National Forest Service info on Utica/Union Resevior

1) About a 3.5 - 4hr drive up highway 4, just shy of Bear Valley

2) No camping reservations are required (though you need a fire permit, free at the Arnold Ranger Station, call ahead if you're arriving after 5p).

3) To get where we're going, you need a canoe, rentable from California Canoe and Kayak in Jack London Sq in Oakland or the Sierra Nevada Adventure Company in Arnold (:45 from the resevoir and therefore the likely preferable option). Would highly recommend reserving one immediately, (and the latter place, perhaps the former as well, includes free foam roof racks).

4) Since we're going by canoe, we get to bring serious luxuries (eg, cooler o' ice and beer, wine - easy Al!)

5) If enough of us come we'll bring the sailboat.

6) You really should plan on staying Fri and Sat pm, given the logistics/effort it really is great to have sat to lounge about.

7) We have to bring everything with us, though you definitely want to try and pack light. It can get cold there (has been know to snow at all times of the year), but is usually 70s-80s during the day and 40s-50s at night. You'll need a tent and sleeping bags (which you can rent from REI) and cheap target folding chairs are really nice. Rick and I have a camp stove, lantern, stuff to hang the food at night with... Emily bought a huge target tent and queen size air mattress for cheap that we were all envious of...

8) If you really can't handle doing your business in the woods, there is a nice outhouse a mere :20 (each way) canoe paddle!


We really should leave relatively early on Fri (ideally before noon), esp if you have to pick up a canoe in Arnold. We'll sort out the food as the time draws near and we figure out who wants to come.

Driving Directions:

From I-80 & I-580 Intersection

    leg total
1. East on I-580 46.3 mi 46.3 mi
2. Take I-205 East towards Stockton / Tracy 14.4 mi 57.7 mi
3. Take I-5 North 12.3 mi 70.0 mi
4. Take the Downtown Stockton / Fresno Ave exit to CA-4 East 0.2 mi 70.2 mi
5. Merge on CA-4 East towards Downtown Stockton 4.6 mi 74.8 mi
6. Take the Farmington Rd / CA-4 exit 0.1 mi 74.9 mi
7. Bear right on Farmington Rd., stay on CA-4 to Dorrington General Store (last ice stop) 73 mi 147.9 mi
8. Dorrington General Store 12.4 mi 160.3 mi
8. Vista point 0.3 mi 160.6 mi
9. Cabbage Patch Beacon Station 1.5 mi 162.1 mi
10. Big Meadow Campground 0.4 mi 162.5 mi
11. Skyline Drive 1.2 mi 163.7 mi
12. Right turn at Spicer Resevior Road 3.0 mi 166.7 mi
13. Continue straight over bridge (N. Fork of Stanislaus) 4.8 mi 171.5 mi
14. Left turn on dirt road to Utica / Union Resevior 0.7 mi 172.2 mi
15. Left turn to Utica Resevior < .5 mi 172.7 mi
16. Right turn at chemical toilet to resevior