Webber Lake and Lacey Meadows
Protecting An Historic Crossroads
Nestled between Perazzo Meadows and the Sierra Crest, at the headwaters of the Little Truckee River, Webber Lake and Lacey Meadows include 3,000 acres of pristine montane meadow, forested uplands, and riparian habitat along Lacey Creek and the Little Truckee River.
The property is a step back in time. In the 19th century, Webber Lake was a stopover along the Henness Pass Road, a busy thoroughfare between the Comstock Lode in Nevada and California’s Mother Lode before the completion of the railroad. The Webber Lake Hotel, built in the 1860s, still stands on the property. One of the earliest examples of private lake-based recreation in Sierra, the Hotel and adjoining lands have been a popular private fishing camp since 1865, when Dr. Webber first started stocking the lake.
Conservation of Webber Lake
With help from the Northern Sierra Partnership, The Trust for Public Land, and The Nature Conservancy, the Truckee Donner Land Trust (TDLT) purchased this outstanding property in November 2012 from Clifton and Barbara Johnson, whose family had owned the property for almost a century. The Johnsons used to graze their sheep at Lacey Meadows in summer, herding the sheep from their ranch near Roseville in a trip that took 15 days up and 10 days back.
“This is truly a special occasion,” said Barbara Johnson. “Our wishes have been fulfilled, and the legacy of our family will be remembered. The beautiful lands we have worked on and cared for are, at long last, protected for future generations to enjoy forever.” While the Johnsons received higher offers for the property, their wishes were always for Webber Lake to remain intact and undeveloped.
The acquisition was made possible by the generous support of the Wildlife Conservation Board, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, and the Northern Sierra Partnership, as well as by the donations of numerous individuals.
Stewardship and Recreation
The property provides critical habitat for a number of animals protected by state law, including the pine marten and the Sierra Nevada red fox. Other animals recorded on the property include black bear, mule deer, mountain lion, bald eagle, raptors, and the endangered willow flycatcher. The wildflower displays in Lacey Meadows are among the best in the Sierra and include lupine, larkspur, elephant heads, alpine buttercups, monkshood, and leopard lilies.
The Truckee Donner Land Trust owns and manages the property. Turning left off of Jackson Meadows Road, visitors can drive straight into the Webber Lake compound and enjoy the splendid scenery from the grassy shore of Webber Lake. There you can fish, swim, launch your boat, or take a hike or bike ride through Lacey Meadows. For more information, visit TDLT’s website.
The lakeshore is now open to the public for seasonal overnight camping! Sites are available for tents, RVs, and trailers, but hookups are not available. Reservations for camping can be made online.
Directions from Truckee
- From Interstate 80, take Exit 188, California Highway 89 North towards Sierraville
- Drive north on CA-89 for 14 miles and turn left on Cottonwood Road. Then make an immediate left onto Jackson Meadows Road.
- Continue on Jackson Meadows Road for 8 miles and turn left on Henness Pass Road. Keep right to reach the trailhead parking area.
- The trailhead is currently under construction. If the gate before the trailhead is locked, park along the road and walk the additional quarter-mile to reach the trailhead. Please note: the campgrounds and lakeshore along Webber Lake are closed to the public until 2017.