Nestled in a narrow canyon in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Paonia State Park is ideal for water and nature lovers. The focal point is Paonia Reservoir. It attracts water skiers and others looking for boating in a true alpine environment.
The park itself, is fairly primitive. It’s secluded in a remarkable section of Colorado, 33 miles west of Crested Butte, via Kebler Pass, open only in summer. Water is not available anywhere, so remember to bring some. A picnic area near the stream has grills and tables.
There are no official hiking trails at the Park, although the surrounding Ragged Wilderness Area offers maintained trails. Horseback Riders and cross-country skiers can still access the park along the shore of the lake. Nothing is groomed. Pets are welcome in the park.
Activities: Boating, Camping, Fishing, Picnicking, Wildlife/Nature Study
Boating: Water skiing, boat fishing and general recreation are main boating activities. 337 acre reservoir. Motor boats, sailboards and other personal watercraft permitted.
Camping: Yes, 2 campgrounds, 13 sites, basic camping facilities, no electric.
- Spruce Campground – Located in a wooded area next to a stream.
- Hawsapple Campground – Closer to the boat ramp, located just above the stream.
- All campsites have picnic table, fire ring and nearby vault toilets. No drinking water available at the park.
- Lake is known for outstanding northern pike fishing. It’s best from late June through August. Ice fishing is not permitted.
- Stream has good trout fishing.
Wildlife: Paonia offers the quiet & seclusion needed for wildlife watching.
Address: 30684 County Rd 12, Somerset
Season: Year round, 24 hours a day
Fees: $7/daily, $70/annual (vehicle)
Map: Paonia Directions (PDF)