Carter Lake – Hiking Trail – Loveland, CO

Carter Lake is 15 miles southwest of Loveland, Colorado. Fishing, boating, and camping are the primary activities with hiking and dog walking as secondary options. Parking and camping both require fees. We parked at the southwest corner, which included a restroom and a water fountain. Cell phone service was weak for me.

The Sundance trail is 3 miles long and lies along the western shore. From the southern end near the South Shore Campground, we hiked a mile out and back for a total of two miles. The trail was wide and smooth for the first several hundred feet.

Carter Lake

It was almost completely flat and, thus, was easy for our kids to do. It narrowed, became rocky in spots, and hugged the shoreline for nice views.


We stopped by here on our drive from Estes Park to Denver and, in hindsight, concluded that it was too far out of our way to warrant a visit. If you’re passing through Loveland, Devil’s Backbone Open Space is a better option because it is right off US-34 and has an easy hiking loop. The last picture peers south and was taken from the point at which we turned around.


In sum, this trail was easy and would be fun to do if we were already there for camping or boating but we wouldn’t revisit just for the hiking.


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