Winter has taken a little longer to arrive at Mancos State Park this year, but with six inches of fresh snow and a solid coat of ice on the lake, the park is primed for winter skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing and camping adventures.
With the new snow, the west road and park trails provide great snowshoe or cross country ski routes. The ice on Jackson Gulch Reservoir now averages six inches thick, making it an ideal time to try for some of the 10-inch rainbow trout that have been stocked monthly through the summer and fall.
The trout are most common at depths of 15-20 feet and will bite on small ice-fishing jigs. Another option for ice-anglers are the small but tasty yellow perch that reside on the bottom and love nightcrawlers, mealworms and waxworms. There is a four-trout daily bag limit, but no limit on perch. As always, use extreme caution on the ice as conditions are highly variable. For more information on ice safety, contact the park office at 970-533-7065.
Hardy campers will find the upper loop of the main campground open year round. For those seeking solitude with a little more comfort, the park offers two wonderful yurts that provide a cozy refuge from the weather. The yurts sleep six and have electricity and heat. Reservations for the yurts can be made by phone at 1-800-678-2267 or online.