Coot Lake, Boulder Reservoir, Boulder - Denver - Golden - Fort Collins - Lyons, Colorado
Coot Lake - 1.2 miles
|Round-Trip Length:||1.2 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||5,204' - 5,204' (5,235' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+31' net elevation gain (+47' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Coot Lake - 1.2 Miles Round-Trip
Semi-arid short grass prairies between native tall grass prairies of the Eastern Plains and Rocky Mountain foothills are dotted with wet meadows, prairie potholes and fens that provide critical habitat for scores of waterfowl and raptor species.
Coot Lake and its adjacent marshes are one of Boulder County's richest wetland communities and bird watching destinations.
Loons, grebes, ducks, gulls, blackbirds, red tail hawks, kestrels and the namesake coot are common, while ospreys and herons (summer) and bald eagles (winter) are familiar seasonal residents.
A 1.2 mile groomed loop circles Coot Lake and its outlying marshes, ideal for families, anglers, runners and avid birders. A short pier at the trailhead and rocky jetty are good places to drop lines or take a closer look at activity on and below the surface.
Marshes on the west side are comprised of small channels, ponds and peat mounds, prime feeding and nesting grounds for local wildlife. Willow and cottonwood stands on the perimeter are excellent places to see roosting raptors, especially in the winter.
The Coot Lake Loop shares a short piece of trail with the Boulder Reservoir Loop, which provides additional access points and options for longer outings and aquatic activities.
Interactive GPS Topo MapKey GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84
- N40 05.152 W105 12.435 — Coot Lake Trailhead
- The American Coot, a common water bird, is distinguished by a dark grey body, thick white beak and yellow legs. Unlike ducks, the American Coot does not have webbed feet but lobes on the side of each toe segment. They feed primarily on aquatic plants but are known to graze like geese when food is scarce. They're particularly gregarious in the winter and more solitary during the spring breeding season.
- Coot Lake and its adjacent marshes are sensitive wetland habitats. Enjoy wildlife from a distance, and honor seasonal closures for nesting waterfowl.
- Fishing is permitted with a valid Colorado fishing license. Fishing guidelines for Coot Lake can be found at the Coot Lake Trailhead and Colorado DOW website. Visitors are responsible for knowing applicable laws. Coot Lake and Boulder Reservoir are regularly patrolled and laws are strictly enforced.
Rules and Regulations
- Dogs must be on a held leash unless they meet Voice and Sight Control Standards and display a City of Boulder Voice and Sight Tag.
- Bikes are not permitted on the north shore of Coot Lake.
- Horses are not permitted at Coot Lake.
Directions to Trailhead
The Coot Lake Trailhead is located at 5600 63rd Street in Boulder, Colorado, 1 mile north of Highway 119 on the west side (across the street from Tom Watson Park).
You may also reach Coot Lake from the 55th Street Trailhead, located 3.1 miles north of Jay Road on 51st Street. From the 55th Street Trailhead you must walk 1 mile east on the Boulder Reservoir Loop to reach Coot Lake.
Boulder Parks and Recreation
Boulder, CO 80302
General Information and Front Gate: 303.441.3461
Boat House and Boat Rentals: 303.441.3468
Sports and Events information: 303.441.3410