Navajo State Park is located on the north shore of Navajo Lake in southern Colorado, and the reservoir is often called Colorado’s answer to Lake Powell. The park rests near the southern portion of the San Juan National Forest, an area known for its high desert mesas and canyons, as well as its alpine peaks and meadows. Recreational and water enthusiasts travel from both Colorado and New Mexico to stay and play on the massive 15,000 surface-acre reservoir that spans both state lines.
Wooded landscape surrounds the steep canyons and the flat-topped mesas that hug the blue waters of Navajo Reservoir. The area’s milder temperatures allow boaters and campers to enjoy year-round outdoor activities and camping opportunities at Navajo State Park, making this park a favorite destination for people who like to spend time outside during every season.
Navajo State Park neighbors some of Colorado’s most popular attractions. Many of these places are just a short drive away. Visitors can spend the day on the reservoir and then head to the town of Pagosa Springs to soak weary muscles in the healing geothermal hot springs. If visiting national parks are part of your travel plans, both Great Sand Dunes National Park and Mesa Verde National Park are only a few short hours from the park. Whatever your adventure choices might be, Navajo State Park is the ideal destination for RVers to plan more than just a one night stay.
Navajo State Park is located along the border of Colorado and New Mexico and is a short drive from many Colorado towns. The park is 42 miles southeast of Durango and 36 miles southwest of Pagosa Springs. From Colorado Springs, the park is 291 miles southwest.
Depending on the route, drivers may encounter mountain passes that contain switchbacks, curves, and dangerous grades. If you are pulling a trailer or driving an RV, research the passes and have a plan to approach each pass with care. Many of the mountain passes have beautiful parking areas with scenic overlooks at the summits. For a break, consider stopping atop one of these passes.
All Colorado State Parks require that visitors pay a daily vehicle fee. This fee is an additional cost added to camping and other recreation fees.
The Rosa Campground is a pet-friendly, year-round facility offering full-service RV sites. This campground is located near the Visitor Center and offers campers pull-through and back-in spaces ranging from 45 to 55 feet in length. Many of the sites sit waterfront, offering stunning lake views. Each gravel space has 30 and 50 amp electric service, water, sewer, a firepit, a picnic table, and a grill. The Camper’s Services building is located within the campground and has flush toilets and pay showers for registered guests, and a seasonally-operating laundry facility. Some amenities may close during the winter to preserve energy. Please silence any noisy equipment, including generators, between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am.
The Carracas Campground is a pet-friendly, year-round facility offering electric-only RV sites. This campground is located near the irrigation pond and a dump station and offers campers pull-through and back-in spaces ranging from 45 to 55 feet in length. Each gravel space has 30 and 50 amp electrical service, water, sewer, a fire pit, a picnic table, and a grill. The Camper’s Services building is located within the campground and has flush toilets and pay showers for registered guests, and a seasonally operating laundry facility. Some amenities may close during the winter to preserve energy. Please silence any noisy equipment, including generators, between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am.
The Tiffany Campground is the park’s original campground. This primitive campground has no hookups, and many of the gravel spaces sit waterfront. This campground offers both back-in and pull-through sites from 20 to 55 feet in length, and each space has a fire pit, a picnic table, and a grill. The Camper’s Services Building has flush toilets and pay showers. Also located in this campground are pit toilets, potable water hydrants, and dumpsters. The campground is open year-round for self-contained units. All of the facilities in this campground are winterized except for the vault toilets. Please silence any noisy equipment, including generators, between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am.
RVers with smaller rigs can enjoy year-round camping at Arboles Beach. Each pet-friendly site offers a picnic table, grill, and access to a vault toilet. There are no hookups available in this campground. Visitors should use the dump station near the Carracas Campground. Please silence any noisy equipment, including generators, between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am. This campground allows first-come, first-serve camping but reservations are recommended in the spring, summer, fall, and winter holidays.
RVers with smaller rigs can enjoy year-round camping at Windsurf Beach. Each pet-friendly site offers a picnic table, grill, and access to a vault toilet. There are no hookups available in this campground. Visitors should use the dump station near the Carracas Campground. Please silence any noisy equipment, including generators, between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am. This campground allows first-come, first-serve camping but reservations are recommended in the spring, summer, fall, and winter holidays.
Because the reservoir is the hub of most of the park’s recreation, the full-service marina is a point of interest for park guests. Two Rivers Marina is located just south of where the Piedra and the San Juan Rivers meet, aptly naming the facility. The marina has a small store that sells cold drinks, gasoline, ice, fishing tackle, and boating supplies. There is a clean restroom for boaters and shoppers to use, as well as a rental facility where visitors who don’t have boats can rent varying types of watercraft. Even if you don’t plan on spending time on the water, you should be sure to check out the marina!
Navajo Reservoir is the main draw to the state park. People who love watersports come here year-round to boat and play on the warmer waters. Visitors interested in renting boats can rent pontoon boats, fishing boats, ski boats, and stand up paddle boats by the half day or full day. If you own your own watercraft, you can launch your boat from the park’s boat ramp. Boaters should be aware and adhere to the state laws for both Colorado and New Mexico since the lake spans both states. Stop by the marina or call ahead to reserve your boat for a day of fun and sun on the water!
The Visitor Center at Navajo State Park is more than just a place to gather information and speak with park rangers. At the Visitor Center, park guests can spend time touring the facilities and learning about the history of the park. The facility has exhibits that showcase Ancestral Puebloan artifacts and local-nature displays. If books and gift items interest you, the gift shop contains Navajo State Park apparel and other small gift items for the guest who always needs a travel souvenir. As with many state parks, the Visitor Center is the hub of park services, and the rangers are available to give guests current park information as well as answer any questions you might have about your stay.
During the summer months, the park hosts several environmental educational programs meant to teach guests about nature and wildlife within the park’s boundaries. If you are visiting during a time where these events are not scheduled, it doesn't mean you won’t have the opportunity to view some of the park’s diverse wildlife population. The Sambrito Wetlands and the Watchable Wildlife Viewing area are two places where visitors can see animals such as jackrabbits, raccoons, birds, deer, elk, fox, beavers, prairie dogs, river otters, and muskrats. Pick up a park map or inquire about the viewing areas at the Visitor Center.
Anglers who enjoy fishing from the shoreline or from a boat will have fun trying to catch shallow water fish like bluegill, catfish, crappie, Northern Pike, and smallmouth bass. In the deeper waters, fish for salmon varieties such as Kokanee salmon. Access the park’s boat ramp just past the boat inspection area, located in between the Carracas Campground and the Rosa Campground. If you prefer shoreline fishing, park next to the ANS Deacon Station near the marina dry storage area. People over the age of 16 will need a fishing license to fish in Colorado waters. If you plan to cross state lines and fish in the New Mexico sections of the lake, pick up a New Mexico fishing license at the Visitor Center.
Bring your hiking and biking gear and head out to one of the park’s five, year-round, multi-use trails. The park’s trails are all leashed-dog friendly and offer guests many different views of the lake and the San Juan River Valley. Because many of the trails are waterfront, guests should use sunscreen and insect repellent to protect skin from the high-altitude sun and the bugs that like to hang out near bodies of water. The trails inside the park have varying surfaces, some more bike friendly than others. Outside of the park’s boundaries lie miles of multi-use trails, some perfect for horseback riding. If you bring your horse, you can ride along the Piedra and San Juan Rivers off County Road 500. For detailed trail information, pick up a park map from the Visitor Center.