Williams Creek Reservoir, Co.

(2nd try) 8600′ elevation



Water Clarity – 6

Natural Quality – 9+

Difficulty – easy

Second trip to Williams but this time with my “stuff.”

(First Try Here)

June 2015 trip just as nice!

Back down the dusty trail, after forgetting my paddle the day before – it was only right.

And past The San Piedra trail which runs nearby, so a stop or two to look over the edge along the way,

There is no way to capture the reality of it all with this 2-dollar camera, but it’s a camera that at the moment I don’t mind if sinks or drops – plus, its easier to take a picture than make a note.

Lets see if I can do this any justice…

Put in at the landing where another paddler was already in and some anglers were arriving.



Paddled upstream, there was a calm side to the left.  At the end I pulled the kayak across a short grass field and enjoyed a fine ride back to the lake.



Where the stream enters the lake, there was some serious fishin going on.

The lake itself first struck me as ‘mundane,’ I mean when you can almost see the full circumference of the lake, What is more mundane? The water clarity was clouded with some suspended growth and it seemed shallow, anyway I figured I’d run the shoreline clockwise and get a feel to the ‘lake.’

Talked with Sandra, another paddler in her LL Bean kayak, very similar to my logic – I had noticed and liked the lift rack that she had on her car back at the landing so my first words of course were something like – “hey, I really like your rack!” There was a pause and it seems she was from New Mexico –  a part of paddlin of course is about “gettin away from those “doggone people,” common ground – then after a short drift she went her way and I mine, reminds me that no way would I (personally) consider a ‘two-seater.’

Another couple were fishing about half-way down the lake, we spoke and drifted a bit as he worked on his tackle, I asked a few fishing questions and he educated me a little about of the trout and salmon that are found in this water. Unfortunately, I remember more about the fish than of his name.


The 2015 water was at 46 degrees, just right for my beverage of leisure (waggitt-adder).

From that point I continued the shoreline up to the spillway, right up to it – edging over…. the water’s volume didn’t seem to pose a problem. The June 2015 trip was after some rain, would have been an easy (and unfortunate) slide down the spillway (well the slide would have been great, the landing might have been regretful)…..




It was after I turned from the spillway that the ‘Natural Quality’ of this lake suddenly stood out before me.  Looking towards Cimarrona Peak, the words that resonated inside these two little portholes of mine were

Dang! it’s pretty out there!

It wasn’t the natural ‘habitat’ so much but simply the overall ‘beauty’ of the surrounding terrain, plus the grand scale of it all.  It was easy to imagine the ancient movement that once etched the valley in the distance, I know there are other places more grand and beautiful, but wow – this is pretty neat and I’m sittin right here ‘in it.’

I continued paddling and drifted the ‘dead-air’ space on the windward side of the lake, then slowly ‘fell in’ with the breeze pushing back down through the middle of the lake.  I guess you can’t always predict staying along one shore especially when coves and inlets are involved – variables include wind, shade, exercise, and what ever your intent was with the trip – this lake had no coves to speak of so ‘dropping-off’ into the breeze on the ‘top side’ and drifting back down the middle was a good option for today.

“Feet-up’ in the dead air space along the shore -‘Oliver’ had his line in the water, but I don’t think it mattered at all whether anything bit.

Again, there’s no way to convey the depth of the valley without seeing it, drifting down the middle of the lake just gave me more time to ponder the magnitude of changes within it all.

Drifted right on by the landing, always the cheap entertainment ‘hot-spot’ of any body of water,

It might seem as though there’s alot of folks around, but that really wasn’t the case at all – everything’s so spread out here – wide open spaces (song), I only came across a few faces.  At a glance Alice resembled my sister Janis (in Afghanistan) so we chatted a bit, being from California she was quick to tell me that I would encounter many ‘doggone people’ while passing through there in the coming weeks.

– then there was the ‘Major the dog backing the Bronco down, not sure if he could fetch a beverage or not.





As I left the road passes the campground where just a few of the sites were taken,

and right past this lady Patti, a park volunteer for the past 13 years, she thanked me for not blowing dust all over her with the truck – but I didn’t do it on purpose – no hurry here.  My plans were to drift back down this dirt road just like I had drifted back down the middle of the lake, ez.

The second trip to Williams Lake was worth the dusty drive, I’m sure there are days that the views are even more distinct.  There were paddlers going in as I was headed out – so that told me that it is known and used for a close, easy, and very scenic paddle adventure by locals.  Initially the lake fooled me but somehow became much greater and distinct with the surrounding Scenic Quality, awesome.


The dusty trail.



“Dang, it really is pretty out there.”