Harry L. Englebright Lake (also called Englebright Reservoir) is an artificial lake formed by Englebright Dam on the Yuba River northeast of Smartsville. Officials from the California Hydraulic Miners Association named the dam for Harry L. Englebright. The lake has usually been known by the same name, but is also occasionally referred to as Upper Narrows Reservoir, because it is located slightly upstream from The Narrows. Its elevation is 525 feet. Negro Bar Creek and Hogback Ravine open onto the lake. Johnson's Bluff is a bluff on the north bank of the lake.


Harry L. Englebright Lake is on the border between Yuba County and Nevada County. The Yuba River main stream above the lake serves as the border between the counties, while the Yuba River south fork, which also flows into the lake, is located entirely in Nevada County. The Yuba River below the lake is located entirely in Yuba County.

Photograph donated anonymously.


Englebright Dam was built in 1941 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It was designed partly to prevent the massive quantities of debris that were dumped into the river by hydraulic mining during the Gold Rush from being carried farther downstream.

Two tunnels at the dam move water to the turbines that generate electricity in the Narrows 1 Powerhouse (owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company) and the Narrows 2 Powerhouse (owned by the Yuba County Water Agency). The two powerhouses are located on opposite sides of the river.

Recreation Area

Skipper's Cove Marina provides a full gas dock, a general store, and a boat-in campground. Houseboats, party boats, and ski and fishing boats are available for rent. Camping, swimming, boating, and water skiing are permitted.

There are two RV campsites with full hook-ups. All other campsites are boat-in only; they cannot be reached by car. Boat-in campsites are available on the beach or in coves, on the lake or on the river. Each boat-in campsite includes a picnic table, fire grill, lantern hanger, and access to a nearby restroom. Plastic bags are provided for campers to pack out their own trash. It is not possible to reserve a campsite in advance.

Drive-in picnic areas with barbecues are available for day use. All of these are located at the base of Englebright Dam. One drive-in group picnic area is available by reservation only.

There is also drive-in access to a hiking and fishing trail (featuring many benches!) that winds around the shore between the Joe Miller Marina boat ramp and the Headquarters boat ramp.


Englebright Lake Englebright Lake entry on Wikipedia "Englebright—Past and Present" by Henry Delamere, Territorial Dispatch, reprinted in the Rabbit Creek Journal