Round Trip Distance: 0.6 miles
Elevation: 5870 - 5875 feet
Cellphone: 4-5 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Chipeta Lake
Attractions: Fishing, picnic, wildlife
Chipeta Lake is located along the Uncompahgre River in Montrose, Colorado. The lake is in a State Wildlife Area that protects the marsh lands along that stretch of the river. There is a trail that travels completely around Chipeta Lake providing access to both lake and river fishing, wildlife viewing and hiking.
To get to Chipeta Lake drive southwest on Highway 550 and turn north onto Chipeta Road. Drive a little past the Ute Indian Museum to Chipeta Lake which is on the right.
The trail around Chipeta Lake begins initially as a paved path that leads to a wheelchair accessible fishing spot.
At the end of the paved path the trail transitions to gravel and continues around the shore of the lake.
The trail on the east side of the lake bumps up against the Uncompahgre River. Mule deer can often be seen in this area although they tend to bed down during the daytime.
The trail becomes narrower as it rounds the south end of the lake where reeds and cattails tend to block easy access to the water.
Continuing along the western shoreline the trail passes a set of steps that lead up to street level.
There are several benches scattered around the lake where you can relax and enjoy the serenity and view the wildlife or keep an eye on your fishing pole.
And of course the loop comes to an end back at the parking area. In this photo you might notice that the restroom is a porta potty and that there is a covered pavilion with a few picnic tables. Chipeta Lake is a close place to Montrose to enjoy a short hike or relax and do some fishing. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.