Boulder County Lakes, Ponds and Reservoirs

Some of your favorite Boulder County bodies of water have an interesting past. Find out more about the unique stories of our lakes, ponds and reservoirs, plus see photos from their past, in this post with our friends at Museum of Boulder.

Boulder Reservoir

Boulder Reservoir with the Flatirons in the background.
Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

Boulder Reservoir was initially constructed in 1954-55. It was to be a storage facility for irrigation and drinking water, filled by the Boulder Feeder Canal and seasonal creeks and ditches. However, it quickly became a recreational site for swimming, boating, volleyball and picnicking. It also provides habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife, including bass, catfish, walleye, osprey, raptors, herons, owls, rabbits, snakes and prairie dogs.

New Boulder Reservoir, looking west
Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

Wonderland Lake

Big crowd of swimmers and boaters on Degge lake
Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

Wonderland Lake, formerly called Degge Lake after one of its several owners, was created as a reservoir for water from the Silver Lake Ditch. In its early days, swimmers and bathers frequented the lake, but now only limited fishing is allowed. Currently, Wonderland Lake is owned by the City of Boulder. It’s used to access open space trails and as a wildlife refuge in an urban setting.

Evert Pierson Kids’ Fishing Pond

Children fishing in the Kids’ Fishing Pond at 6th and Canyon.
Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

Evert Pierson Kids’ Fishing Pond is now managed by the City of Boulder but was originally a University gravel pit, repurposed in 1949 by the Boulder Fish and Game Club, which still stocks the pond during the summer months. Major repairs and improvements were made after the 2013 flooding, and the pond reopened in 2015 to the delight of young anglers.

Cowdrey Reservoir #2

Two women in a boat being rowed by a man, on Reservoir # 2 between Superior and Marshall
Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

Cowdrey Reservoir #2 is a small body of water near the town of Superior and the larger Marshall Lake. Some reports indicate it is suitable for baitcasting, spinning or fly-fishing. Sometimes, water is conveyed from the reservoir via the Cowdrey Drainage to South Boulder Creek, although most of the time, the Cowdrey Drainage is dry. The area has been part of the EPA study related to the Marshall Landfill.

Sunset Park Lake

 People on, around, and diving from the diving tower at Sunset Park in 1932.
Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

Sunset Park Lake in Longmont had a large diving tower and was a popular spot for swimming and Fourth of July celebrations (complete with fireworks) in the 1920s and 1930s.  In July of 1926, 100 rainbow trout were put in the water to eliminate a bug infestation. In the winter, the lake was used for ice skating when conditions were posted as safe.

For generations, Boulder County residents have been enjoying these bodies of water. To learn more about Boulder’s history visit the Museum of Boulder website*.

*link leads to third-party website.

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