Sylvan Lake State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Sylvan Lake State Park is a 1,548-acre parkland situated in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, a few miles south of Eagle. Sylvan Lake State Park invites nature lovers and RV camping enthusiasts from near and far to enjoy a splendid vacation among stunning views of a mountain-surrounded lake, fragrant wildflowers, diverse species of flora and fauna, lakeside picnic spots, cozy camping cabins, and campgrounds built in a natural setting. Surrounded by the White River National Forest, the park comprises countless scenic spots ideal for nature photography. The park’s aspen grove, lodgepole pine, Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine, and Juniper forests will calm your senses and feast your eyes.

The park has been named after its 42-acre Sylvan Lake which is a popular fishing, boating, and picnicking spot. Surrounded by panoramic, sky-high mountains, the lake calls for great tourist attention. Sylvan Lake State Park offers numerous options of recreation to visitors and RV campers to ensure there is never a dull moment during their stop-over at the park. A few recreational activities offered at the park include hiking, biking, picnicking, hunting, horseback riding, and geocaching. There is also no shortage of winter-specific recreation. The park is open 24 hours seven days a week all year-round for campers and visitors alike. Spring, summer, and fall mark the busiest camping seasons at the park. RV campers can claim a campsite in any of the park’s two campgrounds, collectively offering 46 campsites. The park is also equipped with a few cabins and yurts to accommodate non-RV camping guests. Group camping is facilitated as well.

RV Rentals in Sylvan Lake State Park

Transportation in Sylvan Lake State Park

Driving

Sylvan Lake State Park is situated in Colorado’s Eagle County. The park is 30 to 40 minutes away from downtown Eagle if you are traveling by car or RV. The park’s location is on the famous Brush Creek Road, about 20 miles south of Interstate-70. You'll want to use caution when driving in and around the park, especially if you are in a big rig, since the roads can be winding and mountainous. Take extra care during the winter months when heavy snow may cause poor road conditions.

Upon reaching the park, you will find adequate parking at the entrance. A parking permit is required for all vehicles entering the park. OHVs are also permitted within the park on designated routes. There are self-service stations at the entrance, lake, day-use area, and near East Brush Creek. There is enough space to park RVs as large as 90 feet in campsites inside the campgrounds.

There are two campgrounds in Sylvan Lake State Park. One, called Elk Run Campground, is located near Sylvan Lake down the Brush Creek Valley, and the other known as the Fisherman’s Campground is located on the lakefront. Camping cabins can also be found in the Fisherman’s Paradise. A few yurts are available near the East Brush Creek. Vault and flush toilets are available in the campgrounds. A dump station can be found in the north of the Fisherman’s Campground and a camp service building within the Elk Run Campground. A Visitor Center selling park permits, boating and fishing equipment, and campsite registrations can be found near the park entrance.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Sylvan Lake State Park

Campsites in Sylvan Lake State Park

Reservations camping

Carbondale / Crystal River KOA

Immerse yourself in the Old West, and the beauty of Colorado at Carbondale/Crystal River KOA, where you can see the impressive Mount Sopris, fish the Crystal River, and hike the Crystal Valley Trail. At Carbondale / Crystal River KOA, enjoy on-site amenities such as a swimming pool, sauna, dog park, and bicycle rentals. Restroom and shower facilities provide you with the comforts of home. Large sites can accommodate rigs up to 100 feet, and firewood is available on-site for purchase.

Fisherman's Paradise Campground

If you are looking to camp while simultaneously witnessing Sylvan Lake in its full glory, choose Fisherman’s Paradise as your camping destination as it sits just a few steps away from the scenic lake. Fisherman’s Paradise will offer you direct access to the lake allowing you to fulfill your boating or angling desire straightaway, but you will have to compromise on privacy as the sites are tightly packed together. This lakeside campground offers 12 no hookup RV and tent campsites, a dumping station towards the north, and two vault toilets. No pull-through sites are available in this region. All sites are back-in. Site 46 is ADA compliant.

No Wi-Fi is available. Cell phone service does not work providing a complete getaway from life’s hustle. Maximum six people, two tents, two RVs, or one tent and RV are allowed on a campsite. Leashed pets are also allowed. Generators must be kept off during quiet hours which is from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Reservations can be made from three to 180 days in advance year-round. A camp service station can be located nearby offering coin showers and flush toilets during summer.

Elk Run Campground

Sylvan Lake State Park’s Elk Run Campground comprises 34 of the park’s 46 campsites. The campsites offer excellent views of the Sylvan Lake and are situated down the Bush Creek Valley. There are no hookup sites. However, clean drinking water is available. Vault toilets are available year-round as well.

During the summer season, visitors are given extra facilities of coin-operated showers and flush toilets. Reservations can be made year-round but are strongly recommended during the peak season lasting mid-May to the end of September. Reservations can be made three to 180 days in advance. Sites 13 and 16 are wheel-chair friendly. There are as much as 13 pull-through and 18 back-in sites. Only six people are allowed per campsite. Two tents, two RVs, or one RV and one tent can be fitted in an individual campsite.

The maximum RV length is 90 feet. Neither Wi-Fi nor any cellular connections are available. Generator use is prohibited during quiet hours lasting from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The sites are pet-friendly, but pet owners are requested to clean away all their pet litter before leaving.

A group campsite, large enough to accommodate up to 60 people is also available in Elk Run. The group campsite is only available during the peak season. Reservations are recommended which begin in January.

First-come first-served

First-Come, First-Served Options

There are no first-come, first-served options at this park.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Sylvan Lake State Park

In-Season

Attending Education Programs

Sylvan Lake State Park offers exciting and informative environmental education programs throughout summer at its Visitors Center. These programs will give you an insight into various aspects of the environment and particularly on bats and bears population. These interpretive displays are entertaining enough to capture the attention of children and adults alike. Dedicate a few hours to step out of your RV to drop a visit to Sylvan Lake’s Visitors Center and get a scoop of guaranteed wholesome entertainment and useful information.

Picnicking

If you are RV camping with a group of friends or members of your family, Sylvan Lake State Park’s delightful picnic spots will double the joy of your camping adventure. The park offers 12 picnic sites on Sylvan Lake where you can treat your eyes with the gorgeous views of the mountain-surrounded lake. There are also some picnic spots along the West Brush Creek where you get a chance to picnic among hopping rabbits within the shades of oak trees.

Playing Water Sports

The park’s 42-acre water body, Sylvan Lake, is an incredible destination for boating and fishing. RV campers are highly suggested to check out this gorgeous sanctuary of the park during their camping episode. Non-motorized boats, canoes, kayaks, and boats with electric trolling motors are permitted on the water surface. Boating equipment can be rented at the park.

Only allowed during the peak season, fishing is quite a favorite tourist activity at the lake. The lake is stocked with varieties of trout like Rainbow, Cutthroat, Brook, and Brown. There are also opportunities for mountain stream fishing along the East and West Brush Creek.

Off-Season

Biking and Horseback Riding

While there is no equestrian camping, you can still indulge in the pleasures of horseback riding during your RV camping extravaganza at Sylvan Lake State Park. The park’s West Brush Creek Trail allows horses on its terrain. The McKenzie Gulch Trail surrounding the White River National Forest also facilitates horseback riding. Mountain biking is permitted on the Sylvan Lake Trail. A few trails around the surrounding White River National Forest are also worth a mountain-biking adventure.

Hiking and Sightseeing

RV campers are highly recommended to check out Sylvan Lake’s picturesque hiking trails that offer visitors a chance to explore the park’s natural features besides taking in the pleasures of hiking. The one-and-a-half-mile Sylvan Lake Trail and nearly six-mile West Brush Creek Trail are perfect options for hiking, sight-seeing, and nature photography. You will get to discover the park’s natural landscape and diverse communities of plants, animals, and birds. You may encounter voles, shrews, red fox, marmots, black bears, porcupines, cottontail rabbits, beavers, mountain bluebirds, and broad-tailed hummingbirds. There are also a few hiking trails around the surrounding White River National Forest.

Enjoying Winter Recreation

If you are planning to RV camp at Sylvan Lake State Park in winters, be assured there won’t be any shortage of recreation and amusement at the park. The park entertains visitors and RV campers with a wide range of winter-specific activities to make sure their trip is as memorable in a chilly winter as it would be in a sunny summer. There are opportunities for the RV campers and visitors to sled down the snow-covered hills, ride snowmobiles across the White River National Forest, or walk over the snowy hiking trails in a pair of snowshoes. The park also offers ice-skating, ice-fishing, and cross-country skiing during winters.

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