Gross Reservoir opens for boating Friday, May 22, and recreation managers want visitors to be aware of the potential for crowds, slow traffic, lower water levels and parking challenges.

The reservoir, southwest of Boulder, is popular with kayakers and others using small, non-motorized car-top watercraft launching from Osprey Point boat launch. Officials say there is a potential for larger numbers on Memorial Day weekend because of COVID-19.

“Gross offers a lot of recreational opportunities, and we expect opening weekend could attract larger numbers as people have been cooped up in an effort to prevent spread of coronavirus,” said Brandon Ransom, Denver Water recreation manager. “We ask people to continue to behave safely and respect others through social distancing and use of masks when near others.”

Water levels at Gross are lower than typical for Memorial Day, and will result in a longer, steeper walk to access the water line.

Ransom is also encouraging visitors to be patient as they travel Gross Dam Road to get to the reservoir and be prepared to walk some distance due to limited parking if visitation is heavy. Officials are also reminding visitors to park only in designated spots and to make sure they are not blocking gates used for emergency access.

A reminder of Gross Reservoir boating regulations:

  • Boating is allowed on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend through Sept. 30.
  • Boating during posted emergency closures is prohibited.
  • All boats are subject to U.S. Coast Guard and CPW safety standards and will be subject to safety inspections.
  • It is unlawful to operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Non-motorized car top boats only are permitted on reservoir (car top boats are those that can be lifted onto and taken from the top of a passenger vehicle and are no more than 18 feet in length).
  • Prohibited: Trailer-hitched boats, motorized boats (gas or electric), sailboats and belly boats; boat launching; single-chambered flotation devices, including inflatable rafts, inner tubes and inflatable mattresses.

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