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Required Inspections and Boating Hours

To comply with regulations, Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake require mandatory vessel inspections.

All watercraft including their motors, trailers, compartments, and any other associated equipment or containers may be inspected for exotic invasive species (Aquatic Nuisance Species or ANS) before launch or departure from high risk waters. Exclusions include hand-launched rafts, kayaks, belly boats, float tubes, canoes, windsurfer boards, sail boards, or inner tubes.

Recognizing the serious impact possible from ANS, and to prevent its spread by recreational boating or any other human means, Larimer County joins Colorado Parks and Wildlife and other waterway managers in a robust strategy designed to ensure sustainable recreational boating and other uses. The risk and cost are too high once ANS infestation has reached a critical level.

A boater may be denied access if not cooperating at an inspection point, or the boat may be placed under quarantine if inspectors think there is a serious risk of spreading ANS. Boaters circumventing the described procedures will be subject to fine.

The Larimer County Department of Natural Resources' program complies with the Aquatic Nuisance Species Watercraft Inspection Handbook.

Planned 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

Beginning Tuesday September 2
South Bay ramp: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. 7 days a week
Inlet Bay ramp: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. 7 days a week
Satanka ramp: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday – Sunday
(through October)

Carter Lake

Beginning Tuesday September 2
North ramp: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. 7 days a week
South ramp: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. 7 days a week
North Pines ramp: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday – Sunday

Background Image: Rocky Mountain National Park by Sue Burke. All rights reserved.