Sierra County, Northern California

Stampede Reservoir

Stampede Reservoir

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Photo of Stampede Reservoir

Stampede Reservoir

Stampede Reservoir is a beautiful high Sierra lake, popular with anglers and water sports enthusiasts. The reservoir is situated at an elevation of nearly 6,000 feet, east of Donner Summit and 15 miles northeast of Truckee. Neighbored by Boca Reservoir, Prosser Creek Reservoir, and Donner Lake, Stampede Reservoir makes a great base camp for those who want to explore the lakes in the region.

Except for a couple of campgrounds, there is no development around the lake, giving it a secluded, wilderness setting. Draw-downs of water in the late summer and fall make boating more difficult.

Boating Stampede Reservoir

Stampede Reservoir is a wonderful place to pull up an RV towing a boat and spend a week. Anglers, water skiers, jet skiers or just those who like to paddle around in kayaks or canoes will find Stampede Reservoir an enjoyable destination. A 45 MPH speed limit keeps the speed demons away while still allowing water skiing and wake boarding. Steady afternoon winds make it a fine lake for sailing.


There are no marinas at Stampede Reservoir so bring plenty of fuel and other necessities with you. Several good boat ramps allow for easy access to the lake. In some places you can moor your boat along the shore close to your campsite.


Stampede Reservoir is one of the leading kokanee salmon fishing lakes in the West. Anglers will also find plenty of brown, mackinaw, and rainbow trout. Fly fishing is popular at the lake.


Stampede Reservoir has a family campground and a group campground on the south shore of the lake. Around on the east side is a small, less developed campground. Fortunately there are plenty of campgrounds nearby at good locations such as Boca Reservoir and Prosser Creek Reservoir.


There is no lodging at Stampede Reservoir . The nearest motels and resorts are in Truckee, about 15 miles via the roads. Most are tipped toward the expensive end of the range, but a little poking around can locate some reasonably priced places. Options include heading east to Boomtown, Nevada, or south to Lake Tahoe. Great deals can be found at Lake Tahoe during spring and fall.


Stampede Reservoir rests among forested mountains. Tall trees march out along several points, making picturesque views along the shores of the lake. Several deep inlets offer quiet water.

Nearby Communities

The town of Truckee has burgeoned over the past several decades. With Northstar and Squaw Valley Ski areas nearby, tourists have flocked to Truckee. The old town is charming. The town abounds with restaurants, shops, and a broad variety of businesses. To the east, Reno is about a 40 mile drive from Stampede Reservoir, while to the south 25 miles lies Lake Tahoe. Thirty miles to the west, the first real developed area is Soda Springs with a couple of stores and restaurants.


Stampede Reservoir Facts
Lake Size: 3,450 surface acres
Maximum Depth: 120 feet
Length: 6 miles
Shoreline: 25 miles
Dam Construction: 1970
Maximum Lake Elevation: 5,949 feet
Average High Air Temperatures
  spring: 65 º
  summer: 83 º
  fall: 70 º
  winter: 40 º
Summer Water Temperature: 75 º

Recreation around Stampede Reservoir

  • Hiking Trails:   Pick up the Commemorative Emigrant Trail at Captain Roberts Boat Ramp and follow the path 9 miles to the Donner Camp by Prosser Creek Reservoir. The trail crosses gentle terrain.
  • OHV:   Explore miles of roads and trails west of Prosser Creek Reservoir. Take Highway 89 3.6 miles north of Interstate 80 to the Prosser Hills OHV Parking Area. For pictures of the OHV routes in the area, visit Rider Planet USA
  • KidZone Museum:   A Children's Museum in Truckee designed for kids 6 and under. KidZone Museum
  • Historic Downtown Truckee:   Historic Downtown Truckee
  • Boomtown:   Casino and Hotel, next door to Cabela's Sporting Goods, on Interstate 80, just east of Verdi, Nevada. Boomtown


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