Show/Hide

Important Updates:

With the exception of emergency health and life safety staff, city services will be closed on Friday, Aug. 7 for a city-wide furlough day. | More Info

Show/Hide

The City of Boulder welcomes your feedback. Use our Inquire Boulder customer service tool to tell us what’s on your mind.

  • Parks and Recreation
  • Recreation Guide
  • Parks and Recreation Master Plan
  • Parks
  • Plans and Reports
  • Forestry and Horticulture
  • Recreation Programs
  • Recreation Facilities

Plan Your Visit

These past months, we’ve been working hard to interpret state and local guidance to ensure that recreational facility operations align fully with efforts to protect public health.

The following guidelines are in place to allow the Boulder Reservoir to be open for passive recreation, permitted boating/watercraft use and fitness swimming (by reservation) only: 

  • All rafts and non essential docks remain CLOSED to maintain social distancing requirements and to eliminate any potential group gatherings.  
  • Swimming is only allowed for ages 16 and up with reservations for fitness swimming.
  • The facility is currently open for a limited capacity of non-boating passive recreational visitors (walking, running).
  • No groups of larger than 10 individuals,are allowed to gather, including boating with anyone that does not reside in your household. 
  • Always bring a face covering when visiting the reservoir. If you are more than 12 years old, you must wear a face covering anytime you cannot maintain 6 feet of physical distance with those outside of your household or when interacting with staff. Boulder County Health Order
  • Please see additional information about Boats/Watercraft or Swimming Area in the respective tabs below on how to access these opportunities.

Thank you for respecting each other and staff while enjoying your visit to Boulder Reservoir. We appreciate your patience as we all adapt to new operational policies and procedures.  

The reservoir will remain open only if everyone abides by these protocols and the safety and physical distancing requirements. We will continue to evaluate the situation daily and make changes and adjustments as needed;  hours, protocols and services are subject to change.   

Boating and fitness swimming are being allowed to resume as part of the city’s transition from response to recovery mode. The restoration of additional Parks and Recreation services, including those at the reservoir, also will occur in phases with a flexible timeline.

Stay connected  with Boulder Parks and Recreation to learn more.  

Gate Hours

Hours subject to change.

The Boulder Reservoir will be CLOSED on Friday, Aug. 7 for a citywide furlough day.

Days Gate Opens Gate Closes Swim Beach Water Closes
Monday - Thursday 8 a.m. 7 p.m. CLOSED 6 p.m.
Friday - Sunday 7 a.m. 8 p.m. CLOSED 7 p.m.

 

Entry Fees

Daily entry fees will be charged Friday, May 22, 2020 through Monday, Sept. 7, 2020. No daily entry fees are charged between Labor Day and Memorial Day weekend. Each person entering the park must pay the entrance fee. Fees are collected for each person entering Boulder Reservoir including runners, walkers and cyclists. Additional fees are charged for boat permits and fitness swimming reservations.

​SINGLE VISIT  - Unlimited facility access within the same day.
  Pass Fee Resident/Worker*
Adult (19-59) $9 $7
Senior (60+) $6.75 $5
Youth (3-18) $5.50 $4
Group Entry Rate** $25 $20
 


*Resident/Worker Fees
Rate reflects a discount rate for those who either live, or are paid employees of businesses or organizations, within the city limits of Boulder. If you need help determining your fee status speak with our team members at the front gate. Adult proof of residence/worker status required. 

**Group Entry Rate: (4 people total; max 2 adults)
Includes a maximum of two adults, with four entries total.

* Household includes any persons living at your address.  Those over 18 must provide proof of address.

Rain Check/Refund Policy: No rain checks will be issued unless a facility is closed due to weather for two or more consecutive hours. No rain checks will be issued after 5 p.m. We do NOT offer refunds for any reason.

Getting Here

Boats/Watercraft

If you are bringing ANY watercraft, including inflateable craft such as stand up paddleboards, etc, it must have a valid boat permit.  We are SOLD OUT  of all boat permits. We ONLY sell annual permits for ALL watercraft, NO day passes are allowed. 

The following guidelines are in place to allow the Boulder Reservoir to be open for permitted boating/watercraft use: 

  • DO NOT tie up to any docks, except for launching and exiting the water. 
  • When exiting the water, one boat at a time tied to dock. 
  • All 2020 ANS protocol is in place and strictly enforced. 
  • Clean surfaces in your boat, on your trailer and personal items using regular household products. 
  • All motorized craft  must  schedule their decontaminations and quarantines at least 48 hours in advance.   Please email staff if you need the sign-up link.
  • Please follow posted protocols when you enter for inspection.  
  • Visit lakes or reservoirs in your local area and do not travel to go boating. 

Watercraft Rentals

Boat and watercraft rentals are available for reservation through Rocky Mountain Paddlboard.

No Wake Hours

All watercraft on Boulder Reservoir must remain wakeless with the exception of city-sanctioned activities and lake patrol operations.

  • Tuesday 8 a.m. -  noon
  • Wednesday 8 a.m. - 10 a.m.
  • Thursday 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. - water closes at 6 p.m.

Swimming Area

Boulder Reservoir is now offering a limited swimming experience to the community in alignment with the state and local requirements.More information + reserve your spot

General Rules

Enforcement:  All visitors must comply with all park rules and all swimming and boating regulations. Boulder Police will be on site at times to help enforce park regulations and provide public safety and service as needed.

No person shall swim outside the designated swimming area. 

Shallow water is designated by red buoys. Swim tests will be administered by a lifeguard for permission to swim outside of shallow area.

Dogs are not allowed in the park May 15 through Labor Day.

Beach:  Minimum water temperature to open swim area: 60˚F for the shallow water area to open and 64˚F for the entire swim area to open.

THURSDAYS:  Beach will close at 5:30 p.m. for weekly Stroke and Stride events.

PLEASE NOTE:  The beach may be closed at any time due to weather or for other health/ safety concerns.

Lifeguards: The swimming beach is staffed by open water certified lifeguards during seasonal, open beach hours only. Swimming is only allowed when lifeguards are present and on duty. Please do not approach lifeguard staff that are actively monitoring the water.

Facilities: There are restrooms, shower and changing facilities located in the main building by the beach area.

Weather Safety

Weather at the Boulder Reservoir and along the Rocky Mountain Front Range is unpredictable and can change rapidly, becoming dangerous to boaters, swimmers and other visitors. Be aware of rapid cloud build-up, drop in temperature and sudden changes in wind direction or speed as these may signal the arrival of dangerous weather conditions.

Please be advised of the following weather safety policies:

LIGHTNING:  When lightning is seen or thunder is heard near the reservoir it will close. It is strongly recommended that people take immediate shelter in their cars. It is not safe to take shelter under a tent, tree or building, or anywhere within 100 feet of the shore when lightning is present. The reservoir will typically reopen thirty (30) minutes after the last audible thunder is heard or lightning seen.

WEATHER WARNING FLAGS:

Reservoir Caution/Bad Weather Flag (a red, triangular flag)
This flag is displayed to indicate imminent or existing weather conditions which are or may become dangerous. Swimmers are  REQUIRED  to get out of the water immediately. Boaters are strongly encouraged to get off or out of the water as quickly as possible.

Reservoir Closed Flag (a red, square flag with a black square in the middle).
This flag is displayed when severe weather or emergency conditions exist and pose a hazard to your safety or the safety of others. During this display, all boaters and swimmers are  REQUIRED  to get off or out of the water immediately.

If lightning is present when either flag is displayed, we strongly urge visitors to take shelter in their cars. When flags are removed, the reservoir is reopened.

Alcohol at the Reservoir

Patrons of legal age may possess and consume alcoholic beverages in the park. Glass containers are not allowed.

You must have proper identification available to confirm age when requested. All state and local laws apply to the consumption of alcohol and will be strictly enforced. It is illegal to operate a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Lost and Found

Lost and found items will be kept at the Front gate.

Recycling

The City of Boulder encourages all park visitors to help reduce landfill waste by recycling appropriate plastic, paper and metal containers in the recycling containers provided (remember: glass containers are not permitted at the reservoir).

The Boulder Reservoir is striving to become a zero-waste facility! Please help us by doing your part. Please compost food waste (including paper plates, napkins and "corn starch" cutlery). We encourage guests to bring and use special "compostable" plastic ware and discourage the use of non-recyclable Styrofoam, plastic cups and other utensils.

Groups

Groups of 10 or more require a reservation to ensure staffing levels are adequate. If a group of 10 or more arrives without a reservation, they may be asked to leave.

Subscribe to this feed

Swim Reservation Request

See more articles like this

Children

Children under 3 years old must wear swim diapers; regular disposable diapers are prohibited on children in the water. Children 5 years old and under must be within arm's reach of an adult when in the water or near the water's edge.

Flotation devices are allowed only at the discretion of the lifeguards/beach staff.