Wellington Lake Mountain Reviews

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Wellington Lake (WL) in Bailey, CO, is a significant public place to break away from the city’s hustle and bustle. It is an accolade of sierras and pine trees, ideal for hikes in whatever the season is. 

The pond surrounding it makes for beautiful scenery, majestic and enchanting to the tourists. It is an excellent place for relaxing and meditation, too!

The basin stands as an iconic landmark in the Pike National Forest. It is privately managed and owned by the Castle Sierras Recreation commission board and not by the National Forest Service.

The Castle Sierras maintains a significant ground for campgrounds and small hiking pathways. These pathways do not lead to the Lost Wilderness Area pathways or the Buffalo Recreation Area routes.

Background Overview

From there, you will find a board showing the way to the Fall Pathway at the end of the camping ground. The path is short and points to the bottom of the cascading falls.  

We suggest you visit this fall in summer or spring because that is the season it is in its majestic state. The site offers a side path that leads up to the peak of the falls and moves a little further, and you will find some other small cascades. 

The pond’s primary attraction is the series of waterfalls at the far end of the ground, and if you like to hike more after seeing the cascades, there is a pathway following the riverbank that stretches for about .5 miles.

Just before the final pathway to the waterfall, you’ll see aboard the basin pathway. Turn left and follow the easy pathway through the forest to the riverbank. 

There are many excellent spots here to stop and relax if you are tired from the city noise and the views across the pond, notably of The Castle, are fantastic, according to the guests’ review. 

When you reach the final pathway to the fall, you will find another signpost that reads about a pond pathway. You should turn left there and follow the smooth pathway leading through the forest connected to the riverbank.

There you will see many great spots where you can make a stopover and relax while enjoying the view of the pond and across it, especially The Castle, which gives a very fantastic view.

W. Lake in Bailey, CO, is a beautiful spot, but it may be hard to find a peaceful wilderness hiking experience during the summer months.  
This basin is a magnet for many ponds and sierras enthusiasts who love fishing and camping. The Castle is one of the most famous rock structures on the ground, and seeing it reflected in Wellington L is deserving of the long trip and the crowd.

Map of Wellington Lake

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There are two primary ways to get to Bailey, CO Wellington L. (1) From the city of Denver, drive at 285 south. One means to get there is to take the south at Pine Junction onto Pine Valley Road (126). 

Pursue 126 south through Pine and Buffalo Creek’s boroughs to 550 and aim for the right at WL’s sign. Pursue the paved roads through the Buffalo Creek Recreation Area for 11 miles to the creek. 

(2) The more popular way to go is to use 285 to Bailey and at the base of Crow Hill and make a right turn at WL’s sign. Travel 11 miles on paved roads to the pond, following clear signposts along the way.

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Basic Details about Wellington Lake

Here is the basic information that might help you know more about this basin on your future trip. 


Area45 acres
Waterbody ID (WBIC)1467800
Maximum Depth41 feet
Mean Depth13 FEET
Bottom20% sand, 25% gravel, 10% rock, 45% muck
Hydrologic Pond TypeSEEPAGE
Latitude, Longitude45.29488720, -90.25365210
Boat Landings1
FishPanfish, Largemouth Bass, and Northern Pike
Pet/sPet friendly

Travel Preparation

To help you with your preparation, we listed some valuable information that you can use to plan your trip easily.


Booking SuggestedYou can reserve your preferred campground
as early as three months in advance of your check-in date at midnight. 

Click here if you can only book less than
three months on your preferred checking
Advanced ReservationIf your aim is wild animals watching, you want
to book in advance before May – October.
Number of campgrounds75 sites
ChargesRefer to the details below
Method of PaymentVisa, Cash, Discover, MasterCard, American Express
ReservationsWellington Lake
Check-in, check-outany time after 2 pm12 noon
Site TypeRegular or Group sites

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This site offers a year-round, animal-friendly camping ground in 75 majestic and mystical campgrounds and recreational sites surrounding the pond and two extensive public assembly grounds.  


Each regular site can accommodate a maximum number of six people and two vehicles; the number of tents has no limitations. Towed trailers do not count to the vehicle limit. All regular sites have only one fire ring and a picnic table.

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  • Lakefront Sites 

They are situated on the water’s edge and offer the most comfortable pond access.

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  • Hillside Sites 

They often have a picture of the basin and are just a quick walk from the water.

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They are situated on the edge of the water and offer the most comfortable pond access.

  • Sierra Road Sites 

Perched on the unpaved road over the Hillside sites, Sierra has the most forest feels and is still just a quick stroll to the beach. 

These sites are ideal for tent campers as the pathway may be too steep and rough for hauling in your motorhome, as per guests’ review.

Guests staying in Sierra Road and Hillside sites can access the pond through a day-use area: Cutbow, Rainbow, Rocky Point, or the Brookie.

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  • The management will append the Jefferson and Colorado County Sales Tax of 4.5% to the above rates. Visitors with tax-exempt standing will need to present documentation and copy over the phone to waive sales tax.
  • Please be sure to schedule enough campsites to accommodate all vehicles and people at your celebration. Added people past the size limit will not be authorized to camp at the basin except an extra site is available and scheduled, and extra guests relocate. 

We strongly encourage carpooling. The management will charge $10 per night for additional vehicles and an excess pass, and you need to park in the Brookie Lot and not on the campsite.

Group Sites

The 12 group sites in the campground can accommodate 15 people and five vehicles. Pulled campers do not count towards the vehicle limit. There is no limit on the number of tents in this park. There are six hillside group sites and six lakefront group sites.

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The group sites are spacious, nearly flat, and an excellent choice for celebrations driving large recreational vehicles and trailers. Every group site has a communal fire pit and three picnic tables.

Maximum OccupancyNon-peak Period(Oct-April)Peak Period Week Night(Sun-Thur in May-Sept)Peak Period Weekend(Fri-Sat in May-Sept)
LakefrontSix peopleTwo vehicles$40$50$70
MountainsideSix peopleTwo vehicles$30$40$40
HillsideSix peopleTwo vehicles$30$40$50
Lakefront Group15 peopleFive vehicles$110$120$160
Hillside Group15 peopleFive vehicles$90$110$140

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Scheduling for an adjacent campsite can be an excellent choice for groups of 60 or fewer people. It would be better for larger groups to schedule a Large Group Area like the Scout Camp.

  • Cancellation Procedure

Assuming you want to cancel your reservation 14 days or more before the appearance date. In that case, the management will issue a refund, minus a $15 cancellation fee for each regular site canceled and a $50 cancellation fee for each group site canceled. 

If a booking is aborted 13 days or less before the appearance date, the entire booking amount will be non-refundable. The management does not allow “partial cancellations,” You will only choose some nights to cancel your booked date.

The management does not make exceptions to our cancellation procedure for fire bans or weather conditions.

Rules and Regulations

Here are some regulations of the basin that you should know about to avoid violating the place. 

  1. All visitors must complete a liability waiver upon landing at the pond. You should sign the waiver digitally ahead of time to speed up the check-in process. 

This document details our regulations and explains that the management may impose fines for rule violations. To secure the natural resources and our guests, we often patrol the vicinity and do not hesitate to accept those found not to comply. 

Please respect our rules so that all guests, as well as future generations, may enjoy this magnificent place.

  1. Check-in time:  any time after 2 pm

All visitors must go to the center upon arrival to get their parking tickets. Visitors should sign the Waivers digitally ahead of time to speed up the check-in process. 

Please use the self-registration booth to accomplish your paperwork when the department is closed.

  1. Check-out time:  noon.

Guests must remove all trash from the campsite and fire pit, and fires must be completely extinguished and cold to the touch to avoid additional charges. 

Trash and recycling dumpsters are available on-site. There is no need to stop by the center to check out.

  1. At this time, the management does not allow campers to run their generators, nor can they play loud music or do any adventures that may disturb other visitors. 

During this hour, the guests should maintain the quietness of everyone to enjoy nature at night.

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  • Scout Camp

This zone includes three lodging sites, each sign, parking, fire pit, picnic tables, and tenting ground. You can reserve three packs /troops maximum on the very weekend. But, you can only share these grounds with the scout groups. 

The management arranged spaces for RVs and trailers to fully maximize the fun camping in these zones. If you want to go with a massive recreational vehicle, you must inform the commission board to verify the space requirement. 

The ground has two sturdy, safe sheds (four stalls all in all) apportioned amidst all campers lodging in the zone. Several groups use a small rock arena at the back of the camp for functions and night campfires.

Scout Camp Lake Areas:

Eagle: up to 40 people and 12 wheels

Bobcat: up to 30 people and ten wheels

Bear: up to 30 people and ten wheels

If your club is greater than the maximum permitted in a single zone, we will designate you to two or three zones.

  • Scout Regulations

We will solicit non-refundable collateral of $100 per lodging ground to allocate for the trip’s entire cost at the reservation time. We will impose the pass on record for the outstanding balance thirty days before the check-in date.

Any modifications to the quantity of Scouts/Adults visiting will need to be presented at least thirty days before the check-in date.

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*Scout group bookings in this camp, canceled 30 days or more before the check-in day, will lose the $100 collateral. 

Bookings canceled 29 days or less before the check-in date will lose the entire expense paid for the reservations. We do not exempt the revocation procedure for weather conditions or fire prohibitions.

According to availability, if a Scout group wants to withdraw their reservations due to dangerous weather situations, it could be fitting to reschedule to a different date.

Things to Enjoy

  • Wildlife Viewing

       Black Bears 

There are many Black Bears in WL forests, so proper food storage is of paramount importance. At nighttime, or while you are away from your camp, store all goods in your car. You should dispose of and recycle all trash in the Brookie Lot’s bear-proof trash bins.

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             Elk and Deer

A drive to WL is a trip not to be missed. It is an excellent opportunity for wildlife viewing and photography. In this place, large fauna plague the place, such as deer and elk. 

You will often hear the Bulk Elk in the lodging ground during the fall season; according to the guests’ reviews, it was such an experience to behold. However, shooting or trapping is not allowed in the zone. 

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 This pond is an excellent place for birders and bird watchers. Here, birds of prey like Bald Eagle and Osprey are a common sight to behold. You will often see them hunt for fish from the pond. According to so many reviews, this place is an excellent area to bird-watch.

There are more unbelievable bird species like Dark-eyed Juncos, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, Western Tanagers, Golden-crowned Kinglets, House Wrens, Lincoln’s Sparrows, Sierra Bluebirds, Northern Flickers, Hairy Woodpeckers, and Sierra Chickadees.

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Sierra lions show themselves seldomly around the zone; being such a solitary animal, you can see them on an infrequent occasion. However, they are usually very active at nighttime, from dusk to dawn. 

But it is a must that visitors avoid interacting with them and that the management’s suggestion is to hike in groups, avoid activities at night, and not make noise. 

Should you encounter a lion, you must appear as large as possible and slowly take a step backward and throw anything towards them if they won’t back down. However, the chances of a sierra lion appearing in front of you are rare.

 You will see many more animals roaming the ground of this pond, and some are rarely seen. Indeed, this place is like a sanctuary for these species, and humans are very fortunate to experience them. Some guests reviewed this place as somewhat enchanting.


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Since this zone is a 167-acre bay, it is a great place for angling. Every year, this pond is stock twice, and so it contains Tiger, Brown, Rainbow, Palomino Trout, Brook, and Cutbow. Trawling is permitted all-year-round, including cold season, for ice trawling season. 

The Blue Quill Angler is now offering float tube classes and guided fly fishing trips at the basin. This proposal is an excellent way to learn about trawling from knowledgeable guides.

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Types of Trawling Equipment

  • No live or synthetic bait; no worms
  • No dough baits such as Salmon Eggs or Power Bait 
  • Single, barbless catches are required.
  • No metal sinkers or lead angling materials
  • No scented synthetics
  • Plastic flies and baits are allowed and should be made of silicone, wood, plastic, rubber, glass, hair, metal, epoxy, fiber, or feathers.

Catch and Release Only

All trawling at WL is caught and released only. Anyone who kills a fish or neglects to return a fish quickly to the pond will be imposed a restocking fine of no less than $50 per fish.


Tracks On The WL Property:

Waterfall Tracks

Unpaved pathways allow for quiet nature hikes within over a dozen various trees and bird species. This quick, easy walk will lead you to the base and then to the top of a small waterfall. The cascade is most astonishing in spring, and the beginning of summer as the thawed snow runs in the stream. 

During the cold season and the beginning of spring, guests reviewed this frozen cascade as a sight to behold, too.

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  • Granite Trail

The Granite pathway is an easy hike through the forest when you traverse the hillside above the lodging ground. The path gets its name from numerous large granite rocks that you will cross on the way. You can commence from the Granite Trailhead or the Fall Route. .5 miles each way – easy

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These are just some of the ventures that you can enjoy in Wellington Lake. There is a lot more to do to increase the fun of your stay in this awesome place. Listed down are the things you can do by yourself or with your family, friends, or pet. 

  1. Paddling
  2. Sierra Biking
  3. Grilling
  4. Stargazing
  5. Campfire
  6. Swimming
  7. Winter exploring
  8. Climbing
  9. Boating

If you don’t plan to stay inside this vicinity, you can check-in hotels near the area.

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RV Essentials

To ease your stay in the ground, we suggest you secure the following RV essentials before your Wellington Lake trip.

  • RV Battery – Nothing beats a dependable RV Battery; you can rely on whatever season and terrain. It is of utmost importance that you sufficiently charge up your battery before going to a far-flung place, especially when there are no available full RV hookups.
  • Portable Shower – Some lodging sites are so crowded that you need to fall in a queue to use the shower facilities, and so it would be an astute move to bring a portable shower bag to avoid this hassle.
  • Blinds Possibly one of the most important stuff in your RV essentials. This cover will secure your privacy from the public eye and against the outside elements or wild animals like bears that prowl in the ground, especially at night.  
  • Door Locks – Going to a place plagued with wild animals can be very dangerous, and so to protect you and your RV, you should install a sturdy door lock and efficiency. 
  • Ladders – If you feel like stargazing on top of your RV, then you need a sturdy ladder to climb on top because nothing beats a view from the top. 
  • Toilet Paper – Some grounds high above the woods do not offer water supplies, and always be ready by bringing a bunch of toilet paper to save you from the troubles.
  • Coffee Maker – Coffee enthusiasts will never forget to bring a coffee pot anywhere they go. And so, if you are a coffee beginner and do not know what coffee maker to bring, visit this link.



Winter Center Hours:

Daily: 8:30 am to 5 pm

*Due to Covid-19, the facility is currently closed to the public.


(303) 838-5496



Mailing Address: 

PO Box 423

Bailey, Colorado 80421

Physical Address:

21843 Stoney Pass Rd.

Bailey, Colorado 80421

Wellington Lake is a perfect place to do day and night camping and do all your desired outdoor activities. From land to bay adventures, this place has all that! This place is the treat you need for the break you’ve been craving, whether you stay within the woods or the nearby hotels.

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