Two Buttes Reservoir is a shrinking man made lake located within the Two Buttes SWA (State Wildlife Area) near Two Buttes, Colorado. The reservoir is located in Prowers and Baca County, approximately 35 miles south of Lamar, near the Kansas and Oklahoma border.
A valid Colorado hunting or fishing license is required for anyone over 18 years old to access the Two Buttes Reservoir SWA. The area is well maintained, with restrooms, parking areas, drinking water, a boat launch and a rifle range.
In 2020, the Two Buttes Reservoir reached critically low water levels, and is expected to go dry by the end of the year.
Two Buttes Reservoir History
The Two Buttes Dam was built on Two Buttes Creek in 1910 to form the Two Buttes Reservoir. The reservoir was designed to irrigate nearby lands, however never delivered as much water as hoped. Instead, the irrigation company sold the dam to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife for just over a million dollars in 1970.
Activities at Two Buttes Reservoir
The Two Buttes Reservoir is very scenic, which can come as a surprise to those driving across the great plains. While enjoying the views, there are a number of activities to be had nearby.
Birding: Two Buttes Reservoir provides a tremendous opportunity for birdwatching, among one of the best areas in the state. Here, birders may find duck, grebes, owls, plovers, and even roadrunners.
Boating: There are two cement boat ramps located on the east side of Two Buttes Reservoir. However, they are currently not in service.
Camping: Free, dispersed camping is available within the Two Buttes Reservoir SWA. There are spots both above and below the dam. Well maintained gravel road ways allow room for buses, RVs and trailers, however the route can become slick after a rain. The area is very popular for boondocking.
Fishing: Fish stocking has been suspended in Two Buttes Reservoir. The fishery was opened to public salvage in 2019, with no limits on the number or size of fish caught imposed. Previously, the spot was popular for bass, catfish, and panfish.
Hunting: Beyond the rifle range, hunting game is popular in the Two Buttes Reservoir SWA. Most commonly, hunted species include Antelope, Deer, Rabbit, Pheasant, Dove, Waterfowl and Quail.
Wildlife Viewing: Two Buttes Reservoir is also home to many species of animal that are not commonly hunted. Snakes, toads, lizards, raccoons, turtles, and coyotes can all be spotted within the SWA.
Season: Year Round
Fees: None (besides hunting & fishing license)
Maps: Two Buttes Reservoir SWA (PDF)