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Lake McClure - Site # 110
Lake McClure is a reservoir in the Sierra Nevada foothills of western Mariposa County, California. It is formed by the New Exchequer Dam impounding the Merced River, which is a tributary of the San Joaquin River. It is about 40 miles east of Modesto.

The lake was first created by the original Exchequer Dam, built between 1924 and 1926, a concrete gravity arch dam. Exchequer Reservoir's original capacity was 281,000 acre feet. In 1926 its name was changed to Lake McClure to honor Wilbur Fiske McClure, Head Engineers of the State of California, who helped develop and lay out the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California.

Background: The Merced River flows west from Yosemite and collects behind Exchequer Dam, forming two connected lakes 33 miles long. The towering, rock-filled dam creates tremendous updrafts ridden year-round by soaring golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, prairie falcons, and turkey vultures. Resident ospreys and wintering bald eagles appear at downstream hatcheries or wherever trout and bass are planted in the lake. Numerous coves and inlets shelter grebes, mergansers, wood ducks, and mallards, some of which are residents. Jays and nuthatches appear in the surrounding oak woodlands, along with black-tailed deer and occasional feral burros. Poppies, lupines and lilies create a mantle of spring color on the hills.

The Experience: For more information about recreation and lodging, please visit:

Viewing Tips: Many birds of prey are seen year-round; watch bald eagles in winter. Waterfowl best seen in fall. High probability of seeing black-tailed deer in summer and fall, expecially near Barrett Cove. Wild burrows also at cove summer mornings. Car viewing, short trails.

Nearby Viewing Sites: Yosemite National Park

Visitor Information: Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau - (209) 742-4567 - https://www.yosemite.com
Viewing Site Hours of Operation are:
Staff On-site: Yes
Open: Everday
Year Round: Yes

Road Information:   Paved. 
Road Hazards: 
 Number of Parking Spaces: 0
Parking Fee: 
Proximity to viewing area:
 Pull-Through Parking: 
Parking Notes: 

How to Get There: From Modesto, travel east on Highway 132 for 38 miles. Turn south on Merced Falls Road. Drive 5 miles, then turn east on Barrett Cove Road. Proceed 2 miles to lake.

Contact Information
Managing Agency: Merced Irrigation District
Agency Site URL: 
Physical Address:9090 Lake McClure Rd
Snelling, CA 95369
Agency 2:9090 Lake McClure Rd.
Snelling, CA 95369
Manager Phone:209-378-2346 Contact Us:by Email
Site Phone:(209) 378-2521
County: Mariposa
Addition Website: