Guide to Boating Lakes in Grand County, Colorado
While Colorado has dozens of great reservoirs and lakes to set sail on, few destinations offer so many choices in one place as Grand County. To help you navigate some of the best boating lakes in Colorado, we compiled a guide below:
Colorado Boating Lakes
GRAND LAKE BOATING
What makes it special: Colorado's largest natural lake also competes for Colorado's prettiest. With the high peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park serving as a backdrop and regular moose sightings in the shallows, Grand Lake is a wonderful place to set sail on a summer afternoon. As an added bonus, the charming town of Grand Lake resides on its northern shore and provides ample dining, shopping and local character.
Best way to enjoy it: Embrace the solitude of Grand Lake from a sailboat or lake kayak. At dusk, the peaks that adorn the eastern horizon often catch the sunset's golden rays, creating a beautiful spectacle.
SHADOW MOUNTAIN LAKE BOATING
What makes it special: Often overlooked for its neighbors to the north and south — Grand Lake and Lake Granby — Shadow Mountain Lake is a beautiful hidden gem with easy access off of Highway 34 as well as from Grand Lake. Since Shadow Mountain Lake is connected to Grand Lake, you can enjoy both bodies of water from the same boat.
Best way to enjoy it: Start your day early in the morning with a spin around the lake's uninhabited western shore. You can also camp on the lake shore at Green Ridge Campground near the dam.
LAKE GRANBY BOATING
What makes it special: At 7,000 acres, Lake Granby is one of Colorado's largest bodies of water. Its numerous coves and marinas make it a justly popular place for sailors, boaters and jet-skiers. For fishermen, the lake's appeal lurks in the deep — lake trout. Known as one of the best "mackinaw" fisheries in the country, the reservoir also harbors a healthy population of kokanee salmon.
Best way to enjoy it: While Lake Granby offers a wide array of camping and home-rental options nearby, it is best enjoyed with a pontoon boat. Rent one from one of the lake's marinas and enjoy the company of friends on this scenic lake.
WILLIAMS FORK RESERVOIR BOATING
What makes it special: Located well off the beaten path, Williams Fork Reservoir appeals to those looking for some peace and quiet and a lot of hungry fish. Deep in the reservoir’s waters lurk several trophy-sized northern pike. The lake's boat ramps don't accommodate all motorboats. See the official website for more information.
Best way to enjoy it: Due to its exposure and location between several distant mountain ranges, Williams Fork Reservoir gets a lot of wind — much to the delight of windsurfers. Because of the chilly snowmelt-fed waters, a wetsuit is not just recommended, it's virtually required.
Best way to enjoy it: Due to its exposure and location between several distant mountain ranges, Williams Fork Reservoir gets a lot of wind — much to the delight of windsurfers. Because of the chilly snowmelt-fed waters, a wetsuit is not just recommended; its virtually required.
WOLFORD MOUNTAIN RESERVOIR BOATING
What makes it special: Located in the northern section of Middle Park just beyond Kremmling on Highway 40, Wolford Mountain Reservoir offers a stark beauty that is unique to Colorado. Windswept mountain plains and sage-dotted land surround its shores. Out on the water, boaters can enjoy fishing for rainbow and brown trout, as well as kokanee salmon.
Best way to enjoy it: With its beautiful location and craggy views of the nearby Gore Range, Wolford Mountain Reservoir offers next-level camping right by the marina.
Need a Boat Rental? We've Got You Covered
Nearly every lake on this list has outfitters and marinas nearby where you can rent a vessel. Check out this guide to Grand County’s Colorado boat rentals for spots where you can buy boats by the hour.
More Colorado Lake Activities
Looking for more things to do by the water? Check out these activities: