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water skiing and boating on lakes in Denver parks

Five Denver lakes are open or boating from  April 1 - November 1. Length of the boating season is subject to adequate water quality and lake depths:

  • Sloan's Lake (motor & non-motorized)
  • Rocky Mountain Lake (non-motorized)
  • Berkeley Lake (non-motorized)
  • Smith Lake at Washington Park (non-motorized)
  • Ferril Lake at City Park (non-motorized)

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 (human-powered vessel permits can be purchased online).

Learn more about boating safety guidelines from Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

DPR Boating Handbook »

Description Resident  
Motor Boat (insurance required) $ 125  
Sailboat $ 65  
Rowboat, canoe, kayak, paddleboard $ 25  
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. Permits for human-powered vessels can be purchased online.

To purchase a boating permit, the following is required:

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

Refunds will not be issued once a permit is purchased. Payment can be made by credit card (no American Express), cash or check made out to "Manager of Finance".

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 only. View purchasing instructions (PDF).

Boating permits for motorized vessels and harbor mooring sites will be available for purchase at the Sloan's Lake Boating Office beginning March 30 at 8:00AM.

Sloan's Lake is closed to all public boating for the following permitted events:

Contact Us

Boat Ranger's Office
Sloan Lake | W. 25th Avenue & N. Byron Street

Urban Park Ranger
Call 311 (720.913.1311)

Fishing Programs:
Boating & Permit:


Online Permit Sales:
Begins March 23 for human-powered-vessels

Motorized/Sailboat/Mooring Permit Sales:
Begins in-person at the Boat Ranger Office on March 30 at 8:00AM


Each person must have a personal flotation device (PFD). Each watercraft must have a sound-producing device such as a whistle or airhorn, per CO state law.


Lake Hours

Motorized Boats:

9:00am to 20 min before sunset

Non-motorized Boats:

sunrise to sunset

Non-motorized includes: hand-launched fishing, human-powered sail and electric-powered boats