Tarryall Reservoir Camping: Helpful Tips You Should Know

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A couple camping at a lake looking out at the water from the tent.

Colorado winters can be harsh. When the snow begins to melt, and temperatures rise, you may lose the skis and explore. Thankfully we have a reservoir centrally located, perfect for summertime activities. Tarryall Reservoir camping, fishing, and hiking should make it on your summer bucket list.

About Tarryall Reservoir

Tarryall Reservoir sits in central Colorado. The construction of the Tarryall Dam created this  711-acre reservoir surrounded by rolling mountains. Construction began in 1929 and finished in 1931. It sits at an elevation of 9,000 feet above sea level. Water recreation is allowed, but swimming is prohibited. 

A blue lake surrounded by a lush forest with tents pitched along Taryall Reservoir camping shoreline.

When Should You Visit?

Many people enjoy visiting Tarryall Reservoir in the summer. Colorado summers provide pleasant daytime temperatures in the mid to upper 70s and lows in the 50s. This weather makes great conditions for camping and all the fun that comes with outdoor recreation.

Those looking to avoid crowds should consider visiting in late spring or early fall. The weather gets cooler during these months, but you will find more solitude. However, remember that frigid temperatures and snowing conditions can happen through the spring and fall. 

Campsite Information

Those looking to extend their stay will appreciate the Tarryall Reservoir camping. Check out what you can expect while camping in the area. 

About Derbyshire Parker Gulch & Potato Gulch: The Derbyshire Parker Gulch and Potato Gulch are campgrounds located within the Tarryall Reservoir State Wildlife Area. The Pike National Forest maintains the campgrounds. Both campgrounds have around ten sites.

Facilities and Amenities: These basic campgrounds have bathrooms. However, they offer no other facilities or amenities. Those in RVs will need to be self-contained and provide their own electricity. Campers should know that these campgrounds have no drinking water, so it is essential to bring enough for the duration of your trip. 

Site Types: All campsites at these campgrounds feature a picnic table and fire ring. You can’t make a reservation as all sites are first-come, first-served. 

Fees: You don’t need to pay any fees to use these campgrounds. 

A man tending to his fire beside his RV at the Tarryall Reservoir camping site.

Other Campsites Near Tarryall Reservoir

If you cannot secure a site at Derbyshire Parker Gulch or Potato Gulch, don’t fear! Thankfully you can find other options for Tarryall Reservoir camping with similar features. So let’s take a quick look at Twin Eagles Campground. 

Twin Eagles Campground

Twin Eagles Campground has nine primitive first-come, first-served campsites. Each site has a maximum length of 22 feet. Those with small trailers, camper vans, and tent campers may enjoy this location. You will need to pay a $15 a night fee. Campers can find toilets, tables, and fire rings. However, you won’t have electricity, water, or trash services.

Activities in Tarryall Reservoir

A father fishing with his son on a wooden pier with a green forest along the shorline. When camping at Tarryall Reservoir, fishing is a great activity.


You can go boating at Tarryall Reservoir. However, you will find some stipulations in place, such as whitewater wakes being prohibited. However, you can take both motorized and non-motorized boats on the water. You can fish from your boat as well. Many people also like taking kayaks and canoes out on the reservoir. 


Anglers will enjoy fishing for both trout and pike in the Tarryall Reservoir. You can easily fish from a boat or the shore. The designated fishing docks provide great locations to cast your line. Before throwing your line in, be sure to follow all local and state fishing laws. 


If you need to stretch your legs a bit, you can find several options nearby for both hiking and biking. Pikes National forest has many trails nearby. For those looking to stay close, you can take the quarter-mile walk to Tarryall Falls. 


You can hunt in the area. Licensed hunters can hunt big game as well as waterfowl. Many people that head to the region hope to find elk. 


With so many activities to explore at the reservoir, you are bound to get hungry. Thankfully, you can find many great spots to pull out your lunch and enjoy a peaceful meal. You can use the picnic tables and restrooms located throughout the area. Don’t forget to pack out anything you bring with you. 

A woman and man relaxing with a small tent while camping at Tarryall Reservoir. Mountains are lining the background.

Time to Explore Tarryall Reservoir

Colorado has excellent public land with plentiful activities such as Tarryall Reservoir. Camping nearby enhances the experience and allows you to extend your stay. Have you had the chance to explore the area?

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