Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

Carter Lake Conditions

Park elevation: 5760'
Report last updated: 10/20/2014

Current Conditions

photo from park
Help keep our parks clean. Even the elk pitch in.
Park situation
  • The shower house in the Eagle day use parking area is open.
  • The Dump Station on CR 8E is open.
  • The swim beach is now closed for the season.  
  • 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.

Effective Tuesday September 2nd, The Pinewood campgrounds will be closed until spring for a complete renovation.  The only fishing access will be the Fisherman's Cove parking lot.  There will be no camping available until the renovation is complete.

Fishing conditions

Carter recently stocked with 10" 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 www.fishexplorer.com to send and receive messages from fellow anglers and share your fishing knowledge!

Water level and boat ramps
  •   Hours of Operation at Boat Ramps beginning Tuesday September 2:
              Carter Lake Reservoir County Park:
              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 – Closed MondayTuesday, Wednesday.
                                                 Open Thursday – Sunday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Water elevation
  • Maximum pool elevation - 5,759 ft.
  • Current pool elevation - 5,737 ft.
  • Water temperature - 55 degrees

Carter Lake Marina Store is open for the season. Call (970) 667-1062 for questions or more information. Or you can visit their website at http://www.carterlakemarina.com/.


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:

  • Monday-Friday - 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday-Sunday -  10 a.m. - 4 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 www.larimercamping.com.

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 http://www.larimer.org/naturalresources/news.cfm.

See the Parks and Open Lands event calendar.
Background Image: Rocky Mountain National Park by Sue Burke. All rights reserved.