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For site-specific details on the status of Lake Red Rock's recreation areas, Click HERE


Welcome to Lake Red Rock

Lake Red Rock is Iowa's largest lake with more than 15,000 acres of water and 35,000 acres of land for visitors to enjoy. Located on the Des Moines River just 45 miles southeast, and downriver, of the city of Des Moines, Iowa, the reservoir collects runoff and and drainage from a 12,320 square-mile area in Iowa and southern Minnesota. This protects communities and agriculture lands downstream from the Red Rock Dam. The maximum flood control pool is 780 feet above sea level, over 33 miles long, and covers 65,500 acres. Other lake area benefits include numerous recreational opportunities and natural resources on the water and surrounding public lands.


Sledders enjoying a snowy ride down the hill by the Red Rock Visitor Center
Scenic View of Lake Red Rock's Shoreline
Large flocks of white pelicans migrate through the Red Rock area in spring and fall, and they can often be seen in protected coves on the lake and along the river below the dam.
The North Overlook Campground features a new six-plex family style restroom/shower house, playground, access to the 17-mile Volksweg paved bike trail, and much more! For campsite availability and to make reservations, please visit or call toll free 1-877-444-6777.
Lake Red Rock is a wildlife watchers' paradise with opportunities to see deer, waterfowl, songbirds, and more.
The best eagle viewing months are during the winter around December - early March. When the waters of Lake Red Rock are frozen, the birds often roost in the trees along the river below the dam. Other places to watch for eagles include the bays of the Marina Cove and South Overlook.
The Red Rock Visitor Center is located on the south side of the Red Rock Dam. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
The Red Rock Visitor Center is open Mon.-Fri. from 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
The South Tailwater Recreation Area is a popular spot for shoreline fishing.
Duck Hunter wearing a life jacket
Family sitting on bench watching river in South Tailwater
The popular day use area is now open for fishing, picnicking and other day use activities. The section of the Volksweg Trail through this park has also reopened for hiking and biking.

Latest News

Roadway over Red Rock Dam to experience partial and full closures to traffic beginning February 27
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, announces temporary single-lane road closures to Highway T15 across the Red Rock Dam beginning February 27. Closures will only be in effect...
New lifetime pass available for Military Veterans and Gold Star Families to access public lands
The Biden-Harris administration announced that starting on Veterans Day (Nov. 11), veterans of the U.S. Armed Services and Gold Star Families can obtain a free lifetime pass to thousands of federal...
Opening of five Lake Red Rock recreation areas to be delayed in 2023 for infrastructure upgrades
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, announces delayed openings of the Howell Station, North Overlook and Whitebreast campgrounds and the Fifield and North Overlook recreation areas...