Bonny Lake State Park
30010 Road 3, Idalia, CO 80735
Park Office: 32300 YC Road 2, Burlington, CO 80807
Office Hours: 8 - 430 Monday - Sunday, later on Friday and Sat.
Park Hours: 5 AM-10 PM unless camping or fishing stay 10PM-5AM
WELCOME to Bonny Lake State Park
Bonny Lake State Park
is a state park located in Yuma County, Colorado near Idalia. It is
the easternmost State Park in Colorado. The park was founded in 1979
by William Bernstein.
In 2007, the lake had 2,200 acre feet water
drained to meet obligations of a water compact made between Colorado
and Kansas. Although not all of the 2,200 acre feet of water was
The drainage was stopped due to the fact that none of the
water was reaching the way station in Binkelman, Nebraska. Only 1,100
feet was lost.
On August 24, 2007 the owners and the Colorado
Department of Natural Resources considered shutting down the lake due
to water loss and lack of funds.
The lake was at a low measure
sitting at only 15 feet to 4 feet and the shallowest. Guest could not
launch boats from the boat ramps, but you can launch boats by hand
this means only small water craft like canoes, jet skies, etc.
Although fishing and hunting were still good around the lake. Walleye,
wiper, catfish, and white bass bite very well of the dam, and ducks
love the lake as a resting point as they continue there migration.
Over the summer of 2008 the lake gained enough
water through rainfall to raise the lake a total of 4 feet 8 inches,
but the dam engineer decided to let out the water so it wouldn't
This went against the decision that was made at the water
meetings that happened that previous winter to not let out any more
water, and either let the lake dry up or fill up as nature let it.
lake has a chance to have huge winter fish kills due to the shallower
lake conditions. If the 4 feet 8 inches was still in the lake the fish
would easily water to avoid fish kills.
More than 300 different species of birds have
been seen in the park, including rare bald eagles there are also many
species of waterfowl over the winter months that including green-wing
teal, widgeon, pintails, mallards, wood ducks, blue-wing teal,
Canadian geese, snow geese, and sand hill cranes.
Mammal species found
in the park include beaver, cottontail rabbit, coyote, deer (both mule
deer and white-tailed deer), jackrabbit, muskrat, opossum, raccoon,
thirteen-lined ground squirrel, and weasel.
Picnicking at Bonny Lake State Park
Bonny Lake has numerous picnic sites located
around the reservoir. Most sites are located around the tree-rimmed
south shore, near the swim and ski beaches.
Located on the south of
the reservoir at the Center Beach picnic area, two fully accessible
picnic areas are available for visitors with disabilities.
Group Picnic Area
Besides individual sites, Bonny Lake has a group picnic facility that
can accommodate up to 100 people. The group site is equipped for
people with disabilities and includes reserved parking, a covered
pavilion, water, electricity, a restroom, horseshoe pits, and a large
grill for group cooking.
Group Picnic Area Fees
The group picnic permit fee for groups of 50 people is $30 with a fee
of 50 cents for each person thereafter. The group picnic area is
within easy walking distance of the Wagon Wheel Campground and is 70
yards from the marina. Call the park office at (970) 354-7306, to
reserve the group picnic area. The park begins taking reservations
January 1 of each year. The highest demand days are Sundays during
July and August.
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