Road Canyon Reservoir Number 1, often referred to simply as Road Canyon Reservoir, is a 152 acre man-made lake located in Hinsdale County near Creede, Colorado. The reservoir is synonymous with the Road Canyon Reservoir State Wildlife Area, which encompasses the “Number 1” reservoir as well as the smaller “Road Canyon Reservoir No. 2” upstream.
Road Canyon Reservoir No. 1 History
The Road Canyon Reservoir was built at 9,725 feet in elevation, damming the Rio Grande River. Road Canyon Reservoir is part of a three-lake system (along with the Rio Grande Reservoir and Road Canyon reservoir number 2), that was constructed to provide the San Luis Valley with water for irrigation.
Activities at Road Canyon Reservoir SWA
The Road Canyon Reservoir State Wildlife Area has minimal facilities, but is equipped with four parking areas to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities.
Birding and Wildlife Viewing: Among the sweeping pines and mountain vistas, Road Canyon Reservoir offers the chance to see many species of Rocky Mountain Wildlife. This includes migrating ducks, game birds, small mammals, and large herds of elk. There is a designated wildlife viewing area on the Road Canyon Reservoir Number 2.
Boating: Wakeless motorized and non-motorized boating is permitted in Road Canyon Reservoir. There is a boat ramp located roughly halfway down the reservoir’s western shore with a parking area and bathroom facilities. Visitors can also access the water from the campground further upstream.
Camping: Dispersed camping is not permitted at Road Canyon Reservoir, however the National Forest Service maintains the free Road Canyon Campground on the south end Reservoir Number 1. The campground contains six primitive campsites with a fire ring and picnic table. There is a vaulted toilet, but no running water, trash service or facilities. The campground provides easy access to fishing and a boat launch.
Fishing: Licensed anglers are welcome to use bait, lures, and flies to catch a variety of stocked trout in the Road Canyon Reservoir. Fishing is generally good year round, with ice fishing access in the winter months.
Hiking: The Road Canyon Campground is adjacent to Long Canyon which explores the national forest land perfect for a scenic hike or backpacking trip.
Hunting: The Road Canyon Reservoir State Wildlife Area is in Unit 76, with Colorado Division of WIldlife hunting opportunities for both big game and bird hunting. In the area, hunters are known to find elk, deer, and a variety of waterfowl.
Picnicking: Visitors can find many picnic tables and bathroom facilities throughout the Road Canyon Reservoir State Wildlife Area. There is no fee.
Swimming: Swimming is prohibited in the Road Canyon Reservoir.
Address: Road Canyon Reservoir Number 1, Forest Road 520 (Rio Grande Reservoir Road), Creede, CO, 81130
Season: Year Round, Although Access is Usually Blocked by Snow From December to April
Maps: Road Canyon Reservoir SWA (PDF)
Campground: Road Canyon Campground