Sandy beach
Cliff jumping
Hike-in Required
Sensitive Habitat
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Next to the South Bay Campground at the south end of Horsetooth Reservoir County Park, the South Bay Day Use Area and Swim Beach offers the full complement of services to day users visiting the reservoir just outside of Fort Collins. It features a covered picnic shelter, close access to campsites, numerous picnic tables and fire rings, outdoor showers, and most importantly, a large, paved boat ramp and the only sandy shore open for day use around Horsetooth Reservoir.

At the south end of Horsetooth Reservoir, South Bay Day Use Area is a popular launch for motorized and non-motorized boats alike, and the boat ramp offers plenty of room for several boats to put in simultaneously. In addition, there is ample parking available for cars and trucks towing trailers.

The swim beach at South Bay is sizable as Colorado beaches go, but expect the site to become crowded through the summer, especially as temperatures soar over the weekend. Many of Horsetooth Reservoir’s 500,000 visitors will come over the summer to enjoy the open waters and its opportunity for stand-up paddlers, kayakers, and fishers.

Logistics + Planning

Parking Pass

State Park Fee


Sandy beach. Large group picnic shelter. Public boat ramp access. Showers and changing rooms.


Very heavily used during summer weekends. Limited parking.


Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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