The Saddle dive site Carter Lake, Berthoud, Colorado

The Saddle: Carter Lake Dive Site

Carter lake is located west of Berthoud, Colorado and managed by Larimer County Parks.

The Saddle dive site Carter Lake, Berthoud, Colorado
The Saddle dive site Carter Lake, Berthoud, Colorado

Dive Site Access

Shore access. Parking available in the parking lot above. Has one single restroom, no water, and limited trash disposal. It is easiest to pack out what you bring. There is a small hike down to the sandy/rocky beach area. If room permits, you may be able to park on the beach, but do not block the driveway. 4WD is recommended for shore access. Fisherman also vie for the same area on the beach and the water. First come, first serve, be kind.

Features of the Dive Site

The Saddle lies in a no-boating area, though kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are allowed to launch from this area. Thermoclines are common throughout the summer between 17-25 feet and later in the season, another thermocline 35-40 feet.

Looking west:

  • Right side of the Saddle offers a slope with rocks and sand. It is a common fishing area for shore fisherman.
  • Middle of the Saddle offers a very flat sandy area with minimal rocks.
  • Left side of the Saddle offers a slight slope with rocks.


Small mouth bass, walleye, trout, crawdads (crawfish). Fishing gear, random things that are dropped from vessels such as sunglasses, shoes, clothing, beer cans, and other trash. Sand burr collections can be found as well, usually in low spots. In the early spring, you can find green algae, fallen leaves from the previous season. June and July you may find fish eggs, fry or small offspring of small mouth bass and walleye. If you pick up any cans or trash, check the inside or underside for juvenile crawdads (crawfish) before removing from the water.

Diver Cautions

Land: this is rattlesnake country. Watch your step on the beach and in the tall grass as rattlesnakes have been found nesting here – near the trees on the south side.

Water: This is a common fishing area, there is a lot of line that can catch a fin, regulator or dive gear. Bring a cutting tool and remain calm if you are caught. Also, fishing gear that you pick up may hooks still attached, which can puncture fingers, dry suits and dry gloves. Paddleboards, kayaks and canoes can represent dangers on your ascent, as many are not well-informed of the vessel regulations and become curious about your buoy.

What to Bring

Park pass, buoy, line, reel. Cutting tool.Tarp for setting up your gear. Bucket or container for water for rinsing sand from your gear.

General Regulations

Visit Larimer County Website