A look at Elkhead Reservoir near Steamboat Springs:

Description: In stark contrast to its barren surroundings, the reservoir spans 900 acres through the rolling Yampa Valley. The park is treasured by Moffat County residents, who have nowhere else in the near vicinity to turn for water recreation. The backdrop of distant peaks adds to the serenity of the picnic-worthy place. Boaters share the reservoir with swimmers and anglers. It's first-come, first-served at the campground with 16 basic sites.

Activities: Boating, water sports, swimming, fishing, camping, bird watching, hiking and biking on lakeshore.

Wildlife: Small mammals such as foxes, coyotes and badgers are common; bald and golden eagles, rough-legged hawks, sandhill cranes, great blue herons, various waterfowl are among the area birds; bass, northern pike, catfish are among the fish.

Fun fact: Elkhead Reservoir is the largest body of water in the northwest part of the state.

Address: 135 County Road 28, Craig, 81625

Contact: 970-276-2061, cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/ElkheadReservoir

Hours: Day use is from sunrise to sunset.

Directions: Take Interstate 25 north to Denver. Go west on I-70 to exit 205 and then take Colorado 9. Follow to U.S. 40 west and continue for about 87 miles until turning right onto County Road 29. Follow to Country Road 28, which leads to the park entrance.

SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE

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