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Scotts Flat day-use recreation: plan ahead and arrive early!

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Kayaking on Scotts Flat

As summer heats up, so is the demand for lake recreation. The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) is pleased to welcome visitors to Scotts Flat Lake; however, the district advises that its day-use area fills quickly. Arrive early in the day to avoid being turned away at the gate.

This year more visitors frequent Scotts Flat for day use because dangerous cold, fast currents are deterrents for recreating on local rivers. The lake is an attractive destination, especially with its full capacity; there is plenty of water to enjoy. Yet, that also means the sandy beaches are underwater. The day-use recreation area has considerably shrunk in size compared to previous summers.

“Lakefront recreation truly means lakefront this year. It is a good time to enjoy Scotts Flat,” said Monica Reyes, NID Director of Recreation. “I want to remind everyone that NID has limited space for day use, and the area fills quickly. Because it is first come, first served, plan ahead and arrive early to get your spot.”

Entrance to the Scotts Flat day-use area is through the Campground Gate 2 on Scotts Flat Road, Nevada City. From Highway 20, it’s a five-mile drive to the entrance gate. Throughout the summer, NID will place signs, starting at the top of Scotts Flat Road, notifying drivers when the day-use area is at capacity.

“These signs are meant to inform people when the day-use area is full. When entrance isn’t allowed, it’s simply because there isn’t space available. If we are at capacity, we don’t want people to drive the extra miles from Highway 20. It is a waste of their time and effort, and it causes traffic issues at the Gate 2 entrance,” Reyes said.

The Scotts Flat day-use area fills up most quickly on weekends and holidays. Fewer people access the beach on Monday through Wednesday.


Scotts Flat Day Use:

  • Hours: dawn to dusk
  • Vehicle (up to four people): $17
  • Walk-in or bike: $3
  • Each pet: $6
  • Day Use with Kayak/Canoe (2): $20
  • Motorcycle: $10


* Reminder: Carpool to get the most from your day-use entrance fee -- $17 per vehicle includes up to four people.

For more information about NID recreation facilities, check


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