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San Luis Lakes State Park
Copyright: - Colorado State Parks
San Luis Lakes State Park
Description - San Luis Lakes and Wildlife Area lies in the southeastern San Luis Valley. This area is the most arid in all of Colorado and receives less than ten inches of precipitation throughout the year.San Luis Lakes State Park lies 30 miles north of Alamosa on 2,054 acres of land. The lakes encompass 890 surface-acres of water. San Luis Lake is the largest of the two lakes in the park. It lies south of Head Lake, which is significantly smaller and surrounded by wetlands.

The recreation facilities are located on the western shore of San Luis Lake. After entering the park the first facility you reach is a picnic area with 14 sheltered tables with grills. This area was designed for individual families, but it can be reserved for group picnics. Near the picnic area is the boat ramp. The lake is open to motor and sailboats. A buoyed section on the north end of the lake is protected wildlife habitat and off limits to boaters.

North of the boat ramp and picnic area is the campground. It has 51 sites with sheltered tables, grills, electrical hookups and access to vault toilets and water hydrants. A camper services building provides showers, flush toilets and laundry facilities. Firewood can be purchased at the entrance station or park headquarters. A dump station is also provided in the park.

North of the campground is the San Luis Lakes Wildlife Area. Within the wildlife are are four miles of wide, level trails that are wheelchair accessible. The wildlife area is home to 150 species of birds and many small mammals, reptiles and amphibians. This area is closed between February 15 and July 15 annually to protect nesting birds.

Attractions - San Luis Lakes State Park lies 30 miles north of Alamosa on 2,054 acres of land. The lakes encompass 890 surface-acres of water. San Luis Lake is the largest of the two lakes in the park. It lies south of Head Lake, which is significantly smaller and surrounded by wetlands.

The recreation facilities are located on the western shore of San Luis Lake. After entering the park the first facility you reach is a picnic area with 14 sheltered tables with grills. This area was designed for individual families, but it can be reserved for group picnics. Near the picnic area is the boat ramp. The lake is open to motor and sailboats. A buoyed section on the north end of the lake is protected wildlife habitat and off limits to boaters.

North of the boat ramp and picnic area is the campground. It has 51 sites with sheltered tables, grills, electrical hookups and access to vault toilets and water hydrants. A camper services building provides showers, flush toilets and laundry facilities. Firewood can be purchased at the entrance station or park headquarters. A dump station is also provided in the park.

North of the campground is the San Luis Lakes Wildlife Area. Within the wildlife are are four miles of wide, level trails that are wheelchair accessible. The wildlife area is home to 150 species of birds and many small mammals, reptiles and amphibians. This area is closed between February 15 and July 15 annually to protect nesting birds.

Recreation - Visitors to San Luis Lake are usually drawn to the area to participate in water sports. Boating, fishing, water skiing, jet skiing, sailboarding and sailing are permitted in the lake. Swimming is permitted on the southwestern shore of the lake. Picnicking and camping may also be enjoyed by visitors to the park. Wildlife viewing in the wildlife area is very popular, as is hiking and photography. Hunting of waterfowl and small game is permitted during regular hunting seasons.

Climate - The San Luis Valley is a high valley with very little precipitation. The general elevation in the area is 7,000 feet. The winter temperatures are relatively mild, compared to the rest of Colorado. They are so mild that ice fishing isn't usually permitted on San Luis Lake due to thin ice. Summer temperatures easily reach the triple digits. Be sure to bring hats and sunscreen when you visit this state park.

Location - This state park is located in the San Luis Valley southwest of the Great Sand Dunes National Monument. The lakes are fed by Big Spring Creek one of few waterways in the valley.

Directions - Take Highway 160 west from Walsenburg for 60 miles. Go north on Highway 150 for 13.5 miles. Turn left on Six Mile Lane and drive straight for 8 miles and then drive north 1/8 mile to park entrance. San


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Kate German (Santa Fe, NM)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: I reserved my site well in advance so I would be sure to have one for the holiday weekend and it turned out to be a VERY good idea. By Friday night, the place was full. I am a tent camper and this is definitely not the best place for tents but I made the best of it. Each site has a ramada which really helped since there is not a tree in sight. The views of the valley make up for the lack of shade. They're phenomenal! From the campground there is a marvelous view of the mountains and you can even see the Great Sand Dunes. Each evening I watched thunderstorms make their way across the valley but never actually received any rain. This park is ideally located to explore many great places. In addition to the Great Sand Dunes, I visited Ft. Garland, San Luis and Joyful Journey Hot Springs (which I highly reccommend!).

Filed By: R Brogan (Andover, ks)
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We spent about 4 nights at San Luis Lakes SP last September and it was a memorable stay. During mid September the Great San Dunes NP campground, within site across the valley, was full but the state park was lightly populated with local weekenders and more serious RV'ers. The weather was cool and pleasant with brief afternoon thunder showers. The showers often paint the Sangre De Christo range above the dunes with brilliant refracted light shows that are not always visible from the dunes area. The park is sparsely vegetated with desert scrub and wildflowers and provides excellent views of the Great Sand Dunes National Monument, and evening views of night lights of Alamosa and other towns of the San Luis Valley. This high desert area of Colorado is a favorite for us and contains several nice towns and attractions. The small city of San Luis Colorado, about 1 hour Southeast is a hidden jewel of Colorado. This small town features a hillside display of the Stations of the Cross illustrated with life-like bronze sculptures! We were amazed that a small town could afford sculptures of this quality until we discovered that the artist, who also has work displayed in the Vatican, lived in San Luis. Nearby Alamosa is a nice town that contains a state college and friendly people. To the south of Alamosa, the small town of Antonito is the eastern railhead of the Cumbres-Toltec narrow gage railroad. This day-long train ride is a breath taking experience in itself. Access to San Luis SP is easy. It lies about 15 miles Northeast of Alamosa; or about 4-5 miles straight west of the Great Sand Dunes National Monument. Traveling from the East you will cross the Sangre De Christos at Leveta pass, which is one of the most driver friendly passes in the region.


More Information

Contact Information:
San Luis Lakes State Park, P.O. Box 175, County Lane 6 North , Mosca, CO, 81146, Phone: 719-378-2020
, sanluis.park@state.co.us

Additional Information:
Alamosa Area - Alamosa is the center from which almost any outdoor activity imaginable is possible, including summer skiing on the dunes in The Great Sand Dunes National Monument.
Colorado Lakes & Reservoirs - The lakes and reservoirs included in this list range from small mountain lakes surrounded by snow capped peaks, to large reservoirs with beaches and boating facilities.
Colorado State Parks - Colorado is world renowned for natural beauty and outdoor recreation. Visiting Colorado's state parks is an excellent way to gain access to the natural environment and the recreation opportunities created by it.

Links:
Campground Reservations - Reserve your campground online here with reserveamerica.com
Colorado State Parks - Official State Parks Website

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