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Mountain Biking: Colorado > Rio Grande National Forest > Divide Ranger District

Quick Facts

Rio Grande Reservoir

Elevation: 9,400 Feet (2930.2 Meters)
Road Number: 520
Size: 1,196 Acres
Usage: Very Heavy more than 1500 users per season
Vehicle Accessibility: Passenger Vehicle

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Rio Grande Reservoir Sedimentation - 8.60
Copyright: Unknown
Rio Grande Reservoir Sedimentation - 8.60
Rio Grande Reservoir is a scenic high mountain reservoir with access to wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities. The earth boat ramp has a parking lot and toilet. There are four campgrounds serving the area and Ute Creek Trailhead on the northeastern side. Many trails lead from the area and a jeep road with a historical site is also nearby.

The reservoir is for day use only; no camping is allowed at the boat ramp or picnic area. The earth boat ramp has a parking lot and toilet. The picnic ground is 1/2 mile east of the ramp, where there is parking, a toilet, tables and fireplaces. The reservoir is suitable for most sizes of boats and motors. The water level can fluctuate year to year depending on winter snowfall.

Directions from Creede: Travel southwest on Colorado Highway 149 for 20.1 miles, to the intersection of Colorado Highway 149 and Forest Road 520 (Rio Grande Reservoir Road), then 13.1 miles west on Road 520. The last 18 miles of the road are gravel and are rough and narrow in places, but the road is suitable for passenger cars, RV's and trailers.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: June through October (NOTE: Road beyond Road Canyon Reservoir is usually gated and locked Winter and Spring.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: Samuel Hutchens (Fort Worth, TX)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: Very scenic. Road was pretty rough getting up there. Water was a little low because they had let some out into the Rio Grande River. We caught 4 fish in about 2 1/2 - 3 hours. 2 rainbow 1 brown and 1 speckled.
Conditions: It was sunny during midday. Windy. And, again, a little low. The beach was a tad bit muddy.
Water Availability: None.
Recommended Clothing: Jackets and sunscreen.
Suggested Accessories: none.

Filed By: Samuel Hutchens (Fort Worth, TX)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Boating Suitable for most sizes of boats and motors
ICON Boat Launching Earth boat ramp just west of the picnic area
ICON Camping There are four campgrounds in the area
ICON History Stage Station Flat
ICON Cold Water Fishing Rio Grand Reservoir; Rio Grande River, Squaw Creek, Weminuche Creek, Ute Creek, and Lost Trail Creek nearby
ICON Four-Wheel Driving Forest Roads 931 and 533
ICON Hiking & Walking Numerous trails nearby
ICON Horseback Riding Stock unloading and trailer parking is in two places at east of reservoir adjacent to Forest Road 520
ICON Lakes & Reservoirs Rio Grande Reservoir
ICON Mountain Biking Forest Road 533 and 931
ICON ATV Riding Forest Road 533
ICON Motorcycle Riding Forest Road 533 or 931 (if licensed)
ICON Resort & Commercial Services Thirty Mile Resort, Sky Hi Ranch, little Squaw Resort and Lost Trail Guest Ranch
ICON Picnicking Reservoir Picnic Ground

Related Activities
Continental Divide - Knife Edge to Weminuche Pass - Opportunities for many beautiful panoramic views exist along this segment of the Continental Divide Trail. Fishermen will find some short side trips can be made to Trout, Williams, and Squaw Lakes.

Continental Divide - Weminuche Pass to Hunchback P - Many vacation adventures await visitors to this segment of the Continental Divide Trail. The raw beauty and inspiring views in this area will long be etched in the visitor's memories.

Fern Creek Trail - The Fern Creek Trail is primarily used for access to the popular Ruby Lake Area. Beyond the Ruby Lake Area toward Little Squaw Creek and Big Squaw Creek is often used very lightly in the summer months.

Lost Trail Campground - The campground is located 38.2 miles southwest of Creede on Forest Road 520. There are numerous attractions to tempt the camper.

Rio Grande Reservoir Road 520 Scenic Drive - Beautiful mountain scenery and numerous recreation facilities are found along the Rio Grande Reservoir Road #520.

Rio Grande River - The Rio Grande is a popular rafting area. Because of shallow water and many boulders, the river is better suited for rafting than canoeing and kayaking

Road Canyon Reservoir - This is a scenic high mountain reservoir that has good fishing and is suitable for all but large boats and motors.

Silver Thread National Scenic Byway - This scenic highway passes through Creede and the Upper Rio Grande Valley and contains some of the most magnificent scenery and colorful history in the Sate of Colorado.

Squaw Creek Trail - The trail primarily parallels Squaw Creek from Thirty Mile Campground to the Continental Divide. Good fishing is possible along Squaw Creek and nice camping areas are easy to find along the trail.

Ute Creek Trail - This trail is the major access route into the vast Ute Basin Area. Four major fishable lakes sit in the beautiful basin. The Ute Trail is a popular route with Weminuche Wilderness visitors.

Ute Creek Trailhead - The Trailhead Bulletin Board provides a district map as well as Weminuche Wilderness maps and information and trail registration forms.

Weminuche Creek Trail - The Weminuche Trail provides quick and easy access to the Continental Divide. From Thirty Mile Campground, the trail allows a hiker to be at Weminuche Pass after an easy 4 hour trip.

West Lost Trail Creek - Beautiful views of Pole Mountain and vast panoramic views are possible once a hiker begins approaching the Continental Divide. This trail provides the shortest access to Cataract Lake from the Rio Grande River drainage.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Divide Ranger Station, 13308 West US Highway 160, P.O. Box 40 , Del Norte, CO, 81132, Phone: 719-657-3321, TTY: 719-657-6038


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