Sylvan Lake campground opens to Eagle locals

John LaConte
Vail Daily
Sylvan Lake State Park with the Red Table Mountains in Eagle County.
Courtesy Colorado Parks and Recreation

The campground at Sylvan Lake State Park in Eagle will reopen to Eagle County campers who make advance reservations starting today.

Day use of the park also is now available to Eagle County locals who purchase a state park pass.

With guidelines in place asking folks to recreate within 10 miles of their home, however, Sylvan Lake currently is not welcome to many. The park is accessed via an 8-mile drive down Brush Creek Road, an improved dirt path in Eagle.

Randy Hampton with Colorado Parks and Wildlife says the staff at Sylvan Lake State Park won’t be performing calculations to see if visitors are within 10 miles of their homes, and the state website will not kick you out if you book a camping reservation from another area, but they are telling people to stay close to home.

“We want to get out there and we want to do things, and everybody wants to do it in a safe way,” Hampton said. “So, a lot of flexibility, a lot of ability to hopefully talk through any things that come up, and just continuing to tell people do it smart. We don’t want to mess this up and end up back where we were two months ago, where everything gets shut down.”

Eagle County Public Health guidelines currently prohibit out-of-county guests from recreation and non-essential visits, limit group gatherings to 10 people, and call for social distancing whenever possible. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is also asking park guests to observe the governor’s request that guests wear non-medical cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth whenever in public.

Construction nearing completion

The boat launch area will be unavailable for the next few days at Sylvan Lake as the final touches on a two-year construction effort at the park are completed.

The concrete walkway project is expected to be finished by the end of the week.

“We’ve only had a few boaters out since the ice fully came off the lake, so hopefully we won’t disappoint anyone,” said Michael Wall, the park manager. “We’re hopeful that the work will be done by Friday so it won’t impact the weekend visitors. If someone really wants to get out this week, they can always hand launch from the grass area next to the ramp but that will be a bit more work for them.”

Sylvan Lake only allows hand-propelled or electric motorboats.

Most of the work at Sylvan Lake was centered on reconstruction of a 1940s-era dam, but the project also included the construction of a new footbridge at the lake.

“Right now we think all of the other construction will be fully completed by Memorial Day weekend,” Wall said. “About the only thing people will notice after that is the bare places where the grass has been seeded and just needs the summer to grow.”


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