Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Standley Lake - Jefferson County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: The largest body of water in the county, this could be considered one of the Great Lakes of Denver, up there with Barr, Cherry Creek and Chatfield. It has terrific potential for waterbirds, attracting huge numbers of ducks, grebes, gulls, and occasionally shorebirds when the lake is low. Red-throated Loon, Long-tailed and Parasitic Jaegers, Little Gull and Arctic Tern are just a few of the rarities that have shown up at Standley. When the lake dries up substantially, the vegetation in the exposed basin can be good for sparrows.

A pair of Bald Eagles breeds along the northwest shore of the lake, which is off-limits for this reason. However, the park maintains an eagle viewing blind a short distance west of the Visitor Center on the north side of the lake.

The lake can be effectively scanned from its southeast corner, from a pullout on the north side of 86th Parkway. Alternatively, you can drive in to the parking lot farther west along 86th, and walk a few hundred yards to scan the reservoir from the south. The main park entrance is on the north side, along 100th Avenue at Simms Street. There is a fee to drive into the park, but no fee for walk-in access.

Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Prairie/Grassland
Directions: To get to the south side of the lake, take CO 121 (Wadsworth Blvd/Pkwy) north from I-70 (exit 269) or south from US 36 to 88th Avenue. Turn west onto 88th and drive west about one mile to the southeast corner of the lake, or about two miles to the parking lot on the south side. To get to the north side (main entrance), from CO 121 (Wadsworth) take 100th Avenue west to Simms; the park entrance is on the south side of the intersection.
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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Other Sites in Jefferson County
eBird Seasonal Bar Chart

Latest Standley Lake Sightings from eBird


CBRC Records from Standley Lake

SpeciesAccession No.Date(s)
Tundra Swan2002-199 11/27/2002
Tundra Swan2005-114 11/9/2005
Tundra Swan2005-118 11/13/2005
Black Scoter2001-9310/29/2001
Red-necked Grebe2001-19312/10/2001
Pomarine Jaeger2000-4210/30/1999
Long-tailed Jaeger2001-1438/25/2001 - 8/27/2001
Laughing Gull2001-12011/30/2001 - 12/1/2001
Arctic Tern2003-1309/10/2002 - 9/11/2002
Red-throated Loon2001-9210/28/2001
Red-throated Loon2003-125 11/30/2003 - 12/2/2003
Red-throated Loon2004-111 4/4/2004 - 4/24/2004
Yellow-billed Loon2005-113 11/4/2005 - 11/7/2005
Yellow-billed Loon2020-008 14 Mar 2020
Fox Sparrow (Slate-colored)2007-68 10/6/2007