Boating At Carter Lake: Activities and Amenities


Boating at Carter Lake, Colorado, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers a wide range of recreational activities on a picturesque 1,100-acre reservoir. Surrounded by 1,000 acres of public lands, this natural oasis provides a unique blend of water-based adventures and scenic beauty.


  • Carter Lake offers diverse boating experiences, including fishing, sailing, swimming, scuba diving, and water skiing.
  • Visitors can enjoy various amenities like a marina, campgrounds, picnic areas, and hiking trails.
  • Strict measures are in place to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species and promote environmental conservation.

Carter Lake Reservoir’s appeal lies in its versatility, catering to different interests and skill levels. Whether you’re an avid angler seeking a prime fishing spot or a thrill-seeker looking to conquer the waves, this destination has something for everyone.

Recreational Activities

Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines in the well-stocked waters, home to several species such as trout, bass, and walleye. For those seeking a more adventurous experience, the lake offers sailing, water skiing, and scuba diving opportunities. Certified divers can explore the underwater world, while swimmers can take a refreshing dip in the cool waters.

Amenities and Facilities

To enhance your boating experience, Carter Lake boasts a full-service marina with boat rentals, fuel, and supplies. Campers can enjoy the convenience of on-site campgrounds, complete with amenities like picnic areas and hiking trails. Rock climbing enthusiasts can challenge themselves on the nearby cliffs, adding an extra layer of excitement to their visit.

Campers will be pleased to know they can camp at several Carter Lake campgrounds. The Eagle Campground is located at the north end of Carter Lake, the South Shore Campground is at the lake’s southern end, and a few others are along the eastern shore.

Aquatic Nuisance Species and Environmental Conservation

Carter Lake takes environmental conservation seriously, implementing strict measures to combat aquatic nuisance species (ANS). All watercraft must undergo thorough inspections and decontamination procedures to prevent the spread of invasive species. Boaters and visitors play a crucial role in these efforts, ensuring the lake’s ecosystem remains healthy and pristine.

Water Management and Sustainability

As part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, Carter Lake plays a vital role in the region’s water management and hydropower generation. The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and the US Bureau of Reclamation collaborate to ensure sustainable reservoir management practices that balance water supply needs with recreational opportunities.

Exploring the Surroundings

Beyond the lake, visitors can explore the surrounding public lands, offering opportunities for wildlife watching and hiking along scenic trails. Nearby towns like Berthoud and Loveland, Colorado, provide additional attractions and amenities. Its proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park makes Carter Lake a perfect base for a well-rounded outdoor adventure.

Community Involvement and Water Conservation

Water conservation efforts at Carter Lake involve active community participation and educational initiatives. Local residents and visitors alike are encouraged to adopt water-wise practices, ensuring the long-term sustainability of this valuable resource. The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and the US Bureau of Reclamation work closely with the community to promote responsible stewardship of the lake and its surroundings.


What safety measures are in place for boating at Carter Lake?

All boaters visiting Carter Lake Reservoir must follow strict safety regulations, including wearing life jackets and adhering to speed limits. The lake also has designated no-wake zones to ensure a safe environment for all visitors.

Are there any restrictions on the types of watercraft allowed on the lake?

While most non-motorized and motorized watercraft are permitted, specific regulations regarding size and horsepower limitations exist. It’s advisable to check the latest guidelines before planning your visit.

Can I bring my own food and beverages to Carter Lake?

Yes, visitors are allowed to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages to the lake. However, glass containers are prohibited, and visitors are expected to properly dispose of their waste and maintain the area’s cleanliness.

Are there boat rentals at Carter Lake?

Yes, you can get a fishing or pontoon boat rental from Carter Lake Marina.

Are there any special events or programs offered at Carter Lake?

Carter Lake hosts various events and educational programs throughout the year, such as fishing tournaments, boating safety courses, and nature walks. Check the official website or local listings for the latest schedule and details.


About the author

Ransom Patterson

My expertise in Colorado life extends beyond just residing here; it’s also about living actively within the community. I spend my time cycling through Denver’s trails, experimenting with local cuisines, and immersing myself in the local music scene. These activities give me a unique perspective on the cultural and outdoor offerings of Colorado. This hands-on approach allows me to provide insider tips and personal recommendations that resonate with both locals and visitors alike.