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Attention: ADA campsites may be reserved through the Call Center only.
Important Notice: The person making the reservation is responsible for making sure all site occupants know and obey regulations.
  • Sites must be reserved a minimum of 1 day prior to arrival day.
  • Any remaining sites MAY be available first-come, first-serve at the campground.
  • Monday -Thursday: first-come, first-serve sites are usually available.
  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend: first-come, first-serve sites are usually NOT available.
  • Availability is limited and NOT guaranteed.

  • Carter Lake, CO

    Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
    Max reservation window: Sat Oct 18 2014   Later Dates


    Carter Lake is located in the foothills west of Loveland at an elevation of 5,760 feet. It is a part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. The purpose of this water project is to divert water from the west slope to the east slope for drinking water, irrigation, and hydropower generation. The Bureau of Reclamation is solely responsible for power generation. The agencies jointly manage water levels for irrigation, municipal, and industry use. Recreation is managed by Larimer County Natural Resources. Three miles long and about one mile wide, Carter Lake is a 1,100-acre reservoir surrounded by 1,000 acres of public lands and is popular for fishing, sailing, camping, swimming, scuba diving, rock climbing, and water skiing. It is open year round. Park Entrance Permits and Camping Fees are required.

    Services & Amenities:

    Within Facility
    • Boat Gasoline
    • Boat Launch Ramp
    • Boat Mooring at some sites
    • Boating
    • Comfort Station
    • Drinking Water
    • Dump Station
    • Fishing
    • Food Concessions
    • Hiking Trail
    • Horseback Riding
    • Lake
    • Lake Front
    • Marina
    • Mountain Biking
    • Parking
    • Picnic Shelter
    • Picnic Tables
    • Picnicing
    • Playground
    • Restroom
    • Scuba Diving
    • Swimming Beach
    • Water Drinking
    • Water Skiing
    • Windsurfing/Sailboarding

    Alerts and Important Information

    Pets must be on a leash of not more than 10 feet at all times. They may not be left unattended. Aggressive dogs not allowed. No pets allowed on swimbeaches.

    Quiet hours are 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Please be respectful of your neighbors and other campers.

    The only alcohol allowed is 3.2%, in cans only - no glass containers - no kegs.

    There is an additional charge for an additional camping unit parked on the site. At the park, campground hosts or rangers will collect $10.

    In addition to camping permits, daily or annual entrance permits are required and available at park entrances. Annual permits are available online, ahead of time. Allow two weeks for arrival before your trip.

    Please check the Season Dates tab for annual updates on site availability.


    Swimming allowed at swim beaches only - Carter Lake and Horsetooth Reservoir.

    Motor vehicles must stay on established roads, parking lots, pads. No OHV's (off highway vehicles) allowed.

    Campfires in approved fireplaces at designated campsites only. No fireworks at any time. Check upon arrival for possible fire restrictions.

    Firewood: No collecting within parks. Available at Carter Lake Marina, or at local businesses. B.Y.O.W. (bring your own wood!)

    Dump Stations: Carter Lake: 1 - South entrance Horsetooth Reservoir: 2 - South Bay campground & Inlet Bay campground

    Check-in: Noon, at campground. If campground host is not on duty, set up campsite. A host or ranger will be by to check you in. Check-out: 11 a.m.

    1 campsite in each campground is ADA accessible and near to ADA accessible restroom. Camper cabins ADA accessible.

    Carter Lake Marina at Carter Lake (970-667-1062) Inlet Bay Marina at Horsetooth Reservoir (970-223-0140)

    Drinking water and vault restrooms located in each campground. Showers at Eagle campground only.

    Getting There:

    GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
    40.33583, -105.21667
    40°20'9"N, 105°13'0"W

    (Park address: 1800 S.C.R. 31; Loveland, CO 80537) Take I-25 to the Berthoud Exit (Exit 250). Turn left (west) onto Highway 56 and continue for 9 1/2 miles, passing through the town of Berthoud. At the foothills, the road will curve sharply to the right (north). Turn left (west) onto County Road 8E and continue for 3 miles to the entrance station where you can purchase permits. Follow County Road 8E west to the intersection with County Road 31 about halfway up the hill. Turn right on County Road 31 and continue along the east side of the lake to the second campground which is on the northeast part of the lake.

    Contact Information:

    Mailing Address:

    Carter Lake
    LOVELAND CO 80537

    Phone Number:

    Information: (970)679-4570