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.