Utica Reservoir Kayak, Canoe, SUP & Kayak Fishing Information
Area Map # 121 Miles of Shoreline: N/A Lake Surface Acres: 241 Elevation: 6850’ Address: Forest Service Road 7N17 Bear Valley, CA 95223 Ph:209 795-1381
Paddle Notes: Utica Reservoir is located near Bear Valley. One thing Utica Reservoir has is an abundance of outstanding scenery – and people. It’s surprisingly when you drive for miles out in the middle of nowhere, only to find tons of people, cars, boats and trailers. Utica Reservoir has a rocky wooded shoreline and several islands. Being forest service land, camping is allowed most any place that is not marked as no camping. Boat-in camping is permitted at several of the islands.
The reservoir is beautiful and secluded, perfect for boat-in camping. Hiking is also a popular way to end your day with a hike through the area’s diverse wilderness. Union and Spicer Meadows Reservoirs are nearby that are worth the while to explore. Whether you’re paddling, hiking or fishing, take your camera along and keep your eyes open for abundance of wildlife
On warm summer days, you’ll find Utica Reservoir dotted with outdoor enthusiasts indulging in some of their favorite activities: picnicking beside rippling water, horseback hiking along groomed trails, taking an invigorating splash-filled dip in the refreshing water, or pitching a tent for a night’s rest under the stars. If you’re looking for peace and relaxation, Utica Reservoir delivers on the weekdays. End your day with a hike through the area’s diverse wilderness
Kayak Fishing: If kayak fishing is your game, the reservoir offers only ok fishing opportunities. Do not expect good fishing at Utica Reservoir, because the Department of Fish and Game has not stocked the reservoir as of 2009. The reservoir feeds to Union Reservoir located just south of Utica Reservoir.
Wind & Weather Conditions: The reservoir’s cold water is a little too brisk for swimming. The area receives an abundance of snow in the wintertime. Sudden afternoon summer thunderstorms occur in July and August.
Terrain: There are a few islands that allow boat-in camping, though the reservoir is not that large, it can be paddled easily in a day by a strong paddler. There’s plenty of picturesque coves to check out. It’s surprisingly when you drive for miles out in the middle of nowhere, only to find tons of people, cars, boats and trailers - everywhere. I recommend planning an outing here on a non-holiday weekend. One thing Utica Reservoir has is an abundance of outstanding scenery!
Open: The reservoir access road is usually open June through October. Winter camping is allowed anywhere within the Calaveras Ranger District.
Fees: There is no day use or launch fee, but there is a fee to camp.
Lake Facilities: The road is car accessible but rough in spots. No powerboats are allowed. Boat-in camping is permitted at several of the islands. The reservoir is beautiful and secluded, perfect for kayak camping. Hiking is also a popular thing to do. Union and Spicer Meadows Reservoirs are nearby that are worth the while to explore. Whether you’re paddling, hiking or fishing, take your camera along and keep your eyes open for wildlife.
Directions: Take the Spicer Road exit off highway 4. You will turn left after about eight miles. The road is dirt and rough but is in good shape. When you come to a fork in the road take the left road. If you go straight you will go to Union Lake. The boat lunch for Utica is a right turn when you see the sign and pit toilet. Power boats are not allowed on Utica. Use caution if it has recently rained so you don’t get stuck in the mud on the reservoir lake access road. Map
Utica Reservoir Camping Information
Campground: Utica Reservoir allows dispersed lakeside camping as long as you follow the rules posted on the bulletin boards. There are pit toilets at some campsites, but mostly this is primitive camping with little more than a fire ring built by a prior camper. None of the campsites are designated campsites. Camping is on a first-come, first-served basis and do not require permits.
Check-in Time: When available.
Check-out Time: 12:00 noon
Minimum Stay: 0
Maximum Stay: 14 days
All of the beautiful photos above were taken by Jim Snyder,
Jim first began kayaking with his sister in 2005. A year later, he purchased a sit-in style model, from a friend who opened a local kayak retail store. Over the past eight years, Jim has paddled in Hawaii, Florida, and the Caribbean, but he kayaks mostly on inland waters in Northern California. Now and then he will travel to the California coast to paddle.
Jim belongs to two kayak clubs, The Lodi Paddle Club and the SacYakkers kayak group. Jim shares, “What I absolutely love about kayaking is the sights of the wildlife, the friendly group of people I paddle with, and all that comes with the adventure of kayaking. I also enjoy taking pictures on my paddling outings and do so most of the time.” Jim owns three kayaks, a Wilderness Tsunami, a Jackson Journey kayak and his pride and joy is a Sterling Grand Illusion.