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 currently 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.

2.3 miles southeast of Truckee, California, off State Route 267. View Map

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

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


Operating Hours:
The project 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 project 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. 

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.

  Current Status  

All day use facilities, the campground and project office are open to the public.

Camping reservations can be made now through

 Recreation Area Services Status

  Recreation Area Info & Fees  

Park 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. Please call the project office for information on upcoming programs.

Twenty-four campsites are available at the Alpine Meadow Campground. Campsites have a paved parking space, picnic table, fire ring, and a barbecue grill. Water faucets and vault restrooms with running water are also provided. No electricity is available. Reserve your Martis campsite at

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

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.

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


  • Camping May 15 - October 15 (weather permitting) - $20
  • Camping with the America The Beautiful - Senior or Access Pass - $10
  • Special Use - $100
  • Off-season - Closed

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 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 a onetime purchase of $80. 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 for one calendar year at the date of purchase.


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.

  Camping Reservations 

  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 County Sheriff's Department. 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:
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.