Mountain Meadows Reservoir

Mountain Meadows Reservoir Kayaking

Mountain Meadows Reservoir Kayak, Canoe, SUP & Kayak Fishing Information

Area Map #201 Miles of Shoreline: 24 Reservoir Surface Acres: 7064 Elevation: 5041’ Address: Indian Ole Road Westwood, CA 96137    Ph: 916 386-5164      

Paddle Notes: Mountain Meadows Reservoir is like being on a treasure hunt. If you can find the reservoir, you have found the treasure. You notice that I said "if". Finding this reservoir in a maze of dirt roads through a towering conifer forest will almost guarantee you will become lost either on the way to the reservoir or on the way back out. If I didn’t know for certain there was a reservoir of a relatively large size, on my first visit, I would have sworn Mountain Meadows Reservoir didn’t exist.

It took me more than two hours zigzagging back and forth on dirt roads through the dense forest to find the reservoir. It may also be a problem for you to find this mysterious retreat because trees were being cleared to lay new roads when I was here. Unfortunately, none of the dirt roads were marked and it is extremely easy to lose your bearings, but once you find this pretty reservoir, you’ll be glad you did.

The beautiful natural setting of Mountain Meadows Reservoir, with very  few facilities provides a peaceful paddling experience. You are liable to be the only one there. Recreation use at Mountain Meadows Reservoir is primarily  angling, canoeing, kayaking, and hunting.

 The only public access point is a small boat ramp at the Indian Ole Dam, accessible via a County-maintained gravel road that crosses private property (located within the Dyer Mountain Resort Project area).  The boat ramp was in poor condition when I was last here. (See top photo.)

Kayak Fishing: Unlike Lake Almanor, Kayak Fishing Mountain Meadows Reservoirwhich is known as the fishing capital of Northern California, and is planted yearly with over 200,000 fish per year, Mountain Meadows Reservoir is unheard of, except by the local anglers. The reservoir supports primarily warm water fish species, including largemouth bass, pan fish, and suckers.Mountain Meadows Reservoir has a decent amount of eagle lake, brook, and brown trout most likely because its so hard to find and it is rarely fished.

Wind & Weather Conditions: The reservoir’s low water levels begin by late June, causing the number of miles of shoreline to diminish considerably. The reservoir is very shallow, so watch out for submerged water hazards protruding from the water’s surface.

Summer daytime high air temperatures range from about 70 degrees during the day to the low 40s at night. In the months of July and August, increasing storm activity occurs with typical thunderstorms in the afternoon. Sudden downpours are common at this high-elevation reservoir and strong winds prevail year-long. The reservoir’s water is almost always choppy by midday. NOTE: Always carry your rain gear and check the weather report prior to paddling at this destination.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 42 46 51 59 68 76 84 84 77 66 50 42
Low 20 23 26 29 35 42 46 44 39 32 26 21

Terrain: Numerous hiking, bicycling and horseback riding trails traverse the forest and wind around the reservoir. Mountain Meadows Reservoir is man-made. It is about six miles long and a-mile-and-a-half at its widest point. The reservoir rests at 5041’ feet elevation, in a flat isolated valley, ringed by a dense forest.

While paddling, keep your eyes out for the abundance of wildlife in the area  including breeding and migrating waterfowl.  The breathtaking scenery surrounding the reservoir are apt to make your visit here enjoyable. It s advisable to paddle this destination with a companion.

Mountain Meadows Reservoir is 7,064 acres and is located in the Lassen and Plumas Counties.  Conifer forest grows close to the shoreline along parts of the north and west shore where there is higher ground. In the area where the braided channels of Goodrich Creek enter the reservoir and in the area south of Westwood, more extensive areas of wet montane meadow and emergent marsh are present.

Open: Mountain Meadow Reservoir is open daily for boating from about mid-May to mid-October, weather permitting. NOTE: A private developer is in the process of planning the 7,000-acre Dyer Mountain Resort Project on former timber company land adjacent to Mountain Meadows. The development area would abut the southwest and west side of Mountain Meadows Reservoir and would surround the upper portion of Hamilton Branch.
These developments would have a visible impact on the current predominantly natural landscape and possibly public access to the lake.

Fees: There are no fees for day use or to launch but this my change.

Reservoir Facilities: There are hiking and horseback riding trails, fishing, and a small dirt hand boat launch by the dam. There aren’t any restroom facilities or water: Pacific Gas and Electric Ph: 916 386-5164

Directions: From the town of Susanville, take Highway 36 west twenty-two miles to the town of Westwood. In Westwood, turn left on Mooney Road (A-21). Drive slowly two-and-a-half miles, while looking for an unmarked dirt (Indian Ole Road) on the left. Turn left on the dirt road. At the first forks stay to the right. Veer left at the second fork. You should run into Mountain Meadows Reservoir within one-point-two miles. Map

Mountain Meadows Reservoir Kayaking


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