Plan your next trip here!! I grew up a few miles away. it has always been great, it is better now. The campgrounds are spread all throughout the lake which reaches from Northern New Mexico into Colorado.
The Marina is newly remodeled and expansive. There are bass fishing tournaments, every type of boat rental, lake houses, a fishing area for kids, and much more.
The fishing at this lake and the San Juan river are world renowned. The river has a few guided tour companies, but Abe’s is the best. They have a store, gas, restaurant, and hotel.
The area is great whether you are in CO or NM. Durango, CO is a short drive away on the edge of the mountains. Ignacio houses a Casino and hotel nearby as well.
We prefer to disperse camp along the North Shore of the lake, basically directly North, across the lake from the marina, in the small coves that have 4×4 and dirt road access. Dispersed camping allowed all around the lake with certain restrictions - need to check local info online for more info. No water. No toilets. No trash. And do the right thing folks. Pack it in, pack it out. Portaloo and deposits included.
Getting to the lake from the North is a very long, sometimes confusing and difficult, maze of 4x4 and dirt access roads for Natural Gas wells. If it rains, especially a good amount, the roads can be impassable. Huge ruts can form and high clearance necessary on some routes. But….
Once you get to the lake, find your own paradise. So many places to choose from. Roads all over in loops, some can get into sand- again caution. Do not get stuck. You are basically secluded and out on your own. Some folks know the area, had times with multiple neighbors. Also had days with 0.
Water is usually beautiful. Great temps. Love to fish and SUP. Much success and stories from both.
Winds can be high, strong, and ferocious. Beware. Keep an eye on clouds and weather forecast. Use natural wind breaks instead of setting up right next to lake-
Trails can be fun for mountain biking and exploring. Or 4x4 and off roading. Razors, side by sides, quads, anything fun will be useful. Jet skis, boats, water floating devices. Also, bring GPS. Phone service can be spotty.
Remember your dispersed camping. Miles from town, help, useful things may be hours away. Make sure to over pack if anything. Be kind to one another while there. And please, most importantly - dont trash these areas. Noone wants to see leftover junk at such a beautiful place.
A beautiful lake any time of year… Though summer can be quite hot with little shade so bring pop ups or shade cover! There's a marina to rent boats. Bring kayaks, SUPs, and tubes to spend the day in the water - easily accessed from every camp sight I've been to there. Then the cliff diving!
We stayed at the primitive sites and showed up with no reservations but there were several open sites, which allowed us to find one with privacy. The views from the site to the lake were breath taking!
Our site had a fire ring and a pic mic table, the surface was pretty rough and rocky so make sure you have very good padding, the bathrooms with no shower were within walking distance and there was a water spout. The sites are close to each other so if you have neighbors don’t expect that much privacy. We would come back to this park to enjoy the views and water activities.
Some of the camping areas and campsites have better views than others, but they are all very pretty and generously sized. There are three or four different areas! When you’re googling, be careful, some places with the same name are in totally different lakes and some are across the border. Campgrounds are simple like many of the state parks we’ve been to but we like it. Make sure you get a campsite with covered picnic tables for shade! You will probably want to have some kind of boat here to explore the water, but there are also some trails to enjoy. They do allow motorized boats and there is a marina but they weren’t obnoxious when we were there. We were there in the off season so we don’t know how busy it is come summertime…we’d like to visit in winter sometime!
Such a wonderful hidden gem and by far nicer than Lake Powell in my book!