US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District Website

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Some recreation areas at Lake Red Rock have been reopened for public use. Click HERE for details on specific sites. 


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.


Due to COVID-19 precautions, no Corps sponsored programs or activities will be held at Lake Red Rock this summer.
The South Tailwater Recreation Area is a popular spot for shoreline fishing.
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
When you head out on the water, please wear your life jacket! Even the best swimmers can get in trouble, and you may not have time to put them on in an emergency!
Bikers on Volksweg Trail
Family sitting on bench watching river in South Tailwater
Red Sandstone bluffs along Lake Red Rock's northwest shore
Howell Station Campground is popular with fishing enthusiasts, bikers, hikers and those just looking for a relaxing place to camp and enjoy nature.

Latest News

Lake Red Rock Beaches Now Open
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District has opened North Overlook Beach and Whitebreast Beach at Lake Red Rock...
Lake Red Rock Picnic Shelters Open to First-Come, First Served
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District will open picnic shelters at Lake Red Rock on a first-come, first-served basis beginning June 22. Reservations will not be accepted and users are...
Sustainable Rivers Program established at Des Moines River Reservoirs
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District and The Nature Conservancy have partnered to establish a Sustainable Rivers Program at Saylorville Lake and Lake Red Rock on the Des Moines...