Vacationland: Boating

The state of Colorado has but one body of water that is dedicated purely to recreation and it’s in the desert landscape of Mesa County on the state’s West Slope.

Highline Lake, surrounded by a state park of the same name north of Loma, about 20 freeway minutes west of Grand Junction on Interstate 70, offers water-sports enthusiasts a variety of options, from hopping waves on a jet ski to water skiing behind a power boat.

Boaters don’t have to go for speed alone. There are plenty of opportunities to float on crystal waters beneath a clear, azure sky, with or without a fishing rod in hand.

Highline Lake State Park includes Mack Mesa Lake, a stocked fishing pond, which allows hand- or electric-powered boats only.

Highline Lake stays crowded in the summer and timely information is available at cpw.state.co.us/ placestogo/parks/highlinelake or by calling 970-858-7208.

Another boating opportunity in Mesa County is at Vega Reservoir in Vega State Park, 12 miles east of Collbran on Colorado Highway 330. Vega covers 900 acres and water-sports enthusiasts can enjoy water skiing, sailboarding and floating in personal watercraft. Access is from three boat ramps.

There also is fishing for brown, cuthtroat and rainbow trout.

Vega sits high on Grand Mesa, at 8,000 feet in elevation, so boaters should prepare accordingly.

For information about Vega, call 970-487-3407 or go to cpw.state.co.us/ placestogo/parks/Vega.

Some other western Colorado lakes to consider visiting include:

• Rifle Gap State Park, about six miles north of Rifle on Colorado Highway 325. The long and narrow 350-acre reservoir is a haven for water skiing, wind surfing, fishing and tooling around on personal watercraft. (cpw.state.co.us/ placestogo/parks/Rifle-Gap)

•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. (cpw.state.co.us/ placestogo/Parks/crawford) Ridgway Reservoir in Ridgway State Park.

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