Harvey Gap State Park, like neighboring Rifle Gap State Park, is nestled in a valley between the Grand Hogback and wooded mountains in western Colorado. A dam fills a sharp gap in the Hogback, creating a 190-acre lake that offers water-based recreation. Fishing is the most popular activity, with excellent fishing for tiger muskie, northern pike, bass, perch, crappie, rainbow trout, and catfish. The 320-acre park and lake is protected from strong winds by the surrounding mountains, making it ideal for boating, sailing, windsurfing, and scuba diving. An unsupervised beach offers summer swimming and 30 picnic sites scattered along the scenic lakeshore. Harvey Gap is a day-use only area with no campground, so set up your base camp at Rifle Gap State Park to the west.
- Harvey Gap Reservoir is perfect for small watercraft. Motor boats must have an engine smaller than 20 horsepower to keep the water clear. Light, persistent winds make windsurfing and sailing popular, while human-powered canoes and kayaks ply the waters. Set off from the boat ramp on the north side of the lake, and don’t forget a life jacket. Children under 12 must wear one at all times on the lake.
- Want to catch a big fish? Head to Harvey Gap and toss a line for a tiger muskie, a powerful fish that is stocked in the lake. The tiger muskie, a sterile hybrid of muskie and northern pike, can grow to 50 inches long and can weigh over 30 pounds, providing a stern test of any angler’s skills to catch and land one. State wildlife regulations prohibit possessing a tiger muskie less than 36 inches in length. Bag limit is one.
- Western Colorado scuba divers enjoy the lake’s deep, clear water, using it to train for deeper dives and practicing their scuba skills.
Recommended season(s): Year-round
—Stewart M. Green