Arapaho National Recreation Area


view of lake from pine beach picnic area

Welcome to the Arapaho National Recreation Area (ANRA)

A 35,000 acre scenic water wonderland in the upper reaches of the Colorado River Valley; the ANRA was established by Congress in 1978 and contains five major reservoirs:

Lake Granby, Shadow Mountain Reservoir, Monarch Lake, Willow Creek Reservoir and Meadow Creek Reservoir.

Adjacent to the ANRA is Grand Lake, with its deep, clear blue waters, is the largest natural lake in Colorado. Together, these lakes and reservoirs are often referred to as the "Great Lakes of Colorado." The ANRA is a world-class place to boat, camp, hike, fish, ice fish, snowmobile, view wildlife, horseback ride and hold events.

The ANRA’s campgrounds include Arapaho Bay, Green Ridge, Sunset Point, Stillwater, Willow Creek, and the Cutthroat Group Campground. Dispersed camping is allowed near Meadow Creek Reservoir, along some of the eastern shore of Lake Granby (Map, pdf 4 MB) and along other roads within the recreation area identified for dispersed camping on the Sulphur Ranger District Motor Vehicle Use Map.

PLEASE NOTE: Visitors that hike trails leading west from the Monarch Lake, Roaring Fork or Junco Lake Trailheads are responsible for following all Indian Peaks Wilderness regulations and permit requirements.

All vehicles (including automobiles, RVs, ATVs, and snowmobiles) must display a valid pass. Campground fees are additional. Passes are required on long-term moored boats. Boats trailered in for short periods are covered by the vehicle pass. ANRA fees are covered under Interagency Passes properly displayed on the vehicle dashboard or from a mirror hangtag with the signature side visible to enforcement personnel. Fees are also required to use the waters of Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Lake Granby.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Day-use is from sun-up to sun-down, overnight use is allowed in campgrounds only. Boat inspections are open April-Sept. 6 (6AM-8PM), Sept.7 - Nov. 30 (6AM-6PM).
Fees: Arapaho National Recreation Area (ANRA) fees apply. All vehicles (including automobiles, RVs, ATVs, and snowmobiles) must display a valid ANRA or interagency pass. Interagency Annual, Military, Senior, Golden Age, Access, Golden Access, and 4th Grade passes are accepted.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions:

In the Arapaho National Recreation Area, motorized boats will only be allowed to launch from designated boat ramps whenever Colorado Parks and Wildlife inspectors are present. Emergency access onto Arapaho National Recreation Area reservoirs, and one-way access off the water will be provided 24/7 at Stillwater and Green Ridge boat ramps.

Closest Towns: Granby, Colorado; Grand Lake, Colorado
Operated By: Forest Service

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Campground Camping

Recreation areas with activity Campground Camping:

Dispersed camping is also allowed near Meadow Creek Reservoir, along some of the eastern shore of Lake Granby (Map, pdf 4 MB) and along other roads within the recreation area identified for dispersed camping on the Sulphur Ranger District Motor Vehicle Use Map.

Group Camping

Recreation areas with activity Group Camping:

Lake and Pond Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Lake and Pond Fishing:

Fishing is available on each of the lakes and on public land along creeks and rivers within the area. Lake Granby is known for its kokanee salmon and trophy lake trout. Shadow Mountain Reservoir is stocked with brown and other trout species. Fishing licenses are required per State of Colorado regulations and seasonal regulations exist on the Colorado River below Shadow Mountain Reservoir Dam.

River and Stream Fishing

Recreation areas with activity River and Stream Fishing:

Fly fishing opportunities are available along the Colorado River and other nearby creeks. Fishing licenses are required per State of Colorado regulations and seasonal regulations exist on the Colorado River below Shadow Mountain Reservoir Dam.

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

The Monarch Lake and Junco Lake trailheads within the ANRA are two of the primary entry points to the most popular wilderness area in the National Forest System, Indian Peaks Wilderness.

The easy to moderate, four-mile circuit around Monarch Lake offers views up to the valleys and high points of the Indian Peaks Wilderness and is one of the area’s most popular hikes.

The Shadow Mountain Dam Trailhead, accessed near the Green Ridge Campground, offers access to trails into Rocky Mountain National Park and along the Colorado River. (Please note: no dogs are allowed on National Park trails.)

The Continental Divide Trail crosses the ANRA east of Lake Granby

Viewing Wildlife

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:

Bird lovers enjoy watching the many osprey in the area. Visitors can watch for them hovering over the water then plunging feet-first for fish, and for the body-parallel method osprey use to carry their prey (versus the perpendicular method eagles use to carry fish). There is an osprey viewing platform and parking for it near the Green Mountain Campground, at the gated end of County Road 66.

Print this self guided osprey tour brochure

Other types of wildlife that may be seen in the ANRA include birds like the Stellar's Jay, raven, western bluebird, ptarmigan, and mountain chickadee, and mammals including antelope, moose, deer, elk, bobcats, pine martens, mountain lions, squirrels, black bears and pika.

Never feed or approach wildlife. Keep a clean camp in order to ward off bears. Be aware that moose can become aggressive and may be a bigger threat than bears, particularly around dogs.

Boating - Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Motorized:

Lake Granby (Map, pdf 4 MB) and Shadow Mountain Lake ( Map, 2 MB) are open to motorized and non-motorized boats.  

  • Boat ramps (offering Colorado State Mussel Inspections) for Lake Granby are available at Sunset Point and Stillwater (adjacent to campground).
  • A boat ramp (offering Colorado State Mussel Inspections) for Shadow Mountain Lake is available near the Green Ridge campground.
  • State of Colorado boating regulations apply within the ANRA.

Boating - Non-Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized:

Lake Granby (Map, pdf 4 MB) and Shadow Mountain Lake ( Map, 2 MB) are open to motorized and non-motorized boats. Willow Creek, Meadow Creek and Monarch Lake Reservoirs are open only to non-motorized boats.

  • Boat ramps (offering Colorado State Mussel Inspections) for Lake Granby are available at Sunset Point and Stillwater (adjacent to campground).
  • A boat ramp (offering Colorado State Mussel Inspections) for Shadow Mountain Lake is available near the Green Ridge campground.
  • Non-motorized boats (not requiring state inspections) may launch from Hilltop Boat Launch, near Grand Lake, and Willow Creek Boat Launch on Willow Creek Reservoir.
  • Boating activities include pleasure boating, fishing, water skiing and tubing, canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.
  • Various commercial marinas rent boats; contact the Grand Lake or Granby Chambers of Commerce for more information.
  • State of Colorado boating regulations apply within the ANRA.

Know Before You Go

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Related Links

Campgrounds At-A-Glance

Featured Events

Location

 
  Latitude : 
40.1237765

  Longitude : 
-105.7606369