North Slope Recreation Area surrounds the Crystal Creek Reservoir, South Catamount and North Catamount Reservoirs. It is managed by the City of Colorado Springs and offers number of recreational opportunities including hiking, fishing, boating and picnicking. Access fee is required. There are several trails in the area with great views of Pikes Peak to the south. It's a great place to escape from the heat of the city in summer.
Crystal Peak Reservoir is located by the Pikes Peak highway. Crossing the road by the souvenir shop right before the dam will lead you to the Ring the Peak Trail. Going east would take you to the Mt.Esther trail and down to Chipita Park. If you continue west you will reach the Catamount Loop dirt road. Continue on the road for 1.3 miles to the South Catamount Reservoir. Further up the road lies the access to the North Catamount Reservoir. Cross the dam to the Mackinaw Trail which follows the contours of the northern shore for 2.5 miles. At the end you can take either Blue River Trail or Mule Deer Trail up to the Catamount Trail dirt road. You can take the road back down to the reservoir or continue west to other Ring the Peak trails including Elder-Fehn trail.
Distance: Mackinaw Trail 2.5 miles / Blue River Trail 0.5 miles / Mule Deer Trail 0.7 miles / Crystal Peak Reservoir to North Catamount Reservoir 2.8 miles
Directions: Take US-24 west to Cascade. Turn left at the light and follow the signs to Pikes Peak Highway. You must pay the fee ($4 per person) at the toll gate. Make sure you say you are only going to the North Slope Recreation Area, NOT the Pikes Peak summit. The area is closed in winter. Please call 719-385-7325 for more information.
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