Eleven Mile Canyon Recreation Area is located below the dam of the Eleven Mile Reservoir near Lake George in the southeast corner of South Park. The narrow, dirt road traversing the canyon used to be the old Colorado Midland Railroad bed before the dam and reservoir were constructed. Unlike the reservoir area, which has an open basin and rangeland type topography, the canyon itself is forested, lush, and rocky. Eleve Mile Canyon cuts through the plain holding the South Platte River in its rocky bottom. As the river is unleashed from the dam above, its twists and crashes against huge boulders lining the canyon floor. A canopy of large trees provides a screen of shade that floats across the canyon with the moving sun. Eleven Mile Canyon is an unexpected paradise.
There is a $7 entry fee per vehicle for Eleven Mile Canyon. Hiking, camping, and picnicking are available within the Recreation Area:
Springer Gulch Campground
Hard Rock Interpretive Trail
Eleven Mile Picnic Area
Idlewild Picnic Area
Messenger Gulch Picnic Area
O’Brien Gulch Picnic Area
From Highway 24 in Lake George turn south on Country Road 96. At the fork in the road, veer right. The entrance station is manned during the day and a self-service fee tube is located at the entrance for use during hours that the station is closed.