Eleven Mile Reservoir, to the west of Colorado Springs, is a very popular destination for campers in central Colorado. It is about an hour west of Colorado Springs on US-24. This Colorado State Park sits in the very southern end of what is known as South Park, a huge glacial plain in the Rocky Mountains. Eleven Mile State Park has over 300 campsites. You will find walk-in tent only basic sites without electricity as well as RV sites, complete with electricity. Some of the RV sites are built to accommodate RV’s up to 40 feet in length. There is a dump station for campers and RV’s, and there is plenty of fresh water around the park. The weather here is generally mild, but can be windy, and the weather can change quickly, so be prepared. There is a variety of wildlife here including bears so be sure to follow good camping habits when in bear country.
Eleven Mile State Park Campground InformationReserve a Campsite at Eleven Mile State Park Today!
Eleven Mile State Park is a great place to go for the day or for a few nights. It is open year round. Peak season is considered mid-May to the end of September. You can expect to have all facilities open and available during this time. If you plan a camping trip outside of the peak season, you may find that some of the park’s features, such as showers and laundry, are unavailable.
Being a state park, a Colorado State Park pass is required everyday along with a standard campsite fee. The campsite fees range widely but they start at $10 a night. The fees here can go all the way up to $200 a night if you are renting some of the few cabins they have available. However, the standard camping fees will cost you from $10 to $24 a night.
During peak season it is highly recommended that you reserve your campsite ahead of time. The campgrounds here are often full throughout the summer and it may be difficult to find a place to camp if you just show up here. You can make reservations three days ahead of time to as much as six months ahead. It is best to reserve sites as soon as you have your camping trip scheduled to be sure to get the site you want. Should you find yourself in the area you may be able to find a site or two that is not reserved but these will most likely be the primitive sites in the park. If you do not have reservations but still want to schedule a trip, you may want to try the weekdays to avoid the reservations that other campers have already made.
Eleven Mile State Park Campgrounds
There are many campgrounds around Eleven Mile Reservoir. The lake itself is quite large, stretching almost seven miles through the south end of South Park. The campgrounds offer comparable camping experiences. All of the campsites are open and in a flat area. When the wind picks up it can get quite blustery. The campsites near the entrance of the park from US-24 up on the hill offer some protection from the wind. A few even have a tree or two!
The Rocky Ridge Campground is the only campground with electrical hookups at the campsites. It is near the entrance and away from the lake on the hill to offer some protection from the wind. Loops A, B and D have electrical hookups. If you are looking for a tree or two look for a campsite in loop C or E in the Rocky Ridge Campground.
Both the North Shore and Witchers Cove campgrounds offer lakeside sites and close access to the boat ramps. Look to reserve here if you are planning to take your boat out or want to spend a lot of time on the shore of Eleven Mile Reservoir.
Cross Creek, Howbert Point, Lazy Boy, Stoll Mountain and Rocking Chair campgrounds are a bit further away from the entrance, but they tend to be more out in the open and exposed to the weather. Each of these campgrounds offer lakeside campsites so be sure to check the maps to reserve the ones you want.
Off of the Coyote Ridge Fishing access area are several dozen walk in and backcountry campsites. These offer the best campsites out of the weather, but you must walk in or boat in to these areas. These are considered the primitive sites and do not have water, electricity or outhouses. So remember to take all this into considerations when determining where to camp.
The campsites themselves are well-spaced, giving each site enough room. Without having trees or other obstacles, you should be respectful of your neighbors and try to keep the noise down. When setting up your site, be sure to prepare for the strong winds that can come through here.
The campsites are well tended by the staff here. The tables are metal grates with the rubber coating so you don’t have to deal with the previous campers’ messes.
The fire pits for each campsite are nice and shallow, allowing plenty of light and heat to those enjoying it. However, make sure to check first if fires are allowed. Fire bans are common here due to the area being warm and dry. The fire danger rises as fast as the winds that can blow through the valley. Remember to always be responsible and make sure your fires are put dead out whenever they are not being directly tended.
The campsites themselves are in small bunches all around the park but there’s a lot of park and lake to go around. You can easily find your own spot and not feel crowded on the Eleven Mile Reservoir shoreline.
Eleven Mile State Park Activities
Eleven Mile Reservoir is often touted as a great place to go fishing. This is a well-deserved reputation since the lake teems with rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout, kokanee and pike that can be caught from both shore and from a boat. You’ll need to follow the posted catch limit regulations. Should your luck not pan out, you can also try the nearby Spinney Mountain State Park. It is day use only but it is also known for great fishing.
You can hunt in Eleven Mile State Park during regular hunting seasons with a valid hunting permit. If you are heading to Eleven Mile State Park for a hunting trip, make sure that you hunt in designated hunting areas only.
This is a great place to bring your boat as well but be aware of boating with smaller or lighter craft. When the wind picks up, the lake can be treacherous for smaller watercraft. Stick close to the docks or have a plan of action should the wind pick up and force you off the lake. It’s best to take larger boats out on Eleven Mile Reservoir. It is a large lake and can get pretty rough for small boats.
It is also a popular sailing location due to the wind here. Sailboats and sailboards are a common site on the lake. Keep an eye out for them if you are boating.
ATV’s and off road vehicles are not permitted in the park due to the delicate nature of the area. However, it’s a great place to hike, horseback ride and bike.
Eleven Mile State Park Wildlife
Many birds use this lake as a stopping point in their migration and it is a great place to spot all different kinds of bird species, depending on the time of year of your visit. The wide open plains also offer a great opportunity to see other wildlife. Keep an eye out during dusk and dawn to spot animals coming out of the hills to drink in the vast open valley.
Eleven Mile Reservoir State Park campgrounds are in the heart of bear country. Black bears are common in the region and occasionally come down into the campgrounds. Use common sense and know your bear prevention behavior. If you see your neighbor using bad bear-country habits, stop by and offer a friendly reminder to help keep them, and rest of the campers, safe.
Final Thoughts on Eleven Mile State Park Camping
The open campgrounds along with the often windy conditions can be rough for some to handle. However, your primary reason to be here will determine how good Eleven Mile State Park can be for your camping vacation. As a place to strictly camp, there are many better choices. However, if you want to fish, hunt, boat, or sail, this could be a great destination for you. Here at Camp Out Colorado, we try to consider the various goals campers may have, but ultimately, we look at the base camping experience.
The location is quite convenient, only an hour outside of Colorado Springs. If you live there or are visiting the area, it’s not so far away from civilization that forgetting something is a problem.
Eleven Mile State Park is also a great place to use as a home base when exploring the region. There are many things to do around Colorado Springs and camping out at Eleven Mile State Park could be fun and a lot less expensive than a hotel.
Eleven Mile State Park could be a great place to start to learn to camp should you be interested in getting to know the great out of doors. You can get a taste for camping, and then easily leave if the weather gets bad. And you can give your camping gear a try before heading out deeper into the back country of Colorado.Reserve a Campsite at Eleven Mile State Park Today!
If you have been camping at Eleven Mile State Park Campground please post your likes, dislikes, and suggestions. Your fellow campers would love to hear from you!