Hensley Lake | Outdoorsy

Hensley Lake
Guide

Introduction

Consisting of oak trees and grasslands with both a gentle and steep sloping topography in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Hensley Lake in California offers numerous recreational opportunities for RV campers. The 2.3 sq. mile lake in this COE park was created when the Hidden Dam was constructed on the Fresno River.

There are various ways to have fun and stay active at Hensley Lake. You could decide to fish for crappie, largemouth black bass, catfish, and bluegill in the park’s waters. Alternatively, you can enjoy pleasure boating, water skiing, or sailing on the lake. Hunting for game is also permitted within designated areas in the park. Hiking opportunities abound in the wildlife area that offers campers the chance to see various fauna and birds that call the park home.

Hensley Lake features one RV campground consisting of 55 campsites that accepts dogs, cats and domestic pets. The campsites are available by reservation and are equipped with RV hookup options. Amenities available in the campground include flush restrooms, showers, trailer dump station, tables, and fire pits/barbecue grill.

A key feature of Hensley Lake is the Buck Ridge Recreation Area, developed in memory of Major James D. Savage, believed to be the one who discovered the Yosemite Valley in 1851.

Nearby attractions to Hensley Lake include Sierra National Forest, Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park.

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Camping Accommodations

62'
Max RV length
62'
Max trailer Length
Electrical hookup
Water hookup
Generator use
Food storage
Sewer hookup
Dogs & cats

RV Rentals in Hensley Lake

Transportation

Driving

Located near the geographic center of the state of California, Hensley Lake lies 17 miles northeast of Madera along Road 400. This Army COE park is easy to locate and access by vacationers and visitors driving their RVs, trailers, or cars. East of the park at Yosemite National Park, vacationers coming in their cars can pick up RVs and trailers. All vehicles are to be operated only on designated roads within the park.

Parking

There are various parking areas provided for RVs, trailers, and cars at Hensley Lake. For campers at this lake park, the RV campsites are equipped with parking pads for rigs. Overnight parking is also available.

Public Transportation

Two public bus services and transit lines pass near Hensley Lake.

Campgrounds and parking in Hensley Lake

Campsites in Hensley Lake

Reservations camping

Hidden View Campground

Hidden View campground consists of 55 pet-friendly campsites equipped with flush toilets, showers, a trailer dump station, tables, and fire pits or barbecue grills. Electric and water hookups for RVs are available in some of the campsites in this COE campground. In addition, boat ramps, an amphitheater and ADA sites are present. The maximum RV/trailer length that can be accommodated within this campground is 62 feet.

All the campsites are available by reservation and are open year-round. You can stay up to 14 consecutive days in any 30-day period. Quiet hours are between 10 pm and 6 am. There are two group camping areas with a gazebo picnic shelter within Hidden View COE, each available by reservation.

Located on the shores of Hensley Lake, this campground sits within a historically significant area that was once home to the Miwok and Yokut Native American Tribes.

Seasonal activities in Hensley Lake

Off-Season

Wildlife/Bird Viewing

Hensley Lake is home to a variety of wildlife and birds that can be seen by campers and vacationers. This lake park even has a designated wildlife area for enthusiasts to observe the various fauna that reside within the park.

On the park’s waters, bird species that you’ll see include wood ducks, mallards, and red-shielded American coot. Other wildlife in the park include bald eagles, bobcats, coyotes, ospreys, and California quails. Snakes and reptiles are also common here.

Hunting

Consisting of oak trees and grasslands, sitting within a gentle to steep sloping topography in the Sierra foothills, Hensley Lake is open to hunting, both on land and on the lake. All campers and visitors are required to hunt for game away from campgrounds, developed areas, and boat ramps.

Permitted hunting equipment are shotguns and bows and arrows. The most commonly hunted game in the park are mallard ducks and Canada goose, although mourning doves, deer, and California quails are also available.

Water Recreation

There are lots of water-related recreational activities available for RV campers and visitors at Hensley Lake to engage in. Whether your interest is pleasure boating, sailing, or waterskiing, you can enjoy whatever you want in your personal watercraft on the 2.3 sq. mile lake in the park.

The ideal starting point would be any of the launch ramps located in the Buck Ridge Recreation Area or Hidden View Recreation Area. Please bear in mind that safety on the park’s waters is paramount for all boaters and paddlers.

In-Season

Buck Ridge Recreation Area

The Buck Ridge Recreation Area at Hensley Lake is the perfect place to spend the day while on vacation at this Army Corps of Engineers park. This day use area offers loads of recreational opportunities such as water skiing, hiking, swimming, fishing, and, of course, picnicking.

Amenities available include potable water, a swim beach, 33 picnic sites with tables and barbecue grills, boat ramps, and a playground. The 20 miles of shoreline available to vacationers here make this area ideal for outdoor fun.

Hiking

The landscapes and diverse flora and fauna species in Hensley Lake make hiking a pleasurable activity. As campers hike the trails in this lake park, they are treated to amazing views of the wildlife that call the park home, as well as the beautiful trees and varying topographic features of the park.

Mountain biking and horseback riding opportunities are open to interested campers who fancy these pursuits as well. All these activities are best enjoyed within the wildlife area in the park.

Fishing

RV campers who love to fish will soon find out that at Hensley Lake provides excellent opportunities for fishing. They'll be glad that they didn't leave their rod and reel at home.

This Army COE park features numerous game fish that are abundant in the park’s waters, including crappie, largemouth black bass, catfish, and bluegill. In winter months, rainbow trout is usually planted in the waters. To enjoy the best fishing experience in this park, visit the coves around the lake.

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