|Part of Carpios Ridge Campground from an overlook.|
"That must be the visitor center," I said to M. But I was so wrong. It was the "camper services" building — toilets, plus coin-operated showers, laundry room, and vending machines. The actual visitor center was more modest.
By happenstance, the first weekend of June found us holding reservations for the dogs at the boarding kennel, but our original planned destination was impossible. What to do? A lot of the high country was still snowy and/or in the middle of the Big Melt, so we looked lower down.
|A view from our campsite. The forest here is mostly piñon-juniper.|
The Purgatory River was dammed to create the lake in 1979, making it slightly younger than Pueblo Reservoir. The lake's level fluctuates, but it is around 800 acres.
Creating the lake drowned some former "coal camps," but you can see visit Cokedale at the park's west end, with its long row of former coke ovens aging under the Colorado sun — when they were working, that little valley must have filled with choking smoke.
One morning I went down to fish before breakfast, and I admit to being skunked—I saw a couple of fish, but they rejected my lures. Some anglers in boats were not doing well either, but I saw one hooked by a fisherman on the shore.
|Muddy water flowing into the lake.|
|The riparian zone meets the P-J in Long's Canyon.|
It also includes a geological feature, the KT (KPg) Boundary, as described in "An Earth-Shattering Kaboom at Trinidad Lake State Park."
If all this is not enough, you are only about five miles from the Corazon de Trinidad National Historic Area.