Sagehen Creek is one of the most well-studied aquatic ecosystems in the Sierra, due to the proximity of the University of California Research Station located nearby. The creek possesses outstanding ecological value. It supports a healthy native fishery that is considered highly representative of eastside Sierra streams, including Lahontan redside, speckled dace, Tahoe and mountain sucker, and Paiute sculpin.
The stream is fed by numerous springs, fens (bogs), and wetlands, which support rare and unique species of plants (including two species of carnivorous sundews) and several rare caddis fly (insect) species. The forested watershed also supports numerous sensitive wildlife species, including pine marten, Sierra red fox, and goshawk.
Much of the Sagehen basin was logged in the late 1800’s. Evidence of the early non-mechanized logging systems are still visible, making the watershed eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places as an historic district. Today, anglers are attracted to Sagehen Creek due to its healthy brown, brook, and rainbow trout fishery, and others visit for the good hunting and opportunities to botanize.
A Forest Service campground provides a convenient base camp for anglers, hunters, botanists, and other visitors. Near the campground, the creek flows through a series of scenic meadows and wet fens, which are studded with a magnificent array of wildflowers in the summer.
Sagehen Creek is considered eligible for National Wild & Scenic Rivers status by the Forest Service in recognition of its outstanding ecological, fish, and historic values.
The California Wild Heritage Act proposes to add 7.75 miles of Sagehen Creek to the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System.
How To Get There
Sagehen Creek and the Sagehen Creek Campground can be found just off Highway 89, north of the town of Truckee and Interstate 80. From I-80, take Highway 89 north approximately 8 miles. Turn left at the sign marked Sagehen Creek (Forest Road 11). Follow this relatively well-maintained dirt road approximately 4 miles to the Sagehen Creek campground.
Recreation And Visitor Information
For more detailed information, contact the Forest Service’s Truckee Ranger Station at (530) 587-3558.