Martis Creek Trail

Tahoe National Forest, California

Elevation Gain76ft
Trailhead Elevation5,844ft
Elevation Min/Max5837/5875ft
Elevation Start/End5844/5844ft

Martis Creek Trail

Martis Creek Trail is a hiking trail in Placer County, California. It is within Tahoe National Forest. It is 0.8 miles long and begins at 5,844 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 76 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking.

Martis Creek Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"When most people think of outdoor recreation in and around Tahoe, they envision swooping carved turns down the runs of world-class ski resorts, peak-bagging alpine ascents, or hours of strenuous trekking. The Martis Creek area just southeast of Truckee is proof that Tahoe caters to all outdoor activity levels from the extreme to the extremely relaxed."

"Once past a rather mundane, mile-plus walk along a paved road to and then across Martis Dam, the route to the Waddle Ranch Preserve becomes a pleasant hike through serene forest to Ella Lake. The seasonal lake is a wildlife sanctuary for a host of birds and mammals, especially pleasant in early season when water is typically most abundant and wildflowers adorn the shore.

Originally slated for development, the nearly 1,500-acre tract was acquired through the efforts of the Truckee Donner Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land in 2007 for 23.5 million dollars. Nowadays, recreationists can enjoy the area via a fine network of trails."

"Wildlife abounds around Martis Creek, thriving in the biggest expanse of meadow and marshland in the Tahoe area. The birds dominate, chirping, flitting, and soaring over the landscape. Whether you love birds or not, an exploration of the enormous grassland is a heavenly hiking experience.

Willow-lined Martis Creek cuts a sinuous path through acres of wetland meadow southeast of Truckee, carving deep into the turf, its branches watering a springtime bloom of wildflowers and providing sustenance for a variety of creatures. The birds are most prominent, their songs loud enough to be heard over the hum of cars passing on the nearby highway. Songbirds flit from willow to rose to thatch of grass in flashes of brown, black, red, yellow, and sometimes vivid blue; watch for raptors stilling in the clear mountain air and swallows shooting in and out of the highway underpass. Fish, amphibians, and mammals large and small also call the Martis Creek Wildlife Area home."

"The Martis Valley holds the biggest expanse of meadow and marshland in the Tahoe area. Birds flourish on the landscape, chirping, flitting, and soaring over winding Martis Creek. Whether you like birds or not, this exploration of the enormous grassland is enlivening."

"In 1972 the Corps of Engineers dammed Martis Creek, creating Martis Creek Lake, a reservoir that at full capacity holds 20,400 acre-feet of water with a surface area of 770 acres. Across Highway 267 to the south, in the open plain of Martis Valley adjacent to the Northstar-at-Tahoe resort community, the Corps manages a wildlife area that has a fine network of trails suitable for hikers, joggers, dog walkers, and amateur biologists.

With so many connecting paths, trail users can easily customize their trips. The trip described below is a 4-mile loop around the fringe of the wildlife area. Wildlife sightings may include mule deer, coyote, golden-mantled ground squirrel, pocket mouse, chipmunk, and raccoon. Birds common to the area include red-tailed hawk, killdeer, mountain quail, and the Canada goose."

Martis Creek Trail Reviews

Do you know something we don't know? Help others by leaving a review.

Martis Creek Trail Photos

Trail Information

Tahoe National Forest
Nearby City
Tahoe National Forest
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at 530-587-8113, /Locations/SacramentoDistrictParks/MartisCreekLake.aspx; Truckee Donner Land Trust at 530-582-4711,
Local Contacts
TDLT Martis Valley Trails
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018