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Silver Jack Lake

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

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Silver Jack Lake

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  • Silver Jack Lake is nestled in the Cimmaron Range, considered part of the San Juan Mountains.- Silver Jack Lake
  • View from County Road 8 on the way to Owl Creek Pass.- Silver Jack Lake
  • At the pass (finally!).- Silver Jack Lake
  • Meadow at Owl Creek Pass.- Silver Jack Lake
  • View of the road approaching the lake.- Silver Jack Lake
  • - Silver Jack Lake
  • Inlet end of Silver Jack Lake near the boat ramp.- Silver Jack Lake
  • The country surrounding the lake is beautiful.- Silver Jack Lake
  • The boat ramp is a bit primitive.- Silver Jack Lake
  • There are paths around the lake with great views.- Silver Jack Lake
  • View of the lake from near the campground and above the dam.- Silver Jack Lake
  • - Silver Jack Lake
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautiful scenery. Fun but challenging drive in. Beautiful remote campground.
Cons: 
No nearby services.
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Region:
San Juan Mountains, CO
Congestion: 
Low
Site characteristics: Water: 
Lake
Motorized watercraft allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Portage required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Water difficulty: 
Easy / Class A
Current Local Weather:
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Paddle Description

Paddle Description

Pro Contributor

Located in the Cimmaron Ridge area southeast of Montrose, Colorado, Silver Jack Lake is a 325-acre reservoir that is very popular for hiking, camping, fishing, and boating (human-powered or electric motors only). Access is from Montrose in the north via Hwy 50 and dirt roads or from Ridgway to the west via Owl Creek Pass. This road follows an 1885 cattle drive path, and much of the film “True Grit” was shot in the area.

The lake has a very beautiful campground at the northern end below the dam, a primitive boat ramp at the southern end, and nice hiking trails all around it. The views of the Cimmaron Range (part of the San Juans Mountains) are spectacular. In June and July, the wildflowers around the lake are prolific and the drive in over Owl Creek Pass from Ridgway (if that is the chosen route) is an adventure itself. This road is marginally passable with a 2WD vehicle, but check on the condition before attempting it (the pass often doesn’t open until late June or July) and be prepared for a rough ride.

 

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(27 within a 30 mile radius)

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