Of Colorado’s 22 million acres of public land, the San Juan area (San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests) make up about 3 million acres. Hiking, fishing, camping and biking opportunities are immense. One could spend a lifetime exploring this area and still not see it all.
The following are places I have visited in the area:
This hike is easily accessible. From Pagosa Springs head north on highway US-160 north to Piedra Rd. Turn Right onto Piedra Rd go about 16 miles and park here. The further you hike in the better the fishing gets. For more information contact Let it Fly.
Rio de los Pinos:
This place is very special. The population of native Rio Grande Cutthroats is isolated from other fish as a waterfall acts as a natural barrier. To get there navigate to Truijillo Meadows Reservoir.
Take the forest road at the end of the reservoir northwest up stream. The road is a bit rough and requires 4 wheel drive. The road dead ends where there is some good primitive car camping spots. Hike the trail up stream, for a few miles. When you see the waterfall the cutthroat population lives above.
The following lakes are rated good or great lakes to catch fish and are most likely to yield fantastic hiking and camping:
Williams Creek Reservoir State Wildlife Area
For more information visit the Colorado Fishing Atlas or call Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Customer Service: 303-297-1192
Or contact local fly shops:
The San Juan Angler: 970-382-9978
Rio Grand Angler: 719-658-2955
Conejos River Anglers: 719-376-5660