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Welcome to Martis Creek Lake

Martis Creek Lake is nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Lake Tahoe outside the town of Truckee. It 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. Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the dam and lake provide flood protection and is a focal point for a host of recreation activities.

The 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.


Location:
2.3 miles southeast of Truckee, California, off State Route 267.

Mailing Address:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Martis Creek Lake
P.O. Box 2344
11989 Martis Dam Road
Truckee, CA 96160

Telephone:
April - November: 530-587-8113 (FAX 530-587-8623)
December - March: 530-432-6427 (FAX 530-432-6418)

E-mail:
martis-info@usace.army.mil

Operating Hours:

The park is open the last Saturday in April through November 15.

The campground is open May 15 weekend through October 15 weekend.

There is a ranger station next to the campground that is open seven days a week during peak season. The park headquarters at Englebright Lake in Smartsville is open year round, office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday -Friday, if you need assistance. 

Directions:

From Interstate 80 in Truckee, take exit 188B headed south toward Lake Tahoe. Go 2.3 miles and look for the sign for Martis Creek Lake Recreation Area. The campground and lake are on the left side of the highway and a wildlife area with hiking trails is on the right.


Please help us make everyone's visit enjoyable by:

  • Always keep pets leashed while in the campground
  • Cleaning up after your pet is required while visiting Martis Creek Lake.
  • Keeping fires confined to grills and pits and using only dead and down wood.
  • Maintaining quiet between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Operating vehicles only on designated roads and parking areas provided.
  • Camping only in designated campsites.
  • Helping clean up litter and leaving a clean campsite.
  • Reporting safety hazards to park personnel.
  • Reading the park rules, copies of which are posted throughout the park.

All areas are patrolled by Corps of Engineers rangers and County Sheriff deputies. If you need help, contact a park ranger or deputy sheriff. Dial 9-1-1 for emergencies.

Useful Links:

Every Kid in a Park: 4th graders can get free parks access.

Bobber the Water Safety Dog: Information on water safety for children.

Operation Dry Water: Learn about the dangers of BUI - Boating Under the Influence of alcohol.

National Water Safety Program: Information that could help save your life or the life of someone you care about.

Recreation at Martis Creek Lake

Ranger Programs:

Campfire programs are presented in the amphitheater from July through Labor Day. The amphitheater is located in the center of the campground and parking is available just outside of the campground. Handicapped parking is available at the amphitheater. Please call the Park Office for information on upcoming programs.

Camping:

Twenty-five campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Alpine Meadow Campground. Campsites have a paved parking space, picnic table, tent pad(s), fire ring and a barbecue grill. Firewood is available for purchase.

Water faucets and vault restrooms with running water are also provided. No electricity is available. A public pay telephone is available. 

Boating:

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

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 must use flies, barbless hooks and artificial lures only. Live bait is not permitted.

No fishing is allowed in the streams above the lake.

Trails:

The Martis Creek Wildlife Area, on the west side of Hwy 267, offers a 4.3 mile hiking and biking trail that loops around the valley.  The trail goes along Martis Creek, through conifer forests and open meadows.  Spring wildflower displays are spectacular from late June to early July.

The trailhead for the 1400 acre Waddle Ranch Conservation Area is at the end of Martis Dam road. From there you can access miles of forested trails throughout the Conservation area.

Day Use:

Picnicking facilities, fishing access, and portable restrooms are available at the Sierra View Recreation Area. Park facilities are closed during the winter months but cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted. Winter parking space is limited.

Fees:

The Corps of Engineers participates in the America the Beautiful-Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series. The series includes the; Annual Pass, Annual 4th Grade Pass, Annual Senior Pass, Lifetime Senior Pass, Lifetime Access Pass, Volunteer Pass, and Military Pass. Be sure to pick up your America the Beautiful pass at any of our Corps parks as the money is directly invested back into the facilities to improve your recreational experience. Get more details about the pass series here http://1.usa.gov/1T6TRMt.

The Annual Pass is a onetime purchase of $80. You will have access to all of your favorite Corps parks, and participating federal agencies public lands. The Annual Pass is good for one year from the date of purchase.

Individuals 62 years and older have the choice of purchasing an Annual Senior Pass for $20 which is good for one year from the date of purchase, or a Lifetime Senior Pass for $80, which does not expire. Senior and Access Pass holders also receive a 50 percent discount on campsites at Corps-managed campgrounds.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also sells their Corps Annual Pass for $40. The Corps Annual Pass gives unlimited access to day-use areas at any Corps park for one calendar year at the date of purchase.

 

  Camping Special Use

May 15 - October 15 (weather permitting)

With the America The Beautiful - Senior or Access Pass

$20

 

$10

$100
Off-season Closed Closed

 

Wildlife:

Martis Creek is listed as Site #37 in the California Wildlife Viewing Guide. The guide identifies habitat areas throughout the state which provide unique opportunities to spot wildlife on a recurring basis.

Resident animals include mule deer, coyote, black bear, bobcat, porcupine, beaver, Mountain bluebirds, bald eagle, osprey, kestrel, red-tailed hawk, blue heron and a wide variety of songbirds and fly-way waterfowl.

Martis Views

The beauty of blue water and cloud-filled sky at Martis Creek Lake.
MARTIS CREEK BEAUTY
Enjoying the beauty of blue water and sky at Martis Creek Lake.
Serious fun
WORKING THE LINE
A young fisherman does his best to reel one in while fishing from the shore of Martis Creek Lake.
Snowy view
SNOW-CAPPED VIEW
Martis Creek Lake and area trails are seen with a dusting of snow.
High mountain greenery
NATIVE VEGETATION
Native greenery provides a lush summertime setting along Martis Creek Lake in the Sierra Mountains of California.
Martis Creek Lake
MARTIS FROM ABOVE
An aerial view shows Martis Creek Lake on a summer day.
Meandering waters
PEACEFUL MORNING
Martis Creek Lake is seen in early morning light.

Conservation

   

 

image - one less spark, one less fire