Utica Reservoir

Ebbetts Pass Recreational Hotspot for Kayaks and Paddle Boarders

Utica is a great little lake with multiple islands and granite shoreline features that paddleboarders and kayakers love to visit for a quiet smooth water afternoon in the Sierra near Bear Valley.

Located 8 miles off hwy 4 just West of Bear valley. (7 miles paved and approx 1-2 miles well groomed dirt rd) .Although Utica Reservoir has no officially designated ramp, car-top boats can be launched there. Kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards are the most popular crafts.

Kayaks, canoes and paddleboards can be rented from companies such as Sierra Nevada Adventure Company in Arnold and Bear Valley Adventure Company in Bear Valley.


At one time they were areas for dispersed camping, but recently developed campgrounds have been established around the lakes. The setting is more rustic than either Spicer Reservoir or Lake Alpine. Developed recreation facilities: Utica – Sandy Flat, 11 sites and Rocky Point, 12 sites; The area is popular for day use, as well as paddle sports such as canoeing and kayaking. Utica Reservoir is managed for non-motorized boating; it has two dirt ramps designed for hand-launching of non-motorized boats.

$16.00 per night for camping; no fee for day use.


Around Utica Reservoir

Distance: 6 miles one way, cross-country
Elevation Changes: 100 feet up and down
There is no established trail around Utica Reservoir, but a fairly obvious use trail circles the lake. Climbing up, over and around various granite outcroppings, mixed with shrubs and trees along the shore line. Map is helpful as the shoes line with dart in and out of various nook in the lake making hike longer if you travel complete shoreline.

Hike to Union reservoir

Once again no use trail but lakes are separated by less than a mile at the closest point. Hike from sandy Flat campground along the shores of Utica until you reach an outlet on far east side of lake and follow outlet to Union reservoir


Utica is home to native trout which are a little hard to catch. lake also has brown bullhead catfish which can be caught easily from the banks. 

Additional Recreational areas

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