Heenan Lake Wildlife Area


Heenan Lake Wildlife Area consists of approximately 1,700 acres at an elevation of 7,000 - 8,000 feet. Heenan Lake is located on the west central portion of the area and covers 130 acres. Vegetation consists of Jeffrey pine forest adjacent to sagebrush ridges, and meadows adjacent to stream courses. Wildlife species that occur in the meadows and adjacent ridges include belding ground squirrels, Clark's nutcrackers, black bear, coyotes, white-headed woodpeckers, golden eagles, and bald eagles.

For more information, call the North Central Region Rancho Cordova office at (916) 358-2900.

Recreational Opportunities

hiking wildlife viewing fishing deer hunting bear hunting quail hunting restrooms

Activities: hiking, wildlife viewing, bird watching, photography, hunting, and seasonal fishing

Hunting: Game species include mule deer, black bear, rabbit, tree squirrel, mountain quail, and blue grouse.

Type C: Heenan Lake Wildlife Area does not require the purchase of a hunting pass for entry. Entry permits and/or passes or special drawing may be required for hunting on some Type C wildlife areas.

Fishing: The fishery at present is restricted to catch and release, with artificial lures only, during September and October.

Facilities: A parking lot, portable toilets and check-in area are available only during the special fishing season.

NOTE: Visitors are responsible for knowing and complying with all regulations pertaining to the use of Department lands.

Refer to the Public Uses on State and Federal Lands section of the Waterfowl, Upland Game, and Public Use Regulations (PDF) booklet for both statewide and property-specific regulations.

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You may not operate a drone on CDFW Lands without a Special Use Permit.

Area History

Under private ownership, the area was primarily grazed for livestock. The water in Heenan Lake has been used to irrigate downstream lands in Nevada. An old siphon system allowed for irrigation of pasture and meadows on private lands to the south. The system is not currently operational. Public access was limited but some recreation use was allowed, with landowner permission for activities such as hunting, camping, and access to fishing areas in Bagley Valley to the south.

The property was designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission in 1983. When the property was purchased by the Department, the previous owners retained several provisions in the deed that applied to livestock management, use of water and timber rights. Since that time, the Department has purchased timber harvest rights and acquired more water rights to assure wintertime survival of the Lahontan cutthroat trout.

Related Documents

Management Plan

Outdoor California Articles

Map of Heenan Lake WA - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


North Central Region (Region 2)

Alpine County

approximately seven miles southeast of Markleeville

Access: From Markleeville drive southeast on State Highway 89. The Wildlife Area entrance is off the south side of Highway 89 approximately two miles past the junction with State Highway 4.

Topographic Map (PDF)

CDFW Lands Viewer