Highline Lake State Park

Quick Facts

Highline Lake State Park

Colorado

(970) 858-7208

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Highline Lake State Park, approximately 20 miles northwest of Grand Junction, is a prime location for many year-round activities. This park is a center for water sports in the Grand Valley area. The campground provides a base for nearby mountain biking and river rafting hot spots. The lake itself provides opportunities for boating, water-skiing, jet-skiing and fishing. In the winter months,outstanding duck and goose hunting is allowed on weekdays, and some great bird watching opportunities occur during this time of year for the non-hunters. The park also includes a beautiful picnic area with plenty of shade and grass and easy access to several hiking trails. The campground is open year-round and offers a pleasant place to rest after a hard day of playing. The Division of Wildlife has commented that fishery conditions at Highline Lake could produce a state record largemouth bass.

Map of Highline Lake (CO)

Latitude, Longitude: 39.282457, -108.838809

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Activities

  • Boating

    There are two lakes at Highline Lake State Park, Mack Mesa Lake and Highline Lake. Highline Lake is open to power boating, jet skiing, water skiing, sailboating and sailboarding from March 1st, lake conditions permitting, through September 30th. Highline Lake State Park is part of the fight to curb the spread of aquatic nuisance species (ANS). All trailered watercraft entering and leaving Highline Lake will be inspected for ANS. On weekends May through Labor Day, the lake regularly reaches boat capacity, requiring boats to wait to enter until another one leaves. There is rarely a wait on weekdays and evenings, though, so bring the boat to Highline Lake after work, or on your weekday off! Park rangers patrol Highline Lake regularly to provide emergency assistance and carry out boat safety inspections on the lakes within the park. All boats must carry the appropriate safety equipment outlined in Colorado boating regulations and statutes. Since underwater hazards may not be marked, use caution when boating. Mack Mesa Lake is restricted to hand or electric-motor powered boating only.

  • Bicycling

    Bikers have several trails in the park to choose from. The 3.5-mile Highline Lake Trail circles Highline Lake; in addition, there are several bonus loops that provide challenges and unique views. For a real challenge, ride the world famous 18 hours of Fruita Trail; mountain bikers use this trail during the annual 18-hour endurance race that puts Highline Lake at the center of the mountain biking world the first weekend of every May. Try the newest addition to the 18 Hour Trail, Engle Loop! This loop adds 0.9 miles of challenging trail, making the total mileage of the 18 Hour Trail 6.42 miles. A map and other information about this loop is posted on the Highline Lake Trails pages. The park is also close to the North Fruita Desert trail system and the Kokopelli Trail head, as well as the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. There is also a map available at the park for biking from Highline Lake to the 18 Road complex, on only rural roads. Ask for it! The campground makes a perfect base camp for all of these biking opportunities. After using the trails, many bikers swim at the swimbeach, during the summer season, or fish in the lakes, then enjoy campfires and the star-filled night sky from their campsite!

  • Camping

    Plan to stay awhile in the grassy, shaded campsites. Enjoy the clean restrooms with hot showers, washers and dryers; fill tanks with easy access to water, and use the dump station when needed. The campground is open year- round! Individual and group campsites are available. Sites go fast on weekends March through October; please reserve early or consider camping during the week or off-peak times.

  • Fishing

    There are two lakes to fish at Highline Lake State Park, Mack Mesa Lake and Highline Lake. Anglers can enjoy the warm-water fishing opportunities, which include largemouth bass, black crappie, black bullhead, and channel catfish. Mack Mesa and Highline lakes are stocked with cold-water rainbow trout in the spring and fall. Check the Colorado Division of Wildlife fishing guide for more information. Only hand or electric powered boats are allowed in Mack Mesa. Boats are only allowed in Highline Lake March 1 through September 30, weather and lake conditions permitting.

  • Hiking

    There are five great trails within the park to choose from, varying from easy to difficult for hikers of all ages and abilities. Trails and loops circle Highline Lake and Mack Mesa Lake; wander through a wetlands area below the dam rich with wildlife and birds; and take a hike to the top of Mack Mesa, where there is an amazing 360 degree view of the Grand Valley, from the Bookcliff range to Grand Mesa to the McInnis Canyons and everything in between! Watchable Wildlife Kiosks, with viewing scopes, are located on either side of Highline Lake, and are easily accessible.

  • Horseback Riding

    Opportunities are available in the area.

  • Hunting

    During waterfowl hunting seasons, there are seven blinds available at north end of Highline Lake for hunting. Hunters must register at the west gate for a blind prior to hunting. Hunting is allowed Monday through Friday only, 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.

  • Picnicking

    Close to both Mack Mesa and Highline Lake, there are 44 family picnic sites with tables and grills throughout the park that are available year-round. Some sites are in grassy areas with mature shade trees, others are cabanas near sand just made for building castles

  • RVing

    No electrical hookups. Dump stations are available year-round.

  • Water Sports

    Highline Lake is a beautiful place to bring a sailboard or sailboat. Whether just learning or a master, Highline is an amazing place to enjoy the wind and water. During the day on weekdays, or any evening, the water is less troubled by motorized boats, and a boarder can enjoy the wind taking the boat or board where it will! A buoyed-off swim area complements the shaded turf grass picnic area at Highline Lake. The lake water temperatures range from the high 60s to 80s in summer, allowing the normal swimbeach season to run from Memorial Day thru Labor Day. Water skiing and jet skiing are other popular activities in the park.

  • Winter Sports

    Highline Lake State Park is a great place to relax in winter. The climate is mild and the park usually receives little snow, making it a nice base camp for winter recreation. When the park does receive snow, park visitors can enjoy a day of cross-country skiing, sledding, or ice fishing without leaving the park! Downhill skiing, ice fishing and sledding can also be enjoyed in the nearby mountains before returning to the park and the warmth of a winter campfire in the campground. Observing eagles, mule deer, various hawks and other wildlife and waterfowl that seek winter haven at Highline Lake is a special winter treat for park visitors.

Seasonality/Weather

Park is open year-round. Picnic area closes at 10 p.m. daily, fishing open all night.

Park Partners

Lakeview Rentals

Lakeview Rentals is a source for jet-ski, pedal boat, canoe, and hydrobike rentals. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day, weather and lake conditions permitting.

(970) 858-2081

Directions

Driving

Drive west on I-70 west from Grand Junction to Loma Exit, then north onto Colorado Highway 139 for six miles to Q Road. Go west on Q road for 1.2 miles, then turn north onto 11.8 Road for one mile to the park entrance.

Flying

Airports located in Grand Junction and Denver, CO.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(970) 858-7208

Links