Lost Creek Reservoir in California

by  guest-paddler

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

Beginning about noon on Wednesday, we worked our way off the main road behind the Sopher-Wheeler logging company property onto Lost Creek Dam road and followed the gravel/dirt road to the bottom of the canyon, about a 3-4 mi trip from the asphalt.

At the dam you can go across and park on the North side or follow the road around for a few hundred yards more to the right and park near the water when unloading your kayak-canoe is easy. Park where you can, nobody cares really, just don't hog the path to the water so others can unload and get afloat.

There's a single, very nice, lake-side camping spot about .4 mi straight up the arm that is fed from the Sly Creek Reservoir. It's a nice spot but primitive and there's no developed facilities, so whatever you had at home, you don't have it here unless you bring it in! Don't forget the TP. lol

There's nice trout and German Browns in the lake and they feed off worms and crickets, and if you fly fish, it's a dream come true from your boat. Lots of snags in the lake so be careful trying to troll deep or you'll lose your rigs. The water is really cold since it's fed from Sly Creek Reservoir and that lake is fed from snow run off...so you get the coldest water there is. Probably in the 55-60 degree F range at this time of year, slightly warmer in mid to late summer.

It rained on us Thursday morning which we were awaken from a great sleep under the stars by tat, tat, tat of rain drops before daybreak. Hurrying to throw a tarp over the summer tent and move our 'kitchen' stuff under, we started a fresh pot of coffee and sat there in the tent opening as daylight was breaking over the water. It was serene and simply mind relaxing as we had a cup of hot coffee and watched the fish jump as the rain drops fell gently on the water. About 10 am it let up and we hit the water to fish some more and nailed a few.

All in all, it was a delightful getaway from the crowds and we were only a few miles from civilization proper. We never saw another soul the whole 2 days we were on the lake and it was a fantastic experience. There's really no way to get a trailer boat on the water so chances of meeting up with a gas engine boat are slim and none.

Lots of wildlife frequent the area and chances are good you'll see osprey, an eagle, or perhaps a few other hunting birds of prey flying and diving for a meal. Deer are common in the area and the next morning we had tracks in our own down by the water only 20 feet from our tent though we never heard them while we were sleeping.

It's a perfect spot if you don't have a lot of time to get away on a long trip and going in the middle of the week like we did insures a better chance of solitude.


Dirt/gravel road; limited parking area available.

Nothing developed like potties or drinking water fountains. This must keep the city folk out more or less. Pretty basic area.


Old Town, Nantucket and Dirgi




Take hwy 20 towards La Porte from Marysville and go thru Challenge, to the Sopher-Wheeler logging yard and look on the left for the Lost Creek Dam Reservoir sign. Take that road and follow it down into the canyon.

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: 2-3 Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location