Looking to head out on Calaveras lakes and open waters? Here’s a detailed look at 10 of our favorite lakes accessed in and around Calaveras County–in alphabetical order.
Too many options? Give us a call 7 days a week to find the right water destination for your next Calaveras getaway 1-800-225-3764.
⚠️Please note that Sierra Nevada river swimming is NOT advised for the 2017 season.⚠️
Fast Facts: Lake Camanche, New Hogan, New Melones, and Lake Tulloch all welcome personal watercraft and other towables; and have reservable tent and RV campsites with views of their lakes. They also all offer boating, fishing, day-use hiking, biking, seasonal wildflowers, wildlife viewing, and interpretive programs. See details below.
Calaveras Area Lakes: Alpine
DID YOU KNOW: (Dog friendly) Lake Alpine is located just within the border of Alpine County, home of Bear Valley Mountain and the least populated county in all of California. Talk about a High Sierra getaway!
FIND SUPPLIES: You can rent SUPs, kayaks, and most anything else you may need across the way at Bear Valley Adventure Company, or on your way up the mountain at the Sierra Nevada Adventure Company in Arnold.
Instagrammer @a_guy_named_eric enjoying a star studded view of Lake Alpine.
Calaveras Lakes: Tulloch
DID YOU KNOW: You can enjoy shoreline views from cabin and cottage rentals at Lake Tulloch where you’ll savor–not only a roof over your head, but your own personal barbecue and porch to take it all in. Dog friendly!
LOCALS TIPS: Hit Copperopolis Town Square for coffee, icecream, shopping and food. Looking for a place where you can enjoy killer food, cold drinks, and an awesome view of the shoreline, while you’re at it? Copperopolis’ Drifter’s Marina and Grill is the spot for you!
Instagrammer @ashleyscianna enjoying lakeside lounging in style at Lake Tulloch.
Calaveras Lakes: New Hogan
LOCATION: Part one of the Valley Springs tri-lake area, 30 miles east of Stockton.
ACTIVITIES: (Dog friendly) New Hogan Lake is the perfect place for camping, water sports, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Note: there is no marina or fuel service, so come fueled and ready to go.
LOCALS TIPS: Grab a bite at one of Valley Spring’s killer restaurants including award winning Villa Bakery. Work up a sweat at La Contenta Golf Club, before you cool down at this luscious lake. Boat-in camping is available at Deer Flat Campground–just one of New Hogan’s three idyllic campgrounds.
Instagrammer @heironisaurusrex wildflower hunting on a stormy spring afternoon at New Hogan.
Calaveras Lakes: Camanche
LOCALS TIPS: Get your boat and gear rental at the Marina Stores located on both the North Shore and South Shore of Lake Camanche. Load up on grub in Valley Springs, or right on site at the Cafe on the North Shore. Dog friendly!
DID YOU KNOW: Part two of the Valley Springs tri-lake area, Lake Camanche has 54 miles of shoreline and 7,700 surface acres of water and is a popular destination for outdoor weddings and festivals.
Instagrammer @nicole_blondie2 catting around at Lake Camanche.
Calaveras Lakes: New Melones
DID YOU KNOW: At 12,500 acres, dog friendly New Melones is one of the largest reservoirs in California! Now that’s BIG! There’s even a hidden cave along the shoreline accessible by boat.
LOCALS TIPS: Grab a meal to go 10 in downtown Angels Camp or killer barbecue right outside of the marina at Glory Hole Sports. Looking for shore-line fishing? Once you’re on Highway 49, head towards the New Melones Visitors Center by turning onto Melones Court. Stay left. If you come to a closed gate, park your vehicle and walk 100 yards to the shoreline.
FIND GEAR: Rent your water craft at New Melones Marina and stock up on camping or fishing gear at Glory Hole Sports.
Instagrammer @cshade329 flying over New Melones.
Calaveras Lakes: Pardee
DID YOU KNOW: Part three of the Valley Springs tri-lake area, Pardee Lake makes for an extra serene fishing experience, as the only lake in Calaveras County that does not allow people or pets to contact or swim in the water.
FEATURES: In addition to their full service marina and wildlife viewing galore, Pardee Lake features fishing, boating, camping, hiking, equestrian trails, picnicking, boat rentals, ten lane boat launch ramp, new state of the art fish cleaning station, developed overnight camping, swimming pools, RV sites with full hook-ups/laundry /hot showers, WiFi, Flush restrooms, a cute little coffee shop, store, and gas station.
Instagrammer @kcox1228 exploring the trails of Pardee Lake on horseback.
Reservoirs Open at Spicer Road
After much anticipation, the Spicer Road reservoirs are open for the 2017 season! From Spicer, to Union, to Utica–visit them all to determine which reservoir is just right for you. Sup, kayak, or canoe to explore the many islands and wildlife hidden throughout these three rugged reservoirs.
LOCALS TIP: These dog friendly reservoirs are one of the only places in California that you can kayak out to camp on your own private island. Make sure to come early in the morning or midweek to increase the odds of having the lake all to yourself. With no campground services available come prepared to hop lightly and pack out all waste. Free dispersed camping is welcome around the perimeter of the lakes as well as on the islands hidden throughout.
FIND SUPPLIES: Rent kayaks, paddle-boards or other non-motorized lake toys from SNAC.Check out nearby Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods for fishing supplies and permit Looking to enjoy a nice shady picnic with your feet in the water? Grab some grubbage from one of Arnold’s many new and iconic restaurants such as Giant Burger.
@Instagrammer @jforbes1701 at Spicer Reservoir.
Instagrammer @mountainjacks camping out at Utica Reservoir.
Instagrammer @aarxnjames enjoying having Union Reservoir all to himself.
Calaveras Lakes: White Pines
FIND SUPPLIES: Pick up disc golf supplies, rent kayaks, paddle-boards or other non-motorized lake toys from SNAC.Check out nearby Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods for fishing supplies and permit Looking to enjoy a nice shady picnic with your feet in the water? Grab some grubbage from one of Arnold’s many iconic restaurants such as Giant Burger featuring killer milkshakes!
Adventurous Instagrammer @h.ciccarelli jumping in at White Pines Lake.
Looking to find your own favorite Calaveras getaway?
Give us a call 7 days a week to get up-to-date on forest road closures, or to find the right lake, river, restaurants, activities, and/or lodging for you! 1-800-225-3764. See you on the water!