Regional Reports-West

Trappers Lake

Colorado is blessed with hundreds of high-country lakes, but one of my favorites is Trappers Lake in the 325,000-acre Flat Tops Wilderness Area, 35 miles east of Meeker on Rio Blanco County Road 8 and Forest Road 205. Trappers Lake sits at 10,500 feet on the westernmost edge of the Flat Tops, allowing you to drive within half a mile of the lake. As with all wilderness areas, motorized boats are not allowed, but float tubes, canoes and rowboats are ideal methods to cruise the lake's 320 acres. Nearby, Trappers Lake Lodge (970-878-3336) rents canoes and rowboats. Trappers Lake is best known for its pure-strain Colorado River cutthroat trout, and the lake is officially a "Wild Trout Water," meaning the fish population is self-sustaining. Anglers are limited to using artificial flies and lures only, and the limit is four cutthroats. Spinners and streamer flies can work well. Because there is concern over an increasing population of brook trout, there is no bag or possession limit on them. A resident license is $20.25; a nonresident license is $40.25. Contact: Colorado Division of Wildlife office in Meeker (970-878-4493).