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Hensley Views

 

image - Today's Lake Levels

Camping Reservations

link to recreation.gov

Welcome to Hensley Lake

Hensley Lake is surrounded by the oak woodlands of the Sierra Nevada foothills. The 1,500 acre lake was created by the construction of Hidden Dam on the Fresno River. The dam is 163 feet high, 5,730 feet long and has a capacity of 90,000 acre feet of water.

Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, irrigation, resource management, and recreation -- the lake attracts a growing number of park visitors each year.

View a park brochure


Location:
Located near the geographic center of California, the park is 17 miles northeast of Madera.

Mailing Address:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Hensley Lake
P.O. Box 85
Raymond, CA 93653-0085

Telephone:

559-673-5151
FAX 559-673-2044

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

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Directions:
From Madera, follow Road 400 northeast to Hensley Lake.


Please help us make everyone's visit enjoyable by:

  • Keeping your pets on a leash in developed recreation areas.
  • 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.
  • Hunting only in designated areas.
  • Helping clean up litter.
  • 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 deputies of the Madera County Sheriff's Department. If you need help, contact a park ranger or deputy sheriff. Dial 9-1-1 for emergencies.

image - scenic Hensley Lake

Recreation at Hensley Lake

Visitor Center:
A small visitor center is located at the park office. Ranger programs can be scheduled by calling (559) 673-5151.

Day Use:
The Buck Ridge Recreation Area has a swim beach and 33 picnic sites, each equipped with a table and barbecue grill. A group picnic area with barbecue, tables, and horseshoe pits is available by reservation through Recreation.gov. In the 500-acre wildlife area you may enjoy hiking, bird watching, hunting, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
View a map of the Buck Ridge Trail

Camping:

Hidden View campground has 55 campsites, flush restrooms with showers and a trailer dump station. Campsites are equipped with a table, fire pit, and barbecue grill. Some sites have electric hookup. Some sites also have a shade shelter.

The Hidden View Area also has a self-guided nature trail, and playground. There is a 14-day limit per stay. The Hidden View campground gates open at 6:00 a.m. daily. The gates close at 10:00 p.m. during peak season (President's Day weekend thru September 30) and 8:00 p.m. off-season.
View a map of Hidden View Campground

Group Camping:
Hidden View has two group camping areas, with gazebo picnic shelters. Each group camping area is available by reservation to groups of up to 50 people through Recreation.gov. Groups may also reserve the Wakalumi primitive area by calling our park headquarters.

Boating:
The 1,500-acre lake provides plenty of space for water-skiing, sailing, personal watercraft, and pleasure boating. Launch ramps are located in the Buck Ridge and Hidden View recreation areas.

Take an online boating course (www.boat-ed.com). Passing this California boating safety course will also make you eligible for a discount on your boat or PWC insurance with many insurance providers.

Fees:

Camping Group Camping Group Day Use Day Use
$20 standard
$30 electric
$100 $30 $4
$30 Annual Pass

The Golden Age and Golden Access passport program expired Dec. 31, 2006. However, both passes are still honored as evidence of eligibility for related discounts at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers parks. Corps parks also honor two of the America the Beautiful - The National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Passes: the Interagency Senior and Interagency Access passes. The Corps does not sell or issue either pass.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sells an annual pass for $30. The Corps Annual Pass gives unlimited access to day-use areas at any Corps park for one calendar year, and is sold at all Corps parks.

Fishing:
Numerous game fish abound in the waters of Hensley Lake. Species include largemouth black bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. Rainbow trout are planted during the winter months. Some of the best fishing is found in the coves around the lake. Anglers may keep 2 bass over 15" in length.
Here is a handy fish guide with pictures.

Volunteeer at Hensley Lake:
Check out our Volunteer Application (MS Word format).

Historical Information:
The former Fresno River basin which is now Hensley Lake used to be home to the Miwok and Yokuts people. Their presence in the area is still evident, mostly in the form of milling areas, where they prepared food.

Also of historical interest is a monument in the Buck Ridge Recreation Area erected to the memory of Major James D. Savage. Highly successful as a miner, trader and leader, Major Savage is credited with the discovery of Yosemite Valley on March 25, 1851, during the Mariposa Indian War. As a trader, Savage established a store on the Fresno River where he made a small fortune trading goods for gold with local miners.

Conservation

   

 

image - one less spark, one less fire