· Headwaters

Sands Lake SWA

Sands Lake is one of the best birding lakes in Chaffee County. The willows around the lake can be good for migrants. The lake retains open water year-round, and so can be good for waterfowl, particularly during the colder months.

County: Chaffee

Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir

Directions: Sands Lake SWA is just north of the town of Salida on Highway 291. From Highway 50 turn north on Oak St./291. Drive through downtown; Sands Lake will be on your right just beyond the ball fields. From Buena Vista and points north: South on 285 to Hwy 291. South on 291 approximately 7 miles. 291 will cross the Arkansas River twice; just past the second bridge you'll see a sign for the Mount Shavano State Fish Hatchery on the right. Sands Lake is just beyond on the left. Parking areas are off of Spiral Drive.

Delorme: 60 D2-D3
Roads of Colorado: 102 C3

Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Ownership: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Admission: Free

Restrictions: No camping

Parking: Yes
Lodging: Hotel in Salida

Handicapped: No
Handicapped Access: Limited

Elevation: 7055

Latitude: 38.54401
Longitude: -106.00601

» Visit the website for Sands Lake SWA


Drinking FountainNo
Gravel TrailsYes
Paved TrailsNo
Visitor CenterNo
Gift ShopNo