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.
Directions: Sands Lake SWA is just north of the town of Salida on Highway 291. From Highway 50 turn north on Oak St./Highway 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 Highway 291. South on Highway 291 approximately 7 miles. Highway 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: A valid hunting or fishing license will be required for everyone 18 or older attempting to access any State Wildlife Area or State Trust Land leased by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Restrictions: No camping
Lodging: Hotel in Salida
Handicapped Access: Limited