One of the most peaceful and serene things to view in Southern Colorado is the reflection of the mountain peaks and towering trees upon the crisp, clear water of an alpine lake. Picturesque in its beauty, you’ll have to blink a few extra times just to assure yourself that you’re not in a dream or simply looking at a painting. From just relaxing by the water, fishing, swimming, or getting the chance to see the Colorado wildlife in their natural habitat, lakes offer visitors an unforgettable experience. Because of this, we’re repeatedly asked about which lakes to go to when lodging in Westcliffe. So in this post, we’ll provide you with a few options!
Keep in mind that there is an abundance of lakes in the area, and this blog will only cover a few, but these are some of the most popular and are all within driving distance of Westcliffe. So, it’s time to break out your Colorado vacation itinerary, and if you haven’t already, book your room at the Lamp Post Lodge or Hillside Colorado Cottages!
Found right here in Custer County, the Deweese Reservoir is known for its abundance of fish just waiting to be caught, ideal locations along the water for a picnic on your romantic getaway or family vacation, and campgrounds if you’re not willing to reel your line in. It measures at just about 300 acres and the reservoir contains such catches as Rainbow trout, bass, tiger muskie, and kokanee salmon. But just a heads up, if you’re planning on sleeping under the stars, be sure to bring your own TP!
From Westcliffe, you’re going to want to go northwest on Highway 69 for about 5 miles and then turn north on Copper Gulch Rd.
On our previous blog covering a few of the prime hiking locations surrounding Westcliffe, we brought up Lakes of the Clouds, and for good reason! Not only is the hiking incredible, but the views are spectacular, and the Colorado wildlife is often seen in the area to add one more exciting detail of your mountain vacation to brag about when you get back home. During the winter it is just as gorgeous and you’ll have the opportunity to see frozen waterfalls along your journey.
There are a couple ways to reach the Lakes of the Clouds, but the most popular is to take Hermit Road from Westcliffe until you intersect with the Rainbow Trail on a “jeep road”. The sign will be on the north side (your right) almost immediately following the trees. Go ahead and park alongside the road and follow the signs!
Just 35 miles southwest of Westcliffe, Lake Isabel is a popular spot for hikers, bikers, fishers, birdwatchers, and overall outdoor enthusiasts! The lake is full of brown and brook trout to catch from the shore or from a non-motorized boat, and the nearby Cisneros Trail offers opportunities for hiking and biking and is even open for ATVs!
From Westcliffe, you’re going to want to get onto CO-96 E for a little under 15 miles, then turn right onto CO-165 for about 19 miles. Look for St Park Rd and take a right. From there the signs will lead you to the lake.
While Lake Pueblo is a little bit further away from the others (about an hour drive), we felt obligated to add it to the list since everyone that visits absolutely loves it. With all of the activities available at the lake, it’s impossible to be bored and the views are incomparable. Located in Pueblo County, the lake has 60 miles of shoreline and 10,000 acres of land. This gives ample opportunities for you and your loved ones a full day of boating, water skiing, fishing, swimming, having a picnic, wildlife viewing, and oh so much more. If you’re lodging in Westcliffe for a few days, Lake Pueblo is a must visit for your vacation.
Make your way to CO-96 E from Main St in Westcliffe and follow that for 46 miles. Take a left on S Marina Rd and follow this down beyond the Arkansas Point Campground. Here you’ll see the South Shore Marina and the Pueblo Jet Ski Rental (yup, jet skis!).
No matter what time of the year, these alpine lakes are truly something to behold. Even if you don’t want to partake in any of the activities around the lake, just sitting by the water breathing in the mountain air and witnessing the splendor is enough to make your vacation remarkable. And the best thing is that they’ll all be within driving distance when you stay at the Lamp Post Lodge or Hillside Colorado Cottages. Continue to follow our blog for more Southern Colorado activities and book your room now!