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.

Sunrise Day Use Area is located on the northeastern shore of Horsetooth Reservoir and is part of Horsetooth Reservoir County Park. At 1,900 acres, Horsetooth Reservoir County Park attracts over 500,000 visitors per year and is a popular boating, paddling, fishing, and bouldering hotspot on the west side of Fort Collins.

Boaters and swimmers will be drawn to Sunrise Day Use Area for its covered picnic shelters and dedicated swimming area, which is roped off from boat and paddle traffic. Because it is a smaller day use area, parking and picnic sites are limited, but the limitations provide a more intimate feel for visitors. In addition, while Sunrise Day Use Area offers a boat ramp, it isn’t paved. That, in conjunction with the constrained dimensions, may limit the number of motorized boaters who choose to launch from here. That would make Sunrise an ideal launch for kayaks and stand-up paddlers, provided they can find a place to park.

There is no lifeguard on duty at Sunrise Day Use Area. There is no true beach, either, and those looking for a sandy shore should head to the South Bay Day Use Area.

Call Larimer County at 970.619.4570 to check current conditions and for closure information.

Logistics + Planning

Parking Pass

Not Required


Designated swimming area. Picnic shelters.


No beach. Large wakes from boats. Limited parking.


Nearby Lodging + Camping


Pro tip: Winds usually sweep through from the SouthWest so paddle board to the South or you will have a difficult time on the return back in the choppy water.

This is a great spot for a picnic and #microadventure with the family. It is a perfect location for the kids to swim and to get them out on paddle boards.

Be sure to get your parking permit in the upper lot if you don't own a Larimer County parks pass.
Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.