Mancos State Park offers family-friendly sun and fun at the northwestern foot of the La Plata Mountains. This little park packs a punch with opportunities to boat, hike, fish, and even rent a yurt.
Central to the park is the 217-acre Jackson Gulch Reservoir, which is a great place to savor mountain views by the water or put in and enjoy maritime living in a land-locked state.
The park is also close to many nationally renowned locations like Mesa Verde National Park, the San Juan Skyway, and the Four Corners Monument.
The park has two camp locations - Main and West - on opposite sides of the reservoir, with a total of 32 campsites. The park also has two heated yurts available for year-round rental, requiring a reservation before your trip.
Jackson Gulch Reservoir allows for hand-powered crafts such as kayaks, canoes, and standup paddleboards (SUPs).
There is a boat ramp where visitors can launch almost any sized vessel. There are no lifeguards on duty, so wear a lifejacket.
A popular fishing spot, Jackson Gulch Reservoir is stocked regularly with rainbow trout, yellow perch, and Skamania trout. Anglers will have the most luck on the dropoffs using small jigs, small jigging spoons, and live bait. Visitors are required to have a Colorado State Park Pass to fish.
Sailboats and motorized boats are welcome on the waters, provided they do not create a wake behind them. All boats must have valid registration from Colorado or their home state. The launch can accommodate vessels of almost any size.
There is 5.5 miles of trails inside the park to trek in the winter. For long trekkers, several hookups to the U.S. Forest Service trail system and the Colorado Trail that weave through the La Plata Mountains.
Be aware of avalanche safety and best practices, and remember that mountain slopes are not the only place where avalanches can occur.
There are plenty of single-track trails that span the park. Some hookups connect to the U.S. Forest Service trail system and the Colorado Trail.
The longest and most extensive trail network near Mancos State Park is the Chicken Creek Trail system, which spans 13.8 miles and has an elevation gain of 2,247 ft. The hookup to the trail system, the Mancos Spur Trail, can be found near the park entrance.
At Jackson Gulch Reservoir, there are many opportunities to ice fish in the winter. The best spots to fish are near the western part of the dam.
The ice conditions in Colorado are variable, so always check the surrounding area before heading out and wear a personal flotation device.
Stop in the Town of Mancos and pick up baked goods to fuel your adventures at Absolute Bakery & Cafe!
Stop by the park’s amphitheater and check out a live show.
The sun is much stronger at higher altitudes, so apply and reapply sunscreen liberally every two hours.
Bring plenty of water on the trails.
Avoid blisters and stop by Durango Running Company to get properly fitted shoes for trail running.
There is one campsite and one yurt and some restrooms accessible to persons with mobility impairments. Contact the park for details on accessible facilities.
Please research the park restrictions and conditions before you make your trip.
Store your food in a designated bear cache, vault, or hang.
Do not pick the wildflowers.
Do not engage with or feed the wildlife.
Dogs must be leashed or otherwise physically restrained. Do not leave pets unattended.
Protect the fragile environment and stay on marked trails.
Don’t bring in firewood from outside the area.
Follow Leave No Trace principles.