Lake Catamount - 13 Things to Know Before Visiting

Lake/ River/ Ponds

About Lake Catamount

Lake Catamount is a stunning natural reservoir, which was formed over 10,000 years ago by a receding glacier, and today it sits at an elevation of 7,800 feet above sea level. Surrounded by mountains and forests, the lake is a popular destination for fishing, camping, hiking, and boating. Visitors can also enjoy scenic views of the Rockies and the many wildlife that call the area home. In addition to serving as a recreation spot, It also provides water for the city of Steamboat Springs.

Hotels near Lake Catamount

Hotels to stay near Lake Catamount

Things to Do at Lake Catamount

If you're looking for things to do at Lake Catamount, Routt county, Colorado, you won't be disappointed. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy, whether you're a fan of hiking, biking, fishing, or just spending time in the great outdoors. The lake itself is a great spot for fishing, and there are also several hiking trails that wind through the area. For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, there are plenty of scenic picnic spots scattered around the lake. No matter what your interests are, you're sure to find something to do at Lake Catamount.

Activities Around

History of Lake Catamount

Lake Catamount is a man-made reservoir located in Routt County, Colorado. The reservoir was formed by the damming of the Elk River in the late 19th century, and it has since become a popular spot for recreation, fishing, and camping. The lake is named for the nearby town of Catamount, which was founded in the 1870s. The town's name is thought to be derived from the French word for mountain lion, which were once abundant in the area. Today, Lake Catamount is a popular destination for boaters, hikers, and nature lovers. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, and there are numerous trails that wind through the surrounding forest. Whether you're looking for a place to relax or an adventure, Lake Catamount is sure to provide it.

Best Time to Visit Lake Catamount

Late summer and early fall is the best time to visit Lake Catamount in Routt County, Colorado. The temperatures are mild, the leaves are changing color, and the wildlife is active. There are also many events and festivals taking place during this time, such as the Balloon Festival and the Steamboat Springs Oktoberfest. 

Tips for Visiting Lake Catamount

  1. Check the weather forecast before you go and come prepared for all conditions.
  2.  Bring plenty of water and food with you, as there are no stores or restaurants at the lake.
  3. Be sure to wear sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
  4.  insect repellent is also a good idea, as there can be mosquitoes and other pests at the lake.
  5. Fishing licenses are required for anyone wishing to fish in Colorado, so be sure to get one before you go.
  6. Swimming is allowed in some areas of the lake, but there are no lifeguards on duty so please use caution.
  7.  Take care of your belongings as there are no security guards at the lake and theft is not uncommon.
  8.  Winter brings its own unique beauty to the lake, with the snow-capped mountains providing a stunning backdrop. Be prepared for cold weather though - layers are a must!

Interesting Facts and Trivias About Lake Catamount

  1.  In addition to fish, the lake also supports a variety of wildlife including otters, beavers, and bald eagles.
  2. The scenic surroundings of Lake Catamount make it a popular location for camping, hiking, and picnicking.
  3. Lake Catamount is part of the larger Yampa River Basin which includes other reservoirs such as Stagecoach Reservoir and Pearl Lake.
  4. The name “Catamount” is derived from the French word for “mountain lion” which was once abundant in the area.
  5. The average depth of the lake is 30 feet, but it reaches depths of up to 60 feet in some areas.
  6. There are two islands in the lake - one is inhabited by a colony of nesting birds, while the other is home to a herd of deer.
  7. In the winter, the lake freezes over and becomes a popular spot for ice skating and hockey.

How Much Time Did Visitors Spend at Lake Catamount

With so much to see and do, it's easy to spend an entire day exploring Lake Catamount. Of course, if you want to really experience everything the lake has to offer, you may need even more time. But even if you only have a day, you'll still be able to enjoy everything this beautiful place has to offer.

How to Reach Lake Catamount

Lake Catamount is located in Routt County, Colorado. To reach the lake, take Highway 40 west from the town of Steamboat Springs for about 12 miles. Take a left onto County Road 129 and follow it for 2 miles until you reach the lake.

Entrance Fee of Lake Catamount

Although there is no entrance fee to explore Lake Catamount, visitors are expected to adhere to all posted rules and regulations. These include respecting private property, keeping noise levels down, and respecting closure areas. 

Opening Hours of Lake Catamount

The reservoir is open year-round, but access may be limited in winter due to snow. During the summer months, the reservoir is open from sunrise to sunset. 

Attractions Near Lake Catamount

Yampa River Botanic Park

Yampa River Botanic Park

8.98km from Lake Catamount

Yampa River Botanic Park in Routt county, Colorado is a beautiful place to go for a nature walk or picnics. The park features over 70 acres of botanical gardens with more than 1,000 species of plants, flowers and trees. You can also find a variety of wildlife in the park, including deer, elk, bighorn sheep and bald eagles. In addition to its natural beauty, the park also has a number of historical features, including an old stagecoach stop and a log cabin that was built in the 1800s.

Stagecoach Reservoir

Stagecoach Reservoir

9.11km from Lake Catamount

Stagecoach Reservoir was created in 1971 by the construction of Stagecoach Dam on the Elk River. The reservoir has a capacity of 41,196 acre-feet and a surface area of 1,720 acres. The dam is owned and operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Stagecoach Reservoir is home to a variety of fish species including rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, and kokanee salmon. The reservoir is a popular destination for fishing, boating, and camping.

Stagecoach State Park

Stagecoach State Park

9.4km from Lake Catamount

Stagecoach State Park is a 2,823-acre reservoir located in Routt County, Colorado. The park offers a variety of recreational activities including camping, boating, fishing, hiking, and biking. Stagecoach State Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including eagles, osprey, deer, and coyotes. The reservoir is stocked with trout and Kokanee salmon. The park also offers interpretive programs on the natural history of the area.

Steamboat Ski Resort

Steamboat Ski Resort

11.35km from Lake Catamount

The Steamboat Ski Resort is located in Routt County, Colorado. The resort opened in 1963 and offers a variety of winter activities, including skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. The resort has 2,965 acres of skiable terrain and features over 30 lifts, including a gondola. In addition to the slopes, the resort also has a warm springs pool, an outdoor ice rink, and a number of restaurants and shops.The Steamboat Ski Resort is a great place to enjoy the winter months.

Mount Werner

Mount Werner

12.64km from Lake Catamount

Mount Werner is a mountain is the tallest mountain in the county, and it is a popular destination for hikers and climbers. The summit of Mount Werner offers stunning views of the surrounding area, and it is also home to a variety of wildlife. Mount Werner is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders, and it is also a popular spot for camping and picnicking. There are several trails that lead to the summit of Mount Werner, and the mountain is also home to a variety of ski resorts.

Fish Creek Falls

Fish Creek Falls

14.42km from Lake Catamount

Fish Creek Falls is a stunning natural waterfall formed by Fish Creek, which cascades down a rocky cliff face into a deep pool below. Visitors can view the falls from a variety of vantage points, including an overlook located just a short walk from the parking area. For those looking for a more immersive experience, there is also a hiking trail that winds its way down to the base of the falls. It provides visitors with an up-close look at the rushing water and towering cliffs.

Discover More Attractions in Routt County, Home of Lake Catamount

Routt County

Routt County

14 attractions

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains of northwestern Colorado, Routt County is a place of natural beauty and rugged adventure. The county is home to Mount Zirkel, the state's highest peak north of the I-70 corridor, as well as the Sarvis Creek Wilderness, which offers miles of hiking and camping opportunities. In winter, the county's alpine slopes are a mecca for skiers and snowboarders, while its valleys offer cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and other winter activities. Whether you're looking for

Location of Lake Catamount


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