Secluded near the Black Canyon of the Gunnison on Colorado’s western slope, Crawford is a beautiful state park to escape to. Fishing, boating and hiking are among some of the activities found in this inspiring location.
Crawford State Park is hidden away in the middle of Colorado’s Rockies, probably some five hours from Denver. There are several sections of the park along Highway 92, each with water access. The lake is large and enjoyed by motor boats, jet skis, water skiers, sailboats.
There are two main campgrounds located lakeside, available for a nightly fee. The entrance to the North Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is an enjoyable 10 mile drive from the park. The North Rim has a 13 site campground tucked away in a heavy pine forest near the canyon’s edge. It’s first-come, first-serve, open spring to fall.
The town of Crawford has a tiny downtown strip with few places to eat and stay. Hotchkiss is also close by and offers more dining, shopping and lodging. The biggest town in the area is Delta, 33 miles to the east.
Activities at Crawford Reservoir
Biking: 1.3 miles of disconnected trails, from the swim beach south to Iron Creek Campground along Highway 92; Also .3 miles trail in Iron Creek interior.
Birding: Hundreds of birds species.
Boating: Capacity is 60 boats (20 water skiing, 40 slow trollers fishing). Sailboats take up more capacity. Jet skiing and water skiing popular mid May through August.
Camping: Yes, 2 campgrounds: Iron Creek (45 sites) and Clear Fork (21 sites); $16/site/night. Some sites offer electrical hookups. Winter camping is available. Reserve here.
- Read about the camping near Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford.
Cross-County Skiing: Allowed, conditions permitting.
Fishing: Known for perch, crappie. channel catfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, and rainbow trout.
Hiking: Same 2 trails as biking, plus a 0.5 mile Indian Fire Nature Trail on west side.
Horseback Riding: Not permitted in park.
Hunting: Waterfowl hunting allowed in the fall seasons; hunters must be 100 yards from anyone fishing and 150 yards away from campground. Big game hunting allowed in season under above conditions.
Ice Fishing: Allowed anywhere on lake, when there is at 6+ inches of ice.
OHV Riding: Not permitted in park.
Picnicking: Several areas throughout park, each with a grill or fire ring. Groups of up to 100 people at Peninsula day-use area; located near swim beach, outdoor shower and comfort station. Register at park office.
Sailboarding: Allowed, but not common. Late May and June gets most wind but water is cold.
Sledding: The Peninsula is only good area, conditions permitting.
Snowmobiling: Not allowed in park. Many areas exist around park.
Snowshoeing: Anywhere in park, conditions permitting.
Swimming: Only permitted in the Peninsula day-use area at swim beach; Open late spring through summer season.
Winter Recreation: Camping permitted in Clear Fork Campground, which is plowed; only vault toilet, no water or flush facilities open. Recreation includes cross country skiing, ice fishing, ice skating and snowshoeing.
The North Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is only ten miles from the park. And both Paonia Reservoir and Sweitzer Lake are only about 45 minutes away for additional lake centered state parks..
Address: 40468 Highway 92, Crawford, CO
Season: Year round
Pets: Yes, on leash
Fees: Yes, vehicle entry fee per day