Spicer's Meadow Campground and Reservoir

The campground is set in a forest of Incense Cedars, Jeffrey Pines, and Ponderosa Pines adjacent to Spicer's Meadow Reservoir. The reservoir is part of the Stanislaus River Watershed downhill from Lake Alpine and is on Stanislaus Forest Service land.

Gigantic gray granite boulders and mountains surround the area. Motor-driven boats are allowed on Spicer's Meadow Reservoir while canoes and kayaks are more appropriate for nearby Utica and Union Reservoirs. The latter two reservoirs are much smaller, but even more picturesque. Campground sites are spacious and level in both the individual campground and adjacent group campground.

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Latitude: 38.3970068 Longitude: -119.9942867 Elevation: 6552 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Henriette Frisbie

Number of Camp Sites

Approx. 50 to 75

Campground Style


Maximum Campsite Spur Length

30-35 feet

Nightly Fee


Maximum Length of Stay Allowed

14 days

Driving Directions

Spicer's Meadow is reached by Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway or Hwy 4, which is usually closed in the winter during big snow years.

From the West, Hwy 4 passes through historic mining towns of Copperopolis, Angels Camp and Murphys. These towns are also geologically interesting and the sites of gold mining during the California Gold Rush. Interesting museums are available in Angels Camp, Murphys, and White Pines (Arnold). More than 30 wineries, such as Chatom, Ironstone, Stevenot, Brice Station and Milliare may be visited along Hwy 4 from Angels Camp east past Murphys. Hwy 4 also passes Moaning Caves, Mercer Caverns and Calaveras Big Trees State Park. The Spicer's Meadow Reservoir Rd is about 35 to 40 miles east of Angels Camp and a well marked right turn off of Hwy 4. The road in to the reservoir is about 12 miles, mostly paved, but the last couple miles are gravel. If approaching from the East you drive east from Hwy 395 over several high passes, including Pacific Grade and Meadows and Ebbetts Pass, (a side road to the left will take you on to Highland lakes, meadows an peaks.) The entire area is used in summer for cattle ranching. You would continue west past Mosquito Lakes, Lake Alpine and Bear Valley. In the winter Lake Alpine is terrific for snowmobiling, ice fishing, ice skating. There are numerous snow related activities available at Bear Valley including cross country skiing, and snowmobiling. Downhill skiing is available at the Bear Valley Ski Area, a few short miles north-east of the Lodge. The scenery is unbelievably gorgeous and breathtaking; however, the road is winding and narrow but inaccessible during the snowy season.It is however and open and well worth the drive.during the warmer months of the hear.

Eco-Friendly Notes

The entire area is protected by National Forest Service and as always, recycling and respect for our natural areas is required and expected


My family has grown up camping in AZ, CA, CO, and NV. This is by far the most incredible lake we've encountered. The deep blue waters, unusual granite rock formations, and enchanting variety of plants and trees makes this area our favorite.

LinLo, 8/12/2012

While the reservoir and the surrounding environment was gorgeous, full of rock formations and forest, the so-called "primitive" trails were not trails. Blazes, or markers, along the south end of the reservoir lead me through spiky brush and over dozens of logs--there was literally no trail. Hiking through the brush was insufferable. Once I finally found the legitimate hiking and horse trail, I often found that the trails disappeared into river beds and were poorly maintained. Overall, I would not backpack around the Spicer Reservoir again because of the poorly maintained trails (or complete lack thereof). However, camping or a day trip could be fun.

Coop, 5/24/2016

Are camp fire allowed with permit, in campgrounds.

Shannon, 6/26/2016

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