San Luis Lakes
Right next door to the Great Sand Dunes at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo range, San Luis Lakes State Wildlife Area (formerly a State Park) contains the largest open body of water in the area and can be a mecca for shorebirds, gulls, and ducks in spring and fall. If you visit on the right day, bird concentrations can be truly impressive. The lakes are located just past the campground. These smaller ponds can be great for waterbirds of all kinds, but they are closed to the public during spring and summer to protect nests. Around all the San Luis Lakes are extensive saltbush flats where you can find Brewer’s Sparrow and Sage Thrasher in the breeding season. Herds of elk may wander into the park, and dry-country animals such as black-tailed jackrabbit and badger are in the area. The rare, native plant Slender Spiderflower (Cleome multicaulis) is commonly found growing around the seasonal wetlands in the Wildlife Nesting Area north of San Luis Lake.
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Sagebrush
Directions: From US 160 fourteen miles east of Alamosa and five miles west of Blanca, turn north on CO 150 and proceed 13.5 miles to the intersection with Six Mile Lane (CR 6N). Turn left on Six Mile Lane and head west eight miles to the park entrance on the right. Alternatively, from CO 17 just north of the tiny town of Mosca, head east on Six Mile Lane about eight miles to the park entrance on the left.
Delorme: 81 C5
Roads of Colorado: 135 E2
Dates of Access: Open all year (campground closed in winter)
Ownership: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Admission: CPW Annual Access Permit or valid Colorado hunting or fishing license required for access. State Parks pass NO longer required, No Fee for Camping
Restrictions: North End of San Luis Lake and Wetlands are critical bird nesting habitat. Wildlife Nesting Area - Closed to access from Feb 15 through July 15
Parking: Paved and unpaved parking areas
Lodging: Camping open seasonally.
Handicapped Access: Gravel trails are wheelchair-accessible, Two Handicapped Accessible Campsites