Hot Info

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.


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 is now open again to the public! The park features a new six-plex family style restroom/shower house. For campsite availability and to make reservations, please visit or call toll free 1-877-444-6777
Balloon Fest will be held again at Lake Red Rock's North Overlook Beach in 2022! For event details, please visit
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.
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. and Saturday-Sunday from 12:00-4:00 p.m. (weekend hours March-October)
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 is open Mon.-Fri. from 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. from 12:00-4:00 p.m. (weekend hours March-October only)
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.
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!

Latest News

FREE vessel safety checks offered at Lake Red Rock
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, is offering free vessel safety checks at Lake Red Rock’s Whitebreast Boat Ramp Saturday, May...
Army Corps of Engineers reminds visitors to practice water safety
As millions of Americans plan visits to our nation’s lakes and rivers, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District reminds visitors of the importance of practicing safe, sensible, and...
Volunteers needed at Lake Red Rock this summer
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, is currently accepting applications for volunteers interested in providing services at Lake Red Rock during the 2022 camping season. Positions...