Dowdy Lake sunset

County Offices, Courts and the Landfill will be closed on Monday, September 7 in observance of the Labor Day Holiday. Critical services at Larimer County will not be disrupted by this closure.


Carter Lake Conditions

Park elevation: 5760'
Report last updated: 8/26/2015

Current Conditions

photo from park
Help keep our parks clean. Even the elk pitch in.
Park situation


  • Boat ramps are open for the season.  Hours posted below. Ramp hours will change after Labor Day.
  • The shower house in the Eagle day use parking area is now open for the season. 
  • The swim beach is open for the season.  Sunrise  to sunset
  • Rangers no longer sell annual passes, day passes, or any other permit, including camping permits.Daily entrance permits are available for purchase at the automated pay stations on south CR 31 and west CR 8E, near the entrance station gates. The automated pay stations accept credit and debit cards only. Cash or checks will no longer be accepted at the self-service automated pay stations.


Fishing conditions

Carter recently stocked  with 6-7" trout.

All walleye longer than 21 inches in length, must be returned to the water immediately.

Daily bag limit for walleye is three (3) fish, 21 inches or less in length.

For more current conditions and stocking reports, check with the Division of Wildlife. Or join our fishing forum at to send and receive messages from fellow anglers and share your fishing knowledge!

Water level and boat ramps

Boat Launching Hours:

North Ramp 6am-10pm 7 days a week

South Shore 6am-10pm 7 days a week

North Pines 6am-10pm Wed-Sun                                                

 *** After Labor Day***

North Ramp - 6 AM - 10 PM 7 days a week
South Ramp - 6 AM - 10 PM 7 days a week
North Pines - Closed Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday Open Thursday thru Sunday 8 AM - 6 PM
Water elevation
  • Maximum pool elevation - 5,759 ft.
  • Current pool elevation - 5,733 ft.
  • Water temperature - 73 degrees

Carter Lake Marina Store is open for their season. Call (970) 667-1062 for questions or more information. Or you can visit their website at


Attention campers: If you do not have a reservation for a campsite, you will need to visit the Larimer County administrative office at 1800 South County Road 31 to purchase your campsite during the following hours:

  • Saturday-Thursday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Friday-  8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

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, call (800) 397-7795 or visit

Camping reservations may now be made from 1-180 days in advance.


Mule deer and elk are plentiful this time of year. Keep in mind we want to keep the wildlife wild. Do NOT leave food out or otherwise feed the wildlife. Several bears have been spotted at the north end of Carter Lake.

Drive carefully as wildlife often gathers near the roads.

Park events

A complete list of upcoming events can be found at

See the Parks and Open Lands event calendar.
Background Image: Dowdy Lake Sunset by John Bartholow. All rights reserved.