Northwest of Carter Lake

Three hundred and twenty-seven acres of public lands encircle this idyllic 100-acre reservoir. Kayaking, camping and fishing make it the ideal place for a little fun in the mountains without driving too far.

As part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project to divert water from the West Slope to the East Slope for drinking water, irrigation and hydropower generation, the reservoir is jointly operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, which manage water levels for irrigation, municipal and industry use. Larimer County manages recreation.

Pinewood Reservoir requires entrance and camping permits, and is open year round. At 6,580 feet in elevation, it is west of Flatiron Reservoir, southwest of Loveland, Colorado, and northwest of Berthoud, Colorado.

Pinewood Boat Ramp Closed

To comply with regulations, all trailered watercraft and or watercraft operated by any sort of motor are not allowed on Pinewood Reservoir. Only hand-launched rafts (with more than two air chambers), kayaks, belly boats, canoes, windsurfer boards, sailboards, and stand-up paddleboards are allowed on the water in this area. 



Accessible Activities
Drinking Water
Permit Required
Picnic Area



From Denver:

  1. Take I-25 north to Exit 257B (Highway 34 - Loveland) heading west. Continue west through Loveland on U.S. Highway 34 (Called Eisenhower in Loveland)
  2. Watch for the "Carter Lake" road sign just past mile marker #85. Turn left (south) onto County Road 29 and continue for 2 miles.
  3. Turn right (west) onto County Road 18E and continue another 2 miles.
  4. Watch for signs directing you turn left (south) to the park entrance station. (You must buy your park entrance permits here.)
  5. Go back north to County Road 18E and turn left (west) continuing approximately 1/2 mile to Flatiron Reservoir or approximately 4 1/2 miles to Pinewood Lake. Ramsay-Shockey Open Space Trailhead is at the west end of Pinewood Lake.

From Loveland:

  1. Take U.S. Highway 34 west through Loveland.

    Follow directions from #2 above

From Fort Collins:

  1. Take Taft Hill Road south from Fort Collins to U.S. Highway 34 (Eisenhower) in Loveland and turn right (west).

    Follow directions from #2 above

From Longmont or Boulder:

  1. Take U.S. Highway #287 north to County Road 56. Go west until the road curves to the north and you see a sign for Carter Lake. Turn left (west) onto County Road 8E, continuing for 3 miles.
  2. Stop at the entrance station to purchase Park Entrance Permits. Continue west about halfway up the hill (watch for the sign). Turn right (north) onto County Road 31 and continue all the way around the lake. Continue north 2 miles, past The Natural Resources Department, to the stop sign and turn left onto County Road 18E.
  3. Go approximately 1/2 mile to Flatiron Reservoir and approximately 4 1/2 miles to Pinewood Lake. Ramsay-Shockey Open Space Trailhead is at the west end of Pinewood Lake.



Webcam & Weather History

Daily Entrance Permits for vehicles can be purchased at the self-pay kiosk via credit card near the Pinewood Campground entrance, at the north or south entrance gatehouses for Carter Lake, the administrative office east of Flatiron Reservoir, and at the north shore marina store at Carter Lake. For more info about annual permit options, please visit this web page

BE BEAR AWARE: Avoid attracting bears to your campsite

  • Never leave food, cooler or trash unattended. Any food, coolers or trash left out may be confiscated.
  • Properly store your trash, food, beverages and toiletries in a locked hard-sided container constructed of rigid material. Keep anything with a scent in your vehicle or a bear-proof container. Put trash in dumpsters located at each campground.
  • Keep a clean tent. Don't bring anything with an odor into your tent. Don't sleep in the clothes you cooked in; store them in your vehicle.
  • Never intentionally feed a bear.


Boat ramp closed: The boat ramp for Pinewood Reservoir is closed and no trailered watercraft and or watercraft operated by any sort of motor may be launched at Pinewood. Exclusions include hand-launched rafts, kayaks, belly boats, float tubes, canoes, windsurfer boards, sail boards, stand-up paddleboards or inner tubes.

Pinewood Reservoir water elevation is 6,480 feet empty and 6,589 feet full.
Water Level Data courtesy U.S. Bureau of Reclamation