[West side of McPhee Reservoir. Photo: Patrick Alexander] McPhee Reservoir is the fifth largest lake in Colorado. It provides one of the best spots in Southwest Colorado for warm weather, big lake fun.
It’s the largest lake in the San Juan National Forest, with a beautiful topography of piñon, juniper, and sagebrush trees. Things to do at the McPhee Recreation Area include boating, fishing, camping, hiking and biking.
Biking – The McPhee/House Creek Bike Route follows the House Creek drainage on paved and gravel roads.
Boating – Open to motor boats, as a a variety of water sports in the larger part of the lake. Enjoy scenic boating to the lake’s narrow branches.
Docs Marina is open April through October. There you can rent boats, get supplies, fishing tackles and rods, depth finder, and use BBQ grills. Meal service begins at 11am. It’s closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Camping – Situated above the lake, features 71 campsites on 2 loops, picnic areas and flush toilets. 24 sites have electric hook-ups, 12 sites are walk-in tent sites by the best overlooks; 50 of the campsites are reservable, the others are first-come, first-serve.
The McPhee Group Area offers 4 group campsites, which can be reserved. They feature volleyball posts, a ball field, and horseshoe pits (bring your own equipment).
Fishing – Open year round for fishing. Species include walleye, small and large mouth bass, trout, crappie, northern pike, perch and kokanee salmon. The reservoir is stocked with both warm and cold water fish.
Hiking – Beside the boat ramp is the beautiful Can Do Trail, which leads to the 360 degree Ridge Point Overlook, complete with interpretive signs to understand the area. Continue on the path to the walk-in tent campsites. Soak in the wonderful landscape of sandstone cliffs and the lake along the route.
Address: Highway 184, Dolores
Phone: 877-444-6777 (camping reservations)
Season: Year round