Spectacle Lake – Conejos River Trout Fishing Access

Spectacle Lake - Conejos River Trout Fishing Access

There is fishing access to the Conejos River and Spectacle Lake. The lake is year round, with winter ice-fishing. Spectacle Lake Trail 730 begins 1/2 mile south on Forest Road 250. Ruybalid Trail 855 and Notch Trail 729 are also accessible. 2 sites have parking for two car groups. Both day and overnight use is permitted. The facility has 24 sites with tables and fireplaces (firewood is limited). 2 vault type toilets, refuse containers and pickup. There is a developed water system with 2 hand pumps. Most sites have a panoramic view of towering cliff walls. No boating is allowed on Spectacle Lake.

The Conejos emerges from fertile volcanic rock in the Rio Grande National Forest’s South San Juan Wilderness, just north of the New Mexico border. This is wild country – the last confirmed grizzly bear in Colorado was killed here in 1979 – and the area sees few visitors compared to the nearby Weminuche Wilderness. The nearest town is Antonito, and it’s as small as they come. The historic Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad transports the occasional tourist between Antonito and tiny Chama, New Mexico, on a half-day journey over a 10,000-foot pass.

The area’s isolation is part of the Conejos’ appeal, translating to guaranteed solitude and willing, wild trout. Even if the Conejos garnered widespread publicity, fishing pressure would likely remain light. Denver is almost a five-hour drive, and Santa Fe and Albuquerque, at approximately three hours, aren’t exactly close.

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