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reservoir at paonia state park

The Reservoir at Paonia State Park. Photo: Park Facebook page

Paonia State Park is a Colorado State Park located in Somerset, and is around 68 miles northeast of the city of Montrose. The park offers camping, water skiing, biking, and fishing with breathtaking views of Paonia Reservoir.


There are a large variety of things to do available to Paonia State Park explorers.

Here are several of the many things to do at Paonia park:

Boating At Paonia State Park

From mid-June to mid-August, the boat ramp in Paonia State Park is open to boaters, so long as visitors are careful to check for aquatic nuisance species (ANS) and to follow all local and state guidelines for boating. Once the boat ramp is closed, carry-on boats are still allowed, including canoes and kayaks, though all boaters should pay attention to the water levels in the park to ensure they avoid any unwanted encounters with the local geography.

Both jet skiing and water skiing are allowed in the park, so long as riders follow the same direction as other jet skiers and water skiers.

Fishing At Paonia State Park

Paonia State Park has a brief fishing window from mid-June to mid-August in the reservoir. Those looking to fly fish in or around the park will find that the streams below the dam area are much more conducive to fly fishing. Keep in mind that all local and state fishing licensing applies while within the park, and to follow all bag limits as well as safety guidelines when fishing in the park.

Biking At Paonia State Park

Those looking to bike at Paonia State Park will find that Highway 133, along the country road, or along the campground roads are all conducive to short bike rides while camping within the park. There are no trails within Paonia State Park, so the mountain biking options are limited to these three road types.

Cross-country Skiing At Paonia State Park

Paonia State Park offers the unique experience of being able to cross-country ski along the base of the empty reservoir during the winter months, so long as there is enough snow cover available. Keep in mind that the ice within the reservoir is never safe to traverse due to bubbling natural gas and that skiing is only allowed on solid land covered in enough snow to protect the local flora.

Pets At Paonia State Park

Dogs are welcome at Paonia State Park, as long as they are kept on a 6-foot or shorter leash, and all waste is properly disposed of. Please do not leave your dog unattended for a long stretch of time, nor in a car or camper without proper air conditioning in the hot weather.

There are no horse facilities within or around the park and no horseback riding trails at Paonia State Park at this time.

Camping At Paonia State Park

There are two primitive campground locations available at Paonia State Park. These locations include a picnic table, fire ring, and a vault toilet within walking distance. Keep in mind there is no drinking water available in the park, and that all campsites require advance registration. To find out more, or to reserve a site, check out the Paonia State Park website. There is also no winter camping available in the park.

Park Location

Paonia State Park
CO Hwy 133
Somerset CO 81434
Phone: 303.297.1192​



Below is a short video highlighting various things to do at Paonia State Park: