US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District Website

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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.


The Red Rock Visitor Center will reopen to the public on May 1, 2021. Hours of operation will be Mon-Fri 7:30-4:00 and Sat-Sun from 12:00-4:00.
Campers: Please note that only credit cards will be accepted for payment of camping and other recreation fees. No cash payments will be accepted.
The Red Rock Visitor Center will be reopen to the public on May 1st, 2021.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, no Corps sponsored programs or activities will be held at Lake Red Rock until further notice.
The South Tailwater Recreation Area is a popular spot for shoreline fishing.
Lake Red Rock offers visitors amazing sunset views
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.
Hepatica are often one of the first wildflowers to be seen in the spring. They can usually be observed in late March along the Volksweg Trail hillside near Ivans Campground.
If you’re finding it hard to estimate what exactly 6-feet looks like, here are Bobber the Water Safety Dog and a USACE park ranger using some common recreational items to help you determine the appropriate distance you should keep from other people. #ResponsibleRecreation
Environmental stewardship rangers and maintenance staff conduct prescribed burns as a management tool to remove old plant material and woody growth that competes with a prairie's warmer season species.

Latest News

Army Corps of Engineers requires face masks at all recreation projects
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reminds all visitors, volunteers and employees that a face mask is required in all USACE buildings and facilities. Masks must also be worn outdoors on USACE-managed...
Corps seeks agricultural lease applications for land near Lake Red Rock
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District is seeking applications for one, five-year agricultural lease in Marion County, Iowa, near Lake Red Rock. Applications must be received, by mail,...
North Overlook Campground at Lake Red Rock to close for portion of 2021 season for construction
In order to inform those who may be planning 2021 camping trips, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District announces that it will close the North Overlook Campground at Lake Red Rock from...