Boating


Denver lakes are open annually for boating on April 1. Length of the boating season is subject to adequate water quality and lake depths. 

A variety of "non-motorized" boating opportunities are offered on different lakes throughout the city:
  • Rocky Mountain Lake
  • Berkeley Lake
  • Smith Lake (Washington Park)
  • Ferrell Lake (City Park)

Sloan's Lake is Denver's largest lake, which boasts 177 acres and can be used for both "non-motorized" and "motorized" boating.

All other lakes within the city are closed to boating activities. Boating permits are required and can be purchased at the Boat Ranger's Office. Learn more about boating safety guidelines from Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

Boating Handbook »

Description Resident
Motor Boat (insurance required) $ 245
Sailboat $ 126
Rowboat, canoe, kayak $49
Harbor (season) $ 118


A Denver City Boating Permit is required to launch any vessel. The permit sticker must be affixed to the starboard side in a visible place. Permits are nontransferable, and permit holders are accountable for the actions of boat drivers and passengers.

The permit season is subject to adequate water quality and lake depths. Boating permits can only be purchased at the Boat Ranger's Office during office hours or by appointment.

To purchase a boating permit, the following is required:

  • Copy of valid driver’s license or photo ID
  • Copy of state boat registration - motorized boats only
  • Liability insurance ($300,000 minimum) - motorized boats only
  • Cash or check made out to the "Manager of Finance" 

Refunds will not be issued once a permit is purchased.

Denver Parks & Recreation may revoke a permit without a refund for violation of any city rules and regulations, state boating statutes or city ordinances.

Boating Permits may be purchased online for human-powered vessels

Purchase a permit for a human-powered vessel now!

View online purchasing instructions. 

Contact Us

Boat Ranger's Office
Sloan's Lake
W. 25th Avenue & N. Byron Street
303-458-4840

Permit Sales
Friday: 3:00pm to Lake Close
Saturday: 8:00am to 12:00pm


Online Permit Sales

(human-powered vessels only)


Lake Hours

Non-motorized Boats
sunrise to sunset

Motorized Boats
9:00am to 20 min before sunset

Sloan's Lake Closures

  • June 10 - August 12
    Wednesdays: 8:00am to 1:00pm
    Adaptive Recreation Programs

  • July TBD
    Dragon Boat Festival!
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