These Little-Known Lakes Are Perfect For Easy Kayaking, Canoeing, And Bird Watching In Northern California
Located in the rustic and breathtaking mountains of
Stanislaus County, Union and Utica Reservoirs are pristine bodies of water you must put on your bucket list. This is an ideal place for easy kayaking as well as bird watching. Take a trip to these little known lakes and have an adventure!
Union and Utica Reservoirs beckon nature enthusiasts with their crystal-clear waters and serene surroundings.
Whether you're an avid kayaker, camper, or simply seeking a quiet escape, Union and Utica Reservoirs offer an idyllic retreat.
This beautiful area is located in Stanislaus National Forest. Accessing Union and Utica Reservoirs involves a 20 to 30-minute drive on a winding road.
This beautiful area is located off of
Ebbett's Pass National Scenic Byway
(California State Route 4). Keep an eye on road closures, and check traffic and weather conditions for a smooth journey.
Gas engines are not allowed on the reservoirs, making this a wake-free place for beginner kayakers and canoers.
Enjoy a noise-pollution-free spot, where you can birdwatch from a kayak and not have to worry about large waves.
Dotting the reservoirs are tiny islands, especially prominent in Utica, creating picturesque spots accessible by kayak.
Pack a picnic and paddle to these rocky islands for a magical mountain experience. Dividing the reservoirs is a dam, creating cascading waters and a picturesque scene.
If you don’t own a kayak, you can rent one at
Sierra Nevada Adventure Co. in the nearby town of Arnold. They offer all sorts of rentals, as well as outdoor apparel.
Beyond great kayaking, Union and Utica Reservoirs are a haven for fishing enthusiasts. Anglers can cast their lines into the lakes teeming with trout, kokanee, and catfish. Make sure you have a current fishing license!
Surrounding the reservoirs are rustic campgrounds, offering a no-frills camping experience.
With vault toilets, fire pits, and no potable water, visitors can truly disconnect while surrounded by the calming sounds of nature.
Nature enthusiasts have plenty of nearby trails to explore, most of them offering incredible vistas! From the Union Reservoir Winter Route to the Utica Reservoir Campground to Stanislaus River Loop Trail, this area has a range of trails catering to various skill levels.
This is a popular area in the summer months. If you’re craving a more private escape into the mountains, visit during the off-season or on a weekday. We recommend visiting in early fall for mild weather and few crowds.
Union and Utica Reservoirs offer a vibrant place to kayak, canoe, and bird watch. These tranquil bodies of water and the vibrant landscapes provide a quiet place to get away from it all and enjoy nature. So plan a visit to these out-of-the-way mountain lakes in Stanislaus County!
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Explore Northern California
Union Reservoir, California 95223, USA