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.

How Deep is Sloans Lake?

Sloan’s Lake, for those who may not know, is a lake located in Denver, Colorado. It is situated on the north-west side of the city, and the neighborhood around it has even taken its name, due to its history.

The history of Sloan’s Lake may be well known among some people, but for those who are hoping to visit the place for the first time, or are simply interested in the past of it, it is certainly interesting to dive into the facts that took place around this particular place and see how it has evolved over the years.

History Sloans Lake

Where Does Sloan’s Lake’s Name Come From?

The name of this lake was taken from the man who actually “created” it. The “creation” itself occurred quite unexpectedly, as it was entirely accidental.

It all started when back in the year 1861, a farmer called Thomas M. Sloan who used to work on the land on the outskirts of Denver, decided to dig a well. Little did he know, what he actually did was open a source for all the water that was stored naturally underground to overflow, creating a growing lake that he came across the following day, much to his surprise. The news of the overflowing well spread rather quickly among the city of Denver, and people all over the surrounding area came to watch that rare phenomenon. The name of Sloan’s Lake was already popularized around a decade later when he decided to sell his farm.

How Deep is Sloans Lake

The “Growth” of Sloan’s Lake

With the passing of the years, Sloan’s Lake became a place that lots of people would be interested to visit, not only for the lake itself, but for new places that were built around it.

  • By 1874, a brand new steamboat was made to be used in Sloan’s Lake, which was called “The City of Denver”. The steamboat was 40-foot long and could hold 100 passengers. Due its popularity, a nearby hotel decided to build a canal on the Northwest shore of Sloan’s Lake, to provide the service to guests who wanted to enjoy sailing on it.


  • Some years later, in 1881,an amusement park was opened on the northern side of the lake. It was called “Manhattan Beach.”


  • Down to the South area of the lake, the St. Anthony’s hospital was built in 1892. It was quite a far location for the residents in the city, that is why this hospital provided its services to the miners and railroad workers from nearby areas.


  • In 1947, the “Rocky Mountain News” claimed that the most important annual regatta event, the “Mile High Boat Assn. Regatta”, was held in Sloan’s Lake, which would attract around 50,000 people every time.


  • In relation with the St. Anthony’s hospital, a long time after it was built, in 1972, an emergency helicopter for civilians was introduced, called “Flight For Life St. Anthony”. By this time the hospital was way larger than when it started.


  • Not too long ago, in 2010, the “5280 Magazine” puts Sloan’s Lake as one of the most increasingly popular neighborhoods.

Depth of Sloans Lake

Characteristics of the Lake

So, how deep is Sloan’s Lake? After knowing about how it was created, some may wonder how much this lake ended up growing. It is said to be the largest and most active lake in Denver, which is nowadays composed by two connecting lakes (Sloan’s and Copper). They take up 177 acres.

According to Sloan’s Lake Boating office, the lake is quite shallow, with a maximum of 8 feet deep.

For those interested in doing some sailing or other activities inside of the lake, the boating office provides information and rules regarding the permitted activities and security measurements that need to be taken.

Neighborhood Feature: Sloans Lake Alamo Drafthouse

Certain things can be found everywhere and thus aren’t very distinctive- convenience stores, grocery stores, chain restaurants, and such things. What really makes a neighborhood stand out though are those locations which are unique to that area. It is those features which give personality, attitude, and a unique spin to their surroundings. The Sloans Lake Alamo Drafthouse

Sloans Lake Alamo Drafthouse

A Movie Theater by Sloans Lake

Film buffs will be very pleased to know that one of the many attractions of the Alamo Drafthouse at Sloans Lake is it’s theater. What allows the Alamo to distinguish itself from your average chain theatre however is that it also screens smaller arthouse films in addition to the big blockbusters. Those looking to be able to experience the latest indie darling film projects on the big screen will be able to here at the Alamo Drafthouse.

What’s more is that in addition to smaller films, the Alamo Drafthouse also airs older classic movies as well. Usually these re-screenings of older films are accompanied by watching parties. Since the Drafthouse is also a restaurant and bar, these movie parties are accompanied by food, drink, and special themed events such as giveaways and contests.

Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake

Restaurant and Bar

The Alamo Drafthouse is nothing if not with personality. The restaurant and bar sports a menu which boasts a selection of fun movie-themed dishes and cocktails, such as the “Royale with Cheese” burger from Pulp Fiction. Aside from burgers many other fun comfort foods such as pizza and sandwiches can be found on the menu. Salads are also available for those looking for a slightly healthier alternative.

Hungry, but want to get straight to the movie? No problem! The drafthouse allows you to order before the show and your food and drink will be brought to you during the film. That kind of service is something unique which you won’t be able to find or replicate at any old theater. When it comes to beer, over thirty different brands can be found on tap.

Alamo Theater Sloans Lake

Distance and Proximity

One of the best parts about the Alamo Drafthouse is it’s distance from the apartments at X@Sloan’s. Only a short approximately ten minute walk away, the Alamo Drafthouse is as accessible as it is entertaining. The Drafthouse is also only ten minutes walking distance from Sloan’s Lake itself. This means that it is not unreasonable nor unimaginable that one can enjoy a pleasant afternoon in the park and spend the evening with a drink and a movie all in the same day without spending money on gas.

For those interested in seeing a movie but eating at a different location, there are also a number of a different restaurants literally right next to the Drafthouse. One such restaurant is Tap & Burger, another favorite of Sloan’s Lake natives.

All in all, the Alamo Drafthouse is a shining example of one of the unique aspects of the Sloan’s Lake neighborhood which makes it a fantastic place to visit and live.

Distance Around Sloans Lake

Before embarking on a trip to your local park, it’s always good to plan ahead and ensure you’ve got the resources, stamina, and time to fully enjoy your outing. There’s nothing worse than being halfway into a two hour hike you thought was one hour and having to stick through until the end. With a little bit of forethought, some preparation, and knowledge of nearby park distances, you can ensure your next outing goes as smooth as clockwork.

Sloans Lake Size

Park Distance

Running along the perimeter of the lake is a running trail. This trail is approximately 2.5 miles long, meaning that the perimeter of the lake is the same distance. Unlike other lakes, this trail perfectly conforms to the lake. The twin lakes at Washington park are a good example- the trail there is 2.2 miles long, however this includes a stretch of land between the two lakes, meaning that each individual lake at Washington park is much smaller than Sloan’s.

The tale behind Sloan’s Lake is just as large as it’s physical space. Supposedly the lake was created after an old pioneer named Sloan tried to dig a well on his farm. He struck water, but it didn’t stop coming until the lake was formed.

Distance Around Sloan's Lake

Park Size

In fact, Sloan’s Lake is actually the second biggest urban park in the Denver area with an area of 177 acres. The largest urban park, City Park, may be larger than Sloan’s, but also caters to a different audience, with much park’s space being taken up by the Denver Zoo and Museum of Nature & Science.

While Sloan’s Lake and City Park may be the largest parks and lakes in the urban Denver area, they are still dwarfed by the nearby Cherry Creek state park. However since the state park is a wildlife preserve, the activities, rules, and environment is vastly different than that of an urban park. Those looking for an abundance of space as well as a well maintained park grounds with plenty of civilian accommodations will still find that Sloan’s Lake sits at the top.

With clean bathrooms, outdoor grills, picnic tables, and more, the grounds of Sloan’s Lake cater to a diverse group of visitors while providing convenience and comfort.

Distance Around Sloans Lake

Park Dimensions

Sloan’s Lake is a pretty standard square, with the lake filling in the space in the center of the park. This is optimal for activities such as fishing and paddle boarding. There is plenty of space surrounding the lake for those looking to play sports or wanting to hold a picnic, just be wary of the surrounding body of water.

The water to land ratio of Sloan’s Lake is the highest of all Denver parks, it is no wonder why it is named Sloan’s Lake instead of Sloan’s Park.

In comparison, Washington Park and City park are both narrow stretches of land- Washington Park being vertical and City park being horizontal. Both parks sport much more open land than Sloan’s Lake, however it must be noted that this comes with the trade off of their lakes being much smaller.

Sloans Lake Paddle Boarding

While Denver may not be a city known for it’s water sports, there are still a variety of locations for boating and paddle boarding throughout the city. One location in particular that  stands out among the rest and is Sloan’s Lake. With views of the mountains and the city this beautiful area is a fantastic location to get out on the water and enjoy a calm piece of nature within the busy city. While already a popular destination for the surrounding Sloans Lake restaurants and nightlife, the lake itself serves as a host to a variety of popular daytime recreational activities.

Sloans Lake Paddle Boarding

The Sloans Lake Paddle Boarding Community

Paddle boarding enthusiasts will find the size of the lake and the beauty of the surrounding park make it a prime spot. There are many online groups and Meetups with the purpose of bringing together recreational paddle boarders- there’s even an official Denver Paddle Club. Paddle board rentals are available at Sloan’s Lake as well, offered by the aforementioned Denver Outdoor Adventure Company. While it might not be the most well known hobby, there is still indeed a community alive and well at Sloan’s Lake.

Rent Paddle Board Sloans Lake

Rules and Regulations

Boating in Denver is only allowed in specific lakes, Sloans being one of them, during certain times of the year. This has to do with the depth of the water and the quality of the water, as is done in order to preserve the ecosystems of the lakes. Usually, this time is between April 1st and November 1st, but it is wise to check Denver Parks and Recreation first for exact dates. Thanks to the consistently temperate climate all year round, expect to enjoy reliable weather during boating season.

It must be noted however that in order to paddle board in Sloan’s Lake, a boating license is required. Thankfully, the license fee for paddle boards is much lower than for other nautical craft, costing only a mere $49 for the entire boating season.

Paddle Board at Sloans Lake

What Is Paddle Boarding?

When it comes to almost any sort of outdoors movement sport, momentum and propulsion are critical factors. Snowboarding relies upon gravity to keep the participant moving, while skateboards rely upon the momentum carried by wheels. and surfing relies on the natural motions of waves. You can’t snowboard without a hill or mountain and you can’t surf without waves.

This means that if you happen to live near an open and calm body of water, such as a lake, the main methods of propulsion you are looking at will come in the form of an engine, such as the case with boating and jet skiing. Paddle boarding is an activity similar to surfboarding which provides a solution to the lack of waves. The paddle boarder either lays flat, sits, or stands on a specially made board and makes use of their arms or a paddle to propel themselves forward. Much like when swimming, the motion of the water being displaced behind the paddle boarder pushes them forward and allows them to pick up speed.

What is Paddle Boarding

How To Get Started With Paddleboarding

Of course, to get started with paddle boarding, one needs the appropriate equipment. Those already familiar with surfing will have an easier time getting into paddleboarding, as much of the equipment and techniques are the same. While a special type of board is normally used, surfboards can also be used and are a good option for those who already possess the gear.

If you possess neither type of board, a quick journey into the heart of downtown Denver will take you to Denver Outdoor Adventure Company, a local outdoor sporting goods shop notable for having staff with plenty of paddle boarding knowledge. If you let them know you’re new, they’ll help you find the equipment of the right size and type best suited to your goals and preferences.

Sloans Lake New Construction

For a while now the Sloan’s Lake area has been the focus of a new development initiative. Given the area’s many attractions such as the lake, park, and nearby restaurants, it only makes sense as a location for premium real estate. Of the many new constructions, the recently completed X@Sloans stands out in terms of quality and affordability. Read on to learn more about the wide range of amenities offered by this new Sloans Lake construction as well as the Sloans Lake area itself.

Sloans Lake New Construction

Construction Features

The construction is brand new, having been completed in early 2017. As such every facet of these apartments are state of the art, built using the latest construction methods and technologies.

Both form and function have been taken into careful consideration and executed to their fullest. Those looking for slick and stylish designs, both exterior and interior, won’t be disappointed here. The beautiful environments provided by the apartments will go a long ways towards leaving you feeling refreshed and inspired when you come home from a long day of work.

Those who enjoy getting a breath of fresh air and taking in Colorado’s natural beauty will be pleased to know that these apartments feature an ample amount of balconies. If a balcony isn’t enough, then there are even rooftop decks which can be enjoyed by the residents.

While the level of quality craftsmanship which goes into these apartments is consistent across the board, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to the type of living space they’re looking for. Luckily there are a variety of alternative floor plans to choose from, ensuring that there’s a layout available to please everyone. One bedroom, two bedrooms- or perhaps a studio is more your style? A range of options are available to suit all lifestyles and price ranges at this new Sloans Lake construction.

New Construction Near Sloans Lake

Sloan’s Lake and Surrounding Denver

Of course it takes more than a building to make a home, there needs to be a sense of community. These new apartments are built in such a way to bring the residents closer together and spur on that sense of community by featuring a social courtyard.

Whether you’re inviting guests over, holding a barbecue, or getting to know your neighbors, the beautiful outdoor social courtyards of these apartments are the perfect space to do so.

Sloan’s Lake has become a focal point of the town over the past couple of years. From it’s beautiful park and lake to the bevy of shops and restaurants littering found in the area, there is no denying that Sloan’s Lake is the place to go to socialize. Sports, craft beer, artisan food, boating, fishing, and even idling about and enjoying the scenery- you’ll never run out of fun activities to do at Sloan’s Lake.

Sloans Lake Denver New Construction

Due to the apartment’s convenient location, travelling by bike, light rail, or even on foot are all also options in this peaceful neighborhood.

In addition to the apartments being optimally located in relation to Sloan’s Lake, the lake itself is located centrally to the Denver area. These apartments are not just a place to sleep, but also serve as a home base for those looking to see all of the best the state of Colorado has to offer. Need to go into downtown Denver? Easy, you can get there in no time. Looking to head out into the great Colorado wilderness for a get away? Just hop on the nearby I-70 and you’re on your way!

Sloans Lake Fishing

Like many outdoor sports, it can sometimes be difficult to find the time to enjoy a good old fashioned fishing trip. Thankfully, Sloans Lake makes it easy for even the busiest anglers to be able to enjoy their hobby on a somewhat regular basis. Conveniently located inside of Denver, Sloans Lake fishing contains everything a fisherman could want all right outside of their doorstep.

Sloans Lake Marina

What Kind of Fish Inhabit Sloans Lake?

Catfish and carp are the main two catches to be found at Sloans Lake, though the lake is also home to trout, pike, bluegill, and minnow.

Since the lake is a good spot to catch catfish and carp, that means the best kind of bait to use is that which these species are naturally attracted to. Worms will work wonders for both catfish and carp, but due to the lake’s location in an urban area the Sloans Lake fish also respond well to corn and bread.

Sloans Lake Fishing

When is the Best Time of Year to go Fishing at Sloans Lake?

Since the climate of Colorado is known for being temperate and pleasant almost all times of year, one can enjoy Sloans Lake fishing in comfort just about all year round.

When it comes to the behavior and patterns of the fish however, one will see the most activity and the highest numbers around April to June. This coincides with the fact that according to the Colorado State Department of Parks and Wildlife, the official fishing season starts April 1st. It is during this time that the temperatures make for conditions best suited to the native fish populations. In general, the better the environment is for the fish, the better it is for the fisherman.

Sloans Lake Fishing Information

Which Parts Of The Lake Are The Best For Fishing?

The carp and minnow of Sloans Lake can generally be found in their highest concentrations on the north side.The east and south sides of the lake however are home to many great spots to set up, providing ample shade, beautiful views, and ease of access to the parks rest areas.

While convenient, the east and south sides of the lake see wider recreational use by boats. In fact, Sloan’s lake is one of the few lakes located within the county of Denver which allows motorized boating. If you’re hoping to not have your fish disturbed then the north side might be a better fit.

Fishing at Sloans Lake

Rules and Regulations

It must be noted however, that fishing isn’t quite as easy as just picking up a rod and casting a line. Due to ecological considerations the type and amount of fish one is able to catch is restricted.

This is to ensure that the lake maintains a healthy stock of fish and can continue to be enjoyed as recreational fishing locations for many years to come. Each species has its own restrictions and limitations which must be kept in mind. Please refer to the Colorado State Parks and Wildlife regulations for a more complete breakdown.

In addition to these limitations, it also may be necessary to be in possession of a fishing license. The exceptions are if the person in question is under the age of 16 or it is the first full weekend of June- in which a license is not needed during this period. Otherwise one must purchase a one day, five day, or annual fishing license, in addition to a $10 habitat stamp for the first purchase of each year.

Restaurants Near Sloans Lake

From recreational activities to shopping and residential living areas- there’s a bit of something for everyone to be found at Sloan’s Lake. When it comes to great tasting food and atmospheric dining, Sloan’s continues to shine. Here are some of the best eating spots to be found around the waterfront of the lake.

Ruperts Sloans Lake

Rupert’s At The Edge

Location: 2045 Sheridan Blvd, Edgewater, CO 80214

Sandwiches, burgers, steaks- if it’s filling and it’s American, you’ll find it at Rupert’s. As the name suggests, Rupert’s is located in a prime location right next to Sloan’s Lake. A good meal with a gorgeous view, what more could you want out of an eating establishment?

A bustling and popular spot among locals, arrive early and expect to wait for seating if you show up during peak hours. The demand is high for a reason and the wait will not leave you disappointed.

GB Fish and Chips Sloans Lake

GB Fish & Chips

Location: 2175 Sheridan Blvd, Edgewater, CO 80214

GB Fish & Chips offers of the heft and grease of pub food but with a little bit more substance and style. If it can be found at an eatery from across the pond, it can be found here. The vibe here is friendly and laid back, and is a perfect spot to come to with friends to watch some soccer or throw back a couple of drinks.

Stepping inside GB Fish & Chips is like walking through a portal leading straight to London.

Shiso Sushi Sloans Lake

Shiso Sushi & Oyster Bar

Location: 2255 Sheridan Blvd, Edgewater, CO 80214

Not feeling up to all of the greasy and heavy food selections dotted around Sloan’s? Looking for something a bit more exotic? Shiso Sushi & Oyster Bar fills that gap and provides an alternative for lovers of seafood. While the prices are a bit higher compared to some of the other choices around Sloan’s, the exceptional quality of the food keeps the pricing fair.
The elegant and classy atmosphere and sushi selection found at Shiso adds to the already diverse variety of dining options found at Sloan’s Lake.

Santiagos Sloans Lake

Santiago’s Mexican Restaurant

Location: 2505 S. Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80211

While Santaigo’s might not be as close to the actual lakefront as some of the other choices on this list, the authentic and delicious selection Mexican food offered there more than makes up for this. This local chain has been among one of the best choices when it comes to Mexican food in Colorado.

Despite being a chain, Santiago’s manages to maintain the same personality, prices, and great flavor of a local mom and pop restaurant.

Rise and Shine Sloans Lake

Rise & Shine Biscuit Kitchen and Cafe

Location: 5126 W 29th Ave, Denver, CO 80212

What better way to finish off a morning jog around Sloan’s lake than with a cup of coffee and biscuit from Rise & Shine? Even if you’re not much of a morning person, Rise & Shine is still a lively evening spot for those looking to get work done, or just enjoy a good conversation with a friend.

Adding to the cozy bohemian atmosphere, Rise & Shine features and sells artwork created by local artists.

Edgewater Sloans Lake

Edgewater Inn

Location: 5302 W 25th Ave, Edgewater, CO 80214

Pizza has become a staple of the American diet as much as the hamburger or the sandwich. No self-respecting list of restaurants would be complete without an appropriately delicious pizza joint to round it out. This isn’t your average run-of-the-mill low quality, fast service, pizza either. The pizza at Edgewater Inn is brick oven prepared with plenty of love and attention put into each pie.

Even the soups and salads available are Edgewater are the product of authentic Italian artisanry. There are no cheap imitations to be found here.