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Engelbright Lake - California Watchable Wildlife Viewing Site #311

Wildlife Viewing Area
Engelbright Lake

Englebright Lake is a California Watchable Wildlife Viewing Site.

Englebright Lake is nestled in the scenic Sierra foothills in the steep Yuba River gorge known as the Narrows. Hawks and turkey vultures can be seen gliding on rising air currents above the 260-foot tall thin-arch dam that forms the lake.

The 9-mile long lake is a popular weekend destination for boaters and campers. On weekdays and during the off-season, there are great opportunities to view wildlife, particularly on the upper end of the lake where there are sandy beaches and beautiful rock outcroppings.

There is an excellent chance of seeing bald and golden eagles, Canada geese, and wood ducks from fall through spring. Dozens of turkey vultures can be observed soaring on afternoon thermals above the Yuba River canyon walls. Western grebes and mallards are present in the spring. Some songbirds are visible year-round, but the best viewing is in spring and fall. Ospreys, hawks, woodpeckers, upland birds and mammals are common residents at the park.

The best wildlife viewing is along the 24 miles of shoreline, accessible by way of boat. Road access is limited to the boat ramp areas near the dam.

For more details about viewing wildlife at Lake Engelbright and for links to a species list, visit

Best Months and Seasons for Viewing

Spring and Fall

Nearby Places