Just west of the town center in Monument, Colorado, Monument Lake is a 30 acre reservoir with beautiful mountain views. Although it is quite small, Monument Lake is very easy to access and can therefore be crowded during peak recreational seasons.
The lake is located in El Paso County, roughly 50 miles south of Denver and 20 miles north of Colorado Springs.
Monument Lake History
Monument Lake and the nearby Palmer Lake have a rich history providing water for the Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Mountain Ute, and Sioux Cheyenne Native American Tribes. In 1865, the town of Monument was established, which soon became a commercial center for people piling in from the railroad. The lake itself was used to harvest ice for sale in the winter months.
In 1872, a ditch was dug to divert Monument Creek. A small dam (known as the Monument Lake Dam), was then built to retain a larger amount of water to appease the growing area demand. Today, the town of Monument, Colorado controls the lake and dam.
Activities at Monument Lake
Boating: Electric trolling motors are the only type of motor permitted for use on Monument Lake (gas and diesel prohibited). Beyond this, visitors can use non-motorized watercraft such as stand up paddle boards, canoes, and kayaks. There are no boat ramps and everything must be hand launched.
Fishing: Most anglers, no matter their experience level, tend to get lucky at Monument Lake. The small water feature is generally well stocked by the Department of Wildlife, with opportunities to catch rainbow trout, bass), catfish, blue gill, pike, and perch. Monument Lake freezes over in the winter, but ice fishing is still permitted.
Anyone over the age of 16 fishing on Monument Lake is required to have a Colorado Parks fishing license.
Hiking: From Monument Lake, visitors can continue westward to explore the Colorado’s rolling hills into the Pike National Forest. There is a nice system of trails to explore around Mount Herman and Monument Rock with alpine vistas, seasonal wildflowers, and the chance to view the wildlife of the Rampart Range.
Picnicking: Group picnic areas are available around the shores on Monument Lake. There are tables and bathroom facilities.
Swimming: Swimming is prohibited in Monument Lake.
Address: Monument Lake, Monument, CO 80132, USA
Season: Year Round, lake freezes in winter.
Hours: Daily, 5am to 11pm
Maps: Interactive Topo Map (link)