Nestled into the pristine alpine scenery of the San Juan mountains, Haviland Lake is a popular outdoor destination located about 20 miles north of Durango, Colorado. Haviland Lake lies within the San Juan National Forest and the Haviland Lake State Wildlife Area, occupying 80 acres of La Plata County.
Vehicle access to Haviland Lake is limited in the winter months, although the route remains open to snowshoes and cross country skis in ideal conditions. To fish, hunt, or use the State Wildlife Area facilities, visitors that are 18 years of age or older are required to have a valid Colorado hunting, fishing, or public lands license.
Activities near Haviland Lake
Birding: Haviland Lake offers a unique birding opportunity to spot a wide variety of species in the area’s dense, high-elevation ponderosa forests. Here, birdwatchers may spot ducks, grebes, sapsuckers, warblers, grosbeaks, kinglets, and more.
Boating: Gas motors are prohibited, however electric and hand-powered boats are permitted on Haviland Lake. There is a public boat ramp located on the south shore of the lake. Boaters must maintain wakeless travel speeds and Haviland Lake is popular for kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and canoes.
Camping: On the eastern side of the water, the US Forest Service owns and operates the Haviland Lake Campground, which hosts 43 campsites. Reservations can be made in advance for some of the sites and overnight fees are applied based on the type of reservation.
Every campsite has its own picnic table, fire ring, and tent pad, while only some offer room for RVs, electrical hookups, or views of the lake. All campers also have access to vault toilets and clean drinking water.
About one mile south of Haviland Lake, the National Forest Service operates the Chris Park Group Campground. Here, three large campsites can accommodate groups of up to 150 people with a pavilion, volleyball court, and horseshoe pits available.
Fishing: Haviland Lake is a popular spot for anglers with a valid state fishing license. The water is stocked with a variety of trout species by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Generally, good fishing conditions are reported in Haviland Lake and its surrounding waters.
Hunting: With a valid state license, waterfowl hunting is permitted in the 208-acre Haviland Lake SWA.
Swimming: Swimming is permitted in Haviland Lake, however, mucky shores may make access somewhat difficult.
Trails: Haviland Lake is well connected to several trails of varying length and difficulty in the San Juan National Forest. The dense network of trails south and east of Haviland Lake provides opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. A commercial horse stable is located near the junction of US-550 and Haviland Lake Road, which typically offers equestrian rides during all seasons.
The Forebay Lake Trail is a popular, scenic 1-mile route, which provides easy travel to another remote fishing lake. Beyond this, a few interpretive trails in the area have posted information on the local railroad and mining history.
Address: Haviland Lake Campground, Haviland Lake Rd, Durango, CO 81301
Season: Year-round access. Campground and facilities are typically open from May to October
Fees: Camping fees, fishing/hunting license required in the SWA