Martis Creek Lake

Quick Facts

Martis Creek Lake

California

(530) 587-8113

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

While in the Reno area and visiting the world-famous Lake Tahoe why not take an excursion to the Martis Creek Dam. Known for its outstanding catch-and-release trout fishing, this is a great site to set up camp, go for a hike, mountain bike, picnic, or enjoy a paddle. Martis Creek Lake, Nestled in the Sierra Nevada near Lake Tahoe, was created upon the completion of Martis Creek Dam in 1972. The dam, 113 feet high and 2,670 feet long, holds back a lake with a capacity of 20,400 acre feet of water. When full, its surface covers 770 acres. The lake is normally maintained at minimum pool covering 70 acres. The dam and lake provide flood protection for the surrounding area. The lake, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, also provides a focal point for a host of recreation activities. Their scenic campground has quiet, shaded, well spaced campsites and is close to the large variety of activities offered by the Lake Tahoe-Truckee area during the summer. Call (530) 587-8113 for more information.

If you're into critter and birdwatching, you'll be amazed by the abundant wildlife viewing opportunities. Resident animals include mule deer, coyote, golden-mantled ground squirrel, Belding ground squirrel, porcupine, chipmunk, beaver, bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, blue heron and a wide variety of fly-way waterfowl including white pelicans. Enjoy the diversity of enjoyment this park has to offer from May 15th to October 15th; the park is closed in the winter. Contact (530) 432-6427 for winter recreation opportunities.

Map of Martis Creek Lake

Latitude, Longitude: 39.276526, -120.168335

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Activities

  • Boating

    Martis Creek Lake is great place to canoe or kayak. No motorized (gas or electric) boats are permitted.

  • Bird Watching

    Martis Creek is a great spot to go bird watching! It is home to the bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, blue heron and a wide variety of fly-way waterfowl including white pelicans.

  • Bicycling

    Biking trails may be available; please contact park services for more information.

  • Camping

    Twenty-five campsites are available on a first come, first serve basis at the Alpine Meadows Campground. Campsites have a paved parking space, picnic table, tent pad(s), firering and a barbecue grill. Water faucets and vault restrooms with running water are also provided. No electricity is available. A public pay telephone is available. Two campsites are universally accessible and are available for reservation by calling the park ranger at 530 587-8113.

  • Fishing

    Martis Creek Lake was the first "catch and release trophy trout" lake established in California. Varieties include Rainbow, Brown and Lahonton Cutthroat trout. Anglers use flies, barbless hooks and artificial lures only, not live bait. Through cooperative efforts with the California Department of Fish and Game, a self- sustaining trout fishery is being established at the lake. All trout caught MUST be released back into the lake for this program to succeed. Your assistance will help ensure a "lively" experience for all anglers young and old. No fishing is allowed in the streams above the lake.

  • Hiking

    Hiking trails are nearby throughout the 1,050 acre Wildlife Management Area.

  • Picnicking

    Picnicking facilities, fishing access, and portable restrooms are available at the Sierra View Recreation Area.

  • Winter Sports

    Hiking trails are nearby throughout the 1,050 acre Wildlife Management Area. Park facilities are closed during the winter months but cross-country skiing is permitted.

Seasonality/Weather

The park is open from the last Saturday in April through November 15, and closed during the winter months due to weather conditions. The campground is open from May 15 through October 15, weather dependent. There is a ranger station next to the campground that is open seven days a week during the season. The park headquarters at Englebright Lake is open year-round, office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Directions

Driving

From Interstate 80 in Truckee, take exit 188B, go south toward Lake Tahoe, 4.5 miles look for the sign for Martis Creek Lake Recreation Area. The campground and a small lake are on the left side of the highway, and a wildlife area with hiking trails is on the right.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(530) 587-8113

Links