Chatfield Lake

Quick Facts

Chatfield Lake


(303) 979-4120

Map Directions

Things To Do


Chatfield Lake lies on the South Platte River at it's confluence with Plum Creek, near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains about 25 miles southwest of downtown Denver. The lake is two miles long and has an average depth of 47 feet. The dam and reservoir are owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps leases 5,381 land and water acres to the State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation to operate Chatfield State Park. The Corps has leased separate portions of its Chatfield property to the Colorado Division of Wildlife for fish production and rearing areas, and to the City and County of Denver, which in turn has a management agreement with Denver Botanic Gardens. The surrounding area of the lake, Chatfield State Park provides a myriad of recreational opportunities including camping, fishing, and swimming. Other popular activities include horseback riding, hiking, bicycling and even hot-air ballooning and model airplane flying. In addition to many outdoor recreational activities the park boasts many opportunities to view plant and wildlife. Large areas of open space and the diversity of terrain and vegetation provide habitat for an deer, elk, bald eagles, and bear. There are also three hundred and five bird species that frequent Chatfield either as permanent residents or migrators. In addition, Chatfield Lake features a heron and marsh bird observatory and sailboat harbor. During the winter months ice fishing, ice skating, ice boating, and cross-country skiing are popular. The Botanic Gardens' Nature Preserve for environmental studies is open to visitors of all ages, and the old Hildebrand Homestead, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the central historic feature.

Map of Chatfield Lake

Latitude, Longitude: 39.544029, -105.063973



  • Boating

    Many types of boating are popular and available at Chatfield Lake such as sailing, fishing, water skiing, and canoeing. The full service marina offers slip storage, boat storage, and boat rentals. Services are available seasonally.

  • Bicycling

    There are 26 miles of bicycle trails in the park with 12 of the miles being paved.

  • Camping

    Chatfield's campground has 197 sites, all with electrical hookups, and many with full hookups (water, sewer and electric). A limited number of campsites are open through the winter on a first come, first- served basis. Chatfield also has 10 group camp areas that may be reserved except during the winter months. Accessible sites are available.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is a very popular activity at Chatfield Lake. In addition to a healthy population of trout and bass, there are walleye, channel catfish, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, sunfish and carp. The Colorado Division of Wildlife periodically stocks the lake with rainbow trout and other fish. Springtime signals the start of open water fishing and the park's trout fishing is some of the best in the Denver area. Fishing continues through the winter months when the lake freezes. Fishing licenses are required, and may be purchased from local vendors. In the winter months, ice fishing is very popular.

  • Hiking

    There are 26 miles of trails available, with 12 of the miles being paved. Difficulty of trails ranges from easy to moderate. Pets are allowed on trails with a leash.

  • Horseback Riding

    Approximately 24 miles of trails are available for horseback riding. Chatfield Stables offers horseback riding to the public.

  • Picnicking

    Numerous picnic sites with tables and grills are located throughout the park. Both group and individual sites are available on a first come, first- served basis. There are also group sites available for reservation.

  • RVing

    RV's sites and hookups are available at the campground.

  • Water Sports

    The Swimbeach open's Memorial Day weekend and closes seasonally. Water sports such as jet skiing, sailboarding, waterskiing, and canoeing are popular.

  • Winter Sports

    Popular activities include ice fishing, ice skating, ice boating and snowshoeing.


Opn year-round. Some activities are seasonal such as swimming and boating.

Park Partners

Chatfield Stables

(303) 933-3636



Take C-470 to the Wadsworth Exit. Go south on Wadsworth for half mile to the first set of traffic lights and turn left.


Chatfield Lake is located 30 miles from Denver International Airport.

Phone Numbers


(303) 979-4120


(303) 791-7275