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reservoir at navajo state park

The reservoir at Navajo state Park. Photo: Park Facebook page

Navajo State Park is a state park in Colorado located in Arboles, and is about 42 miles southeast from the city of Durango. The park offers biking, boating, fishing, and hiking with breathtaking views of Navajo Reservoir.

Activities

There are a number of activities available to Navajo State Park visitors.

Here are just a few of the many activities at Navajo park:

Boating At Navajo State Park

Navajo State Park is home to the Navajo Reservoir. This reservoir boasts 15,000 acres of surface area, giving plenty of space for boaters of all styles. Those looking to launch hand-propelled boats like kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and sailboats can do so, while motorized boats and even houseboats all sail across the surface of the reservoir during the warmer months of the year.

Keep in mind that all crafts need to be inspected for aquatic nuisance species (ANS), and that proper licensing and registration are all required before taking to the water. There is no swimming within the park at this time.

White water rafting is available in the park, and jetskiing is allowed on the reservoir.

Biking At Navajo State Park

Mountain bikes are welcome along the various trails and roads in the park, as noted on their individual trail markers. While Navajo State Park may be mainly focused on boating across the reservoir, bikers can take in gorgeous views of the lake as they bike through the park. With trails ranging from a relaxing pace to an intense uphill climb, there’s sure to be a biking trail for every skill level. Check out the state park website to find a copy of the in-depth trail map to help plan out your next visit.

Hiking At Navajo State Park

Not only are there plenty of trails to hike along within Navajo State Park, but the park is also interconnected to several other hiking trails that branch into other areas of Colorado. The dedicated hiker will find ascents suited to their tastes, while those looking for a casual stroll along the shoreline of Navajo Reservoir will find themselves captivated by the incredible views. There are plenty of trails to choose from, and dogs are allowed on all trails, so long as they are properly leashed and cleaned up after.

Here are some of the trails at Navajo State Park:

  • Rosa Trail – A short dirt trail that circles the Rosa campground, hikers can take in views of both the lake and the marina as they stroll. Length: about 0.5 mile Degree of Difficulty: easy
  • Sambrito Wetlands Trail – This trail circles the Sambriot Wetlands area of the park, and allows hikers to view the San Juan River Valley, as well as parts of the lake. Keep in mind that this trail can range from easy to moderate depending on the pace. Length: about 0.5 miles Degree of Difficulty: moderate
  • Piedra Trail – This trail is one of the longer trails in the park, and has some areas that are steeper, especially for mountain bikers. Hikers can use this trail to access the Windsurf Beach primitive campground, as well as the Arboles Point primitive campground. Length: about 1 mile Degree of Difficulty: challenging

Fishing At Navajo State Park

With 15,000 acres of water, it’s no surprise Navajo Reservoir is a fishing paradise. Catfish, crappie, large- and small-mouth bass, and more can be found in the shallow areas, while northern pike, trout, and more make their home in the deeper areas of the reservoir. Keep in mind that all licenses both state and local area required when fishing, and respect all bag limits. It is a good idea to check the current conditions on the state park page before setting out for the day, as weather can change suddenly in Colorado.

Horseback Riding At Navajo State Park

Horseback riding is only allowed along the San Juan River. Horseback riders should stay in the area off Country Road 500 and should be aware that parking space for horse trailers can be difficult to find on busy weekends and during holidays.

Winter Activities At Navajo State Park

While there are no OHV (off-highway vehicles) allowed in the park, there’s still plenty of winter wonderland to explore on foot. Navajo State Park is open to cross-country skiing, wildlife watching, and even open water fishing during the winter months. It is worth noting that the reservoir rarely freezes, meaning there is no ice skating or ice fishing in the park. However, snowshoeing is an allowed activity, and there is winter camping available at specified campsites.

Pets At Navajo State Park

Dogs are allowed in the park, so long as they are kept on a 6-foot or shorter leash, their waste is disposed of, and they are attended at all times. If a dog is left in a motor home or other enclosed space, be sure there is proper water and air conditioning available, and do not leave your pets for extended periods of time.

Horses are allowed specifically along the approved horseback riding trail, and when being transported to and from trailers. Keep in mind there are no horses allowed on the paved paths in the park.

Camping At Navajo State Park

Navajo State Park has 118 campsites, as well as two full cabins available for campers. There is a wide range of amenities available during the on-season, including coin-operated showers and vault toilets. Keep in mind that all campsites must be reserved in advance, including winter camping in the primitive campsite locations. For more information, check out the Navajo State Park website.

Park Location

Navajo State Park
1526 County Rd 982
Arboles CO 81121
Phone: 970.883.2208
Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a brief YouTube video showcasing different things to do at Navajo State Park: