Stoner Creek: Premier Colorado Fishing and Wildlife Spot


Stoner Creek, located in the Four Corners region of Colorado, is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts and fishing aficionados within the San Juan National Forest. This picturesque creek offers a unique blend of natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and exceptional fishing opportunities.


  • Stoner Creek provides a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, wildlife spotting, and fishing.
  • The creek is known for its excellent trout fishing, with rainbow, brown, and native cutthroat trout populations.
  • The surrounding landscape is characterized by the stunning natural beauty of the San Juan Mountains and diverse wildlife, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers.

Exploring the Great Outdoors

Stoner Creek is situated in a breathtaking landscape, surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills of the San Juan National Forest. The area is particularly stunning during the fall when the foliage transforms into a vibrant array of colors. Hikers can explore the numerous trails in the vicinity, such as Stone Creek Trail and Spring Creek Trail, which offer scenic views of the creek and the surrounding wilderness. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including deer, elk, and various bird species.

The Allure of Fishing at Stoner Creek

Stoner Creek is a premier destination for trout fishing in Colorado. The creek is home to a healthy population of rainbow, brown, and native cutthroat trout. The best seasons for fishing are spring and fall, when the water temperatures are cooler and the fish are more active. Anglers should practice catch-and-release to ensure the sustainability of the fish population.

Some of the best fishing spots along Stoner Creek include:

  • The confluence of Stoner Creek and the Dolores River.
  • The section of the creek near County Road 40.
  • The area downstream from the junction of Spring Creek Trail.

Advanced Fishing Techniques and Tips

Fly fishing is a popular technique among experienced anglers at Stoner Creek. The creek’s clear waters and abundant insect life make it an ideal location for fly fishing. Some effective fly patterns include:

  • Parachute Adams
  • Elk Hair Caddis
  • Pheasant Tail Nymph

Local bait and tackle shops, such as the Dolores River Anglers in Dolores, can provide valuable information on current fishing conditions and the most productive flies and techniques.

Wildlife and Conservation at Stoner Creek

Stoner Creek is home to a diverse ecosystem, supporting a wide variety of plant and animal life. In addition to the fish population, visitors may encounter mule deer, elk, black bears, and various bird species, such as the American dipper and the belted kingfisher. Conservation efforts are crucial to maintaining the health and balance of this ecosystem.

Visitors can contribute to conservation by practicing Leave No Trace principles, respecting wildlife, and participating in local volunteer opportunities, such as river clean-ups organized by conservation groups.

Seasonal Activities and Events

While fishing is a year-round activity at Stoner Creek, there are plenty of other seasonal activities to enjoy:

  • Summer: Hiking, camping, mountain biking, and kayaking.
  • Fall: Leaf peeping, hunting, and photography.
  • Winter: Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Local Culture and Community

The communities surrounding Stoner Creek, such as Dolores and Rico, have a rich history rooted in mining and agriculture. Today, these small towns embrace their outdoor recreation heritage and welcome visitors with warm hospitality. Support the local economy by visiting shops, restaurants, and galleries that showcase the work of local artisans.

Planning Your Visit to Stoner Creek

The best times to visit Stoner Creek depend on your preferred activities. For fishing, spring and fall offer the most favorable conditions. Summer is ideal for hiking and camping, while winter provides opportunities for snow sports.

Accommodation options near Stoner Creek include:

  • Campgrounds, such as the Dolores River Campground.
  • Vacation rentals and cabins are available in the nearby towns of Dolores and Rico.
  • Hotels and motels are located in the larger town of Cortez, which is approximately 30 miles away.

When planning your trip, be sure to check local regulations regarding fishing licenses, camping permits, and fire restrictions.


What types of fish can I expect to catch in Stoner Creek?

Stoner Creek is known for its populations of rainbow, brown, and native cutthroat trout.

Are there any permits required to fish in Stoner Creek?

Yes, a valid Colorado fishing license is required for all anglers aged 16 and above.

What are the best times of year to visit Stoner Creek for outdoor activities?

Spring and fall are ideal for fishing, while summer is perfect for hiking, camping, and water sports. Winter offers opportunities for snow sports, such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Can I participate in conservation efforts during my visit to Stoner Creek?

Yes, visitors can contribute to conservation by practicing Leave No Trace principles, respecting wildlife, and participating in local volunteer opportunities, such as river clean-ups.

What are some must-visit local businesses in the Stoner Creek area?

Some popular local businesses include the Dolores River Anglers for fishing supplies and advice, the Dolores River Brewery for craft beer and pub fare, and the Galloping Goose Historical Society Museum for a glimpse into the area’s rich history.

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About the author

Simone Weisman

My deep appreciation for nature and active living strongly aligns with the vibrant outdoor culture of Colorado. My enjoyment of yoga, hiking, and exploring scenic trails provides me with a unique perspective that I bring to This personal passion enriches my ability to connect with and inspire our audience, whether they’re local residents or visitors seeking to explore all that Colorado has to offer.