Boating in Denver

While Denver is not a city known for it’s water sport, if you dig a little bit deeper you can find a number of nice lakes for boating. Whether you’re looking to wakeboard or simple paddle around in a kayak, here are the best options for boating in Denver, Colorado

Sloans Lake

Boating Sloans Lake

  • Boating Options: Motorized and Non-motorized

Sloan’s Lake is on the western edge of Denver’s city limits, and boasts 177 acres of recreational space. There are a number of ways to take advantage of this huge recreational area located well within the city limits. This is the only lake in the Denver area to allow motorized boats, so whether it’s waterskiing or wakeboarding or simple cruising, this is the lake for your power boat. It’s also a great place to enjoy a day of leisurely paddle-boarding, fishing or birdwatching for the many native species of birds. Once a year Sloan’s Lake is home to the Dragon Boat Festival, a celebration of Asian American culture, that attracts thousands of visitors every year. In addition to boating there are a ton of things to do around Sloans Lake Park, from sports to a thriving eating and drinking scene.

Chatfield Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir Boating

  • Boating Options: Motorized and Non-motorized

Located just outside of Denver, on the South Platte River in Littleton, Chatfield Reservoir is the only other option for motorized boating. While it’s not in the city of Denver like Sloans Lake, it’s only a short drive away. Here, you can rent a motor boat, fishing boat, paddleboat, pontoon, sailboat, or ski boat. The admission fee for the park is $8 per day, or $70 annually per car. Chatfield Reservoir has many water activities including; jet skiing, fishing, water skiing, kayaking, canoeing, and rafting. There are also land-based activities surrounding the lake including, horseback riding, hiking, and more! There is a restaurant and concessions, and RV hookups or campsites. The Chatfield State Park and Reservoir is open all year round and it’s typical fours consist from 5am to 10pm.

Cherry Creek Reservoir

Cherry Creek Reservoir Boating

  • Boating Options: Motorized and Non-motorized

The epicenter of the Cherry Creek State Park, this reservoir is often referred to as Denver’s ‘natural backyard playground.’ The huge reservoir is nearly 880 acres which can be used for a number of motorized and non-motorized boating activities. Sailboats, power boats, and a variety of paddle craft can be found during the summer on this reservoir. It’s also a great place for swimming with a number of sand beaches in the area. There are 35 miles of trails surrounding the park which can be used for horseback riding, running, and cycling. Fishing and bird watching are also very common leisure activities in the park.

Berkeley Lake

Boating Berkeley Lake Denver

  • Boating Options: Non-motorized

Located in North Denver, Berkeley Lake is another option for boating in Denver, however it’s only for non-motorized boats.  It’s a nice, quiet spot perfect for boating in Denver, fishing, and playing in the surrounding park. The lake is surrounded by a 1 mile path perfect for a bike riding, or taking a leisurely stroll. Pets are allowed, and the nearby Scheitler Rec Center has both indoor and outdoor pools. It’s a very family friendly place.

Smith Lake at Washington Park

Smith Lake Boating Denver

  • Boating Options: Non-motorized

Located on the North side of Washington Park, and covering 19 acres, Smith Lake allows canoeing, kayaking, and sail boating (must be under 20ft long). With a maximum depth of 12 feet, and 5 different regularly stocked types of fish, Smith Lake is a popular spot for fisherman. There is a pier for fishing that is handicapped accessible, as well as paved paths, and restrooms. Washington Park is Denver’s largest park, with an abundance of activities for the whole family. It’s a very popular corner of the city for a variety of social groups from young professionals to families.

If you’re interested in living next to Sloan’s Lake to take advantage of all the benefits that lake life offers, X@Sloans offers luxury apartments right next door.