North Catamount Reservoir is one of three reservoirs on the north slope of Pikes Peak available for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. With gasoline engines not permitted on boats, and no boat trailers allowed, the result is a quiet, peaceful mountain lake that’s great for kayaking. North Catamount is the largest of the three reservoirs in this area, with 6.58 miles of shoreline and 210 surface acres of water (when full). There are plenty of great inlets to explore, and once you get away from the dam and parking area, very few other people sharing the water.
To get there, you need to drive on part of the toll road that takes you to the top of Pikes Peak. Turn north off of highway 24 at the stoplight in Cascade, following signs for the Pikes Peak Highway. Just past the North Pole (a great place to take young kids!), you’ll get to the entrance for the toll road, where the fee is $4/person if you’re just visiting one of the reservoirs on the North Slope Recreation Area (the toll to drive to the top of the peak is substantially more…check here for the latest rates).
Driving the toll road, you’ll pass Crystal Creek Reservoir (another great kayaking place), before seeing signs indicating your turn to the right to get to the North and South Catamount Reservoirs. The road takes you to the South Catamount Reservoir first, just continue on to get to the North. There’s a well marked place in front of you where you can park your car to load or unload your boat, though the main parking lot is not much further away (you’ll see it on your right).
While our reason for going here was for kayaking, the number of people fishing suggested this is a good fishing lake too. We saw many fish jumping mere feet in front of our kayak, and when observing from the shore while resting, were constantly seeing ripples from more fish jumping.