Black Rock Reservoir, a remote road in California.

Black Rock Reservoir
Black Rock Reservoir

In Fresno County, in the heart of the U.S. state of California, Black Rock Reservoir is a tiny, isolated, and picturesque lake that is 1260 meters (4133 feet) above sea level.

Where is Black Rock Reservoir located?

On the North Fork of the Kings River, Black Rock Reservoir is a small, picturesque lake that offers peaceful camping and fishing options.

You can locate this road on the map below:

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Information about Black Rock Reservoir road :

The road is called Black Rock Road. It’s 17km (11 miles) long. It is a one-lane road that is incredibly narrow and travels along cliffs with 300 meters (1000 ft) fall and tiny one-lane wooden bridges. For RVs, it is not advised. For those who are afraid of heights, it might be very unpleasant. If another vehicle is coming from the opposite direction, you should reverse since this route is a small, one-lane track. The descent is lengthy and there are no rails. Another risk is that ice or debris might crash down from the cliffs and harm your car. The route ascends a precipitous precipice, which some people may find frightening.

As part of the Kings River Project, which consists of a network of lakes, tunnels, steel penstocks, and powerhouses that channel water from the Kings River to generate electricity, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) constructed Black Rock Reservoir. Water from Lake Wishon travels through the Hass Tunnel to a penstock, where it is redirected to a power plant before entering Black Rock Reservoir.

Black Rock Reservoir drive preview:

You can obviously have a preview of that drive. Here is a YouTube video that shows a part of the road:

How to get to the road?

Traveling east on Trimmer Springs Road from Pine Flat Reservoir. Turn left at the road fork (at the Baily Bridge), bridge the King’s River, and continue another 3,5 kilometers (2,14 miles) to Balch Camp. Turn left at Balch Camp and go 15 kilometers (9,5 miles) to Black Rock Ranger Station (the station is no longer staffed). The Reservoir is 2 kilometers (1,2 miles) away after turning right.

Also accessible from the Lake Wishon region is Black Rock. To get to Shaver Lake, take Highway 168. Following 20 kilometers (12,5 miles) of eastbound Dinkey Creek Road, turn right onto McKinley Grove Road (Road 11S40). Continue for another 20 kilometers (12,5 miles) until Road 11S12, where you will turn right. After 19 kilometers (12 miles), you will come to an intersection. From May through November, the McKinley Grove Road is available to traffic.

You can visualize how to get there on this map of the drive:

What to do in Black Rock Reservoir:

There is a tiny campsite run by Pacific Gas and Electric at Black Rock Reservoir. Ten campsites are accessible on a first-come, first-served basis; reservations are not permitted. Camping overnight carries a cost.

Fishing is permitted year-round in the reservoir. Seasonal closures apply to nearby creeks and streams. State fishing laws are in effect. The Hass Powerhouse releases water onto the lake’s northern shore. Water is incredibly harmful and may be released suddenly. Please do not enter this zone.

Those who wish to visit the lake for the day will find 10 picnic sites dispersed around it. Picnic spots have an admission charge.

Also, the closest services are at Wishon Village, next to Wishon Lake, 24 kilometers (15 miles) north of Blackrock Reservoir. In Wishon Village, there is a store, a phone, and an RV campsite.

Is Black Rock Reservoir road open?

The highway is accessible year-round. However, the location is rather remote. There is hardly any mobile coverage. One of the most picturesque seasons to drive this road is unquestionably late winter or early spring. There are a couple of waterfalls that are worth viewing, and the flowers could be in full bloom. At the reservoir, which is located at an elevation of 1220 meters above sea level (4000 ft), the paved road ends.

You will definitely enjoy riding the Black Rock Reservoir road if you like remote areas and nature. So don’t forget to bring your camera if you are in the area! You can also drive the June Lake Loop Route which is not far away from there.

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