Because we’re a landlocked state, you might think boating in Colorado doesn’t present many great opportunities. But according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, there are over 2,000 lakes and reservoirs where you can go to have a boating adventure! These 8 locations are the perfect place to hit the water this summer.
Located in Western Colorado near the town of Gunnison, Colorado’s largest body of water is a must-see destination. Blue Mesa Reservoir spans 20 miles and boasts over 96 miles of shoreline. It is part of the Curecanti National Recreation Area and offers two full-service marinas — Elk Creek Marina and Lake Fork Marina. Blue Mesa is a popular destination for outdoor recreation including boating, water skiing, sailing and wind surfing.
Boyd Lake State Park is a water-sports haven for northern Colorado. The lake lies at the western-most edge of the plains at the foot of snow-capped Long’s Peak and the mountains of the Continental Divide. Boyd Lake State Park has something for everyone: boating, fishing, camping, picnicking, swimming, hiking, biking, and hunting. All types of watercraft: ski boats, fishing boats, jet skis, sailboats, and canoes use Boyd Lake’s 1,700 surface-acres of water. Boyd also has a sandy beach and a pavilion for swimmers.
Boaters from all walks of life flock to Chatfield Reservoir each summer to take advantage of its impressive waters. Located just outside of the Denver Metro Area, everyone from fishing enthusiasts to water skiers enjoy the lake’s pristine water and scenic views. The reservoir houses a full-service marina including boat rentals and a floating restaurant. If you are looking for a weekend getaway, Chatfield is home to four different campgrounds featuring 200 single-family campsites.
Cherry Creek Reservoir is a scenic oasis in the Denver area. It offers a wide variety of water and land activities for outdoor enthusiasts. The 4,000-acre park and modern campground is open year-round. View birds and wildlife, recreate or relax with the majestic Rocky Mountains as a backdrop.
Located at the headwaters of the Colorado River, Grand Lake is Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake. Here you will find great opportunities for boating, swimming, water sports, and fishing. Visit the historic Grand Lake Marina and rent your own pontoon boat, whaler, kayak or canoe and enjoy the exceptional Rocky Mountain views. After a day at the lake, visit the charming town of Grand Lake. You’ll find dining, shopping, and lots of character!
Lake Granby is one of Colorado’s largest bodies of water containing approximately 40 miles of shoreline. The lake is famous to anglers but is also home to the Lake Granby Yacht Club. Sitting at an altitude of 8,280 feet, Granby Lake Yacht Club is one of the highest-elevation yacht clubs in the world. The lake is best experienced from a pontoon boat to explore its many coves and marinas, making the lake very popular to boaters and jet-skiers.
Horsetooth Reservoir is one of Colorado’s most scenic outdoor paradises located only minutes outside Fort Collins. The 6.5-mile-long reservoir is a favorite recreation spot for activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, stand up paddle boarding, water skiing, sailing, and picnicking. There are many miles of trails surrounding the reservoir for mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking. Additionally, on the east side of the reservoir is one of the best spots in Colorado for bouldering in Rotary Park. Horsetooth Reservoir is open year-round and includes RV spots, campsites, and cabins.
Most of the time you have to leave the big city to experience true boating, but Denver is one of the few major landlocked cities where you can have some serious boating fun. Sloan’s lake is one of the only options for boating in Denver where boating enthusiasts can head out on both motorized and non-motorized boats. The lake is relatively small and shallow, reaching only 8 feet of depth! Still, boating may be possible as long as proper arrangements are made with the Sloan’s Lake boating office.