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 May through September. We have several locations available for rent. Boulder Reservoir Map

Picnic reservations are accepted for private parties only. Ice and charcoal are NOT included with your picnic rental. 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

Check the Special Event Calendar for date conflicts.

Submit the request form

Picnic rental request form

You will receive an email confirmation and contract within one week after you submit the form. Payment and deposit are due once contract is received. Reservation is considered tentative while we wait for your signature and payment.

Return the rental contract by email or mail

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

  • Individual $5
  • Car Load $10

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. Head count fees will be deducted from the deposit.
  • Individual – Individuals with your party pay the discount fee upon notifying front gate personnel which party/function they are attending.

Picnic Policies

  • Amplified sound is allowed, but must be stopped from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., at discretion of park management. Amplified sound is not allowed at the Dream Cove site.
  • Glass is not allowed in the park.
  • Alcohol is allowed; no permit is necessary.
  • 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 weekend through Labor Day. A separate swim reservation is required for groups over 25.
  • Boat rentals are done through Rocky Mountain Paddleboard.


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

Payment and forms may be mailed to:

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