Tucked away in the mountains at the border of Pitkin and Eagle County, Homestake Reservoir is a dammed alpine lake near Leadville and Red Cliff, Colorado. The reservoir collects water from many creeks, including the Homestake, Sopris, Fancy, French, and Missouri. From there, water travels through the Homestake Tunnel to Turquoise lake.
Homestake Reservoir is owned in partnership between Aurora Water and Colorado Springs Utilities, an agreement known as the Homestake Authority. The reservoir is located in a very scenic area of the White River National Forest and it is very popular for boating, fishing, picnicking, camping, and more.
The Homestake Reservoir is part of a larger system that diverts water from the Colorado River Basin east over the Great Continental Divide. The dam at Homestake Reservoir was completed in 1967 at a height of 231 feet. The route to reach the Homestake Reservoir follows a trail first used as a wagon road to support the area’s mining in the 1880s.
Recreational facilities at the Homestake Reservoir are maintained by the US Forest Service. The area can be accessed via Homestake Road, which is located 23.5 miles south of 1-70 along US-24. The majority of Homestake Road can be traversed by most passenger vehicles, but some clearance makes the journey much easier.
Boating: Only hand-launched, non-motorized boats are permitted on the Homestake Reservoir. The boat launch is gravel and a bit steep but can be found on the north side of the reservoir at the end of Forest Road 703. 4WD is required for the last mile or so.
Camping: Just before you reach the Reservoir on Homestake Road, White River National Forest maintains the Gold Park Campground. The 12 sites cannot be reserved (first-come, first-serve), require a fee, and are available from June until October. There are vault toilets available but no drinking water on-site.
In addition to the designated campground, there is also dispersed camping available along Homestake Road. A few spots are large enough for RVs, but tent camping is very popular.
Fishing: Anglers frequent the Homestake Reservoir, most commonly catching rainbow, brook, and cutthroat trout. The lake can be somewhat difficult to access (large boulders), so fishing is also very popular along Homestake Creek northeast of the lake.
Hiking: Hiking and overnight backpacking are very popular around Homestake Reservoir. Many of the trails extend into the Holy Cross Wilderness, which requires a permit for overnight stays, although there is no fee and you can self-register at the trailhead.
Horseback Riding: Horseback riding is permitted on several of the trails surrounding the reservoir. This includes Fancy Creek, Missouri Lake, Whitney Lake, and Lonesome Lake trails.
Hunting: Hunting is permitted in the area around Homestake Reservoir. Although early-season hunters may have to clear some snow in this high elevation area, elk hunting is popular in the area. For both hunting and fishing, a state license is required.
Phone: 970-827- 5715
Season: End of May – Mid-October