Sylvan Lake State Park and campground is an out-of-the-way, tranquil oasis that offers beautiful scenery, hiking, fishing, and relative solitude without the crowds of Summit County, Rocky Mountain National Park, or some of the other popular state parks. Not hard to get to, Sylvan Lake is just 15 miles from I-80 south of Eagle, Colorado, and it is perfect for a short getaway or a longer stay to explore the area.
The campground has 46 sites and that are well distributed with plenty of space between sites. It is set in a wide meadow with sparse trees just a short walk from the lake. There are two sections to the campground: the Elk Run loops (sites 1-34) are laid out like a typical campground, while the Fisherman’s Paradise is a large gravel parking lot with 12 side-by-side sites backing up to a large grassy area next to the lake. The best views of the lake are from the Fisherman’s Paradise section, but on weekends these sites would be somewhat congested. The views of forested hills are great from all sites. There are flush toilets, showers, an amphitheater, and a boat ramp (no gas motors on the lake) with canoes and paddle boats for rent. There are also cabins that have great views of the lake. There is literally not a bad site in this campground. There are great sites for tents and long flat ones for RVs. There are no hookups, but there are plenty of water spigots (with great-tasting treated spring water) and a dump station. Cell service is non-existent, but the visitor center (5 miles away) has free Wi-Fi. All sites are reservable.
There are nine cabins for rent at the campground. One large one includes a bathroom and kitchen and eight small cabins have an outdoor fire ring, heat, and solar lights. The cabins have great lake views and are available all year.
There is plenty to do right in the state park, with hiking trails around the lake, down Brush Creek to the visitor center, and up the nearby gulches into the White River National Forest. The West Brush Creek Trail is a great choice that is very near to Sylvan Lake State Park Campground. A bit further away there are several national forest trails that lead to alpine lakes or high crests with 360-degree views. Sylvan Lake and Brush Creek have great fishing (with a half-mile section of the creek above the lake inlet off-limits in the fall to protect spawning brook trout).