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Old 07-20-2012   #1
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 62
A reservoir near Boulder without a boat fee?

I'm looking for a place to practice some flat water kayaking near Boulder.
I see that the Res in Boulder has a ridiculous $35 fee to bring in a boat.

Any res near Boulder that I can bring my boat and NOT pay a fee?

Something with a beach would be perfect, but I'll take anything...


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Old 07-20-2012   #2
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 17
Gross Reservoir is free and pretty, but no swimming allowed.

If you want to swim, how about Union Reservoir in Longmont? You have to pay something ($5-10) to drive through the gate, but I think car-top boats are free.

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Old 07-20-2012   #3
Broomfield, Colorado Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 61
Lagerman Reservoir between Longmont and Niwot is the place to be. Quiet, no fee, boat ramp and bathrooms.
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Old 07-20-2012   #4
Jefe's Avatar
river zen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 176
McIntosh lake in Longmont is free. Only non-motorized boats allowed.
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Old 07-20-2012   #5
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 390
Brainard Lake allows non-motorized boats, see City of Boulder Parks for regulations. Gross Dam Resevoir allows non-motorized boats.

Many years ago I used to avoid the fee at Boulder Res. by using the 'fishermans parking' entrance off Jay road. No boat ramp or facilities, but you can hand carry a boat right to the water. They may have closed this loophole by now, but back then non-motorized boats could launch for free from this parking lot.
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Old 07-20-2012   #6
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
Viele lake in South Boulder is boatable, but no swimming.

Lagerman, mentioned above is good, Gross if you dont mind the drive and again no swimming.

The back way into Boulder Res is a no go. The reason for this closure as well as the steeper price structure is their Zebra Mussel program.

(seven two 0)-298-2242
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Old 07-20-2012   #7
behind your mom, Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 678
chatfield is free if you have a state park pass
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Old 07-21-2012   #8
OlyPen, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 85
Originally Posted by streetdoctor View Post
chatfield is free if you have a state park pass
Chatfield does not charge a boat ramp fee, but it does charge $8 for a day pass just to get in the park. An annual state parks pass costs $70.

Also, Chatfield is quite a drive from Boulder. Closer to Boulder is Bear Creek Lake Park, run by the City of Lakewood. You can paddle in either Bear Creek Lake or Big Soda Lake--the latter is obvious from C470 near the US285 exit. Their day use fee is only $5, and the annual pass is about $40.

Gross Reservoir is "no body contact allowed". That includes rolling, although if nobody's around to see you and you have a secure roll...
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Old 07-21-2012   #9
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
Union Res isn't free ($8 per car), but it has a nice beach and easy access. It also has an off leash dog beach, so you can roll with yer homies.
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Old 07-21-2012   #10
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 103
Viele lake? Ugh! Goose poop and off-the-charts fecal coliform. Find some place else.

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