Colorado lakes, they're not just for boaters, swimmers, and fishermen. Snakes dig them, too. What are the odds of crossing paths with a snake in one of Colorado's many bodies of water?

Before you go jumping in the water, you may want to take a head count. If you count a head accompanied by a long, slithering body, that could potentially be one of a handful of varieties of snakes that enjoy the water just as much if not more than you do. The website AZ Animals just put together a look at three of the most snake-infested lakes in Colorado.

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Snakes Like Water? Since When?

Personally, until today, jumping in a lake was something I would do in order to get away from a snake. It turns out that doesn't work.

According to AZ Animals, there are ten types of watersnakes calling the United States their home:

  • Brown Water Snakes
  • Northern Water Snakes
  • Green Water Snake
  • Concho Water Snake
  • Diamondback Water Snake
  • Yellow-Bellied Water Snakes
  • Banded Water Snakes
  • Florida Water Snake
  • Salt Marsh Water Snake
  • Brazos Water Snake

Water Snakes Found In Colorado

When it comes to the Centennial State, AZ Animals says you're most apt to bump into only a few varieties. In Eastern Colorado, you might encounter a Northern Watersnake. This variety tends to dive into the water to flee when startled.

You're bound to run into garter snakes in several locations around Colorado. The website Birdwatching HQ reports there are multiple species and sub-species of garter snakes:

  • Red-sided Garter Snake
  • Terrestrial Garter Snake
  • Plains Garter Snake
  • Black-necked Garter Snake

The Most Snake-Infested Lakes In Colorado

Lake Pueblo

Lake Pueblo Colorado

Lake Pueblo at Lake Pueblo State Park is rated a fishing “hot spot,” according to The lake offers over 4,600 surface acres of water, 60 miles of shoreline, and almost 10,000 acres of land for boating, camping, and wildlife viewing. Oh, and it appears this body of water also features snakes!

Pink snakes can be found at Lake Pueblo. Although they are Coachwhips, residents nickname them Red Racers.

It’s noteworthy to note that this snake only appears pink in the southeast region of Colorado. In other parts of the country, they are tan or olive in hue. The coachwhip is one of the longest snakes, growing to a length of between five and six feet. AZ Animals state they resemble whip snakes and racers and are remarkably similar to both of them. The term “Red Racer” likely refers to their high level of activity and speed.

Boyd Lake

Boyd Lake Colorado

Colorado Park & Wildlife describes Boyd Lake as "...a water-sports haven for northern Colorado."

Boyd Lake State Park has something for everyone: boating, fishing, camping, picnicking, swimming​, hiking, biking, and hunting. All types of watercraft: ski boats, fishing boats, jet skis, sailboats, canoes, use Boyd Lake's 1,700 surface-acres of water. - Colorado Parks & Wildlife

AZ Animals reports you may bump into a garter snake or possibly a bull snake at Boyd Lake. Garter snakes won’t hesitate to escape from a predator by slithering onto the water. Two years ago (2021), a large bull snake was found on Boyd Lake.

Electra Lake

Electra Lake Colorado

Electra Lake near Durango, Colorado, is owned and operated by PSCo (dba Xcel Energy). The Electra Sporting Club administers public recreation and operates and maintains the public recreation facilities. The lake is open to boating and fishing.

Some of the visitors at Electra Lake include Blackneck Garter Snakes. This species is known to live near bodies of water since they’re usually thriving on food.

Snakes In Lakes

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, along comes snakes. Over the course of my 53 years in Colorado, I've witnessed snakes in the water precisely two times. In both cases, the snakes weren't doing the backstroke, rafting, water skiing, or even enjoying a peaceful float on the water accompanied by an adult beverage. In both cases, they were actively on their way from point A to point B, probably trying to get away from something.

Put simply, the fact these three Colorado lakes have reported "snake sightings" should not serve as a deterrent.

Slither Through Some of the Snakes You'll Find in Colorado

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Take a look at the most common snakes in Colorado:

Gallery Credit: Wes Adams

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