Northwest of Carter Lake

Three hundred and twenty-seven acres of public lands encircle this idyllic 100-acre reservoir. No-wake speed boating, 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 who 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.

Brochure (1.44 MB)
Trail Map (233.31 KB)


Accessible Activities
Drinking Water
Permit Required
Picnic Area


Pinewood Reservoir
Pole Hill Road
Loveland, CO 80537

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.



Conditions updated: 04/15/2018

Active wildlife in the area - Please exercise caution as you approach the Carter Lake area. The wildlife in and around our district have been very active as of late and we've experienced numerous vehicle vs wildlife accidents over the last few weeks.

View current water level of Pinewood Reservoir.

Self-serve permit stations are NOT available at this reservoir. Permits can be purchased from campground hosts, the north or south entrance gatehouses for Carter Lake, and at the north shore marina store at Carter Lake.

Required ANS Inspections: Starting June 23, 2017, motorized, trailered watercrafts must be inspected for aquatic nuisance species (ANS) before launching on Pinewood Reservoir. Boats must be pre-inspected at nearby Carter Lake or another inspection station in Colorado before coming to Pinewood Reservoir. Get more info.