McPhee Reservoir, Colorado

Telluride Colorado
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McPhee Recreation Area

The McPhee Recreation Area provides year-round fishing, hiking, boating and camping and is less than two hours from Telluride. Read More

  • The McPhee Recreation Area has a climate suitable fishing, boating and camping year-round.
  • McPhee Reservoir CO is less than two hours from Telluride off of CO-145 near Dolores. 
  • Nearby campground have electric hook-ups and facilities.


The McPhee Reservoir is the second-largest artificial body of water in Colorado, and has fifty miles of shoreline. Boats and canoes are permitted here, and several campgrounds flank the water. Best of all, the average elevation here is 7,400 feet, making the climate much milder than in Telluride. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of the area’s outdoor opportunities all year.


McPhee Reservoir, Colorado, is 65 miles southwest of Telluride. Follow CO-145 south to Dolores. Just past Dolores look for CO-184. From there several smaller roads provide access to the lake.


The reservoir is stocked with Rainbow Trout and also has Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Black Crappie, Bluegill and Catfish. The stretch of river below the dam is known as premier fly-fishing water, and has stubborn but healthy Cutthroat, Rainbow and Brown trout.

Water Sports
The reservoir has one concrete boat ramp but no marina. Sunny days see plenty of traffic on the water. Bring some water skis in the summer you’re missing the snow too much!

McPhee Lake Campground is 8 miles west of Dolores off of CO-184. There are 76 sites, 16 of which have electrical hook-ups, and 12 walk-in tent sites near scenic overlooks. There are also two group sites that can accommodate up to 30 people each.