North Sterling State Park

24005 CR 330
Sterling, CO 80751


This large, spacious reservoir on the high plains draws locals and tourists alike from May through September and waterfowl hunters during the hunting season.  North Sterling State Park is a gateway to fun and relaxation. Elks Campground is open year-round.

A boater's paradise, this large irrigation reservoir offers great coves and fingers to explore during the spring and summer months. Anglers, boaters and water skiers enjoy the water all day, while land lovers hike, bike, or picnic.  For more information, click on a link to the left to learn more about summer (and fall, winter, and spring) fun at North Sterling State Park.

Archery Range​ is open sunrise to sunset daily. 11 stations with 18 targets including three sight-in targets at 20, 30, and 40 yards that are also ADA accessible. Located east of balanced rock, just north of the outlet canal. No special fees, only a valid Colorado State Parks Pass is required. Children 16 and under must be supervised by an adult. Field tips or target tips only, NO BROADHEADS ALLOWED.​

The 3.5-mile South Shoreline Trail​ is recommended for a quiet prairie trail ride along the reservoir's shoreline, but dress for the weather! All of North Sterling's trails are for non-motorized access only.

Birds such as herons, turkey vultures, and pelicans have returned to the park. Predatory birds such as hawks, falcons, and eagles are also congregating around the park and can easily be found on telephone poles and fence posts. Geese and ducks continue to come to the park.

North Sterling Reservoir is currently OPEN to boating​​. 

​Before boating, check that your vessel has all of the required safety items on board. PJ Marina is OPEN for the season. Call (970) 466-2279 or visit for 2019 slip rental info. Pontoon rental and charters are available through North Sterling Boat Charter and Rental by calling (970) 520-9570

Inlet Grove Campground with 50 amp elecritcal service is OPEN. Chimney View campground is OPEN. Elks Campground, with 30-amp electricity, is OPEN year-round. All sites have a picnic table, shade shelter & campfire ring. Checkout time is noon and checkin time is 1 PM.

​​Pets are welcome at North Sterling. Pets need to be on a leash  6 feet in length or less and under control at all times. You must pick up after your pet, and it is discouraged to leave your pet unattended. The only areas that pets are NOT permitted are on the swim beach and inside the Camper Services Buildings.

Best known for the excellent wiper, walleye​, and catfish in the reservoir, North Sterling is also home to rainbow trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, crappie, northern pike, drum, channel catfish, and carp.

Group Camping
Sorry we have no "group camping" area, but please call 1-800-244-5613​ to reserve several campsites adjacent to each other. Park phone # is (970) 522-3657. We will return voice mail messages.

Group Picnicking
Two picnic pavilions are available for groups. Ski Beach Overlook Pavillion, South of the Spillway, can be reserved for up to 100 people. Please call (970) 522-3657. Cottonwood Cove Picnic Pavilion at the swim beach, south of the dam, is also reservable. A playground is also nearby.

Point-to-point, the South Trail is a natural surface trail extending over 3.5 miles from the Inlet Canal southwest along the shoreline to a trailhead on County Road 29. There are several other shorter trails​ on the park that are natural surface as well.

Horseback Riding
Horses are allowed along the South Shoreline trail​, south of the Inlet Canal and footbridge. Park at the East Trailhead parking lot, just south of the Inlet on CR-33. Sorry, we do not have a stable or horses for rent.

The park is open to hunting starting the Tuesday after Labor Day between the Inlet Canal and the West Trailhead​. After Nov. 1st the rest of the hunting area opens along the shoreline from the inlet canal up to the South Ramp Parking Lot, and from the pass shoot areas.

Hunting is not allowed from Parking Lots, the frozen surface of the lake, the Dam, across​ the lake, from roadways, North of the South Ramp, South Boat Ramp Parking lot, or shoreline around the Parking Lot (except the Pass Shoot area East of the Dam)​.​

Ice Fishing
Ice fishing is among the many activities available to the winter recreation enthusiast as park conditions permit. It is important to take Safety precautions before going out onto a frozen lake, pond or river, to reduce the risk of falling through the ice. Park Passes are required year round.

Jet Skiing
North Sterling Reservoir is currently OPEN to boating​.

Paddle Boarding
North Sterling​ Reservoir​​​ offers the perfect paddle boarding opportunity! Stand up and paddle the reservoir's 3,000 acres to enjoy stunning views, bird watching, and a full-body workout.

There are 38 picnic sites throughout the park. Picnic tables with shade shelters are available at the Archery Range and Sunset Cove areas, while tables with grills can be found at the South Boat Ramp, Swimbeach, Cottonwood Cove, Ski Beach Overlook, and Sunset Cove areas.

Well, we always have wind - are you up for it?

The Cottonwood Cove Swim Beach is OPEN for the season.​The Swimbeach Pavi​​lion is OPEN and playground is OPEN. Located at the south end of the park, the swim beach area provides flush restrooms, a large public picnic pavilion and a playground. It’s a great place for family fun!

Water Skiing
North Sterling Reservoir is currently OPEN to boating​​. There is plenty of room to to ski and long stretches of​ open water.

Winter Activities
We offer winter camping in Elks Campground, open year round north of the dam. Hunting takes place south of the dam. Why not hike along any part of our six mile trail ​system? Photography, stargazing, wildlife observation and birding are great fun. Browse in the Visitor Center north of dam. Depending on conditions, ice fishing may also be available at your own risk, use caution. Park Passes are required year round.​

Winter Camping

Elks Campground north of the dam with 50 electric sites is open year-round. The Elks Camper Services Building is closed during the winter season. Vault restrooms are available year-round throughout the park. A trailer dump station is located at Elks Campground. Note: Parking on grass and off roadway not permitted.​ Park Passes are required year round.​

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