North Slope Recreation Area

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2022 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.

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.

Seasonal Hours

North Slope Recreation Area hours of operation

  • 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 PPIHC – Last Sunday in June. See Special Events Calendar for additional information and other closures or delays.

Rules and Regulations

  • Hunting or the possession of firearms for any purpose is not permitted.
  • No alcoholic beverages.
  • No Smoking except in personal vehicles
  • 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.
  • Campfires, cookfires, and charcoal are not permitted. Liquid fuel or propane grills with shut-offs are allowed. Please do not use portable grills in back of vehicles or at the shoreline. Place on picnic tables or other stable surfaces.
  • 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.

Leave No Trace

Follow the Leave No Trace Seven Principles

The City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services department is proudly partnered with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in order to promote environmental stewardship and safeguard the natural, cultural, and historical resources that make Colorado Springs such a fantastic place to live and visit. Follow the Leave No Trace Seven Principles to help keep our parks, trails, and open spaces healthy and sustainable. Learn more at lnt.org

Plan ahead and prepare. Know before you go! Check the area’s website prior to your trip to check for seasonal updates and closures. Familiarize yourself with the area’s Rules & Regulations to keep yourself, other visitors, and wildlife safe. Fishing at each reservoir is individually regulated, so before fishing, please check the regulations posted in the parking lot areas. Pack layers and be prepared for quickly changing weather conditions.
Travel on durable surfaces. 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. Help us protect the fragile vegetation by not creating “rogue” trails. Avoid traveling on muddy or excessively wet trails. If your encounter a patch of mud, hike or ride through it to avoid trail widening. 
Dispose of waste properly. 

Dispose of trash in trash receptacles. Remember, food waste is litter too! Throw away picnic scraps such as apple cores, banana peels, egg shells, and bread crusts.

Also remember – these reservoirs are our drinking water! Utilize the restrooms before your hike or ride to avoid going along the trails. 

Leave what you find. 

Natural features must not be disturbed. Please do not deface or remove any of the area’s flowers, rocks or trees.

Rinse off bikes and boots after your ride or hike, if possible, to prevent the spread of non-native vegetation. Check yourself and your equipment for seeds before and after each trip.

Be careful with fire. Campfires, cookfires, and charcoal are not permitted. Liquid fuel or propane grills with shut-offs are allowed. Please do not use portable grills in back of vehicles or at the shoreline. Place on picnic tables or other stable surfaces.
Respect wildlife. 

Please observe all wildlife from safe distances.

Pets must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in the water. Protect the wildlife in the area. Do not feed, chase, capture or harm the native wildlife. Feeding wildlife ruins their health, alters their natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers. 

Be considerate of others. Practice recreational empathy! The area provides a pristine environment with an abundance of wildlife and scenic beauty. Please maintain the serenity and keep noise levels low.

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.
    • Innertubes and pool floaties are prohibited.
  • 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.