Exploring Boca Resevoir

Boca reservoir, which is located in the Tahoe National Forest, is great because: it is only a 20 minute drive from Reno, it has amazing campsites, there is a lot of clear beach area, it is dog friendly, it has an outdoor shooting range, it is beautiful, there is a herd of sheep that roam the area. There are trails all around it to hike, mountain bike, dirt bike or quad on… you are free to enjoy nature the way it was intended to be! Seriously words cannot explain my love for Boca.


This is where Mason first learned how to swim, where I started fishing, the first place Drew and I went camping together at and even during the summer I would drive up here for a few hours each day during the week just to get some sun and go swimming with Mason.


I have a little story about Boca though. A few summers ago, I had a weekend off of work and I was determined to go camping – rain or shine. The forecast was partly cloudy with a 30% chance of rain. I took my chances and packed up and had camp set up by 1:00 PM. It was somewhat cloudy but I wasn’t concerned. We headed out on the lake in our duck hunting boat to our private little cove. We brought a picnic, some drinks and some toys for Mason to play with. The sun was out the water was perfect when all of the sudden a downpour. We waited for it to stop under some trees, but after 20 minutes it had only gotten worse.

There was lightning, pouring rain, raging winds and waves that would probably come into the boat. We had no idea where we were with respect to our campsite, but we knew it was probably an hour hike… in flip-flops and my bikini. With all the lightening striking around us we were not sure where we were the safest, in the open or under the trees. We waited about 15 more minutes, the rain had let up a little bit .. so we took our chances. We got in the boat with all of our stuff (now sopping wet) and raced as fast as we could back to the beach near our campsite. The whole time we were praying that lightening would not strike us and that we would make it.

I think God gave us a warning because a lightning bolt came down about 20 feet away from us in our aluminum boat. We immediately knew what we were doing was STUPID and pulled off the lake. We had to pull the boat up onto bushes and rocks since there was no beach and tied it to a tree since the waves were trying to take it away. From here we gathered our essentials and started walking. It took about 30 minutes to make it back to our campsite. We were on the verge of hypothermia, drenched, tired and covered in mud.

As we came to our campsite what did we find? The wind had destroyed everything. The tent had blown away and water had gotten in soaking our sleeping bag and all our clothes, the firewood was drenched. It was like a never-ending nightmare. We waited out the rest of the storm and warmed up in the car. As soon as it was clear I packed up the campsite, Drew hiked back and got the boat and we drove home; with the sun out and shining like it had never happened.

Moral of the story here: If it is 30% chance of rain at Boca: STAY HOME!

Despite this horrifying, yet very important learning experience, I love Boca and I think it is the best little lake to check out when you have a free afternoon this summer and want to get away!


Happy Trails!


1 Response to “Exploring Boca Resevoir”

  1. 1 Nicole Dutra April 30, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    Wow Rachel… you are such a daring, but smart adventurer! Love your story… and miss you!

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Rachel Roen

My name is Rachel Roen, and I have so much to share about Reno's outdoors! I will give you a complete 360 degree view of the Reno area whether you're a local looking for a new trail, or a visitor wanting a day of exploring. From mountain trails, to city trails, adventure is always at our feet!


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