Outdoor enthusiasts flock to the Blue Mesa Reservoir to experience the range of recreational opportunities available. From camping, hiking and horseback riding to hunting, boating, and fishing, the Reservoir hosts several outdoor recreational activities inaccessible in other parts of the state.
Camping—Blue Mesa contains eight developed campgrounds, two of which are designed specifically for groups. They range from the 160-site Elk Creek on the main body of the lake to smaller, more remote sites, such as Ponderosa and Gateview, which are located on the arms of the lake. Though several sites can accommodate larger RV’s, only Elk Creek offers electrical hook-ups. If you plan to boat, you can camp overnight on the southern shore of the Cebolla and Iola Basins for no charge—as long as campsites are not within a half-mile of any developed area, bridge, maintained public road, or other boat-in/backcountry campsite.
Boating—Blue Mesa Reservoir has marinas at Elk Creek and Lake Fork—the perfect place to store, launch, and dock your boat. Both marinas are accessible by U.S. 50. Additionally, watercrafts can be launched from the Ponderosa and Stevens Creek campgrounds.
Hiking—Like much of Colorado, the area surrounding Blue Mesa Reservoir is full of hiking, climbing, and walking opportunities. The Dillon Pinnacles Trail is perfect for beginner and intermediate hikers, comprising only four miles and 600 feet of elevation gain. Those looking for a more strenuous hike will love Hermit’s Rest, a 6-mile switchback trail with over 1800 feet of elevation gain and very little shade.
Water Recreation—The Reservoir’s size and depth makes it a perfect spot for windsurfing and waterskiing. Not in the mood for that much action? The Reservoir’s nearly 100 miles of shoreline provides many opportunities for swimming. Though much of the shore comprises rocky cliffs and overhands, several sand beaches are scattered throughout the area.
Skiing—Winter visitors can enjoy everything from snowshoeing to backpacking within the Blue Mesa Reservoir recreation area. However, stepping just outside its boarders will put you right in the middle of Colorado Ski Country. From Crested Butte Mountain Resort to Rockey River Resort, skiers and riders will find everything they need. Whether you plan to rent, own your equipment, or live locally, this is a haven for winter sports lovers.