Take your trip on the water
Maybe it’s because the American West is so dry, but water seems to gleam particularly blue out here. Especially in the hot summer months, this area’s water bodies draw boaters of all stripes — from power boats to canoes and kayaks.
Whether it’s on a jet ski or in a single-motor dinghy, boaters have a lot to choose from when it comes to sparkling waters offering a myriad of recreation opportunities.
g James M. Robb-Colorado River State Park, a series lakes that includes Island Acres, five miles east of Palisade at Exit 47 off Interstate 70; Connected Lakes in the southwest portion of Grand Junction; and Corn Lake on 32 Road south of D Road at the Colorado River — Connected Lakes and Corn Lake both have boat ramps, but the ramp at Corn Lake is solely for Colorado River access. At Island Acres, river access is discouraged due to a man-made roller dam on the Colorado River near Palisade.
Hand-propelled water craft and craft with electric trolling motors are permitted at Connected Lakes and three of the four lakes at Island Acres, but boating is not permitted at Corn Lake and the Swimmin’ Hole at Island Acres.
Fishing is allowed at all the lakes except the Swimmin’ Hole. (970-434-3388, cpw.state.co.us/ placestogo/parks/JamesMRobbColoradoRiver)
g Vega State Park, 12 miles east of Collbran on Colorado Highway 330 — With 900 water acres, visitors to Vega State Park can enjoy water skiing, sailboarding and floating in personal watercraft, as well as fishing for rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout. Access is provided by three boat ramps.
At 8,000 feet elevation, the lake can be a bit chilly until the height of summer, but it’s a refreshing boating experience. (970-487-3407, cpw.state.co.us/ placestogo/parks/Vega)
g Rifle Gap State Park, about six miles north of Rifle on Colorado Highway 325 — The 350-water- acre reservoir is a haven for water skiing, wind surfing, fishing and tooling around on personal watercraft. (970-625-1607, cpw.state.co.us/ placestogo/parks/RifleGap)
g Crawford State Park, one mile south of Crawford on Colorado Highway 133 — With two boat ramps and 397 water acres, visitors to Crawford Reservoir can enjoy water skiing and sailboarding, as well as fishing for rainbow and German brown trout, as well as record-setting yellow perch. (970-921-5721, cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/Parks/crawford)