Picnics at the Boulder Reservoir

We'll do the set-up, you just arrive and enjoy!

Picnic Information

The Boulder Reservoir is a beautiful setting for a summer party. You may reserve picnic areas from late April through September. We have several locations available for rent. Rentals include a dedicated sand volleyball court. Ice and charcoal are NOT included with your picnic rental.

Picnic reservations are accepted for private parties only. If the gathering is open to the public and/or admission fees will be assessed by the organizer, please use the citywide special event application process.

Please submit your rental reservation request no less than 2 weeks prior to the date you would like. Small groups of under 10 who are looking to use public space without canopy set-up may do so without a reservation.

How to Reserve an Area

Choose your site

Choose your picnic package

Look at picnic package options PDF and select the one that's right for your group size and activities.

Submit the request form

Picnic rental request form

You will receive an email confirmation and contract within five days after you submit the form. Once you have your contract, your reservation is considered tentative while we wait for your signature and payment.

Return the rental contract by mail, fax, or email

Please also submit full payment for package and deposit. Once you have a receipt, your rental is considered final.


Area Fees

Admission Fees

Picnic site reservations do NOT include admission fees for guests, however a discount applies when a site is rented.

Admission fees with picnic reservation

  • Adults $7
  • Youth $3.50
  • Senior $4.75

Picnic organizers may use one of the following methods to pay gate fees. (Please indicate your choice on the application):

  • Head count – The reservoir gate personnel will maintain a count of people entering the park for your event. The group will be invoiced for the gate fee.
  • Individual – Individuals with your party pay the discount fee upon notifying front gate personnel which party/function they are attending.

    Noted: before and after swim season
    a "picnic package rental" rate of $2 less than the gate fee, so $3 per person or $8 per carload.

Picnic Policies

  • Rental will not be set up unless payment has been received.
  • Amplified sound is allowed, but must be stopped from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at discretion of park management.
  • Glass is not allowed in the park.
  • Alcohol is allowed, no permit necessary. No outside alcohol is allowed on the 4th of July.
  • The picnic organizer is responsible to make sure the site is left in the condition it was found; remove personal belongings and trash/recycling in the receptacles.
  • Dogs are prohibited in the park May 15 through Labor Day. If your guests arrive with a dog, they will be asked to take the dog home during this timeframe.
  • The park gates close at 9 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day and all patrons must exit the park by that time. Please check the gate schedule for gate closing times outside of these dates.
  • Swimming are only available Memorial Day through Labor Day. Boat rentals are done through Rocky Mountain Paddleboard.
  • If the forecast on your picnic date is looking questionable, it is your responsibility to contact the reservoir staff to reschedule the picnic at least 72 hours in advance. There are no refunds due to weather.
  • A final invoice will be sent to the organizer after the event for admissions and any extra amenities.


Fees can be paid by cash, check or credit card. Checks payable to City of Boulder.

Payment and forms may be mailed to:

5565 N 51st St.
Attn: Special Events
Boulder, CO 80301