Cochetopa Creek Recreation Site is popular for the amazing fishing opportunities it offers to campers within its picturesque setting, enhanced by dense vegetation and bordered by steep canyon walls. As you drive to this Bureau of Land Management park along State Highway 114, off US Highway 50, Colorado, you’ll be welcomed by the beautiful rock formations that line the highway. This site is a wonderful spot to relax and enjoy refreshing getaways.
There are plenty of exciting things to do at and around Cochetopa Creek Recreation Site, particularly because the site is a good base camp for exploring nearby popular attractions like Rio Grande National Forest, Curecanti National Recreation Area, and Gunnison National Forest. You get to choose from a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, bird and wildlife watching, wildflower viewing, fishing, and boating. Sawtooth Mountain is another popular site for mountaineering and rock climbing.
This BLM park has a campground that features up to 15 campsites that can accommodate RVs and motorhomes up to 35 feet long. You may be able to stay up to 14 days in the campground. ADA accessible restrooms and shelters are provided in the campground.
Cochetopa Creek Recreation Site lies about 29 miles southeast of Gunnison, Colorado. If you’re coming to this Bureau of Land Management property from Gunnison, drive east along US Highway 50 till you arrive at the junction of State Highway 114. Turn south on Highway 114 and drive all the way until you get to mile marker 113 area. This recreation site is located on both sides of the highway along a four-mile stretch. As a result, the BLM recreation site is a simple drive-in park that is easy to access.
Another access to the recreation site that is not commonly used is from Gunnison National Forest, east of the recreation area. Guests camping in the Forest can access Highway 114 via several paved county roads from the Forest to the recreation site.
Several public transportation services are available to and from Gunnison. However, none of these extend to Cochetopa Creek Recreation Site. If you’ll be coming to the park and don’t have your personal vehicle, you can get recreational vehicles and trailers to rent at Gunnison and Curecanti National Recreation Area.
Gunnison KOA Journey is a developed campground in Gunnison that offers modern camping facilities and services in 106 campsites. Tent and RV camping options are provided within the campground for campers of all ages, and peak season is from May to October.
Full and partial RV hookup options are provided in the campground, as well as amenities such as picnic tables and fire grills, toilets, showers, firewood, and laundry services. Dump stations, Wi-Fi services and a playground are also provided.
RVs and motorhomes as long as 100 feet can be accommodated in the campground. Recreational opportunities available here include hunting, fishing, nature observation, golfing, sightseeing etc.
Campsites are available by reservation.
Luders Creek Campground is a pet-friendly campground in Rio Grande National Forest that offers tent, RV, and horse camping opportunities for guests. This campground features campsites that are available on a first-come, first-served basis only, with the peak season from May to September. Engelmann spruce and quaking aspen provide shade within the campground.
A total of nine campsites are available in this campground, six of which are single sites. The other three are stock-friendly campsites that include a corral for horses. RVs and trailers longer than 25 feet cannot fit within the campsites in this campground.
Amenities available here include picnic tables, toilets, and a boat launch facility. Horseback riding and hiking are common pastimes here.
There are plenty of recreational trails available around Cochetopa Creek Recreation Site, giving guests plenty of options to choose from. Within Gunnison National Forest, there are more than 3,500 miles of trails, open to various outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and many more. If you’ve got motorcycles, bicycles, snowmobiles, or all-terrain vehicles, there’s room for you too in the National Forest.
At Curecanti NRA, hikers get the chance to stroll through diverse habitats with scenic vistas where wildflowers and wildlife can be seen.
Cochetopa Creek is a major attraction for anglers, mainly because of the brown trout and rainbow trout that swim within it. These fish species are true wild trout that don’t see artificial flies and lures. Anglers, every now and then, catch large rainbow and brown trout in this creek. As a way of preparing for the exercise, ensure you check out weather and local fishing conditions before you head out.
Within the waters at Gunnison National Forest, different trout species and game fish are also present.
Sawtooth Mountain lies southwest of Cochetopa Creek Recreation Site and attracts guests to enjoy hiking, traditional climbing, mountaineering, bouldering, and scrambling on its slopes and peak. Even though the mountain isn’t one of the highest in the Elkhead Mountains, it still offers lots of opportunities to enjoy the sight of surrounding areas. The best time to visit this mountain for any of the available recreational pursuits is in summer or fall.
The name of the mountain derives from the jagged appearance of the volcanic dike on the southeast ridge.
Bird watching is a popular activity at Curecanti NRA, owing to the diverse habitats within the area that support the growth and abundance of bird species. These birds are found in different areas from the woods and riverbanks of the Neversink Trail located in the eastern part of the recreation area, to the Black Canyon area.
The vegetation types in the area that support the presence of these birds are the woodlands, sagebrush scrub and canyon, riparian and lake water.
Look out for bald eagles, Gunnison sage grouse, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, nuthatches, and many other birds in the area.
A spectacular place to observe the wonders of nature is Gunnison National Forest. Featuring diverse landscapes and elevations, this 4,531 square mile property is so rich that you will never run out of sights to see.
If you’re a flora enthusiast, feel free to explore the canyons that are scattered with scrub-oak and pinyon-juniper, or visit the plateaus to see patches of ponderosa pine mixed with aspen stands. Every year around mid-July, the wildflower bloom is at its peak in the forest.
For wildlife enthusiasts, thousands of fauna dwell in the park, ranging from elk to Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, black bear, and mountain lion.
Boating and other water-based recreational activities are popular on the 20-mile long Blue Mesa Reservoir around Curecanti NRA. Several arms of the reservoir with its 96 miles of shoreline that reach into secluded canyons are open to exploration by boaters. Note that the reservoir waters can be cold for a significantly long period
For windsurfers, there are several areas that are ideal for the sport. Water skiers also pursue their interest on the lake in July and August, when the water warms slightly.