Waddle Ranch Preserve

Located in the heart of Martis Valley near Truckee, Waddle Ranch Preserve was home to indigenous people. Artifacts left by the Martis people are estimated to be two to three thousand years old. More recently, the Washoe Indian Tribe used the valley as a summer encampment until the 1910s.

In partnership with The Trust for Public Land, the Truckee Donner Land Trust completed the acquisition of 1,462-acres. The Land Trust has expanded the trail head at the main access point, building a new 3 mile loop, and nearly $2 million is being spent on restoration and forestry management. Stewardship of Waddle Ranch Preserve trails is conducted by an army of volunteers every summer and fall, ensuring trail maintenance and proper signage.

Waddle Ranch is accessed in Martis Valley via the US Army Corps of Engineers, Martis Lake Recreation Area. From State Route 267 turn north onto Martis Dam Road. Proceed to the trail head located at the junction of Glider Port Road and Martis Dam. From here walk or hike across the dam and follow the signs to Waddle Ranch Preserve.

NOTE: This trail head can only be reached in an automobile between May and the first fall snowfall. A gate at the beginning of Martis Dam Road restricts vehicle access in the winter.

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Latitude: 39.320463 Longitude: -120.123246 Elevation: 5849 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
KV Van Lom


Recreational Opportunities

Waddle Ranch Preserve is an excellent wildlife viewing area. Visitors have seen coyote, mule deer, mountain lion, and many other forest mammals. Lake Ella is a superb spot to go birding.

Seasons Accessible

Spring through fall.



Pet Friendly Notes

Dogs on leash only. Pack out waste.


What a great hike from Martis Lake up to Ella Lake. We were blessed to see a Williamson Sapsucker...our first, as well as many other birds. There were only a few other people on the trail. We really enjoyed it!

Jan, 7/1/2012

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