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Recreation - TravelStorys

Pikes Peak - America's Mountain

Location Trip Time Travel Type
Colorado 2 hours


This part of the mountain offers many options for recreation. Just ahead on the left there is a gated dirt road which leads to two reservoirs called North and South Catamount. Along with Crystal Reservoir, they make up the North Slope Recreation Area. The gate to the Catamounts, and the North Slope Recreation Area as a whole, is open during normal operating highway hours from May 1st through the third Sunday in October. The Catamounts offer beautiful views of Pikes Peak in an area which is a little more secluded. Picnic tables and restrooms are available near the start of many miles of trails. Great hiking can be found at all of the reservoirs, including short easy strolls on cement sidewalks at Crystal and North Catamount. There is a nature trail which starts next to the Bigfoot statue in the Crystal parking lot for those interested in learning more about plants and life zones. A walk across the dam at North Catamount is fun for the kids, and the continuing trails there are especially suitable for mountain bikes. Trail maps and regulations are available at the Pikes Peak Highway gateway or from a North Slope ranger. The North Slope Ranger Station is located between North and South Catamount Reservoirs. Of course, most people visit the reservoirs for the fishing. All three lakes are stocked with trout: brooks, browns, rainbows, the hybrid cutbow, as well as Mackinaw. North Catamount is fishing by fly or artificial lure only and sports the largest fish...I have personally seen a 35inch Lake trout pulled out. South Catamount and Crystal allow the use of bait, and worms are usually available at the Crystal gift shop along with rental fishing poles if you forgot yours. A Colorado fishing license is required at all the reservoirs for those age 16 and up. Boats are permitted on all three lakes, but there are no gas motors or trailers allowed. Access to visit the North Slope Recreation Area including the Pikes Peak Highway up to the mile 7 marker is specially priced at a lower rate for adults, while kids 15 and under are free. If you paid for the trip to the summit, the North Slope Recreation Area is included, so feel free to enjoy the lakes as well. Remember, these reservoirs are major water sources for the City of Colorado Springs. Please take care of them and report any suspicious activity to a ranger or gift shop employee.

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