Sitting just north of Cody at the base of Rattlesnake Mountain, the Newton Lakes area is a quiet paradise for recreationists. The area is administered jointly by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department as a fishery for Yellowstone Cutthroat trout. The lakes are well-known in fly fishing circles, so bring your rod when you launch your boat.
What Makes It Great
Both East and West Newton Lakes are spring-fed pocket lakes, that are beautifully situated just a five minute drive from downtown. Gorgeous views of Cedar and Rattlesnake Mountain to the west, Red Butte to the north and even Heart Mountain to the northeast provide all the eye candy you’ll need to enjoy your day. The water in the lakes is cleaner than Beck Lake, but it’s also colder and deeper. If you get tired of boating, you can fish, hike or even mountain bike the trails along the ridge to the east and north.
East Newton lake is the better fishery, so you might be sharing the water with float fishermen or small boats. East Newton is bigger than West Newton and is home to some trophy Rainbow and Brown trout lurking under the surface. There can be lots of fishermen out so be respectful.
West Newton is stocked with cutthroat trout. This is where the swimmers, tubers and sun bathers hang out. Both lakes have easy access and to die for scenery. You could spend half the day on one lake and easily transfer over to the other for the second half of the day. You won’t regret spending time here. There’s plenty to do and both lakes are suitable for children.
Who is Going to Love It
If you don’t want to be spending your day paddling about in some incredible scenery, don’t make the drive out to Newton Lakes. However, if your idea of fun is beautiful calm water, great views and opportunities to wet a fly in a world class fishery then you won’t regret hopping in your car for the trip out of town. You can spend all day here or a half day. Watch the sun set over Rattlesnake Mountain, bathing the eastern Absaroka range in orange and yellow splendor. Newton Lakes is peaceful, serene boating at its best. Plus you’re within ten minutes of some great microbrews and burgers back in town.
Newton Lakes is a good place to learn kayaking or paddle boarding. The lakes are excellent May to September, with September being the best time. The crowds are gone, the cottonwoods have draped themselves in brilliant yellow and the nights are crisp.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From Cody, take WYO 120 north 5 miles to the Newton Lake road, or County Road 7WC. Turn left for about a mile and you’ll see the right-hand turn into Newton Lakes. The road dead ends just past the lakes.
There are no fees and leashed pets are welcome. Your boat must have a Wyoming AIS (aquatic invasive species) decal. You’ll find boat launches, picnic tables and vault toilets but no water. Insect repellent might be needed. Watch for rattlesnakes.