Colorado’s second largest natural body of water, Lake San Cristobal, is one of Lake City’s jewels. It hosts activities year round, with boating, camping and fishing popular in the summer, and ice fishing and skating in the winter.
It formed more than 700 years ago due to a natural landslide that occurred blocking the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River, effectively creating a reservoir. The phenomenon was designated a national natural landmark called the Slumgullion Earthflow.
Those looking to get out on the waters can inquire around towns about renting a boat. Several business offer canoes, kayaks and fishing boats for rent. On the lake’s west side you’ll find a public boat ramp and parking. Two of the eight slips are for day use, the others are reservable by calling the county at the number below.
Tucked away on the peaceful east side of Lake San Cristobal, Wupperman Campground provides 31 sites with beautiful water views. It’s a Hinsdale County operated public campground, with sites for both RVs and tents. All sites have a fire grate and picnic table. While there’s no electricity, you’ll find water, grills, trash services, vault toilets and a dump station.
Getting There: To reach the campground, go south on Highway 149, aka the Silver Thread Byway, from Lake City. In 2 miles turn right onto CR 30. Take it for 1.5 miles to the junction of CR 33. Make a left and go 2 more miles to reach Wupperman Campground on the right.
This is a high alpine lake situated around 9,000 feet, so you’ll find typical Colorado cold water fish, especially trout. Anyone with a valid fishing license (for those 16+) can cast a line from any of the public access points around the lake. You can pick up a fishing license in town at a number of shops. Follow County Road 33 by Wupperman Campground to access great fishing on the east side of Lake San Cristobal.
Address: Highway 149, Lake City, CO 81235
Phone: 970-944-2225 (Hinsdale County)
Season: Year round