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Paddle Lake Valley Reservoir

Placer County, California


Added by Kendra Smith

A perfect adventure spot off Highway 80, Lake Valley Reservoir offers paddlers prime parking and a paved boat launch to push off on a mountain lake with an island for picnicking. Lake speed is 10 mph so fishing boats with outboards are allowed but they have to take it slow. 

Post launch, head left away from the dam toward one of several islands. The first you see are the smallest and close to the opposite shore from the boat launch area. This shore is home to a summer camp and as such these smaller rock islands can be conquered already by campers. Continue past them to arrive at the largest island, which you can paddle around to the far side where a small beach serves as a pull out spot. 

Once on the rocky island you’ll find Sierra wildflowers growing through the cracks — we saw mini meadows of Mariposa tulips — and decent jumping off spots for a swim as well as casting spots for fishing.

For more on this Lake see the book Paddling Northern California by Charlie Pike, which inspired this adventure for our family. 

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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