Trappers Lake and Stillwater Reservoir
Trappers Lake is one of the largest natural lakes in Colorado and unquestionably one of the most scenic. Surrounded by the Flat Tops Wilderness Area and impressive rock formations, the lake is home to a large population of native cutthroat trout for fly and lure anglers.
There are 100 campsites within two miles of the lake, almost assuring visitors of a spot for a memorable weekend.
Trails from the lake lead eight miles up to the top of the Flat Tops and a panorama of spring and summer wildflowers and a breathtaking view of the China Wall and the Devil’s Causeway.
The Trappers Lake Lodge is scheduled to open in the summer with cabin and boat rentals and a restaurant for campers and hikers too weary to cook.
Visitors should be prepared with hiking shoes, bug repellant and fishing licenses before leaving civilization.
Premium camping spots command premium prices in Colorado, so be prepared to pay for your visit to Trappers Lake. Check fire restrictions and consider purchasing firewood for your campfire before leaving town.
The lakes surface area is 320 acres, and the depth reaches 180 feet with a water temperature that is always cold.
Getting to Trappers Lake and Stillwater Reservoir
From Steamboat Springs, drive south on U.S. Highway 40 to Colorado Highway 131. Continue 24 miles to the town of Phippsburg. If you are bound for Trappers Lake, watch for a right turn on County Road 15 at Hunt Creek. After just three miles, turn right on County Road 132. Continue 40 miles over Dunckley and Ripple Creek passes. Expect washboard dirt roads beyond the summit of Dunckley.
People bent on visiting Stillwater Reservoir and the trail to the Devil’s Causeway should continue beyond County Road 15 another 7 miles to the town of Yampa. Make the first right turn into Yampa and continue into its historic district. Watch for County Road 7, which leads into the Routt National Forest, and follow the signs that lead to the end of the road and Stillwater.
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