Fantastic wilderness: Stampede Reservoir presents an escape from each crowds and the summer time warmth

We’re in the midst of one other record-breaking summer time in Northern Nevada. What higher option to beat the warmth of triple-digit days than to flee to a cool mountain lake? Whereas the crowds head as much as Tahoe, discover some enjoyable, shade and solitude on the wild-feeling Stampede Reservoir, simply outdoors of Truckee.

Following the indicators towards Boca Reservoir, you’ll take Exit 194 off Interstate 80 at Hirschdale Street, and switch northward. To succeed in Stampede Reservoir, head north alongside the jap shore of Boca, which is far smaller and infrequently a lot busier than Stampede. A slender paved street stretches about eight miles between the 2 reservoirs, following the Little Truckee River, which winds northward by way of coniferous forests.

As you get near Stampede Reservoir, you’ll see indicators for the ability plant and dam. The street presents choices round this level: Proceed straight northward to entry the jap portion and northeastern “fingers” of the lake; or flip left, and head west alongside the dam for some south-shore entry factors and extra facilities.

Alternatively, you possibly can attain the western aspect of Stampede by following Freeway 89 north out of Truckee and turning eastward at Sagehen Summit. Not all roads are paved, nevertheless, and many of the dust roads are usually not maintained, so that you’ll must take a car with larger clearance if you happen to go this fashion. Nevertheless you get to Stampede, lots of the lake entry factors are through dust tracks. You’ll be able to all the time park at a pull-out and stroll all the way down to the seaside in case your car has low clearance—or if the tracks are damp after a rain storm.

After the massive winter we had, Stampede Reservoir is kind of full. This limits the quantity of seaside house out there across the lake, but additionally gives tens of millions of gallons of extra water for recreation. Situated at roughly 6,000 toes in elevation, this alpine physique of water is far hotter than Tahoe, making it a nice swimming spot. Nevertheless, the lake has no lifeguards or staffed security stations, so take acceptable security precautions.

The Captain Roberts Boat Ramp gives entry for clear motorized watercraft to enter the reservoir. Different dirt-road entry factors permit loads of alternatives for human-powered craft to get out on the water as properly. Mornings and evenings are sometimes calm sufficient for kayaking, paddleboarding and canoeing. Afternoons may be windy, even on seemingly calm days, so test the climate earlier than heading up along with your boats.

There are restricted facilities round Stampede; don’t count on to have the ability to get gasoline or a snack. Campgrounds alongside the south shore are nice for a weekend getaway, with potable water and vault bogs to help campsites hidden among the many Jeffrey and ponderosa pines alongside the shore. You’ll want to make a reservation at earlier than heading out, although, as house is proscribed, and dispersed tenting within the space is strictly prohibited.


Climbing trails meander by way of the timber. Fishing in Stampede Reservoir is allowed year-round with a California fishing license. You could discover kokanee salmon in addition to brown, brook, rainbow and lake trout swimming within the waters. The close by Truckee River Wildlife Space additionally gives seasonal alternatives for searching, with the suitable permits.

With round 25 miles of shoreline, Stampede Reservoir has loads of house to discover and keep cool within the shade of the towering pines and mild waves of alpine waters. Although it’s just a bit greater than 30 miles from Reno, Stampede Reservoir seems like a special world—providing a slice of wilderness and a welcome respite from the warmth of the summer time.