In Teller County, Colorado the North Catamount Reservoir sits at 9,354 ft (2,851 m) in elevation within the North Slope Recreation Area above the town of Cascade. North Catamount is the largest of three reservoirs in the area, with more surface area (210 acres) and shoreline (6.5 miles) than the South Catamount and the Crystal Creek reservoirs.
To access North Catamount Reservoir, travel is required along Pikes Peak Toll Road. The turn to reach the reservoir is approximately 7.5 miles uphill from the tollgate. In peak season, the 120 parking spots in the North Slope Recreation Area can fill up very quickly. A free parking pass is required and can be obtained online prior to your visit.
North Catamount Reservoir History
As a primary resource for the Colorado Springs area, the North Catamount Reservoir was originally dammed to retain the water from the area’s creeks. The reservoir was closed to the public until 1990, when all of the towns it supplied had the capability of treating the water prior to its distribution.
After a short planning period, the North Catamount Reservoir opened for its first recreational season in 1992. Today it is managed in cooperation by the city of Colorado Springs, the Colorado Division Of Wildlife, and the National Forest Service.
Activities at North Catamount Reservoir
There are a large number of outdoor activities that visitors are able to enjoy while taking in the breathtaking alpine scenery around the North Catamount Reservoir. There’s also water recreation on South Catamount and Clear Creek reservoirs. And additional hiking and outdoor activities within the nearby Pike National Forest.
Biking: From the North Catamount parking lot, mountain bikers can access 10 miles of gravel logging roads, and single track trails around the reservoir.
Birding: The North Catamount Reservoir hosts a large variety of birdlife including hummingbirds, waterfowl, and turkey vultures. The unique high-elevation ecosystem also allows peewees and jays to call the reservoir home.
Boating: Trailers are prohibited, so all boats brought to North Catamount Reservoir must be secured to your vehicle. Non-motorized and electric motor boats are permitted on the reservoir, gas and diesel engines are prohibited. A Coast Guard approved flotation device is required for all persons on the water at North Catamount Reservoir.
Fishing: A Colorado fishing license is required to fish in North Catamount Reservoir. Anglers are limited to lures and flies only (no live bait). The reservoir is great for trout fishing with a limit of 4 fish (in which a maximum of 2 can be lake trout) per person per day. For those without a boat, there is a fishing dock on the east side of the reservoir.
Hiking: There are hiking options for everyone at the North Catamount Reservoir. From the dam, visitors can walk along the northern shore of the reservoir on the hiking-only Mackinaw Trail. For higher views of the surrounding wilderness, hikers can also explore the Ridge, Catamount, Mule Deer, and Blue River Trails.
Picnicking: Although open fires are prohibited, there are picnic tables and charcoal grills available for visitor use near the North Catamount Reservoir.
Swimming: Swimming is prohibited in North Catamount Reservoir.
Season: May to Mid October
- Memorial Day through Labor Day: 7:30 AM – 7:00 PM
- Seasonal Opening and Closing times dependent on sunlight
Fees: Pike’s Peak Toll Fee & North Slope Recreation Fee