Where is Eleven Mile State Park
Eleven Mile State Park is located in central Colorado. The park contains the Eleven Mile Reservoir, several hiking trails, a marina, and a visitor center. Popular activities practiced in the park include hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, birding, and several more. Eleven Mile US State Park also maintains and manages a campground. The closest city to Eleven Mile State Park is Lake George. Denver, the capital of Colorado, lies 119 miles and a two hour and fifteen-minute drive north of the park, Colorado Springs lies 49 miles and about a one-hour drive east of the park, and Grand Junction lies 244 miles and about four hours west of Eleven Mile State Park. The park is also in close proximity to several national forests and notable outdoor sites including Pikes Peak.
How Large is Eleven Mile State Park
Eleven Mile State Park covers over 7,600 acres. The park’s geography mainly consists of plains located within a montane environment and the Eleven Mile Reservoir. The reservoir itself covers over 3,400 acres and is about five miles long. The trail system contained within Eleven Mile State Park provides visitors with access to five miles of wilderness trails, and several trails within the park are both designated for hiking and mountain biking. The campground at Eleven Mile State Park contains over 300 camping sites. In addition to the reservoir, visitor center, and campground, the park also provides a home to several wildlife species. The most common wildlife species spotted by visitors are cottontail rabbits, jackrabbits, coyotes, squirrels, and mule deer.
Eleven Mile State Park Weather
The weather at Eleven Mile State Park changes frequently throughout the year. In summer months, temperatures in the park average between 35- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit, and winter temperatures in the park average between 0- and 40-degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest days of the year find Eleven Mile State Park in June, July, and August. The coldest days arrive at the park in December and January. On average, Eleven Mile State Park receives about 50 days of rain per year. These days of rain accumulate to about 15 inches of rain per year. Eleven Mile State Park also receives several days of snow during wintertime every year. On average, the park receives about 52 inches of snow annually.
When did Eleven Mile Become a State Park
Eleven Mile State Park first became a state park in 1970. However, the history of the Eleven Mile State Park area begins years before the state gained control of the area. In 1859, the first mining craze spread across the United States and forced the Native Americans who lived in the area out. Between 1861 and 1870 over 11,000 miners descended upon the Eleven Mile area, and several towns were created in the Eleven Mile Canyon. This canyon is now the Eleven Mile Reservoir and supplies a large majority of Denver with fresh drinking water. The towns that came before the reservoir are buried under the surface of the reservoir still to this day.
Things to do in Eleven Mile State Park
Eleven Mile State Park offers interested visitors the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities. These activities include hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, and others. Our State Park Visitors Guide lists and discusses the most popular adventures found in Eleven Mile State Park below:
Explore the Visitor Center
The Eleven Mile Visitor Center is the best place for visitors to start their Eleven Mile State Park adventure. Not only does the visitor center house several educational displays and exhibits that discuss the park’s history, ecology, and wildlife, but the building also contains several knowledgeable staff that can disrupt helpful materials and answer additional questions visitors may have.
Hike the Nature Trail
After exploring the visitor center, hikers visiting the park can embark down the park’s nature trail. The nature trail contains several important vegetation species and geography associated with the rest of the park. Plaques along the nature trail discuss specific species and the impact they have on the park’s larger ecosystems. The trail is also a great place for visitors to potentially spot several of the park’s wildlife species.
Hike the Orienteering Trail
The Orienteering Trail is another popular hiking trail found in Eleven Mil State Park. The trail meanders through the park’s plains and hardwood forests. However, the trail does not follow a set path, but instead can be navigated using a compass and a list of quadrants. The trail was constructed by an Eagle Scout Troop who visited the park.
Fishing in Eleven Mile Reservoir
The Eleven Mile Reservoir offers anglers visiting Eleven Mile State Park the opportunity to fish for several different species. The most popular species fished for in the reservoir include brown, cutthroat, and rainbow trout, as well as northern pike and Kokanee Salmon. Carp can also be found in the reservoir's shallow bays and are targeted for bow fishing.
In the winter, visitors of Eleven Mile State Park can enjoy a variety of seasonal activities. The Eleven Mile Reservoir within the park is a popular site for ice fishing and ice skating when the ice grows thick enough in mid-winter. The park is also utilized for cross country skiing and snowshoeing when snow levels reach optimal levels.
Eleven Mile State Park provides a home for a variety of wildlife species. The most popular species found in the park include jackrabbits, coyotes, squirrels, mule deer, and other woodland creatures. However, the park also hosts a variety of avian species that are sure to interest any birder visiting the area.
Camping in Eleven Mile State Park
Eleven Mile State Park maintains nine different campgrounds that are spread out across the shore of the reservoir. A total of over 325 campsites are contained in these nine campgrounds. These campgrounds can be reserved through the park’s website and reservation portal. The park’s sites only operate on reservations.
When to visit Eleven Mile State Park
Visitors can plan a trip to Eleven Mile State Park during every season. However, the majority of visitors arrive at the park during the summer months when temperatures are optimal and most of the activities the park offers can be experienced. Spring is the best time for wildlife enthusiasts to visit the park, as wildlife is the most active during the season. Winter is perfect for cross country skiers and avid ice fisherman to visit Eleven Mile State Park
Things to Bring to Eleven Mile State Park
A trip to Eleven Mile State Park requires a little packing and planning. Several essential items List of Parks suggests visitors should consider bringing with them when they visit the park are listed below:
Water/ High Energy Snacks
Water and high energy snacks are essential for every outdoor adventure. Hikers and campers visiting Eleven Mile State Park will want to bring additional water and snacks. Beef jerky, dried fruit, trail max, and protein bars are great snacks to consider.
Sturdy Hiking Boots
The trails at Eleven Mile State Park range in difficulty and traverse various terrain. To be well suited for all of the park’s trails, hikers visiting Eleven Mile State Park should come equipped with a sturdy pair of hiking boots.
Layers of Clothing
Temperatures in Eleven Mile State Park can vary throughout the day and depending on a visitor’s location. To ensure their comfort on the water, on the trails, and overnight while camping, visitors should arrive at the park wearing various layers of clothing. These layers can be added and removed to a visitor’s liking throughout the day.
Anglers hoping to drop a line in the Eleven Mile Reservoir will want to bring all of their freshwater fishing equipment with them to the park. The park’s marina also provides visitors the opportunity to shop for needed tackle, bait, or other boating equipment.
Wildlife Field Guides
Visitors interested in spotting various wildlife found in Eleven Mile State Park will want to bring along a Colorado wildlife field guide or a field guide specific to North America. Wildlife enthusiasts and birders may also want to bring a lightweight pair of binoculars to carry with them on the trail.
Where to Stay in Eleven Mile State Park
Visitors looking to camp within the nine campgrounds found in Eleven Mile State Park should obtain a reservation for one of the park’s campsites. These reservations can be made online through the park’s website and reservation portal. Visitors looking to stay in a hotel in the area can first checkout options in the Lake George and Park City areas. Visitors requiring additional options can make the 49-mile drive to Colorado Springs where there are a number of hotels and other lodging facilities.
Food Near Eleven Mile State Park
The closest food to Eleven Mile State Park can be found in the Lake George and Park City area. However, visitors searching for additional options or something specific should make the one-hour drive to Colorado Springs. The city hosts a variety of restaurants, bars, and grocery stores visitors can take advantage of. A more extensive list of restaurants and bars can also be found in Denver. The city is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive away from Eleven Mile State Park.
Airports Near Eleven Mile State Park
The closest international airport to Eleven Mile State Park is located in Denver. The Denver International Airport is located 163 miles and a two-and-a-half-hour drive away from the park. Other airports in the area include regional options in Colorado Springs and in Grand Junction. These airports will have less no stop flights but can also connect to flights leaving from the Denver International Airport.