Englebright Lake

Englebright Lake is nestled in the scenic Sierra foothills on Highway 20 between the cities of Marysville and Grass Valley. Constructed for the containment of hydraulic gold mining debris, Englebright Dam is a concrete arch structure which spans 1,142 feet across and is 260 feet high. 

The dam is in the steep Yuba River gorge known as the Narrows, holding back a 9-mile-long lake with a surface area of 815 acres. The lake is unique in that it offers boat-in camping only.

 Englebright Lake Map

21 miles east of Marysville on State Highway 20. 15 miles west of Grass Valley on State Highway 20. View Map

Mailing Address:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Englebright Lake
P.O. Box 6
Smartville, CA 95977-0006

FAX 530-432-6418


Office Hours: (subject to change)
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The project is open all year.

From Marysville, travel east on State Highway 20 for 21 miles. Watch for Englebright Lake roadside signs. Turn left on Mooney Flat Road and travel 2.5 miles to the project entrance on the left. 

From Grass Valley, travel west of State Highway 20 for 15 miles. Watch for Englebright Lake roadside signs. Turn right on Mooney Flat Road and travel 2.5 miles to the project entrance on the left.

  Current Status  

All day use facilities, campgrounds and the project office are open to the public. Boat-in camping reservations can be made at http://www.recreation.gov/

 Recreation Area Services Status

  Recreation Area Info & Fees  

Day Use:
Picnic facilities are available at the Narrows Recreation Area. Each site has a picnic table and barbecue grill. Enjoy a short scenic hike to the dam overlook area or along the less strenuous fishing access trail.

Boat-in Camping
Camping at Englebright Lake is unique as all campsites are boat-in only and located along the lake's 24 miles of shoreline. Each campsite consists of a table, fire grill, lantern hanger and level spot for tents. Portable restrooms are centrally located in all campgrounds. Drinking water is available near each launch ramp. We have a total of 16 campgrounds and 100 campsites available for your use. For more information about camping, please check out our Englebright Lake recreation guide or contact the project office. 

 Englebright Campground and Mooring Map (Current as of 5 Oct 2023)

The lake provides plenty of space for the boating enthusiast, water skier or angler. Boats can be launched from one of two boat ramps located near the project's entrance. Due to narrow canyons and sharp bends, the upper 4 miles of the lake are not suitable for water-skiing and/or towing any type of inflatable device. Therefore, these activities are restricted to the lower five miles of the lake. A counter-clockwise direction of travel is strictly enforced for the safety of project visitors.

Skippers Cove Marina:

Skippers Cove Marina (530-432-6302) offers boat rentals, mooring, gas, sewage pumping and store facilities.

To the expert or beginning angler, Englebright means fish. Game fish such as rainbow and brown trout, large and smallmouth bass and Kokanee salmon abound in the lake's clear, cool water. Catfish and sunfish can also be caught. Fish may be taken from the shore or boat by bottom fishing or trolling with bright, flashy lures.

Fees: (Please note: Recreation fees can only be paid using credit card or debit card.)

  • Day Use - $10
  • Boat-in Camping - $20
  • Group Picnic Area - $50-$75 per day (reservation required)

The Corps of Engineers participates in the America the Beautiful-Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series. The series includes the; Annual Pass, Every Kid Outdoors Pass available to 4th and 5th graders, 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 projects as the money is directly invested back into the facilities to improve your recreational experience. Get more details about the pass series here.

The Annual Pass is $80, and you will have access to all of your favorite Corps recreation areas 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 project and is good for one year from the date of purchase.

  Camping Reservations 

Boat-in camping reservations can be made at http://www.recreation.gov/

  Fun & Games for Kids
  Additional Information

Please help us make everyone's visit enjoyable by:

  • Watching children closely when around water.
  • Keeping your pets on a leash at all times.
  • Keeping fires confined to grills and pits and using only dead and down wood.
  • Maintaining quiet hours 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 keeping a neat campsite.
  • Reporting safety hazards to project staff.
  • Reading the project rules, copies of which are posted throughout the facility.

All areas are patrolled by Corps of Engineers park rangers and deputies of the Yuba and Nevada County Sheriff's Departments. If you need help, contact a park ranger or deputy sheriff, or dial 9-1-1.

Corps Recreation Across our Nation

Volunteer at a Corps Recreation Area

State Hunting & Fishing Regulations

Recreation on Federal Lands

Project Documents:

Special Use Permit: If you are interested in requesting permission to host a special activity, event, or reserve a facility you must complete a Special Use Permit request. Please submit at least 3 weeks before your planned event. Once competed send to the Project Office at englebright-info@usace.army.mil. Your request will be reviewed and the Project will contact you shortly. 

Rules and Regulations: Title 36 - Parks, Forests, and Public Property Chapter III - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Part 327 - Rules and regulations governing public use of Water Resources Development Projects administered by the Chief of Engineers.

Yuba River Reconnaissance Study:
In March 2014, Congress approved $150,000 for a Corps reconnaissance study to determine what more can be done regarding ecosystem restoration in the Yuba.

Now underway, this study is a necessary first step to identify the scope of the issue, begin to develop possible solutions, and to identify potential cost-share partners who could participate in the more detailed feasibility study and ultimately assist in implementing the solution.

 Englebright and Daguerre Point dams fish habitat