Mason Reservoir

Mason Reservoir

pikes-peak-outdoors-activities-fishing-south-slope-anglers-coveyMason Reservoir is a beautiful alpine lake with some of the most colorful cutthroats in the state! It takes a bit of a hike or bike to get there from the parking lot – Mason Trail is a 9.4-mile round trip – and is at a high elevation (10,500′ to begin) so being prepared is very important. Storms often occur in the afternoon and can be fast moving.

Body contact with the water is not allowed, so no wading or boats and long-handled nets are a must. Unlike McReynolds Reservoir, you can keep fish from Mason: The bag and possession limit is one fish 16 inches or smaller from Mason Reservoir.

Pre-planning is a must – the area is only open to the public Thursday-Sunday, set hours, you need a permit and it must be purchased several days in advance. See below for details and specific regulations.

Note: Your dog will have to stay home on this trip.

South Slope Recreation Area

The South Slope watershed lands consist of approximately 9,000 acres located on the south side of Pikes Peak. Elevations range from approximately 10,000 feet to more than 12,000 feet. Although the site is located within 10 miles of the western end of Colorado Springs on a direct line, the watershed lands are situated in a remote setting and requires approximately a two-hour drive that includes narrow sections and rough, unpaved surfaces.

The South Slope watershed is a diverse and biologically rich landscape. Sub alpine and Engelmann spruce forests rise above fens and wetlands. It is home to bighorn sheep, cutthroat trout and an array of migratory birds. Recreational opportunities are designed to be as low impact as possible to protect sensitive areas.

Allowable activities include hiking, biking, and fishing in McReynolds and Mason Reservoirs only. Equestrian facilities will be developed during future phases. Access to the South Slope Recreation area is by permit only. 

For detailed information on seasonality, permits, and to register (required), please visit this link:


Although South Slope is located just 20 miles from Colorado Springs as the crow flies, the drive from Colorado Springs is over 50 miles and takes 1.5 hrs. Please plan accordingly.

  1. From Colorado Springs, travel west on Highway 24, 27 miles to Divide, Colorado.
  2. In Divide, turn left onto Highway 67 south.
  3. Continue 13.5 miles south and turn left onto Teller County Road 81.
  4. Continue on CR 81 for 3 miles; turn left on Teller County Road 8 (Gold Camp Road).
  5. Continue on Gold Camp Road for 7.5 miles to Forest Service Road 376, approximately 0.7 miles east of the old tunnel.
  6. Turn left onto Forest Service Road #376, continue 3.2 miles to the entrance gate of the  South Slope Recreation Area.