Chevelon Canyon Lake
Chevelon Canyon Lake is a deep, canyon-bound lake constructed by the Department in 1965. Because of its location, topography and access, it draws only the most determined and physically fit anglers.
Location – The lake is located about 15 miles due west of Heber at 6,376 feet. Despite its relative proximity to town, reaching the lake takes some effort. Traveling from Heber, turn north on Forest Road (FR) 504 and drive 18 miles to FR 169. Turn south (left) onto FR 169 and travel 9 miles to FR 169b. Turn east (left) on 169b and drive 2 miles to Chevelon Canyon Lake Campground. You must park your vehicle here and hike approximately ¾ of a mile down a steep, closed road to access the lake. Coming from Payson, travel west on the Rim Road (FR 300) from Highway 260 for 8.5 miles to FR 169. The road is paved to the Woods Canyon Lake turnoff; thereafter, the road is improved gravel. Turn north (right) on FR 169 and drive 12 miles to FR 169b. Access is restricted in the winter when roads are closed due to snow, generally November to late April.
Description – Chevelon Canyon Lake consists of 208 surface acres with an average depth of 35 feet and a maximum depth of 80 feet. It’s the most difficult lake in the region to access, if not the most remote. It’s designated as a blue ribbon fishery because management is designed to produce large trout. It’s stocked once in spring and once in fall with fingerling rainbow trout. Chevelon Canyon Lake also contains wild brown trout that grow to trophy size.
Amenities – Chevelon Canyon Campground is a primitive campground with six sites and a vault toilet. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. Chevelon Crossing Campground, on FR 504 near its junction with FR 169, is another primitive campground with five sites and a toilet. Camping is free at both of these campgrounds.
Amenities – There is one boat ramp, usable at high water levels, and two barrier-free toilets. Camping is allowed only in two nearby campgrounds. The one closest to the lake is Black Canyon Rim Campground near the junction of Forest Roads 300 and 86. It has 21 sites, chemical toilets, water and gravel road access. Approximately two miles further down Forest Road 300 is Gentry Campground, with six sites, vault toilet, water and gravel road access. Both campgrounds are fee-use areas, and no reservations are taken.
Fishing Techniques – Because of the difficult access, this lake is popular with float-tubers. Some lures to try are Kastmasters, Panther Martin spinners and Rapalas. Fly-fishermen should try wooly buggers or wooly worms in black or brown colors, crayfish-colored patterns, and brown or black semi-seal leeches, peacock ladies or other large streamers. Try fishing near the inlet in the fall, when brown trout are spawning.
Special Notes – Special fishing regulations apply at Chevelon Canyon Lake: artificial lures and flies only; trout between 10 and 14 inches may not be possessed and trout taken from the lake must be killed immediately or released. A trout stamp is required. The daily bag limit is six trout; three for unlicensed anglers under the age of 14. Boat motors are restricted to electric or 10 hp or less gas motors. Many an intrepid individual has carried a boat and motor down to the lake only to leave it down there after a long day of fishing. Be aware that any boat left at the lake longer than 24 hours is considered abandoned and subject to confiscation by the Forest Service.