Sands Lake State Wildlife Area

· Headwaters

Sands Lake State Wildlife Area

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./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 or SWA pass is required for everyone 16 or older to access any State Wildlife Area or State Trust Land leased by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Restrictions: No camping

Parking: Yes
Lodging: Hotel in Salida

Handicapped: Yes
Handicapped Access: Handicapped fishing pier, and concrete walkways to the river.

Latitude: 38.54401
Longitude: -106.00601

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Contact Info:

Area CPW Office: Salida, (719) 530-5520


Drinking FountainNo
Gravel TrailsYes
Paved TrailsNo
Visitor CenterNo
Gift ShopNo

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