Recreation

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the dam and is usually open to visitors 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, except holidays. Currently the office is closed due to Covid-19, but we can be reached by phone (719-336-3476) and email (cespa-pa@usace.army.mil).

The recreation facilities at Lake Hasty and on the North Shore, including the boat docks and campgrounds, are leased to and managed by Colorado Parks & Wildlife. Federal Discount Passes are not needed at this location. For more information on what is needed, please visit the John Martin Reservoir Colorado State Park website by clicking here.

Please drive and park vehicles only on developed roads and parking areas. Loaded firearms, ammunition, explosives of any kind, archery equipment, etc., are prohibited. Destruction, injury, defacement, or removal of public property, including vegetation, and natural and cultural resources, is prohibited. A complete pdf document listing of rules and regulations governing public use of Corps of Engineers Water Resources Management Projects can be found here: Title 36 Federal Regulations and Colorado State Boating Regulations. The following information is provided as a general overview. 

Recreation Activities

USACE park ranger Valerie Thompson holds a striped bass in front of the John Martin stilling basin, Nov. 1, 2018.Fishing

Fishing in John Martin Reservoir and Lake Hasty can be excellent for walleye, saugeye, wiper, large and small mouth bass, white bass, striper, crappie, channel catfish, and bream. Lake Hasty is also stocked with rainbow and cutthroat trout each spring and fall. Click here for the latest CPW fishing report. 

Water Sports

Refresh yourself in the cool waters of John Martin Reservoir and Lake Hasty. The reservoir is open to all types of boat sports, including windsurfing, waterskiing and PWCs (personal watercraft), but not swimming. Lake Hasty has a handicapped accessible fishing pier, a swim beach (open Memorial Day to Labor Day) and is open to small watercraft that do not use gas motors – electric motors are permitted.

Picnicking 

Dine and relax outdoors. Picnic facilities are available at the Point Overlook and Lake Hasty Recreation Areas.

Disc-Golf

The Caddoa Disc-Golf course is a great place to spend the day! Click here for more information.

Dam Tours

Tours of the John Martin Dam are available for interested groups. Contact the ranger office (719-336-3476) or email us at: cepsa-pa@usace.army.mil for more information and to schedule a tour.

Image of a rock with prehistoric petroglyphs on it.Camping

Enjoy an evening under the stars. Electric and non-electric sites are available at the Lake Hasty Recreation Area and Point Campground. Click here to make reservations through the Colorado State Parks website.

Camping is permitted at developed campgrounds, and is limited to 14 days within a 30-day period. Pets are welcome, but must be leashed.

Confine fires to grills or established pits only. Extinguish fires prior to departure. Deposit all trash and refuse in designated bins.

Hiking

Explore the Red Shin Hiking Trail! This 4.5-mile trail starts across the road from Lake Hasty’s swim beach and offers many nature viewing opportunities in a variety of habitats.

A ½-mile section of the historic Santa Fe Trail is located north of the reservoir. A historical marker was placed on the north shore (east of the Point Campground) by the Daughters of the American Revolution to commemorate this section of the trail.

Hicklin Springs Tours

John Martin Reservoir boasts an impressive collection of prehistoric petroglyphs and pictographs. Ranger-led tours are available for interested parties. Contact the Ranger office (719-336-3476) for more information and to schedule a tour.                                                                                            

Piping ploverWildlife Viewing

Bring your binoculars and camera. The Santa Fe Slough on the east and west sides of the Dam Road provides excellent opportunities to view waterfowl in their natural habitat. The West Santa Fe Slough also features a viewing blind.

Areas Attractions and Local Events

For information on events throughout the year in the John Martin area and information on area attractions, click here.  

Protecting Natural Habitat

Plover and tern chicks can be difficult to see! Photo by East Bay Regional Park District.The sand and gravel shores of John Martin Reservoir are among the few remaining nesting areas in the state of Colorado for the federally threatened Piping Plover and the state endangered Interior Least Tern.

Nesting areas may be fenced off to protect active nests and chicks. Disturbing these shore birds or their nesting areas is a violation of state and federal law. Under no circumstances may members of the public enter the areas that are fenced off. Plover and tern nests are very difficult to see, and it is easy to step on and crush eggs and chicks.

For more information visit our "Sharing the Shoreline" webpage, contact the Project Office (719-336-3476), or the State Park's office (719-829-1801).

Image of a black rail. Photo courtesy: Tom Johnson

The wetlands around John Martin Reservoir are also home to the federally threatened Eastern Black Rail. The black rail is a rapidly declining, super secretive marsh bird. These birds require very dense wetland vegetation and extremely shallow water. Black rails are flightless for up to two months each breeding season, while raising chicks, and during their annual molt. This makes these birds very vulnerable to predators, extreme weather, and land management changes. Because these birds are so stealthy, little is known about them. However, research is being conducted at John Martin to learn how to better protect them. Click here to visit our imperiled species webpage to learn more about these birds.