Advertise Lake Vacation Rentals
For the true, unhurried western vacation in Southeastern Colorado, make the trip to Adobe Creek Reservoir. The reservoir, also known as Blue Lake presents a welcome surprise oasis in the dry Colorado southeastern plains. Hidden discretely off the beaten track, Adobe Creek Reservoir is known most popularly as a hunting, fishing and bird-watching site. It's an ideal location for a driving vacation, perhaps with kids and boat in tow.
Straddling the Kiowa/Bent County lines, Adobe Creek Reservoir is located in a historical area that was prominent in the settlement of America's West. A few miles south, the Santa Fe Trail carried wagon trains westward as far as California. Less than 20 miles north, a monument marks the location of a tragic massacre of the Cheyenne and Arapaho by US Army forces. Both tribes were camped under the protection of the American flag at Sand Creek at the time. Within a forty mile radius, historic forts, such as Bent's Fort and Fort Lyon, have been preserved as museums to impart history to new generations. Gone are the vast herds of bison, the nomadic tribal lifestyles of Native Americans, and the trail-blazing stories of hunter-explorers such as Kit Carson. In their place came farmers attempting to eke out a living on the dry prairie land.
Irrigation is a way of life at Adobe Creek Reservoir; archeological evidence of rudimentary irrigation ditches dating to well before the arrival of European settlers has been found in the area. Although there is evidence that the region has seen wetter periods over the last thousand years, water has always been a somewhat scarce commodity on the high plains. Settlers with engineering expertise soon began to build a system of water storage and irrigation to water crops. Adobe Creek was dammed sometime in the late 1800's; the Fort Lyon Canal Company built an improved dam around 1910.
Water stored at the dam doesn't directly irrigate local fields, but is secondary storage for other reservoirs on the Arkansas River. Water travels throughout the system by an ingenious network of canals and dikes, and water levels at Adobe Creek Reservoir vary greatly. The impoundment sometimes drops to less than 2000 surface acres in drought years. Other years, the water surface exceeds 4000 acres. Although the Fort Lyon Canal Company owns the reservoir, the lake is managed by the Colorado Division of Wildlife by lease agreement for wildlife management.
Adobe Creek Reservoir is available to all types of water sports, including boating, sailing, wind surfing and water skiing. Several boat launch ramps, both at normal water level and for low-water, use are located on the northern portion of the reservoir. Restrooms are available but no other amenities are provided at the reservoir itself. Primitive camping is allowed anywhere along the 15 miles of shoreline, but there are no hook-ups and no water available.
Fishing is consistently good at Adobe Creek Reservoir. The warm-water fishery is home to walleye, crappie, bass, bluegill, wiper, tiger muskie, carp and catfish. In season, hunting for deer, antelope, rabbit, pheasant, scaled quail, mourning dove and waterfowl draws hunters. The Division of Wildlife digs hunting pits in the field for decoy hunting and around the lake for firing lines.
The Adobe Creek Reservoir shoreline is a favorite bird watching site, especially during seasonal migration. Least terns and piping plovers nest here, particularly on the small island. The island is posted as closed during nesting season; these are state endangered species. Keep your eyes open for prairie longspurs and mountain plovers. This is an excellent site for viewing prairie birds, however the hiker should be on the look-out for rattlesnakes and wear appropriate footwear. Every February, the Lamar Chamber of Commerce hosts the High Plains Snow Goose and Birding Festival at nearby Eads, attracting many visitors to this celebration of visiting Plains birds, birding information and art exhibits and crafts.
Lodgings for visitors to Adobe Creek Reservoir may be found in Eads, Las Animas, Lamar and La Junta. Near John Martin Reservoir, about 10 miles south, many vacation rentals are available. These nearby cities and towns also provide convenience shopping, golf and a wealth of historical museums and markers. Real estate is available for those wishing a small-town atmosphere in an historic area. Visitors can hike along the Santa Fe Trail, or visit The Kiowa County Historical Museum, the Kit Carson Museum on the Santa Fe Trail, the Koshare Indian Museum at La Junta and the Otero Museum Complex with its restored buildings. These locations are all near US 50 which runs parallel to the Santa Fe Trail. In the area north of the reservoir, visitors can view the Sand Creek Massacre Historical Site, the Artist of The Plains Art Gallery in Eads, Jackson Pond Natural Area south of Eads, Woelk Park historical exhibits in nearby Sheridan Lake or bicycle a portion of the Prairie Horizons Trail section of the Transamerica Bicycle Trail near Haswell.
As Adobe Creek Reservoir is only 180 miles southeast of Denver, it's accessible to the weekend visitor. For a refreshingly serene break from the big city, visit the Adobe Creek Reservoir area, learn some history first-hand and drop a line into the un-crowded waters. Bring the boat, perhaps the camper and unwind the High Plains way.
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