Go Play: Grand Junction’s Connected Lakes, part of James M. Robb Colorado River State Park
WHAT: Connected Lakes section of James M. Robb Colorado River State Park
WHEN: Open daily
WHERE: Redlands area, behind the Albertsons supermarket on Dike Road
COST: $7 daily, or $70 for yearly state park pass
Escape Grand Junction’s oppressive heat at one of its lesser known gems; Connected Lakes offers liquid relief in a mostly arid Redlands landscape.
One of six James M. Robb Colorado River State Park sections in Mesa County, Connected Lakes’ tranquil (and rather expansive) waters supply a unique backdrop to family picnics, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and more. Lush, green cattails currently rim the water feature and fish dart and glimmer just under the lake’s rippling surface.
Fishing with a permit and hand-launched water vessels are allowed, including boats with electric trolling motors already registered with the state. If recreating by boat, life jackets must be on board, along with a whistle or sound-producing device and a legible name and home address written visibly on the water craft.
“The total park is roughly 120 acres, with 48 surface acres of water,” James M. Robb Colorado River State Park senior ranger Shannon Wadas said, adding that lakes were the result of old gravel pits dug long ago, probably 14-20 feet deep. “Carp, bass and bluegill” live within Connected Lakes’ waters.
“Connected Lakes was owned by Mesa County and purchased in the 1960s with Land and Water Conservation Fund monies. The land was used as a public park until the 1970s when the county sold gravel rights to United Sand and Gravel in order to get out of the park business as there was a growing transient population living on the land.”
Entrance fees at Connected Lakes cost $7 a day, or $70 for a yearly state parks pass. The area is well-patrolled, with a ranger often on site.
According to the James M. Robb Colorado River State Park website, folks driving by car should “take Broadway/Hwy. 340 to Power Road (near Albertsons supermarket) and travel northwest. Continue on Dike Road to the park.” A bird-watching area managed by the local Grand Valley Audubon Society is located directly before the park entrance.
Day-use at Connected Lakes is encouraged; folks who enter the park by foot or bike are not required to pay a fee. All pets must be leashed and camping is not allowed.
“We see a lot of school groups and nature walks,” Wadas said.
For more information, visit http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/JamesMRobbColoradoRiver.
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