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The Best Lakes & Reservoirs in Denver & Boulder

Keep Your Cool

It's summer. It's hot. If you need relief from the heat or don't want to run up your electricity bill by blasting the air-conditioning, Denver and Boulder offer great places to just chill out. Here we provide a list of fantastic lakes and reservoirs where you can boat, fish, hike (or leisurely stroll), even go for a swim. Yes, Colorado has a few beaches!

 Now, before you head out, it's best to be prepared—especially if you have the kiddos with you. Depending on how much time you plan to spend out on the water, here are some items to consider:

  • Tote or Ikea bag to hold your stuff
  • Swimsuit or swim diapers
  • Dry change of clothes
  • Plastic bag or "wet bag" for suits
  • Towels (bring extras for the kids)
  • Sunglasses and hats
  • Brush and hair ties
  • Chairs and umbrellas or pop-up
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Cooler with water, food, drinks
  • Extra bag of snacks
  • Plastic utensils and paper goods
  • Life jacket, floats, tubes, pool noodles
  • Sand toys (pails, shovels)
  • Jug of water to rinse feet at the car
  • Football, frisbee or volleyball
  • Portable, waterproof speaker
  • Book, magazines, deck of cards
  • Fishing equipment and license
  • Boat registration and license

Once you're packed and ready to roll, head to one of these great lakes or reservoirs in Denver and Boulder. Full list and a few of the most popular available activities listed below. 


Boulder Reservoir
Fishing, Boating, Swimming, Trails

Boulder Creek
Tubing, Fishing, Trails

Gross Reservoir
Fishing, Boating (Non-Motorized), Trails

Viele Lake
Fishing, Boating (Non-Motorized), Trails

Union Reservoir, Longmont
Boating, Fishing, Swimming

McIntosh Lake, Longmont
Boating (Non-Motorized), Fishing, Trails

Thomas Reservoir, Erie
Fishing, Trails

Harper Lake, Louisville
Boating (Non-Motorized), Fishing, Trails

Waneka Lake Park, Lafayette
Boating (Must be Rented), Fishing, Trails

Brainard Lake, Ward
Boating (Non-Motorized), Fishing, Trails

Boyd Lake State Park, Loveland
Boating, Fishing, Swimming, Trails


Aurora Reservoir, Aurora
Boating (Non-Motorized), Fishing, Swimming, Trails

Chatfield State Park, Littleton
Boating, Fishing, Swimming, Trails

Cherry Creek State Park, Aurora
Fishing, Boating, Swimming, Trails

Evergreen Lake Park, Evergreen
Boating (Non-Motorized), Fishing, Trails

Sloan’s Lake Park, Denver
Boating, Fishing, Trails

Standley Lake, Westminster
Boating (Non-Motorized), Fishing, Trails

Bear Creek Lake Park, Lakewood
Boating, Fishing, Swimming (Big Soda Lakes area), Trails

Barr Lake State Park, Brighton
Boating, Fishing, Trails

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