Elevation min. 8,144 ft - max 8,364 ft
Acreage 715 acres.
Fishing Coldwater lake
Recreation Camping, Boating
Facilities Boat Ramp, Restrooms
Restrictions Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds visitors to check current hunting, fishing and land use regulations when planning to visit a State Wildlife Area. Refer to the Recreational Lands Brochure, as well as the Fishing and Hunting Regulation Brochures located on the Regulations Brochures Page. State Wildlife Area visitors can also find rules and regulations information in Chapter 9 Regulations.
Only a few miles from Ft. Garland, Mountain Home Reservoir is another Colorado State Wildlife Area, but no signs saying an SWA permit is needed to camp there so not sure if you need one or not, we have it so we forgot to check. We have also bought land to build on three miles from the lake, we love this area.
There are two sides to camp on, one side has toilets, vault style, but it's more crowded on that side and less room to camp. The other side takes a little drive, but is much more open and has the mountains behind you and the lake in front of you. It gets busy on weekends, but weekdays are pretty quiet.
The water is cold, but you could swim in August if you really want to, not too cold at all. Boats are allowed, and there boat ramps on both sides of the lake from what we could see, didn't inspect the ramps, but know one works because there was a pontoon boat on the lake one day.
The weather changes by the minute it seems, and storms move over the area pretty quickly. If you don't like the weather wait five minutes, it'll change, and I'm not exaggerating. Still mostly nice weather, and normally sunny.
This is a beautiful camping area, again this is a no hook up area so pack in what you need and leave no trace. Try to camp near one of the already made fire pits, makes it easier on you and they discourage building new fire pits. If you don't want a fire then you can camp anywhere you aren't blocking a road.
Truly beautiful place to camp, you can stay 14 days in a 45 day period. RV dump and fill stations are nearby in Ft.Garland, and it's only about thirty minutes to Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Zapata Falls. Smith Reservoir is also nearby and that's another SWA we reviewed, check that one out.
This is a beautiful area, the lake is gorgeous and on the way in we saw a huge herd of elk which was awesome. However not long after we set up some rowdy locals decided to do donuts on the beach in their truck, some playing loud music. Thankfully they left but it wasn’t the peaceful evening we were hoping for. There are two sides of the lake to camp on. One side had pit toilets but it was more crowded with lots of people on ATV’s there are tons of trails you can see where they go all over that side. On the other side of the lake there are no toilets and not as many ATV trails. It’s a great free place to camp but it may not be the quiet peaceful place you’re looking for if the wrong crowd is here at the same time.
Really loved this spot. It was windy and tree coverage was limited but we found an awesome spot for the weekend towards the end of the road. There’s lot to explore on foot and we hit the Great Sand Dunes National Park about 45 minutes away on our last day out here. The water, hiking, breathtaking views, and wide expanse to post up camp was great. Next time will bring a 4 wheeler. PSA: pack it out, it was heartbreakingly prevalent here.
Home Mountain Reservoir, outside of Fort Garland, CO. Its located just off off Highway160 about 4 hours from Denver.
If you are looking for peace and quiet, but a town near by just incase you are forgetful as I usually am, then this is the place for you!
Free place to camp next to the reservoir with fire rimgs provided. Only issue is that other campers forget to pack out what they pack in!!