Colorado may be a landlocked state, but even if you don’t own a boat you can still jet around that cool city lake or paddle along the shores of a reservoir during the summer. There are an array of services and outfitters available right in and near Denver, from private boat owners and boat rental shops to marinas right by the water.
Keep in mind you may need a permit to take larger boats on a lot of lakes, especially if renting from private citizens. However, most non-motorized, hand-launched boats don’t need a permit. Check the city’s website and/or the rental company to find out if this added expense is needed.
Next, just pick which body of water you want to go to, and find a canoe, speed boat, kayak, paddleboard and fishing boat there.
Bear Creek Lake Park
If you have ever traveled on the West side of C-470 near the racetrack, you have probably seen Bear Creek Lake shimmering below. The water is part of a large, 2,624-acre park that also includes Big Soda Lake and Little Soda Lake.
It’s one of the few places near Denver to have a “beach” day. It’s also a prime spot for boating and fishing.
Motorized boats are only allowed in Bear Creek Lake, though non-motorized boats are allowed in Big Soda Lake. Rent paddleboards, kayaks and canoes from Rocky Mountain Paddleboard.
Location: Bear Creek Lake Park, 15600 W Morrison Rd, Lakewood.
Price: Starting at $25 for one hour.
Bonus savings: Get a 10-hour paddle pass for $175, which brings the cost down to $17.50 an hour.
Extra: Parking fee of $10 per vehicle.
Rent a 6- or 10-person pontoon in Chatfield State Park to take out in the Littleton reservoir. It’s great for a day of fishing or just relaxing on the water. All these rentals go through Chatfield Marina.
Or, book a kayak or canoe from Colorado Water Sports. There are two spots to take off from and pick up your single- or double-person skiff, Swim Beach and Roxborough Cove.
Location: The main entrance to Chatfield State Park is one mile south of C-470 on Wadsworth Blvd.
Price: Rental starts at $300 for 4 hours on the 6-person boat; kayaks and canoes start at $25 an hour.
Extra: All visitors must have a State Park day pass or annual pass. A day pass costs $10 per vehicle.
Cherry Creek Reservoir
Take a ride around the Aurora reservoir on a pontoon, runabout, deck or tow boat this summer. The rentals go through Go Boat LLC and can be for a full or half day.
Pick up at Pelican Bay Marina, which also offers sailboat classes, camps and rentals.
Location: The Marina at Pelican Bay-Cherry Creek State Park, 4800 South Dayton St., Aurora, west entrance and take the first left.
Price: Half day rentals start at $350 for a 7-person fishing boat and go up from there.
Bonus savings: Want to take a ride on a boat at multiple spots all season long? Become a member of Buddy Boating. Flex passes start at $499, plus daily use fees.
Extras: Expect an $11 parking fee unless you have a park pass.
Yes, the Ferril and Duck Lakes and at City Park are the perfect spots for water activities. Through Wheel Fun Rentals you can rent out a pedal boat shaped like a swan for up to two adults and two kids, and some nights they get lit up with lights in City Park.
There’s also a fleet of kayaks and canoes to rent. All rentals come with lifejackets and a paddle when needed.
Location: City Park, right on the shore of Ferril Lake near the pavilion.
Price: Starting at $11 per hour for swan boats, and up to $38 per hour for a double pedal boat.
Bonus savings: For $20 buy a season pass, which gives you half-off all rentals at any Wheel Fun Rentals locations across the country.
Take a boat out on the lake everyday, all summer long until Labor Day. After that, the lake is only open on weekends until October, and then closes for the season.
Rentals take place right at the lake house, and include canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and pedal boats. Lifejackets are included with the rental fee.
Location: Evergreen Lake House, 29612 Upper Bear Creek Rd., Evergreen.
Price: Starting at $25; there’s also a $10 fee for private boats.
Motorized boats aren’t allowed on this small lake, which makes taking a paddleboard or kayak out on the water more peaceful. Denver Paddle Board will deliver to you at the lake for free, and you can take it out for 2 to 8 hours, or the whole weekend. The company also delivers to other lakes in Denver for a fee.
Location: Denver Paddle Board at 1336 Sheridan Blvd.
Price: Kayaks start at $40 for 2 hours.
Bonus savings: No permit is needed to take out non-motorized, hand-launched crafts on the water.
This Westminster lake is mostly known for its bald eagle population, and if you take out a kayak, canoe or paddleboard on the water you may see one. Visitors can play on the lake May 1 through September 30, but keep in mind no gas-powered or sail boats allowed.
Rent a device straight from the city at the lake. There are no rentals on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. All water devices have to be hosed down with hot water before they can go on the lake.
Location: Entrance for any watercraft is at the main park entrance, at 100th Ave. and Simms St.
Price: Starting at $20 per hour.
Extras: It costs $10 per day for a temporary paddle pass.
Bonus savings: If planning on going a lot, consider buying a season paddle pass for $200, or $165 for seniors, disabled persons and military.
Also through Wheel Fun Rentals, Washington Park’s Smith Lake has pedal boats too, though these 2-to-4-person boats are just yellow. There’s also a fleet of kayaks and canoes to rent. All rentals come with life jackets and a paddle when needed.
Location: Washington Park, at the boathouse, 701 S. Franklin St.
Price: Starting at $28 per hour for pedal boat, and up to $38 per hour for a double pedal boat.
Bonus savings: For $20 buy a season pass, which gives you half off all rentals at any Wheel Fun Rentals locations across the country.
Anywhere Rental Companies
Get My Boat
Think of Get My Boat as the Airbnb of boats. Regular people who own boats rent their boats out to those who want to use one.
Last we checked there were approximately 125 vessels from jet skies to speedboats to two-person kayaks for rent in Colorado, many near Denver. Visit the website to see what’s available, where and when.
Location: Various places, check website for locations .
Price Range: Prices have a vast range starting at around $25 and hour for a canoe to $500 a day for 20-foot Wakeboard boat
Though not as large of a company as Get My Boat, Boat Setter has boat rentals in and near Denver. These vessels are owned by private citizens and range in price and style.
Location: Various places, check website for locations.
Price: Various prices, for example, take out an 8-person speed boat for $81 an hour. Or for $63 an hour, get a Bayliner complete with life jackets, water skies, tubes and shade tops.
Elevation Water Sports
Speed boats and jet skis are the vehicles of choice at Elevation Water Sports. Reserve what you want, then pick it up or have it delivered and take it to the lake of your dreams.
A trailer is included in the rental to help with transport. Life jackets are not included, but required for ages 13 and under, and can be rented as well. Some of the rentals include a captain, depending on the boat.
Price: Starting at $300 an hour for a 12-seat Super Air Nautique 210; or $600 a day for Yamaha AR195
Get an 8-person boat for lounging, fishing and hanging with your best friends, and take it out on any local lakes that allow it. The boat includes lifejackets for all riders, water skies, kneeboard and 3-person tube.
Location: Pick up and drop off at Someday Rentals, 15420 Galena St. in Brighton, or at an agreed upon location.
Price: Bookings start at $650 a day, but the more days in a row you book the cheaper it is.