Colorado State Parks: Mancos

Next up in our series exploring Colorado’s state parks is Mancos State Park!

Tent camping under Ponderosa pine trees in Mancos State Park. Photo courtesy of Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

Mancos State Park is located in southwestern Colorado, just 12 miles away from the historic Mesa Verde National Park. The park is located at an elevation of 7,800 feet and includes a small reservoir. Mancos offers a wide range of outdoor activities – check out the Mancos State Park brochure to see a snapshot of everything Mancos has to offer.

The Jackson Gulch Reservoir was built by the Bureau of Reclamation and was completed in 1948. In the spring, summer, and fall, visitors can enjoy the 216 acres of reservoir surface area on wakeless boats, like kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. The reservoir supports year-round fishing for trout and yellow perch. Those interested in trout fishing can learn more in the All about Colorado’s trout fishing video produced by the Department of Natural Resources.

Camping at Mancos State Park is a popular way to fully immerse yourself in the park’s natural beauty. The park hosts two campgrounds with a total of 32 campsites, most of which are located in the park’s Ponderosa pine forest. The campsites are equipped with picnic tables, fire rings, and access to drinking water. There are also two yurts available for rent year-round, providing a unique camping experience for those who prefer a more comfortable stay. Like many wild places in Colorado, Mancos is home to black bears so campers should follow the guidelines found in Camping & Hiking in Bear Country. These include:

  • keeping a clean camp;
  • storing trash, food, and toiletries in bear-proof containers; and,
  • banging pots and pans to try to scare a bear away if it wanders into your campground.

Mancos boasts more than 5 miles of trails, providing ample opportunities to explore through hiking, mountain biking, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. While exploring, visitors might spot a variety of wildlife, including elk, mule deer, and coyotes.

With these resources from Colorado Parks & Wildlife and the State Publications Library, you can start planning your trip to Mancos State Parks today!

Miranda Doran-Myers
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