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Fun Things to Do at Horsetooth Reservoir in the Fall

Horsetooth Reservoir in the Fall
Sue Burke, Courtesy of Larimer County
Kayaking on Horsetooth Reservoir
Charlie Johnson, Courtesy of Larimer County

Horsetooth Reservoir is one of the busiest reservoirs in Colorado on weekends and holidays during the summer. However, the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources wants to remind you why Horsetooth is still a great destination in the fall.

Paddle Sports

Paddle sports, such as stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking, are particularly good in the fall when less motorboats are on the water. Paddlers can find solace in the coves of Horsetooth Reservoir and enjoy the brilliantly colored cottonwood trees that ring the shoreline.


Fall fishing is picking up for smallmouth bass, walleye and rainbow trout and should remain good through December. Anglers can be successful from both a boat and the shore. The county expects to be able to keep at least one boat ramp open at South Bay into December. With lowering water levels, boaters should still check the Department of Natural Resources’ website before visiting the reservoir for the latest boat ramp access hours.

Rock Climbing, Biking, and Hiking

Visitors can enjoy rock climbing on the east side of Horsetooth Reservoir and hiking, biking and horseback riding on trails in the greater Horsetooth area. The day use areas at Horsetooth and the many parks, open spaces and natural areas around the reservoir are also excellent for picnicking, birding and enjoying the great outdoors without getting too far from home.


Fall is an ideal time to go camping at Horsetooth Reservoir. South Bay Campground is open year-round and Inlet Bay Campground is open through the end of October. While both campgrounds are full the next two weekends, campsites become available on weekend days starting October 20 (booking in advance is still advised through October). The seven camper cabins at South Bay are open year-round with heat as well. From October to March, full hookup campsites are only $20/night ($30/night April to September), cabins are $30/night ($60/night April to September) and all other campsites are just $15/night.

Horsetooth Reservoir in the Fall
Jeff Andersen, Courtesy of Larimer County

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