Red Lake Wildlife Area


DO NOT: touch scum in water or on shore; let pets or other animals drink or go into the water or near the scum; eat fish or shellfish from water; use this water for drinking or cooking. Boiling or filtering will not make the water safe. For more information click the Toxic Algae Media Release (PDF).


Red Lake Wildlife Area is a total of 860 acres. The vegetation surrounding Red Lake is characteristic of red-fir and lodgepole-fir forest. Open slopes are dominated by sagebrush with bitterbrush and serviceberry. Forestdale Creek and the other drainages around Red Lake are lined with willows and aspen groves. Common wildlife species include deer, coyote, jackrabbit, quail, flicker, warblers, red-tailed hawk, golden eagle, golden-mantled ground squirrel, marmot, and beaver. Fish species in Red Lake consist of brook trout and suckers; Forestdale Creek contains rainbow and brook trout.

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

Recreational Opportunities

Fishing boat Ramp Hiking Trails Wildlife Viewing Deer Hunting Black Bear Hunting Quail Hunting Bow Hunting

Activities: fishing, boating, hiking, wildlife viewing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and hunting

Hunting: Game species include Rocky Mountain mule deer, black bear, black-tailed jackrabbit, tree squirrel, mountain quail and blue grouse.

Type C: Red 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.

Facilities: None

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

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

Area History

The property was designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission in 1988. Red Lake has been used as a water storage reservoir for downstream irrigation of meadow lands used to support cattle grazing. In low rainfall years the lake has sometimes been drained dry. Grazing did not occur on the lands adjacent to Red Lake. The parcels especially around Red Lake have been used for public recreation in conjunction with the adjacent National Forest lands, including hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and cross-country skiing.

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


North Central Region (Region 2)

Alpine County

one mile east of Carson Pass

Access: The Wildlife Area can be accessed on both the north and east sides of Red Lake. The north entrance is located on State Highway 88, one mile east of Carson Pass. To enter on the east side, take Blue Lakes Road from Highway 88 to Red Vista Road. Parking is available at both locations.

Topographic Map (PDF)

CDFW Lands Viewer