MONUMENT LAKE COLORADO - HIDDEN FISHING TREASURES

We were fortunate to be turned onto Monument Lake Resort in Southern Colorado by some friends.  When we visited this summer of 2015 Monument lake lived up to the stories.  We found an absolute asweome place to stay and unplug from the world for several days.  Fishing in Monument and Nearby North Lake as well as the local springs for trout was incredible.  Can't wait to head back there.

Monument Lake Resort is a 350-acre resort. The 100-acre lake is stocked with browns, cutthroats, rainbows, kokanee salmon, and splake. The resort is located on Highway 12 (Highway of Legends) 37 miles west of Trinidad, Colorado. The newly renovated lodge began with the Miramonte, a graceful adobe-style structure built in 1937 by the WPA and the Izaak Walton League of Trinidad. The City of Trinidad added 20 rooms in the same adobe style in the 1980s.

Cabins and Lodging at Monument Resort - The Cabins both Standard and the 'upgrade' with Kitchenettes were perfect.  Fireplaces and NO TV or Radio.  The Staff at FishingNotes.com wish there were more places that offered rooms and cabins with no connection to the outside world that we are inundated with on a daily basis.  The cabins were perfect.

For Reservation and Booking information please visit Monument Lake Resort Webpage

http://www.monumentlakeresort.com/

MASTER PLAN
In its heyday in 1948, Monument Lake Resort had 100,000 visitors. New management is bringing the resort back to its former rustic splendor. The resort reopened May 1, 2008, with some improvements in place. Those who have returned year after year will find the same good fishing, reasonable rates, and the familiar Spanish Peaks rising above the lake.  Visitors now also find pleasant surprises. The new Grubsteak Café serves local flavors prepared to a fine-dining standard using organic ingredients when available.  Cabins, Lodge, Restaurant, and Miramonte renovations are completed. Full service RV spaces have been renovated, adding 50-30-10 amp electrical service, concrete sewer basins and picnic tables.  Eco-friendly practices from cleaning products used to the landscaping installed permeate every aspect of operations in line with a philosophy of sustainability for this legendary lake and grounds.  Our vision is to restore and operate the hatchery through a nonprofit foundation created specifically for this task. This endeavor will be a great asset to Monument Lake, the City of Trinidad, Las Animas County, and the southern Colorado region. 
One goal is to raise 3lb-5lb fish to supplement the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s stocking program at Monument Lake. It is our sincere hope that we can work closely with CDOW to create a great working relationship that will aid its efforts in providing quality recreational and educational opportunities.We hope to provide educational seminars for students K-12, youth groups, civic organizations, tourists, and local residents.  Phase One for the hatchery included conducting further due diligence regarding water rights issues and assessing production capacity, as well as developing a renovation schedule and budget for the project.The City of Trinidad has been awarded two grants through History Colorado. These grants have enabled us to carry out initial assessments prior to producing renovation plans for the fish hatchery. The next step will be application for a construction grant to begin the renovations.

Monument Lake History

Monument Lake is named for a knobby rock formation that stood before today's lake existed and that rose 15 feet above the center of the lake after it was formed. This "monument" was later toppled by a fierce storm and now lies at the bottom of the lake. Legends about its origins—as well as the lake's—remain. Here are two:  Legend #1 At the time of the volcanoes, water disappeared from the mountains, and Native Americans were dying of thirst. Two chiefs, one from a southern tribe and one from a northern, went on a long journey to search for water. When they met, they hugged in friendship. Then, realizing that neither had found water, they wept, and their tears formed a lake at their feet.  Suddenly, one of the volcanoes blew smoke and lava into the air. The two chiefs, still hugging, were covered by lava and turned to stone. The lake remained, encircling the two chiefs who had caused the water to return forever for the people.  Legend #2 Years before the white man came to the lake, this natural basin contained three tiny pools that were named the Little Love Lakes by the Comanches and Utes who camped along the shoreline. The Great Spirit loved to come there at sunset and walk on the waters, blessing the valley and the snow-capped Spanish Peaks rising in the background.  When the two tribes began to fight, the Great Sprit became angry, caused the waters to dry up, alkali to seep in, and the fish to die. Then, having meted out this punishment, he sank into the middle pool. A large rock rose slowly, marking the exact spot.  The condition of the lake before it was developed was much as described in the second legend—swampy and alkali-tainted. In 1925, the Trinidad waterworks began to develop this lake of some 10 to 15 acres into a spare reservoir for Trinidad, 37 miles to the east.  In following years, the Works Progress Administration, Franklin Roosevelt's grand program to put people to work during the Depression, raised the lake level and cleared park areas along the shore.  Meanwhile, in about 1937-1939, the Izaak Walton League built a beautiful fish hatchery of native stone and stocked it with trout. The League also built a lodge and a combination store and dining hall.  Eventually the operation of the facilities was turned over to the League, which turned the profits back into building a bigger and better fishing resort with cabins and other improvements.  In its heyday in 1948, the resort had 100,000 visitors. In spring 1949, Dick Rutledge of Denver, on his first fishing trip, hauled out a 33-inch trout that weighed 21.5 pounds. Letters remarking on that fish came to Trinidad from as far away as Lima, Peru.  After mid-century, the resort slowly fell into disrepair. Although visitors continued to enjoy this special place, hatchery operations were discontinued, and the buildings and grounds received minimal maintenance.  In 2008, the City of Trinidad, which owns the property, entered into a lease agreement with Mike Robb of Westland Resources to manage the resort. New management's goal is to bring the resort back to its former rustic beauty and to add amenities.  The resort opened with new management on May 1, 2008 with some restoration and upgrades already in place.

For Reservation and Booking information please visit Monument Lake Resort Webpage

http://www.monumentlakeresort.com/