Colorado State Parks: Elkhead Reservoir

Elkhead Reservoir State Park is located in Northwest Colorado, near Craig. Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) calls it “an oasis in the high desert,” because the surrounding area is characterized by sagebrush prairie and rocky cliffs. Elkhead Reservoir was constructed in 1974 both as a recreation area and as backup water supply for the City of Craig. While the reservoir itself is owned by the city, its recreation is managed by CPW as one of Colorado’s 41 State Parks.

Pelicans at Elkhead Reservoir.

The 900-acre reservoir is great for boating, fishing, and other water sports. Camping is one of the park’s most popular activities, and hikers can enjoy several short trails surrounding the reservoir. Elkhead is also a great place for wildlife watching. Commonly seen are deer, elk, and pronghorn; shorebirds and raptors; foxes and coyotes; and small mammals including badgers, skunks, porcupines, ground squirrels, and chipmunks.

For more information, see the park’s official brochure and website. Don’t forget you can also check out a parks pass from your local library.