Changing Aspen Leaves - RMNP

Horsetooth Reservoir Conditions

Park elevation: 5430'
Report last updated: 11/30/2015

Current Conditions

Park situation

Daily entrance permits are available for purchase at the automated pay stations located in each park area. The automated pay stations accept credit and debit cards only; cash or checks are not accepted at the self-service automated pay stations.

Rangers no longer sell annual passes, day passes, or any other permit, including camping permits. Please go to the Horsetooth Park Headquarters for permits and questions you may have.

The South Bay swim beach will close October 20th and remain main closed until April 1st 2015.


Fishing conditions

Fishing regulations:

  • Walleye.: Daily limit - 5 total (no size restriction)
  • Smallmouth and Largemouth bass: Daily limit - 5 total (size minimum is 12 inches; all bass in possession must be over 12 inches)
  • All species of trout in Horsetooth (rainbow, cut-bow, brown): Statewide limit of 4 total per day (no size restriction)
  • White bass, striped bass, or wipers: Statewide limit of 10 total per day (no size restriction)
  • Panfish (including bluegill, white and black crappie, and all sunfish): Statewide limit of 20 total per day (no size restriction)

Please refer to the regulation brochure printed by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife before you fish on any body of water. These regulations are for Horsetooth and the type of fish in Horsetooth. Other bodies of water around Horsetooth may have different species of fish and regulations specific to that body of water. It is your responsibility to know the regulations to every body of water you fish.

For more current conditions and stocking reports, visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.

Send and receive messages from fellow fishermen and gain precious fishing knowledge! Join us at these fishing forums:

Water level and boat ramps


Boating Access Hours

Before traveling to one of our reservoirs, always check here first for the most current information.

We are required to inspect every vessel entering Carter Lake and Horsetooth Reservoir. That requires specific hours of operation for boating. No boat launching is permitted outside of these hours; however, boats already on the reservoirs may continue operation.

Horsetooth Reservoir Boat Ramp Hours

November -  December 13, 2015
South Bay ramp: 8 AM – 1 PM, weekends only
Inlet Bay ramp: Closed for season
Satanka ramp: Closed for season.

Carter Lake Boat Ramp Hours

November - December 13 2015
North ramp: 8 AM – 1 PM, weekends only
South Shore ramp: Closed for season
North Pines ramp: Closed for season

All ramps are closed Oct. 29-30.

Starting Oct. 31, the North Ramp at Carter Lake and the South Bay boat ramps at Horsetooth Reservoir will be open from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, on the weekends of Oct.31-Nov. 1, Nov. 7-8, Nov. 14-15, Nov. 21-22, Nov. 28-29, Dec. 5-6 and Dec. 12-13.


Water elevation
  • Maximum water elevation: 5,430.0 ft. above sea level

  • Current water elevation: 5,394.37 ft. above sea level

  • Percent full: 59.3%

  • Temperature: 30.0 °F


Attention campers: If you do not have a reservation for a campsite, you will need to visit the Horsetooth Park Headquarters located at 4200 West County Road 38E to purchase your campsite. Camping fees will no longer be accepted at your campsite. A reservation for camping is highly recommended. You may now reserve a campsite one day in advance. To reserve a campsite, please call (800) 397-7795 or visit

April-September :                                                                 

  • Non-electric Campsite: $15.00                          
  • Electric Campsite: $25.00                                   
  • Full hookup Campsite: $30.00                           
  • Camper Cabin: $60.00                                        
  • Boat In Campsite $20.00      


  • Non-electric Campsites: $15.00
  • Electric Campsites: $15.00
  • Full hookup Campsites: $20.00
  • Camper Cabins: $30.00
  • Boat In Campsites: Closed


Inlet Bay campground will close October 30th 2014 for the season.

Effective October 6th shower house hours:

Sunday through Thursday 9am -5pm

Friday and Saturday open 24 hours.

Shower houses will be closed from November 1st until April 1st 2015.


This time of year we have many deer, foxes, and coyotes in the area. Please use caution while driving.

In Larimer County, there is an increased risk of wildlife that may be carrying rabies. Please follow County regulations and keep all pets on a leash. All personal pets should be current on rabies vaccinations before venturing into the wild.

If you see a suspect animal acting out of the ordinary or becoming unusually aggressive in the park, do not hesitate to call a ranger. Rangers can be reached for this purpose by calling 911. Be prepared to give a detailed account of your location to the 911 dispatcher. Your safety and your pet's safety is of great concern to us.

Park events

See the event calendar for additional activities.

See the Parks and Open Lands event calendar.
Background Image: Changing Aspen Leaves in Rocky Mountain National Park by Jeremy Hollis. All rights reserved.