Canoe or Kayak Paddles in the Mother Lode

By Friends & Neighbors August 30, 2015 14:28

Enjoying a scenic paddle at Utica Reservoir   Photo courtesy of Jerry Snyder 

This is just a sampling of some of the great places to canoe and kayak in the Mother Lode.

Lakes & Reservoirs

The lakes listed are flat-water, out-and-back paddles

Cherry Lake Put in at boat launch just before Cherry Dam (take Cottonwood Road from Tuolumne).

Don Pedro Reservoir Put in at Moccasin Point off Jacksonville Road or Fleming Meadows off Bonds Flat Road.

New Melones Reservoir Put in at Tuttletown or Glory Hole.

Pinecrest Lake About 30 miles east of Sonora.

Silver and Caples Lakes 50-plus miles east of Jackson off Highway 88 and less than 10 miles apart on the highway.

Tulloch Reservoir Put in just east of Poker Flat Resort & Marina (off O’Byrnes Ferry Road), 10-mile round trip to New Melones Dam.

Utica, Union and Spicer Meadow reservoirs About 50 miles east of Angels Camp off Highway 4, turn right onto Spicer Meadow Road for access to the lakes, all within close proximity.


These include occasional rapids but are generally easy trips. Canoe, kayak or raft rentals are available at Knights Ferry, Yosemite, Pinecrest Lake and Silver Lake.

Merced River Put in at Hornitos Road bridge; Merced Falls to Snelling at J59, about 10 miles.

Stanislaus River Put in just above new Knights Ferry bridge on Sonora Road off Highway 108; Knights Ferry to Orange Blossom bridge, 8.5 miles, or to Riverbank.

Tuolumne River Put in at Old La Grange Road bridge; La Grange to Waterford, about 20 miles.

Yosemite Valley Merced River from bridge at Camp Curry to El Capitan Meadow, about 4.5 miles.

By Friends & Neighbors August 30, 2015 14:28
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