Overview of Lake George
  • Founded in 1892 at an elevation of 7,992 feet.

  • The Colorado Midland Railway first brought passengers through Eleven Mile Canyon on July 12, 1887.  With the arrival of the Midland came many settlers and homesteaders.  Among these was an entrepreneur from New York named George Frost.  He knew that the railroad would need ice, so in 1890, he started building the lake and ice house.  Lake George has endured since then as a hotspot for camping, hiking, fishing, and hunting.

  • The South Park National Heritage Area is one of 49 congressionally-designated areas in the United States where natural, cultural, and historic resources occur in nationally important landscapes.  With its natural beauty, mining history, railroading, and agriculture, Lake George is an integral part of this heritage area.

  • The area offers Gold Medal Fishing opportunities throughout the year for brown and rainbow trout, as well as northern pike and kokanee salmon.

  • Lake George provides great recreational opportunities at nearby Eleven Mile and Spinney Mountain State Parks, as well as Tarryall Reservoir and the incredible Tarryall Valley on County Road 77.

  • Visitors to the Eleven Mile Canyon Recreation Area will be treated to three railroad tunnels, tumbling streams, plentiful picnic areas, fishing areas, and interesting rock formations.  Trails and forest service roads lead into evergreen and aspen forests that glow golden in the fall.

  • Lake George is also known worldwide for its amazonite, microcline, clear and smoky quartz crystals, green and purple fluorite and topaz.  The Smithsonian Institute and other large national museums have Lake George specimens on display.  (Please note that virtually all digging areas in and around Lake George are privately owned claims and it is illegal to dig at these sites.)

  • Lake George is host to an annual Gem and Mineral Show in August.

  • Lake George Community Park is the site of the Arkansas Valley Flywheelers annual Tractor Pull held the third weekend in August.  The annual Lake George Extravaganza community yard sale is the same weekend.

  • The Tarryall National Historic Landscape District encompasses the land along Tarryall Road (County Road 77) from near Lake George to Jefferson.  This landscape district is one of the first of its kind in the state.  The traveler can sense the feeling of living the life of homesteaders who settled along this valley in the early 1860s.  Besides breathtaking scenery, the traveler may spot antelope, mountain lion, bobcat, deer, and domesticated bison, and may need to stop for cattel on the road through this open range.  Plan on about an hour for the drive if there are no stops.


  • Blue Mountain - 1.5 miles south of Lake George off CR-96 & CR-61.  21 campsites; max parking 25 feet; elevation 8,200 feet
  • Cove - Eleven Mile Canyon.  4 campsites; max parking 16 feet; elevation 8,400 feet
  • Eleven Mile - 11 miles south of Lake George.  3308 campsites around reservoir; elevation 8,600 feet
  • Happy Meadows - 3 miles north of Lake George off CR-77.  8 campsites; max parking 22 feet; elevation 7,900 feet
  • Riverside - Eleven Mile Canyon.  18 campsites; max parking 30 feet; elevation 8,800 feet
  • Round Mountain - 6.5 miles west of Lake George on US Hwy 24.  16 campsites; max parking 35 feet; elevation 8,500 feet
  • Spillway - Eleven Mile Canyon.  15 campsites; max parking 25 feet; elevation 8,500 feet
  • Springer Gulch - Eleven Mile Canyon.  15 campsites; max parking 25 feet; elevation 8,300 feet
  • Spruce Grove - 13 miles north of Lake George on CR-77.  27 campsites; max parking 35 feet; elevation 8,600 feet
  • Tarryall - 1 mile west of Lake George on US Hwy 25 to CR-77, 25 miles to Reservoir.  elevation 8,839 feet
  • Twin Eagles - 14 miles north of Lake George off CR-77.  9 campsites; max parking 22 feet; elevation 8,600 feet

Driving Tours

  • Tarryall Valley Tour - Tarryall Road (County Road 77) provides a very scenic auto tour between Jefferson and Lake George.  This valley also contains 32 sites that are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.  Roadside exhibits interpret seven notable sites along the route.  Please contact the Park County Tourism Office (719-836-4298), South Park Ranger District Office (719-836-2031), or the Town of Fairplay (719-836-2622) for a copy of the Tarryall Valley tour brochure.


  • Allen Creek Ranch (South Park Flyfishers) - Over one mile of private stream containing resident browns, rainbows, and pike up to 24 inches.  Limited to three fly rods (only) per day.  Reservations and daily access fees are required.  Please visit the South Park Fly Fishers website for more information.
  • Williams Ranch (South Park Flyfishers) - Two miles of private stream with resident browns, rainbows, and pike up to 24 inches.  Limited to four fly rods (only) per day.  Reservations and daily access fees are required.  Please visit the South Park Fly Fishers website for more information.
  • Twin Eagles - Limited fishing access at Twin Eagles Trailhead along County Road 77.  Resident browns and stocked rainbows up to 14 inches.  This is a popular starting point for hikes into Lost Creek Wilderness Area and receives heavy use during summer.
  • Spruce Grove - About one-half mile of public fishing access at Spruce Grove Campground along County Road 77.  Resident browns and stocked rainbows up to 14 inches.  Daily parking fee is required.  Heavy use during summer.
  • Puma Hills River Ranch - Private guest ranch on County Road 77 near Lake George offers 1.5 miles of private river fishing on Tarryall Creek for overnight guests only.  Visit their website for additional lodging and fishing information.
  • Eleven Mile Reservoir - This Colorado State Park offers great shore and boat fishing for trout and pike, as well as campgrounds, boat launches, hiking trails, public restrooms, and other facilities.  11-Mile Marina offers boat rentals, outdoor gear, and guided fishing trips upon request.  Please visit their website for more information.
  • Rock Climbing in 11 Mile Canyon
  • Eleven Mile Canyon - Very scenic canyon with several miles of river access along County Road 96 between Lake George and Eleven Mile Reservoir.  Forest Service campgrounds are located within the canyon, which is known for its rock climbing routes.  Wild browns and rainbows up to 30 inches in this tail water fishery.  The upper two miles are catch-and-release only.  Daily access fee is required at the entrance station.  Crowded during summer.
  • Happy Meadows - Forest Service campground and trailhead on County Road 112, three miles north of Lake George.  Seasonally fair to good fishing for wild browns and stocked rainbows in the South Platte River.  Forest trail 654 provides hike-in river access from the campground.  This area gets crowded during summer.
  • Reservoir Spillway - About 300 yards of public stream access below the spillway of Tarryall Reservoir supports browns, rainbows, and cutbows up to 18 inches.  The fish are numerous but this small area gets crowded during summer.
  • Ute Creek Trailhead - Public fishing for a short distance up and down stream of the trailhead (footbridge).  Fair for browns and rainbows up to 18 inches, but access is limited.


Trail # Trail Name Usage Length Environment Trail Features
CR-94 County Road 94 PC, SUV 1.9 miles Forest, Meadow Connects with Teller County Road 32 northeast of Lake George
CR-96 Eleven Mile Canyon Rd PC, SUV 9.6 miles Forest, Canyon, Stream Narrow road follows the South Platte River for 9.6 miles; camping, fishing, & rock climbing
CR-112 Happy Meadows Rd PC, SUV 2.1 miles Forest, Meadow, Stream County road access to Happy Meadows Campground & the South Platte River
FT-619 Longwater HK 3.5 miles Forest, Stream Trail starts on FR-210 & switchbacks to Tarryall Creek & the South Platte River
FT-654 Platte River TH, HK 2.5 miles Forest, Stream Trail starts at the end of CR-112 & follows the South Platte River
FT-626 Platte Springs TH, HK 1.6 miles Forest, Stream Trail starts on FR-210 & dead ends at South Platte River for hike-in fishing
FR-210 Platte Springs Rd TH, 4WD, OHV 1.7 miles Forest, Meadow High clearance forest road provides access to FT-619 & FT-626
FR-393 Wagon Tongue Rd 2WD, OHV 4.7 miles Forest, Canyon 4WD road from CR-98 down to CR-96 in Eleven Mile Canyon


Route Number Key (Route numbers may differ on various maps)

CR = County Road (asphalt or gravel surface suitable for passenger vehicles)
FR = Forest Road (improved dirt roads, two-track roads, and high clearance 4WD roads)
FT = Forest Trail (single track trail, includes bother motorized and non-motorized vehicles)

Suggested Use Key - Suggested uses are based on user feedback and US forest Service Travel restrictions.  Road and Trail restrictions are subject to change over time.

SC = Seasonal Closure (generally between January 1st and early June of each year)
TH = Trailhead (parking area)
HK = Hiking
BP = Backpacking
MB = Mountain Biking
EQ = Equestrian or pack animal use
4WD = Highway-legal vehicles with high clearance and 4-wheel drive capability
OHV = Off-highway vehicles that are not highway legal (four-wheelers, ATVs, and dirt bikes)
MC = Motorcycles (dirt bikes)
PC = Passenger Cars
CG = Campground

Notice:  Many of the roads and trails described above are closed on a seasonal basis to protect wildlife.  Please respect all closures and stay on designated routes to prevent resource damage.