North Slope Recreation Area

Share this page:

2020 Season Updates
  • Please visit PikesPeakColorado.com for the latest information on gateway entrance to the Pikes Peak - America's Mountain and North Slop Recreation Area. Here you'll find more information on how to buy passes online.
  • North Catamount and South Catamount Reservoir: Due to parking limitations, a free parking pass required.  There are 120 parking spots available. A portion is available for reservation via the online store. The remaining will be on a space-available basis each day at the Gateway. Once the parking lots are full, the Catamount gate will be closed and it will be opened as visitors leave and parking becomes available.
  • Crystal Reservoir:  The reservoir is very low due to a Colorado Springs Utilities project.  The project has been postponed until 2021.  The reservoir will be filled this year, but will not be restocked by Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife until the project is completed in 2021. No parking pass is required for the Crystal Parking lot.  Crystal Reservoir Gift Shop opens May 8.

General Info

Come experience the breathtaking beauty of North Slope Recreation Area on Pikes Peak!  The area is along Pikes Peak Highway and is at over 9,200 feet in elevation.  There are three cold water reservoirs available for fishing that have an abundance of Brook, Brown, Cutbow, Cutthroat, Lake and Rainbow trout.   Purists can test their fly-fishing skills at secluded North Catamount Reservoir where only flies and lures are allowed.  Come and try out the great hiking and mountain biking trails too!

Directions: From Colorado Springs take Hwy 24 west or, from Woodland Park take Hwy 24 east, to the Pikes Peak Highway exit in Cascade. Follow the signs to the Pikes Peak Highway entry gate.  The fee is $5 per person (16 years and older), children under 16 are free. A Colorado fishing license is required for those 16 and older.

Season and Hours

2020 Hours — Last entry at Gateway 1-hour before hours below

  • May 1 (Opening Day) through Thursday before Memorial Day  9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day  7:30 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday after Labor Day through Sept. 30  7:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Oct. 1 through third Sunday in Oct. (Closing Day)  9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Closed for the Hill Climb – August 30 and hours are adjusted during race week August 25 - 30

Rules and Regulations

  • Hunting or the possession of firearms for any purpose is not permitted.
  • No alcoholic beverages.
  • No smoking except in designated areas.
  • Dispose of trash in trash receptacles.
  • Pets must be on a leash at all times. Pets are not allowed in the water.
  • Activities such as swimming, wading, sail boating, windsurfing, camping, and horseback riding are prohibited.
  • All trails at North and South Catamount Reservoirs open and close at posted parking lot times – Additional Catamount Trail information can be found at http://www.co.teller.co.us/PublicWorks/PARKS/Catamount.aspx
  • The area provides a pristine environment with an abundance of wildlife and scenic beauty. Please maintain the serenity and keep noise levels low.
  • Protect the wildlife in the area. Do not feed, chase, capture or harm the native wildlife.
  • Fireworks are not allowed.
  • Natural features must not be disturbed. Please do not deface or remove any of the area’s flowers, rocks or trees.
  • Gathering firewood is not allowed without a permit.
  • Open fires are prohibited. Only charcoal briquettes, liquid fuel or propane with shut-offs are allowed in or on permanently mounted grills. Please do not use portable grills in back of vehicles or at the shoreline. Place on picnic tables or permanently mounted grills.
  • Foot trails are provided from the parking lot trail heads to the shorelines of the three reservoirs and are designated for hikers only. Please stay on established trails. The trampling of the vegetation causes soil erosion.
  • Motor vehicles are restricted to designated roads and parking lots. Parking along roadways is not allowed.
  • Please obey the posted speed limit.
  • Fishing at each reservoir is individually regulated, so before fishing, please check the regulations posted in the parking lot areas.
  • Parking or fishing from the dams is prohibited.
  • Drone Use Prohibited.

Reservoirs

Crystal Creek Reservoir

Notice: Dam maintenance and repair work at Crystal Creek Reservoir 

  • Parking: 103 Spaces
  • Fishing: Fishing allowed with bait (no minnows)
  • Picnicking: Developed picnic sites are available. To protect the environment, groups are asked to confine picnics to the developed sites.
  • Hiking: Along lake trails
  • Water Surface Acres: 136
  • Miles of Shoreline: 3.31 Miles

South Catamount Reservoir 

  • Parking: 60 spaces
  • Fishing: Fishing allowed with bait (no minnows)
  • Picnicking: Developed picnic sites are available. To protect the environment, groups are asked to confine picnics to the developed sites.
  • Hiking and Mountain Biking: On designated trails only.
  • Water Surface Acres: 120
  • Miles of Shoreline: 3.96 Miles

North Catamount Reservoir

  • Parking: 60 spaces
  • Fishing: Fishing allowed with artificial flies and artificial lures only.
  • Picnicking: Developed picnic sites are available. To protect the environment, groups are asked to confine picnics to the developed sites.
  • Hiking and Mountain Biking: On designated trails only.
  • Water Surface Acres: 210
  • Miles of Shoreline: 6.58 Miles

WATER QUALITY PROTECTION

The three reservoirs, tributaries and streams that feed the reservoirs are part of the drinking water collection system for Colorado Springs and surrounding communities. It is unlawful to discharge anything into the water which may cause pollution. Swimming or wading by humans and pets is prohibited.

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

  • The trailheads for mountain bikers are located at the North and South Catamount Reservoir parking lots. From these locations, mountain bikers can enjoy riding on approximately 10 miles of gravel roadways, several logging roads, and single track trails. Additional single track trails may be opened in future years pending continued evaluation of impact upon trails and conflicts with other trail users.
  • Cyclists are to use gravel roadways, designated logging roads and single track trails.
  • Please, no bicycles on sidewalks or docks.
  • Yield right of way to other recreationalists.
  • Use caution when overtaking another cyclist. Make your presence known in advance.
  • Colorado State Motor Vehicle rules pertaining to bicycles apply.
  • For your safety, please use a helmet.

Boating and Fishing

  • Boats must be brought to the area on car top carriers or in the back of pick-up trucks. Trailers are prohibited on the Pikes Peak Highway.
  • State boating regulations apply.
  • Boats must be carried from the parking lot to the boat entry points. Vehicle access to boat entry points is not available.
  • Boats must be propelled by oars, paddles or electric motors. Gas engines are prohibited.
  • Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices must be worn by all boaters while on water.
  • Belly boats may be used.
  • A Colorado fishing license is required for those age 16 or older. Children under the age of 16 may take a full daily bag and possession limit without a fishing license.
  • The bag and possession limit for trout is four fish, no more than two of which may be lake trout.
  • Bait (no minnows) can be used at Crystal Creek and South Catamount Reservoirs. North Catamount is restricted to artificial flies and lures only.
  • For more information contact the Colorado Division of Wildlife (719) 227-5200.