Navajo State Park is centered around the gigantic Navajo Lake which extends south into New Mexico. The lake is over 25 miles long making it a great place for fishing, swimming, and boating of all types.
Navajo State Park is a jewel for water recreation in the southern Rockies. It showcases the massive Navajo Lake, which continues for 20 miles south into New Mexico. It’s considered Colorado’s largest lake that’s not entirely in the state, otherwise, the biggest is Blue Mesa Reservoir near Gunnison.
The park is situated in Southwest Colorado, south of and in between, Pagosa Springs and Durango. Most of the land around the park is part of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. The Navajo Reservoir is well-spread out with several different access points. While the biggest chunk of the park is in New Mexico, you’ll be able to rent a boat, camp, and do quite a few things in Colorado.
There are several campgrounds situated around the park, all within walking distance of the lake. Camping fees vary for either basic site, electric hookup, or full-service.
Activities at Navajo Reservoir
Boating: The 15,000 surface acres of water at Navajo Lake are open year-round for boating. Powerboats, personal watercrafts, sailboats, sailboards, and water skiing are permitted on the lake. Jet skiers can access an area of about 20 miles from the boat ramp to the dam. Additionally, the marina has pontoons, fishing, and ski boats available for rent.
- There are two marines: Two River Marina and the Navajo Lake Marina. The first is located in Arboles Colorado while the latter is within New Mexico.
- Jet skis are available for rent. Opt for either a sit-down or stand-up jet ski, plus tubing, kneeboarding, and wakeboarding. Navajo Lake Jet Ski Rentals are located at Windsurf Beach. The best address is 1526 County Rd 982, Arboles, CO 81121.
Cabins: There are 3 full-service, 2 bedroom log cabins available to rent year-round. One of the cabins allows pets for an additional fee and remains open year-round.
Camping: There are 118 RV and tent sites open year-round at the park. Reservations can be made in advance and there are 3 campground sites to spend the night. Additionally, there are 19 primitive sites for tents or small RVs that are on a first-come, first-served basis at Windsurf Beach and Arboles Point.
- Carracas – 41 RV sites | Up to 55 ft | Electric
- Tiffany – 25 RV sites | Up to 25 ft | 6 tent sites overlook the lake
- Rosa – 39 RV sites | Up to 55 ft | Electric/water/sewer hookups | 8 tent sites overlook the lake
Fishing: There is great fishing year-round, from either boat or shoreline at the park. Catfish, crappie, large & small-mouth bass swim in shallows and near lake surface. Kokanee salmon, northern pike, and varieties of trout are found in deeper water. In addition to the reservoir, fishing is available in the San Juan River, which empties into Navajo Lake.
Hiking: There are 5 designated trails in the park as well as miles of trails that follow the San Juan River.
Horseback Riding: Permitted along the San Juan River off Co Rd 500.
Hunting: Deer, elk, and bird hunting are permitted during established seasons in certain areas.
Picnicking: There are picnic sites at Windsurf Beach as well as 2 group sites available for reservations.
Swimming: Permitted in the lake, however, there is no swim beach.
Whitewater Rafting: Some rafting occurs on the San Juan and Piedra Rivers in the park. Better rafting can be found in Durango or Pagosa.
Winter Recreation: Snowshoeing and cross country skiing, when conditions permit. Campgrounds remain open.
Address: 1526 County Rd 982, Arboles, CO
Hours: 5 am – 10 pm (unless camping / fishing)
Pets: Yes, on leash
Fees: Vehicle (daily)
Campground: Reservations (Apr 15-Oct 15)
Website: cpw.state.co.us / …
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