Meeker Colorado, The White River Valley and National Forest

For fisherman, staying at the Elk Haven Lodge will give you many nearby options for different trout species, lakes, creeks and rivers to fish. Whether you prefer hiking to remote crystal clear moutain creeks to chase brook trout, swing streamers or drift bugs on the underrated White River or wade & float one of hundreds of lakes nearby, fishing in Northwest Colorado has it all.

The White River is one of Colorado’s lesser-fished gems. The fish are healthy, well fed and pressured little. The North Fork flows from Trappers Lake and is joined by the South Fork east of the town of Meeker. The Fork flows out of the Flat Tops Wilderness, which is another vast and beautiful area to explore with many backcountry lakes.

View Fishing Gallery

Lake Fishing

If you have a good map of the White River National forest, then you’ll see the many backcountry lakes for fishing and exploring. Also for the adventurous, there are hidden mountain creeks where 12” brookies call home.

Lake Avery. Drive 18.1 miles upriver from the Scenic Byway start sign. Lake Avery will be on your left. If you see the large concrete spillway, you’ve gone past the Avery turnoff. You can’t see the lake itself from the road.

Meadow Lake. This mountain lake is accessible from late June until the snow flies. Drive about 18.5 miles to RBC 17 – the Buford New Castle Road – at Buford. If you pass the Buford store, you’ve gone just a little too far. Follow RBC 17 for 12.1 miles to the Hiner Springs turnoff. Turn left on the Forest Service Road 601, and follow it to the Meadow Lake turnoff.

Trappers Lake. Go 38.8 miles up the river to the Trappers Lake Road. Turn right, and drive until you reach Trappers Lake. You’ll know it when you see it! Note: the road dead ends at the campgrounds just beyond Trappers Lake Lodge. This is a blue-ribbon cutthroat trout fishery. Trappers Lake is the headwaters of the north fork and also holds the largest concentration of Colorado River cutthroats

White River

Access points on the White River (starting at Meeker and going upstream)

  • Meeker City Park – from 10th St. bridge upstream to Circle park bridge

Following mileages are from start of County Road 8 at intersection with Hwy 13

  • Meeker Pasture SWA – 2 miles east on Cnty Rd. 8; 1/4 mile of river access
  • Wakara Ranch Access. Located 5 miles east on Cnty Rd 8. Access for about 0.4 miles downstream
  • Oak Ridge SWA (Sleepy Cat Ponds Access) Travel 14.5 miles east on Cnty Rd. 8; this is private property and fishing easement only. Fishing is in ponds and upstream for 1.5 miles to just past Sleepy Cat Ranch
  • Oak Ridge SWA (Lake Avery) – 1.5 miles of river access

South Fork Access

  • Oak Ridge SWA (Bel Aire Access) Travel 21 miles east on Cnty Rd. 8; turn south on Cnty Rd. 17 and travel 1.5 miles; old hatchery; camping available
  • Flat Tops Wilderness – Access by trail from end of Cnty Rd 10 at trailhead through South Fork Canyon. There is also access at the South Fork Campground at the end of the road.

North Fork Access

  • Rio Blanco County Access. Travel 24.1 miles on Cnty Rd. 8 to Cnty Rd 14 (not marked). Turn right and go 0.1 mile to the county campground.

White River NF Access – Access along road 205 en route to Trappers Lake


Ready to start fishing? Book your stay online for Elk Haven Lodge!