Spicer Meadow Reservoir

A Favorite for Fisherman and Kayakers off Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway

A long time favorite for high Sierra fisherman and campers, Spicer reservoir is at 6400 ft and with 2000 surface acres of water could be considered a bit of a hidden gem in the Sierra. A long and narrow reservoir that features granite islands and the West Dardanelle and North Dardanelle Peaks in the scenic backdrop.

Spicer meadow Reservoir offers low-speed boating (boat launch available), and excellent fishing, hiking, and equestrian opportunities. The northern arm of the lake, adjacent to the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness, is managed for non-motorized recreation (canoe and kayak) opportunities.


There is a concrete launch ramp and parking area for trailers. Boats on Spicer are limited to 10 MPH. The lake has 22 miles of shoreline, several islands, and numerous inlets. The upper part of Spicer is limited to non-motorized boats.


Spicer Meadow Reservoir is stocked with Eagle Lake rainbows and Kamloop trout. Trollers at Spicer do well with needlefish, Sparklefish, or Goldeneyes, working the area from the ramp to the dam. Another good spot for boaters is along the rock walls. Float tubes have plenty of success too, staying close to shore to avoid the wind. From the shore, bait fishermen report pink PowerBait works well, along with nightcrawlers and salmon eggs. Spin casters favor Rapalas and Kastmasters. – reference ebbettsassadventures


60 RV and Tent Camping spots available. Boat ramp,Tent camping,Camping trailer,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking. $30 a night . America the Beautiful Senior and Access passes and Golden Age/Golden Access passes accepted, reduces camping fee to half-price per night.

Alternative Camping available at Stanislaus river Campsites located 4 miles before the lake.

Hiking / Equestrian

Wheats Meadow Trailhead (Spicer Dam side)– This trailhead provides access to Wheats Meadow, the western side of the Dardanelle Cones, the eastern side of Spicer Reservoir, and Sword Lake. The trail is a long one, most commonly used by backpackers and hunters.Calaveras Ranger District (HWY 4) Online wilderness permits are available. Obtain a free online wilderness permit.

The trail enters the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness in about 3 miles; a wilderness permit is required for overnight visits to the wilderness.

From the Calaveras Ranger District head east on Highway 4 for approximately 26 miles, turn right on Spicer Reservoir road, follow Spicer Road for 10 miles to the end of the road, below the dam. Park here, walk across the bridge over the creek, and turn right onto the trail.

Spicer Sand Flat Trailhead (at Spicer Reservoir) – Trailhead for the Spicer Sand Flat Trail (18E05); this trail runs from Spicer Reservoir to Sand Flat Campground.


9.3 miles southeast of Highway 4 on Spicer Reservoir Road (7N01). Trailhead is on the west side of the road, across from the group campground; parking is on the east side adjacent to the group campground. Trailhead is marked by a wooden post.

Other Notable Recreational Locations Near Spicer Meadow

  • Utica Reservoir
  • Union Reservoir
  • Summit Lake
  • Elephant Rock Lake
  • Lake Alpine
  • Bear Valley resort

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