Colorado has a range of diverse landscapes, from the rugged Rocky Mountains with their snow-capped peaks to the Great Plains stretching as far as the eye can see. From alpine forests and winding rivers to striking desert terrain and blue lakes, Colorado is an amazing place to live if you’re looking to be close to the great outdoors. And if you want to live near one of Colorado’s lakes, then you’re in the right place.

At Redfin, we’ve gathered a list of 11 popular lakes in Colorado to live on this year. From the tranquil shores of Grand Lake to the expansive vistas of Blue Mesa Reservoir, each lake offers its own slice of paradise. Read on to find out which lake town in Colorado you might want to buy a home in.

1. Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison)

Nearest city: Gunnison, CO
Median home sale price: $799,000
Population: 6,800
Homes for sale in Gunnison, CO
Apartments for rent in Gunnison, CO

The first place on our list of lakes in Colorado to live on is Blue Mesa Reservoir. Located east of Gunnison, Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado’s largest body of water, with nearly 96 miles of shoreline. This reservoir is a great spot for anglers, boaters, and anyone looking for a scenic getaway. Surrounded by the Gunnison National Forest, you can enjoy activities like sailing, windsurfing, and hiking around the lake. The Curecanti National Recreation Area, adjacent to the reservoir, has additional outdoor adventures like camping and canoeing. Gunnison, with its small-town charm, has cozy dining spots and unique shops along Main Street.

2. Carter Lake (Loveland)

Nearest city: Loveland, CO
Median home sale price: $495,075
Average 1-bedroom rent: $1,595
Population: 77,900
Homes for sale in Loveland, CO
Apartments for rent in Loveland, CO

Located near Loveland, Carter Lake is a beautiful reservoir with views of the surrounding mountains. This area is perfect for those who love the outdoors, with opportunities for fishing, sailing, and camping. The lake’s clear waters are ideal for swimming or paddleboarding. Loveland is the nearest city and is known for its vibrant arts scene, including sculpture parks and galleries, like the Benson Sculpture Garden and Loveland Museum. The city has plenty of dining and shopping options, making it a great place to live for those who want to remain close to a bustling city while enjoying nature.

3. Dillon Reservoir (Dillon)

Nearest city: Dillon, CO
Median home sale price: $822,500 
Population: 1,000
Homes for sale in Dillon, CO
Apartments for rent in Dillon, CO

Dillon Reservoir, also known as Lake Dillon, is a cornerstone of the town of Dillon. This high-altitude lake is surrounded by picturesque mountains, offering stunning views and a variety of water-based activities. The lake is popular for sailing and fishing, with the Dillon Marina providing boat rentals and tours. The surrounding area is filled with trails for hiking and biking, like Straight Creek Trail, Blue River Trail, and Rainbow Lake Trail. Dillon itself is a quaint mountain town with a rich history, local eateries, and shops that cater to both residents and visitors.

4. Eleven Mile Reservoir (Lake George)

Nearest city: Lake George, CO
Population: 2,400
Apartments for rent in Lake George, CO

Eleven Mile Reservoir is a popular lake in Colorado for fishing and exploring the surrounding areas. This large reservoir is known for its trophy-sized trout and views of Blue Mountain. There are plenty of camping sites dotting the shoreline, so it’s a great area to camp under the stars. You’ll find plenty of hiking trails and picnic spots, like Eleven Mile Picnic Ground and Coyote Ridge Nature Trail. Although Lake George is a smaller community, its proximity to the reservoir makes it an attractive place for those looking to enjoy Colorado’s nature.

grand lake in colorado with clouds and boat docks

5. Grand Lake (Grand Lake)

Nearest city: Grand Lake, CO
Median home sale price: $530,000
Population: 400
Homes for sale in Grand Lake, CO
Apartments for rent in Grand Lake, CO

Grand Lake is the gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park and is known for its stunning natural beauty and year-round recreational activities. As Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake, it attracts visitors and residents with its boating, fishing, and scenic hiking trails. The town of Grand Lake, with its charming wooden boardwalks, offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Its small population gives the area a community feel, making it a great location for those looking to live in a peaceful, picturesque setting. The proximity to the Rocky Mountain National Park also offers endless adventures for nature lovers.

6. Horsetooth Reservoir (Fort Collins)

Nearest city: Fort Collins
Median home sale price: $541,000
Average 1-bedroom rent: $1,752
Population: 169,200
Homes for sale in Fort Collins, CO
Apartments for rent in Fort Collins, CO

Horsetooth Reservoir is just west of Fort Collins, is a popular lake for water sports, hiking, and rock climbing. The reservoir is perfect for boating, paddleboarding, and fishing, while the surrounding foothills have hiking and biking trails. Fort Collins is known for its vibrant craft beer scene and bustling Old Town, where you’ll find breweries, bakeries, and local restaurants. The city’s large population gives it a lively atmosphere, with plenty of amenities and activities for residents.

7. Lake Granby (Granby)

Nearest city: Granby
Median home sale price: $710,000
Population: 2,100
Homes for sale in Granby, CO
Apartments for rent in Granby, CO

Nestled in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, Lake Granby is Colorado’s third-largest body of water. It serves as a hub for fishing, boating, and camping, with its shores lined with numerous campsites and boat docks. The lake’s proximity to the Continental Divide provides breathtaking views and easy access to hiking trails. Granby, the nearest town, offers a cozy mountain community feel with local dining and shopping options. Its small population and rustic charm appeal to those looking to be close to nature. With views of Table Mountain, Mt. Chauncey, Granby Mesa, and Trail Mountain, there are plenty of reasons you may want to move to Lake Granby.

twin lakes in colorado on a sunny day

8. Trinidad Lake (Trinidad)

Nearest city: Trinidad
Median home sale price: $247,000
Population: 8,300
Homes for sale in Trinidad, CO
Apartments for rent in Trinidad, CO

Trinidad Lake is a man-made reservoir located near the historic city of Trinidad. This lake town offers a peaceful retreat for fishing, hiking, and boating enthusiasts. Trinidad Lake is surrounded by scenic landscapes and wildlife, making it a perfect spot for nature photography and bird-watching. Trinidad, with its rich history and vibrant arts scene, gives residents a lot to explore, whether it’s along Main Street or visiting the A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art. Its annual events and local attractions, including the Santa Fe Trail Days Festival and the Trinidad History Museum add to the city’s charm.

9. Turquoise Lake (Leadville)

Nearest city: Leadville, CO
Median home sale price: $515,000
Population: 2,600
Homes for sale in Leadville, CO
Apartments for rent in Leadville, CO

Turquoise Lake, set against the backdrop of Colorado’s highest peaks, is a stunning location known for its crystal-clear waters and recreational activities. The lake is a favorite for boating, fishing, and camping, with several campgrounds and picnic areas along its shores. You can also find picturesque hikes such as Shimmering Point Hike, Timberline Lake Trail, and Colorado Midland Trail, among many others. Leadville is the nearest city and has a rich mining history. This quaint town offers a glimpse into Colorado’s past through its museums and historic sites, like the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum and Monarch Mine.

10. Twin Lakes (Twin Lakes)

Nearest city: Twin Lakes, CO
Median home sale price: $675,000
Population: 350
Homes for sale in Twin Lakes, CO
Apartments for rent in Twin Lakes, CO

The Twin Lakes area is renowned for its breathtaking scenery and outdoor activities and is a hidden gem in Colorado. These glacially formed lakes are surrounded by Mt. Elbert, Quail Mountain, and La Plata Peak, offering unparalleled views and a serene atmosphere. The village of Twin Lakes is a quaint community, providing a quiet escape with easy access to hiking, fishing, and boating. Despite its small population, the area has a vibrant community spirit and is a popular destination for those seeking adventure in the great outdoors. Be sure to explore places like Interlaken Historic District, Willis Gulch Trailhead, or Derry Mine Camp.

11. Pueblo Reservoir (Pueblo)

Nearest city: Pueblo, CO
Median home sale price: $259,900
Average 1-bedroom rent: $1,762
Population: 111,500
Homes for sale in Pueblo, CO
Apartments for rent in Pueblo, CO

The last spot on our list of lakes in Colorado to live on is Pueblo Reservoir, a large lake located near the city of Pueblo. This reservoir is a great area for water sports, fishing, and camping in southern Colorado. Pueblo Reservoir has an extensive shoreline and warm climate making it a favorite destination for residents and visitors alike. Pueblo, known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant arts scene, offers a diverse array of dining, shopping, and entertainment options. With its numerous parks, museums, and annual festivals, Pueblo has plenty to explore. Make sure to check out the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk, the Rosemount Museum, and El Pueblo History Museum.

Note, this list is not comprehensive of all the lakes in Colorado. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during April 2024. Average rental data from April 2024. Population data sourced from the United States Census Bureau.

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