorado carrying a boat, be sure it adheres to all state licensing before your hull touches water. The third largest body of water in Colorado, Lake Granby features 40 miles of shoreline, and it's next to Grand Lake, giving shoppers the choice of two great lakes for their vacation homes. Most of the larger lakes in Colorado are either reservoirs or dam-enhanced natural lakes. As you might imagine, the snow-melt water is too cold to swim in, but you'll find that simply hiking near them is thrill enough. One of the things I love most about Colorado is the vast mountain lakes that speckle the range. The Grand Mesa Lakes. From the trailhead, follow the trail past Lower Ice Lake, which is a spectacular destination in itself. Here’s our list of the best lakes in Colorado to visit: Located right outside of Lake City Colorado, the lake looks like a layer of glass reflecting the bright colors of the surrounding mountains. Drive west on West Colorado Avenue to Highway 145. The hike to Ice Lakes begins from the South Mineral Campground in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. Be Proactive. As you take in the spectacular scenery, be sure to look to your left for stunning views of Quandary Peak, a popular Colorado 14er for first-timers. Driving directions from Ouray: It takes 45-50 minutes to drive the 24 miles from Ouray to the Blue Lakes trailhead. When you visit, you can take advantage of all that the water has to offer by renting a kayak, paddleboard, or signing up for a guided boat tour. accounts, the history behind an article. At 10k elevation, the lakes in this northwest Colorado region stay pretty chilly in the summertime, and there’s enough of a variety of lakes that some of them can be reached with ATVs or four-wheel drive, but others are only accessible via hiking, biking, or horseback riding. Use the 'Report' link on You can actually swim in this water! What, in your opinion, are the best lakes for fishing that are with in 2 hours of Denver, and require 4 wheel drive to get to? On a clear day, the lake is like mirrored glass, and you can see 12,129-foot Notchtop Mountain reflected in the shallow basin. Yes, the driving distance between Colorado to Cold Lake is 2056 km. Choose one, or hit both in a single extended … Just two hours west of Denver and located south of Rocky Mountain National Park, the lake is surrounded by lush green meadows, mountain terrain and wildlife. Horsetooth Reservoir, Photo Credit: Wesley Morley (iStock). Share with Us. Threats of harming another Eloping in Colorado gives you access to epic views of 15 mountain ranges, 54 peaks over 10,000 feet, alpine lakes, meadows of wildflowers, and a vast variation of gorgeous backdrops. Click the map and drag to move the map around. This 820-acre city-owned ... Blue Mesa Reservoir: Also known as: Blue Mesa Lake Beautiful mesas, deep canyons, and steep rocky cliffs surround Blue Mesa Reservoir, the second largest lake entirely in Colorado. But it is worth it. 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