Boating At Eleven Mile Reservoir: What To Know


Eleven Mile Reservoir, located in Colorado’s South Park Basin, is a premier destination for boating enthusiasts. Its crystal-clear waters and stunning mountain vistas offer a unique and unforgettable boating experience.


  • Eleven Mile Reservoir is a popular boating destination in Colorado offering a variety of water activities and scenic beauty.
  • Visitors can enjoy fishing, boating, camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing in a pristine natural setting.
  • The reservoir is managed by Colorado Parks & Wildlife, ensuring responsible recreation and conservation efforts.

Destination Overview

Eleven Mile Reservoir is a man-made reservoir in Park County, Colorado, approximately 60 miles west of Colorado Springs. Spanning over 3,400 acres, it is a part of the Denver Water System and serves as a crucial water source for the city. However, its true allure lies in the recreational opportunities it provides for outdoor enthusiasts.

The reservoir’s serene waters and picturesque surroundings make it ideal for boating, fishing, and water sports. Visitors can rent boats or bring their own and explore the lake’s coves and inlets while taking in the breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines for different fish species, including trout, bass, and walleye, with the reservoir offering both shoreline and boat fishing opportunities.

Local Experiences and Culture

While boating and fishing are the main attractions, Eleven Mile Reservoir offers a chance to immerse oneself in the local culture and traditions. The area is rich in history, with nearby attractions like the U.S. Air Force Academy and the Garden of the Gods showcasing the region’s unique heritage.

Visitors can engage with local communities by attending cultural events or participating in interpretive programs offered by Colorado Parks & Wildlife. These programs provide insights into the area’s natural history, wildlife, and conservation efforts, fostering a deeper appreciation for the region’s ecological significance.

Wildlife and Nature Exploration

Eleven Mile Reservoir is a haven for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Located near Pike National Forest, the surrounding area has diverse flora and fauna, including bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, and various bird species. Hiking trails wind through the picturesque Colorado State Park landscapes, offering wildlife viewing and exploration opportunities.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife promotes responsible recreation and eco-friendly practices, ensuring visitors enjoy natural beauty while minimizing environmental impact. Interpretive programs and educational materials provide guidance on how to respectfully observe and appreciate the area’s wildlife.

Fishing and Water Activities

Fishing is a major draw for visitors to Eleven Mile Reservoir. The reservoir is stocked with fish species, including rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, and kokanee salmon, making it a prime destination for recreational and trophy fishing.

In addition to fishing, the reservoir allows a range of water activities, such as boating, kayaking, and canoeing. However, certain water sports, like windsurfing, are prohibited to maintain the reservoir’s pristine condition and protect its ecosystem.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife enforces strict regulations, including mandatory boat inspections, to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species (AIS) and preserve the reservoir’s ecological balance.

Camping and Accommodations

Eleven Mile Reservoir offers a variety of camping options to suit different preferences and needs. RV camping is available at designated sites with amenities like electrical hookups and dump stations. For those seeking a more rustic experience, traditional campsites are scattered throughout the area, providing a peaceful retreat amidst nature.

Reservations are highly recommended, especially during peak seasons, to secure a spot and ensure a seamless camping experience. Visitors can also explore nearby towns and cities for additional accommodation options, such as hotels and vacation rentals.

Conservation and Environmental Education

Colorado Parks & Wildlife strongly emphasizes conservation and environmental education at Eleven Mile Reservoir. Visitors are educated about preventing the spread of AIS and encouraged to participate in responsible recreation practices.

Interpretive programs and guided tours offer insights into the reservoir’s ecosystem, highlighting the significance of preserving its natural beauty for future generations. These educational initiatives aim to foster a deeper appreciation for the environment and inspire visitors to become stewards of the land.

Adventure and Recreation

While boating and fishing are the primary draws, Eleven Mile Reservoir offers a range of adventure and recreational activities for thrill-seekers. During winter, the reservoir transforms into a playground for ice fishing enthusiasts, providing a unique and exhilarating experience.

For those seeking more adrenaline-pumping adventures, nearby attractions like Pikes Peak and the Arkansas River offer opportunities for rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and other outdoor pursuits. Equipment rentals and guided tours are available for visitors who want to explore these activities safely and responsibly.

Exploring the Surrounding Area

Eleven Mile Reservoir is located near several iconic Colorado landmarks, making it an ideal base for exploring the region. Visitors can embark on day trips to destinations like Lake George, Pikes Peak, and the Garden of the Gods, each offering its own unique natural wonders and cultural significance.

The U.S. Air Force Academy, located in Colorado Springs, is another must-visit attraction, providing insights into the area’s rich military history. With careful planning and a spirit of adventure, visitors can create an unforgettable journey that combines the serene beauty of Eleven Mile Reservoir with the grandeur of Colorado’s iconic landscapes.


The following FAQs provide information visitors should know about boating at Eleven Mile Reservoir or visiting Eleven Mile State Park.

What is the best time of year to visit Eleven Mile Reservoir for boating?

The Eleven Mile Reservoir boating season typically runs from late spring to early fall, with summer being the most popular time to visit. However, the reservoir offers year-round recreational opportunities, including ice fishing in the winter.

Are there any restrictions on the types of boats allowed on the reservoir?

Colorado Parks & Wildlife enforces regulations to prevent the introduction of AIS. All boats must undergo a mandatory inspection before launching, and certain watercraft, such as those with ballast tanks or inboard/outboard motors, may be subject to additional decontamination procedures.

Can visitors bring their own camping equipment or rent gear on-site?

Both options are available. Visitors can bring camping gear or rent equipment like tents, sleeping bags, and cooking supplies from local outfitters or the on-site marina.

Are there any guided tours or educational programs available?

Yes, Colorado Parks & Wildlife offers a variety of interpretive programs and guided tours focused on topics like wildlife viewing, conservation efforts, and the area’s natural and cultural history. These programs provide valuable insights and enhance the overall visitor experience.

What precautions should visitors take when engaging in outdoor activities at Eleven Mile Reservoir?

Visitors should follow all safety guidelines and regulations, such as wearing life jackets while boating, staying on designated hiking trails, and respecting wildlife by maintaining a safe distance. It’s also important to be prepared for changing weather conditions and carry appropriate gear and supplies.

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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.