Dream Lake iced over - RMNP

Horsetooth Reservoir Conditions

Park elevation: 5430'
Report last updated: 9/25/2016

Current Conditions

photo from park
May 12, 2016: Workers put up walls and roofing for the new information center under construction at Horsetooth Reservoir.
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.

Horsetooth Area Information Center

In January 2016, construction began on a new Information Center in the South Bay area that will serve as a one-stop shop for visitors to Horsetooth Reservoir, as well as Horsetooth Mountain Open Space and other area parks. The center, along with new shop and maintenance facilities, is expected to open in summer of 2016. Access for visitors is not impacted at this time.

See photo on this page for construction updates.

View the Horsetooth Area Information Center design concept.

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

May 1st 2016 
South Bay ramp: 6am - 10pm 7 days a week
Inlet Bay ramp: 6am - 10pm 7 days a week
Satanka ramp: Please see below

Effective September 6th - September 30th:

Satanka Ramp Hours: 

Thursdays: 8 am - 6 pm.

Fridays & Saturdays: 8 am - 9 pm.

Sundays: 8am - 6pm.


October 1st - October 30th
South Bay ramp: 8am - 4pm 7 days a week
Inlet Bay ramp: 8am - 4pm 7 days a week
Satanka ramp: Closed
October 31st - November 27th   
South Bay ramp: Sat & Sun 8am - 4pm
Inlet Bay ramp: Closed
Satanka ramp: Closed

 November 28th  -  All Ramp Closed

Water elevation

Water Temperature: 68°F

Percent Full: 72%

Maximum Water Elevation: 5,430.0 FT above sea level

Current Water Elevation: 5,406.52FT above sea level


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. . A reservation for camping is highly recommended. You can make reservations from 180 days to 1 day in advance of the arrival date at www.larimercamping.com or by calling the reservation call center at 1-800-397-7795.


  • Non-electric Campsite: $15
  • Electric Campsite: $25
  • Full hookup Campsite: $30
  • Camper Cabin: $60
  • Boat In Campsite $20


  • Non-electric Campsites: $15
  • Electric Campsites: $15
  • Full hookup Campsites: $20
  • Camper Cabins: $30
  • Boat In Campsites: Closed

Shower house hours:

  • Sunday through Thursday 8am -5pm
  • Friday and Saturday open 24 hours

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: Dream Lake frozen over in Rocky Mountain National Park by Bryce Bradford. All rights reserved.