Water Recreation in Las Animas

  Trail leading to John Martin Reservoir in Southeast Colorado Photo: Anna Zoromski/Miles

Trail leading to John Martin Reservoir in Southeast Colorado
Photo: Anna Zoromski/Miles

John Martin Reservoir State Park Offers Year-round Activities 

By Mary Anderson

As spring brings more sunshine than snow to our state, it’s easy to start day dreaming about summer. Luckily, you don’t have to wait for the snow to melt to start playing in the water. 

Called the sapphire on the plains, John Martin Reservoir State Park offers tons of activities year-round. 

People have already started to enjoy activities like kayaking, canoeing, boating and more, according to administration representative Sami Huff.

With the Arkansas river flowing in and out, and small Lake Hasty as a neighbor, the reservoir is a great place for uncrowded boating, and it provides amazing wind water sport conditions.

The park sits on a high-desert prairie in southeastern Colorado. The mild weather allows year-round camping with 109 sites having electrical hookups, 104 non-electric sites, and potable water.

For those looking to get a little exercise, hiking The Red Shin Trail offers the chance to experience history, wildlife and nature. Starting below the dam, the trail is rated as easy and runs approximately 4.5 miles between the Arkansas River and Lake Hasty.

The park is also a haven for wildlife with more than 370 documented bird species in Bent County, in addition to other animals like deer, coyotes and prairie dogs.

Recreation possibilities abound at John Martin Reservoir State Park. Photos courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Planning your trip:

Currently, the daytime temperature is around 70 degrees, but expect high winds. The water temperature is roughly 50 degrees, but this will warm up as the season goes on. Those who are worried about the temperature can check here for current water conditions before you go.

The park is bike and dog friendly, but make sure you have a leash and poop bags for your furry friend.

Park entry passes start at $7, and annual passes are available for $70.

Click here for more information on fees, including camping costs. Click here to learn more about John Martin Reservoir.

-      Mary Anderson designs and writes from Denver. Click to see more of her work.