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Cabin/Camping on a Lake with a Beach?

Colorado Springs...
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Cabin/Camping on a Lake with a Beach?

Hi there! We live in Colorado Springs and are thinking about a family vacation here in Colorado. I know the mountain lakes would be pretty cold for swimming, but what about near Durango or somewhere else west or south? Are there any lakes with nice swim beaches that wouldn't be freezing? It would be great to camp or rent a cabin right on a lake. We're originally from Minnesota and that's just what you do during the summer! We might also visit the Sand Dunes and Mesa Verde during our travels. Thanks in advance!

Pagosa Springs...
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1. Re: Cabin/Camping on a Lake with a Beach?

Navajo Reservoir (state park) between Pagosa Springs and Durango may fit the bill. Sandy beaches and water warm enough to swim. However, the lake is very large and a boat is best (15k acres). There are boat rentals too at Two Rivers Marina. This would put you in the same vicinity to visit Mesa Verde and Sand Dunes. I believe camping is the only available option on Navajo.

From Pagosa, take hwy 160 west, turn left onto hwy 151 south past Chimney Rock. The entrance to the state park is in Arboles.

Colorado
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2. Re: Cabin/Camping on a Lake with a Beach?

Though not in Colorado Glendo Reservoir / Glendo State Park, is great for what you want. wyomingtourism.org/overview/…3102

camp at Sandy Beach. It is about 3 hours north of Denver. I love Glendo very little development so a cabin rental would be a surprise but the camping is great, uncrowded, really pretty. Close to the Medicine Bow if you like to hike. A great day trip is to Esterbrook www.conversecountytourism.com/esterbrook.html we used to go there to a great burger joint. I hope it is still there.

Edited: 14 June 2011, 15:23
WestSlope,CO
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3. Re: Cabin/Camping on a Lake with a Beach?

Lol, lots of camping on lakes and rivers in Colorado, too, but not much swimming...more wading and playing. Our kids/grandkids like camping by a small stream as much as by a lake.

Lots of lakes don't allow swimming, but it is sometimes not just the water temperature but the quality of the fishery, water, or steep banks, hazards, etc.

Here's a list of some that do have swim beaches:

chiff.com/recreation/beaches/US/colorado.htm

Blue Mesa allows swimming "anywhere except within 100 feet of marinas and docks, between the buoy line above dams, within 100 feet of Lake City, Middle and Lake Fork bridges, or from an unanchored boat. Admission to reservoir free except at East Portal. Good places to swim are Windsurf Beach, Bay of Chickens, Old Highway 50 Beach and Dry Creek." But the water is cold, and not the best place to camp IMO (unless you're fishing or windsurfing) because the shoreline is barren and treeless.

Buckeye Reservoir has camping in the trees, but it is very remote. The campground is currently closed and being reconstructed, so when it's done it will be nice, I'm sure. It is in Colorado next to the Utah border and is in the Manti-LaSal National Forest. I called that office and they said they think it will reopen mid-August. Last time we were there the kids played/swam in the water quite a bit so you might keep that one in mind for future trips.

Ridgway State Park has a swim beach, camping, and yurts and very nice bath houses. The water is cold but kids don't seem to mind and always have a great time there. And I've been seeing some great summer programs like fly fishing lessons (gear provided) for kids and star parties, etc. It is in a great spot for visiting the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (a favorite of our family...the kids never tire of walking the easy trails to overlooks and looking down because it makes them "all tingly." And also close to Ouray, with carriage rides, waterfalls, hiking, mine tour, etc. and of course the hot springs pool for some serious warm water fun. Close enough for a day trip to Telluride, too, to hike, ride horses, or ride the free gondola. Too far from Mesa Verde for a day trip there IMO but maybe a good stop on your way.

…state.co.us/Parks/…RidgwayStateParkHome.aspx

…state.co.us/Parks/Ridgway/Documents/388a695…

Vallecito Reservoir is a very pretty spot, too, and you'd find lots of cabin rentals there. The lake is too cold for swimming but a great place to play, hike, bike, fish, rent a boat or canoe.

vallecitolakechamber.com/Activities/index.asp

Mancos State Park would be a good spot for visiting Mesa Verde but swimming is not allowed.

…state.co.us/Parks/…MancosActivities.aspx

Echo Basin Ranch looks like it would be fun. Their horseback rides are pretty reasonable and they have a pool. The Aframe cabins are reasonably priced for the area, as well. They have RV sites but I don't think they have tent sites...not sure.

For visiting the Great Sand Dunes, you can camp in the park or San Luis State Park. Also the Great Sand Dunes Oasis has campsites and the pool/bathhouse which would be nice after a morning at the dunes. The Great Sand Dunes are fun to visit and the views are great, but the area is flat and almost treeless. The campground in the national park does have some pinons and junipers.

Have fun planning. Hope this gives you some ideas.

Colorado Springs...
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4. Re: Cabin/Camping on a Lake with a Beach?

I am so-o-o glad youv'e asked about it Monof4girls!

I come across this question each summer, and I just have learned about a few new options here!!!!! Thanks a lot for the detailed anwers :)))

Colorado Springs...
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5. Re: Cabin/Camping on a Lake with a Beach?

Thanks for all the great advice!! We're still trying to figure out what we're going to do. Will let you know if we find something great!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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6. Re: Cabin/Camping on a Lake with a Beach?

Lathrop State Park just outside of Walsenburg, no cabins, but great swim area, good for a day trip from the Springs.

Grand Lake has beautiful cabins and a swim beach.

Red Feather Lakes area is wonderful, but not sure about the swimming thing. We were just up there this week, check out Beaver Meadows Ranch (no lake, but Red Feather Lakes are close) http://www.beavermeadows.com/home . Plenty of activities, hiking etc.

Steamboat Lake …state.co.us/Parks/…SteamboatLakeHome.aspx

7. Re: Cabin/Camping on a Lake with a Beach?

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