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Paddleboarding Near Denver | Dog Friendly

Colorado has so many beautiful lakes and reservoirs that are open to paddleboarding! Below is the most up to date information on my favorite spots to paddleboard near Denver. Please check the websites listed for the most up to date information as rules and regulations may change.


Standley Lake Regional Park is located only 20 minutes outside of Denver. It is a 3000-acre park with activities for the whole family, including hiking, mountain biking, camping and water activities. It is open to paddleboarding May 1-September 30, 7am-7pm. There is a daily fee of $10 or you can purchase an annual pass for $200. You can bring your own paddleboard or you can rent for $20 per hour.


Standley Lake provides drinking water for the multiple nearby cities, so there are some specific rules for paddleboarding. You must enter through the main entrance to visit the spray station. All paddle craft must be sprayed in accordance with Aquatic Nuisance Species regulations prior to launching to prevent water contamination. There is no swimming allowed in this lake and you should minimize the time you are in the water, if you happen to fall off your board. This rule also applies to dogs, who are allowed but must be leashed. My favorite thing about Standley Lake is that motorized watercrafts are prohibited, this means there is not much water traffic. The expansive views from the water overlook the beautiful Boulder Flatirons.


Boulder Reservoir is about 40 minutes north of Denver. If you want to bring your own paddleboard, you must purchase an annual boat permit which go on sale in February and are in very high demand, usually selling out by April. An annual boat permit for a small watercraft/paddle board is $55. In addition, there is an $11 per person daily entry fee for the park. If you rent a paddleboard, you do not need the annual boat permit but do pay the daily entry fee. Rentals are $25 per hour.


This 700-acre multi use reservoir, used for recreation, drinking water and irrigation, provides vast views of the Boulder Flatirons and surrounding foothills. There is a large beach to enjoy a relaxing day with the family and plenty of nearby trails if you want to hike as well.


Union Reservoir is located 30 minutes north of Denver in Longmont, CO. This beautiful reservoir is a popular spot to spend a summer day with the family. It is over 700-acres of water and is a natural made lake created by a glacier. It is open to both non-motorized and motorized watercraft but is big enough to not feel crowded. There is also an off-leash dog beach, a swimming area with a lifeguard and covered picnic areas available for rent. There is a daily vehicle fee of $10 on weekdays and $12 on summer weekends. If you bring your own paddleboard there is a $5 watercraft fee. Or you can rent a paddleboard for $25 per hour. Season passes are also available. The views of Longs Peak in the distance are spectacular!


Bear Creek Lake Park is located 20 minutes from Denver in Lakewood, CO. It has multiple lakes and is open year-round to paddleboards. The park is 2600-acres, with hiking and mountain biking trails, an archery range, guided horseback riding stables, picnic areas, a lake for motorized water sports and two other lakes for recreation. There are also campsites available for a nightly fee. To enter, there is a fee of $10 per vehicle or a season pass for $80. Paddleboards are available for rental for $25 per hour.


Big Soda Lake is the biggest lake and the most popular place to paddleboard in the park. Bear Creek Reservoir is much smaller but generally less busy, this is my favorite spot to relax on the water. Both lakes have beautiful views of the surrounding foothills.


Chatfield Reservoir is located 40 minutes south of Denver in Chatfield State Park. There are multiple lakes, all open to paddleboards. You must pass an Aquatic Nuisance Species Inspection prior to getting on the water, similar to Standley Lake. The inspection center is open from 7am to 8pm. There is a daily fee of $10 per vehicle. Paddleboards are available to rent for $25 per hour.


This is one of the most popular recreation areas near Denver covering almost 4000-acres. There are many recreation options including hiking and mountain biking trails, paved walking paths, boating, hot air balloon rentals, jet ski rentals, horseback riding, RV campsites, tent campsites, picnic areas, an off-leash dog area, fishing and a wide variety of wildlife and flowers.


Cherry Creek Reservoir is located in Cherry Creek State Park near Aurora, CO about 35 minutes outside of Denver. There is a daily entry fee of $11 per vehicle. There is one large reservoir, 880-acres in size, that is open April 1 until November.


The state park, while smaller, offers many of the same recreation options as Chatfield State Park. There are 12 miles of easy hiking trails, an off-leash dog area, camping, jet skiing, boating, fishing, and horse riding.


Horsetooth Reservoir is about an hour away in Fort Collins, CO.. The reservoir is 6.5 miles long and is open to non-motorized and motorized watercraft. There is a daily entry fee of $10 per vehicle or you can purchase an annual pass. Horsetooth Reservoir is one of the busiest reservoirs in the state of Colorado, getting one million visitors a year. Plan to arrive early to secure parking, especially on summer weekends.


From May 27 to September 5 there is a paddle craft only section, in the Satanka Bay Cove. The entire reservoir has incredible views of the surrounding foothills. There are camp sites available for rent, bouldering and rock climbing nearby as well as expansive hiking and mountain biking trails.







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