Black Rock Reservoir

Black Rock Reservoir, a road along an intimidating sheer cliff

Black Rock Reservoir is a small remote scenic lake at an elevation of 1.260m (4,133 ft) above the sea level, located on the outskirts of Kings Canyon National Park and on the edge of Sierra National Forest, in California, USA. 

The road to reach the lake is called Black Rock Road. It’s 11 miles long, paved and extremely narrow. From Fresno, go 47 miles east on CA 180, to Piedra Road, then 17 miles on Trimmer Springs Road to the split at the bridge that crosses the river to Balch Camp. Follow Black Rock Road through the PG&E facility and continue on to Black Rock Reservoir. It’s very risky to people afraid of heights. This road is a single narrow pathway and one that would require backing up if another vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction. There are no guard rails and is a long trip to the bottom. This is bear country and there are raccoon problems. Please store food properly and do not feed the animals. Bring mosquito repellant.

This road is usually open all year, but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. Sierra storms hit this 4000' elevation lake - mostly in winter months. Fuel can be purchased east of Fresno along highway 180 north of Sanger when entering from the Fresno area. Prather and Shaver Lake also have facilities for food and fuel. Steepness, sheer cliffs and small roadways makes this driving route a hairy drive. There are one lane wooden bridges. Overall, narrow single lane paved road from south side. Another hazard is the possibility of debris or ice breaking off the cliffs and damaging your vehicle. The road climbs along a sheer cliff that might be intimidating to some people. It's maintained yearly and is paved to Black Rock Reservoir. Although passable during winter, it’s best to avoid traveling it if snow is present. By far, one of the most scenic times to travel this road is late winter or early springtime. The flower bloom can be quite beautiful and there are a couple of waterfalls worth viewing. The paved road ends at the reservoir where a small campground is located at an altitude of 4,000 feet.
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