PICT 64J1 Outdoors Boating Alcohol Park Ranger - CPW

Colorado state parks open to boating for the season

Courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Lake Pueblo State Park

Operating hours for the boat ramps at Lake Pueblo State Park, the busiest park in Colorado, will adjust April 1 to the summer schedule of 5 a.m. to midnight.

Ramp hours coincide with the hours of operation for the mandatory inspection station for Aquatic Nuisance Species, or ANS. 

Lake Pueblo is open to boating 24 hours a day, but boats can only be launched when the inspection stations are open. When closed, the gates to the boat ramps will be locked and no boats can enter or leave the water.

No boats will be allowed to load or launch when ANS inspectors are not on duty.

The mandatory boat inspection program was implemented in 2008 to prevent the spread of ANS, which can destroy water delivery systems and fisheries. 

Those hours of operation will remain in effect until Oct. 15 when the fall season for boating begins.

More information on park hours, ANS inspections and boat ramps is available by calling the park at 719-561-9320 or visiting

Boyd Lake State Park

Boyd Lake State Park opened for boating on Friday, March 25 at 8 a.m.
Boyd Lake has two boat ramps for your convenience.

The main, six-lane boat ramp is located by the marina. 

A two-lane ramp is located further north at Heron Cove, where non-motorized and personal watercraft can be launched.

It’s aquatic nuisance species (ANS) inspection station hours will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the remainder of March, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in April and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. from May 1 through Labor Day. It is located at the marina.
The ANS decontamination site at Boyd Lake is available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Boyd Lake’s park office is currently open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and available for boat registrations.

North Sterling State Park

Boating season on Colorado’s northeast plains is about to kick off, as North Sterling State Park will open to boating on Saturday, March 26 at 8 a.m.
The park’s Elks Boat Ramp will be the first to open with its Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) inspection station hours running from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays through Mondays. Then starting on April 1, those inspection station hours will be open seven days a week.
North Sterling’s south boat ramp will not open until later in the spring, likely some time in May.

Jackson Lake State Park

Jackson Lake State Park, a popular fishing and water-sport destination in Morgan County, will open its reservoir to boating on Friday, April 1.
The four-lane boat ramp is located on the west shore of the reservoir. The Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) inspections will take place at the park's visitor center during weekdays. For weekends, those will be out at the regular ANS station. Hours of operation for all ANS inspections will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily in April and most of May.
For weekends after Memorial Day through Labor Day, the ANS station will be in operation from 7 a.m. to sunset.
All boats must comply with current Colorado boating rules and regulations, which are also available at the park’s entrance stations and visitor center

Chatfield & Cherry Creek State Parks

The two busiest state parks in the Denver Metro Area - Chatfield and Cherry Creek - have announced when their reservoirs will open to boating.
Chatfield State Park and Cherry Creek State Park are scheduled to open to boating on Friday, April 1, barring any unforeseen items that would cause a delay. Delays would include safety issues on the reservoirs that would need to be taken care of.
At Chatfield, the park has two boat ramps but only the south one will be open initially. 

The south boat ramp, located on the southeast side of the reservoir, has two launch lanes and one courtesy dock, will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The north boat ramps, located on the northwest side of the reservoir, has eight launch lanes and four courtesy docks, and will remain closed. Opening will be announced when adequate staffing is available.

In April, Cherry Creek will only have one ramp open:

The west boat ramp, which can be accessed by entering the park off S. Dayton St., is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The east ramp opening will be announced when adequate staffing is available. 

Water enthusiasts get excited - Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap State Parks will open their boat ramps Friday, April 1. Colorado Parks and Wildlife invites everyone to come out and enjoy a variety of water-based outdoor recreation, including boating, jet skiing, sailing, water skiing, and swimming.

The ANS inspection hours for both reservoirs are as follows:

  • April 1 - 30: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • May 1 - 26: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  • May 27 – Close of boating season: 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Anyone wishing to boat at Rifle Gap Reservoir outside of these hours must obtain a seal and receipt from a certified ANS boat inspector and drop the seal and receipt in the pre-inspection drop box before launch.