Lake Alpine Recreation Area

Area Status: Open
Lake Alpine on Highway 4 Lake Alpine Trail Lake Alpine Launching Ramp Lake Alpine Entrance Lake Alpine Boat Ramp Lake Alpine on Highway 4Lake Alpine


The Lake Alpine Recreation Area features a small, scenic reservoir within a granite basin surrounded by red fir and lodgepole pine forest; it is located just east of the community of Bear Valley on State Highway 4.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Calaveras Ranger District (HWY 4)
Reservations: All Lake Alpine Recreation Area campgrounds, including Silver Tip, West Shore, Pine Marten, Silver Valley and Backpackers campgrounds are reservation only. Make reservations through, 1-877-444-6777,  International, 518-885-3639, or via their website,
Area Amenities: Interpretive Site, Accessible, Boat ramp, Tent camping, Camping trailer, Fee charged for some activities, Picnic tables, Toilets, Drinking water, Parking
Fees: Fee for camping and use of recreation facilities. Campsites are $30 per night. Recreation facility use fee is $5 per group.
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Best Season: Summer, Fall
Busiest Season: Summer, especially holiday weekends.
Restrictions: Camping is permitted only in signed campgrounds.
Closest Towns: Bear Valley and Arnold to the west; Markleeville to the east.
Water: Potable water is available during the summer season.
Restroom: Flush and vault toilets.
Passes: America the Beautiful Senior and Access passes and Golden Age and Golden Access passes accepted, reduces camping fee to half-price per night.
Operated By: Lake Alpine Campgrounds Inc.

General Information


The Lake Alpine Recreation Area is located on Highway 4, fifty miles east of Angel's Camp and two miles east of the community of Bear Valley. From the Calaveras Ranger Station in Hathaway Pines, California travel 33 miles northeast on Highway 4.

General Notes:

Lake Alpine is the central attraction of the Calaveras Ranger District. It lies in a timbered setting at an elevation of 7,300 feet and covers 180 acres. Summer visitors enjoy swimming, boating, hiking, camping, fishing, picnicking, biking, and interpretive programs. In winter, the lake becomes part of the Lake Alpine SNO-PARK. Visitors can enjoy snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. See the Lake Alpine SNO-PARK page for more information.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Recreation areas with activity Campground Camping:

There are six developed campgrounds surrounding Lake Alpine. The overflow campground (Lodgepole) is located outside of the Lake Alpine basin and is only open when the basin is full. Campgrounds have no RV/trailer hook-ups or electric.

Fees: All sites are $30.00 per night. America the Beautiful Senior and Access passes and Golden Age and Golden Access passes accepted, reduces camping fee to half-price per night.

RV Camping

Recreation areas with activity RV Camping:

Campgrounds have no RV/trailer hook-ups or electric.

Group Camping

Recreation areas with activity Group Camping:

Lake and Pond Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Lake and Pond Fishing:

Fish your national forests. This site can be accessed by passenger car. Fish available include trout. Types of fishing available include: shore, motorized and non-motorized boat, float tube, fly, spin, and bait. ADA accessible fishing access with boat launch.

Visitor Programs

Recreation areas with activity Visitor Programs:

A variety of programs are offered in the summer for both children and adults. Most programs are held at the Marmot Day Use (Picnic) Area. Offerings include guided walks, campfire programs, live wildlife presentations, a fish-printing craft activity, and programs designed for children ages 4 to 12 including Junior Rangers, animal tracking, aquatic life exploration, forest exploration, and Native American crafts and games. Please visit the Outdoor Learning page for program guides and a calendar of events.


Recreation areas with activity Picnicking:

Picnic areas are for day use only; no fee is charged. There are three picnic areas: Lake Alpine Day Use Area located by the boat ramp, Chickaree Day Use Area located on the east shore of the lake, and Marmot Day Use Area located on the west shore of the lake.

No. of Sites 17
Fire Information Campfire permits are not required within developed day use sites; however, campfires are limited to the grills provided. Campfire permits are required if you plan to build a fire or use a stove outside a recreational vehicle away from a developed site. Permits are free and may be obtained at the Calaveras Ranger District.
Fees: none

Boating - Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Motorized:

Boat launch with parking for 60 cars and trailers. Speed limit on lake is 10 mph. No motorized boats on lake at night. Large boats not recommended.

Boating - Non-Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized:

Boat launch with parking for 60 cars and trailers. Kayaks and rowboats, both inflatables and hardshell, are suitable. Boat rentals are available through the Lake Alpine Lodge in the summer season.


Recreation areas with activity Swimming:


Interpretive Site: Visitor interpretive programs are offered in the summer. For details, please visit the Outdoor Learning page.
Camping trailer:
Picnic tables:
Tent camping:
Fee charged for some activities:
Boat ramp:
Drinking water:

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Featured Events


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