Description - Located in the foothills west of Fort Collins at an elevation of 5,430 feet, Horsetooth Reservoir is 1,900 acres of water surrounded by 2,000 acres of public land. It is popular for fishing, boating, water-skiing, and camping. This 6.5-mile reservoir is open year round and is a part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. The purpose of this water project is to divert water from the west slope to the east slope for drinking water, irrigation, and hydropower generation. The Bureau of Reclamation is solely responsible for power generation. The agencies jointly manage water levels for irrigation, municipal, and industry use.
- Developments include 4 campgrounds, 111 campsites, and 7 boat-launch ramps. A concession-operated public marina is located at the Inlet Bay area. Concession operated for members only (Sail and Saddle Club and restaurant) is located on the east shore. A developed public swim beach located on the west side of the lake. A restaurant available at the south end of the lake. Access good. Total water surface available for recreation is approximately 1,899 surface acres.
Recreation - Recreation is managed by Larimer County Natural Resources. Park Entrance Permits and Camping Fees are required.
Primary recreation activities include fishing, power boating, and camping. Primary sport fish include rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and walleye. Facilities are closed in winter because of ice and snow conditions.
Climate - The climate in Colorado varies tremendously from hot dusty summer days to frigidly cold winter nights. Colorado is known for its thunderstorms which form over the Rocky Mountains and then head across the eastern plains, often reaching 10,000 feet or more in height. Lightening is a serious threat, particularly on mountain peaks, lakes and open fields. Summertime temperatures routinely reach 90 to 100 degrees on the plains and the 70 - 80 degrees in the mountains. Cool weather is always possible at night throughout Colorado, particularly at higher elevations. It is not uncommon to need both shorts and a jacket on the same day.
Off county road about 5 miles west of Fort Collins. A map is available above on this wildernet.com page.