These scenic small, twin reservoirs are located off the Spicer Reservoir Road. The setting is more rustic than either Spicer Reservoir or Lake Alpine. Developed recreation facilities: Utica - Sandy Flat, 11 sites and Rocky Point, 12 sites; Union - Union West 18 sites and Union East 11 sites. The area is popular for day use, as well as paddle sports such as canoeing and kayaking. A primitive dirt boat launch is available at Union East Reservoir. Maximum boat speed is 5 mph. Utica Reservoir is managed for non-motorized boating; it has two dirt ramps designed for hand-launching of non-motorized boats.
We've been coming to Utica and Union for years. Weekdays are the best if you want to find an actual campsite and avoid most of the crowds. Saturday nights are terrible now as lately large groups overcrowd campsites and party into early Sunday morning. The lake and area is beautiful with excellent trails into the Carson/Iceberg Wilderness and great for water activities. There is a lot of trash and litter, so please bring an extra trash bag just to help clean-up after others. No potable water, and you need to pack your trash out to the containers a few miles away at the crossroads.
I really enjoy these two lakes. One of my "go to places" when I have several days to go camping. We recently drove up to see this years conditions and was met with a huge filthy hoard. There were 5+ tents in each camp site spilling into each others. As if that wasn't bad enough, there were literally hundreds of people camping all along the lakes. Tents on boulders 4x4 vehicles parked off road on boulders, there wasn't a square inch of space not filled with some type of tent, tarp, lean to, or other type of shelter. There were so many vehicles you could barely navigate the narrow road and in some places you couldn't. To say I was appalled in an understatement. Trash and filth everywhere. Latrines emptying into the creek. Perfect place and condition for covid to inhabit.
I won't be back this year, maybe not next because it will take that long for nature to clean up after these slobs.
If you do not know how to care for our precious wilderness places, or don't care to, STAY HOME!
So many things to say about this area - found my new spot!
It's about a 3 hour drive from my home in the Bay Area, the Utica/ Union Reservoirs are right off the 4 highway and Spicer Reservoir Rd (roughly 20 miles north of Arnold, CA). The reservoirs are roughly 10 miles off the 4 highway. There's plenty of signage to guide you to the right place.
If you want to get to Utica/Union Reservoirs, make sure you make a LEFT on the fork where the paved road intersects with the gravel road. There's a small sign at the fork (see attached picture).
The road to this campground offers a mixture of paved and gravel roads, which makes it perfectly accessible for all types of vehicles! I saw plenty of low Honda sedans to larger 20ft+ RVs.
All campsites are first come, first serve so make sure you get here early. An absolute MUST - bring your mosquito nets or repellents. Price is $16.00 per night so bring cash!
Most campsites are heavily shaded with beautiful trees and offer fire pit rings and bear-proof bins. There are two main sites, East and West. Both offer restrooms.
This area is perfect for kayaking, SUPs, boating, fishing, and even swimming. There is a decent boat ramp as well. Similarly, there are day-use areas where you can park for the day without a fee.
I was here early July 2020 and the weather was perfect during the day time (high 80s) and got pretty chilly at night (low 50s) so make sure you bring your firewood!
Camped at utica but went to both. The views here are awesome. Its a great spot for the family. Would definitely come back here.
Beautiful place, even better kayaking, fishing is alright not great. Campsites are very clean