Colorado inspires images of snowy peaks and ski slopes, but the state is also home to a range of pristine alpine lakes and sprawling reservoirs perfect for boating and fishing. From the popular beaches of Grand Lake to the secluded shores of Lake Dillon, here are some of the best lakes to find Colorado vacation rentals for an unforgettable getaway at any time of year.
1. Lake Granby
Situated near Grand Lake and the vibrant town of Granby, this alpine lake is one of the largest lakes in the state. Families and couples looking for a relaxing getaway can ice-fish or enjoy miles of snowmobile trails surrounding the lake in the winter, or they can plan a summer vacation to kayak while fishing for trout and salmon against a backdrop of the Continental Divide. Don’t miss the high-elevation Lake Granby Yacht Club’s race series that take place every summer.
2. Horsetooth Reservoir
This sparkling reservoir stretching six and a half miles is a family-friendly haven for boating, water-skiing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding. The summertime favorite is also known for its wealth of hiking and biking trails that skirt the shoreline. Horsetooth Reservoir is located near Fort Collins, making it the ideal lake for younger vacationers looking for a full vacation with breweries, museums, and more.
3. Grand Lake
Resting just outside Rocky Mountain National Park, the largest natural lake in the state is a major draw year-round. Rent a speed boat or fishing boat from Grand Lake Marina, or kick back at the beach and boardwalk. The town of Grand Lake offers plenty of stylish lakeside rentals while the bustling vacation atmosphere caters to families with events such as the Lipton Cup Races and a summer concert series. Plan your trip for the winter to enjoy snowmobiling and cross-country skiing with breathtaking views of a frozen Grand Lake.
4. Cherry Creek Reservoir
Head over to Cherry Creek State Park just outside of Denver to find this remote reservoir where sailboats, paddle boats, and leisure boats cruise the calm waters. Wake up in a cozy rental in Aurora or Englewood before heading out to the Cherry Creek Marina and Yacht Club or relaxing at the sandy beach on the northeastern shoreline. Cherry Creek Reservoir also boasts 35 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding and biking, and the quiet wilderness area is ideal for spotting mule deer and other wildlife.
5. Chatfield Reservoir
Lakeside fun never runs dry at Chatfield Reservoir, a water body known for its sandy beach during the summer months and ice-fishing opportunities during the winter. Find your vacation rental in Littleton, a Denver suburb that draws families and older vacationers alike. The town is famous for its charming historic downtown district and the beautiful Hudson Gardens. If you’re looking for more entertainment, embark on horseback rides from Chatfield Stables, or rent a fishing boat, paddleboat, fishing boat, or sailboat from a local business.
6. Lake Dillon
This alpine lake studded with pine-covered islands boasts 26 miles of shoreline and spectacular mountain views. Look to the small town of Dillon for quiet vacation rentals, and spend your vacation fishing for brook trout and salmon. You can also rent a boat at Dillon Marina or even take a sailing class. If you’re planning a summer vacation, be sure to stop by the Dillon Amphitheatre for the lakeside concert series.
7. Prospect Lake
This charming lake in Memorial Park of Colorado Springs is a favorite of families and young couples looking for city entertainment amidst some lakeside fun. Relax at the beach during the summer, or enjoy a game of volleyball or a picnic at one of the tables. You can also take a boat out and fish for rainbow trout or hike the 2.2-mile walking trail that loops around the lake with views of the foothills. Look for a convenient vacation rental around Knob Hill or Downtown Colorado Springs for easy access to Prospect Lake and other Colorado Springs attractions.
8. McPhee Lake
With its 50 miles of shoreline, this reservoir is the perfect place to escape from the crowds while boating, water-skiing, or fishing from your craft floated at the convenient boat launch. Be sure to hike the lake’s famous Can Do Trail for unbeatable mountain views year round. After a day on the wayer, head back to your relaxing vacation rental in the small, laid-back town of Dolores or Cortez.
9. Lake San Cristobal
This lake in the San Juan Mountains is the ideal spot for viewing elk, moose, and Canada geese from your rented canoe or kayak. You can also rent a fishing boat to try your luck catching trout from the cold waters of this alpine lake. When you’re not on Lake San Cristobal, explore the area around your vacation rental in Creede or Lake City, two historic mining towns with a knack for outdoor fun.
10. Blue Mesa Reservoir
Colorado’s largest body of water is the perfect vacation spot for finding a luxury vacation rental perched on the lake shore. You can also look for places in nearby Gunnison, a fun college town. Enjoy a round of windsurfing, or hop on a boat tour to gaze at the walls of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. While the reservoir has no sandy beaches, vacationers can boat to several swimming areas. During the winter, Blue Mesa Reservoir is a popular ice fishing destination.
Ready to go? Check out these amazing Colorado vacation rentals on Tripping.com.