A Refreshing Day at Horsetooth Reservoir


Sometimes a quick get away to the lake can be as refreshing as a weekend get away.

It always amazes me how refreshing, rejuvenating, and relaxing spending a day at the lake is.

Horsetooth Reservoir is just a hop, skip, and jump outside of Fort Collins. It is easily accessed by most Northern Colorado locations. The reservoir sits on the west side of Fort Collins at the base of the Foothills. The reservoir was created to provide regular and sustainable water to Northern Colorado. Along with the water benefits for the area, it has now become a water recreation location, for all of us to enjoy. The reservoir is about 6.5 miles long and .5 miles wide. There are 3 damns that make up the reservoir and on the east side is a road that runs the length of the reservoir.


Outdoor enthusiast enjoy boating, paddle boarding, fishing, and camping along Horsetooth. There are multiple designated swim beaches for visitors to access and enjoy. The reservoir has two different boat ramps for easy boating access. At each boat ramp there are options for paddle board and kayak rentals. In addition, the marina does have some options for boat rentals.

Along Horsetooth Reservoir there are multiple camp sites that are available by reservation. Most of the camp sites are accessible by cars or motor homes. However, some are boat in sites only, back in the different cove areas along the west side of the reservoir…Super Fun!

Our family has camped at Horsetooth multiple times over the years. It is a great time, to be so close to home and yet feel as if you have truly gotten away. The camp sites are usually not too busy during the week, but are packed on the weekends. If you have a certain date in mind for camping, making a reservation early in the year can be quite helpful for securing your dates, especially, if you would like to be on the water. The water levels in the reservoir do adjust over the summer months, so some boat access campsites might not be available during the later summer months.

Surrounding Horsetooth Reservoir is 1,900 acres of public land that provides trails for hiking and mountain biking. Lory State Park also butts up to Horsetooth Reservoir on the north west end. Road cyclist enjoy riding on the road that runs the length of the reservoir on the east side. There are multiple locations to stop and enjoy the view of the lake to the west and the city to the east.

Horsetooth Reservoir and the surrounding parking areas do require a day use pass or an annual pass for access. The passes are available at the rangers station located on the south west end of the reservoir. The rangers do patrol the area consistently so s pass is a must or you will end up with a ticket.

We try to go up to Horsetooth at least once a week with our boat. We love the peacefulness of floating on the water. Horsetooth Reservoir is another reason why people love to live in Northern Colorado. The water is beautiful, clean, and refreshing to swim in. I highly recommend taking a day and enjoying the water.

Thank you for reading my Northern Colorado Lifestyle Blog!
by Tamara Suppes,Northern Colorado Real Estate Agent
Northern Colorado Homes for Sale | Fort Collins Realtor with RE/MAX Advanced