Beckwourth Ranger District – Plumas National Forest

This overview describes camping and lodging opportunities within the Beckwourth Ranger District of the Plumas
National Forest. Four distinct accommodation types are available within the district.

  1. Lodges are operated by private party under special use permit
  2. Cabins are rustic Forest Service or vendor operated Forest Service structures available to rent by
    reservation
  3. Vender Operated Campgrounds are campgrounds operated under special use permit by a third party
    vendor with both reservation and first come sites. The company managing Plumas National Forest
    Campgrounds is Outdoors in Plumas. They can be contacted via web at https://www.outdoorsinplumas.com/.
    All campsite reservations are available at www.recreation.gov.
  4. Dispersed Camping is camping in undeveloped or underdeveloped areas of the forest. It is available
    with specific restrictions to protect forest resources. Dispersed camping is a wonderful way to enjoy
    your forest. We want to help. Call 530-836-2575 for more information. (Maps do not designate
    dispersed camping locations)

Lake Davis Recreation Area

Located seven miles north of Portola on County Road 126, Lake Davis is surrounded by a mixed conifer forest with
beautiful mountain views. At 5,800 feet elevation, the lake is well known for its great fishing opportunities. Noise
is reduced at the lake because water skiing and jet skis are not allowed here. Hikers will appreciate the wildlife
watching along the Lake Davis Trail. The recreation area has three boat launches. Docks are available during peak
season, when water levels are high enough. Around the lake there are several fishing access areas. A levee at the
Camp 5 launching facility provides wheelchair accessibility for fishing. Some day use and fishing accesses have
fees. There is a fee dump station located at Grizzly Campground. All campers may use the coin operated showers
at Grasshopper Flat.

Grizzly Campground (5,777 feet) is one of three family-friendly campgrounds located in the Lake Davis Recreation Area. The recreation area and its namesake lake, Lake Davis provides the classic lake fishing experience. For example, there are four boat launching facilities and many fishing access points around the lake. Water skiing and jet skiing are not allowed on this lake.

55 Units -Flushing Toilets – Drinking water- No Showers-Tent- RV- Trailers  –

Reservations available at Recreation.gov

Grasshopper Flat Campground (7,777 feet) is one of three family campgrounds located in the Lake Davis Recreation Area. Campground loops around in the hills overlooking the lake providing most campsites with sweeping views of the lake’s crystal blue water. Pine forest gives most campsites plenty of afternoon shade. A boat ramp and RV dump station are nearby.

70 Units – Flushing Toilets – Showers – Group sites – Tent – RV – Trailers

Reservations available at recreation.gov

Lightning Tree Campground (5,800 feet) is one of three family-friendly campgrounds located in the Lake Davis Recreation Area. The lake was formed by damming Grizzly Creek in 1967. The purpose of the lake was to provide water for the town of Portola, improve area fishing and provide recreation opportunities. The 32 miles of shoreline has several boat launch facilities and fishing access points.

40 Units – Vaulted Toilets – Drinking water – No showers-  Vendor Operated Campground

Reservations via Recreation.gov

Frenchman Lake Recreation Area

Located eight miles north of Chilcoot on Forest Road 176, Frenchman Lake is a high desert lake (5,800’) nestled in
the pines. Camping, fishing and boating are popular attractions. Enjoy the beautiful Little Last Chance Scenic Area
on the drive in. The canyon here was made by the erosion of ancient lava flows by Little Last Chance Creek. The
recreation area has two boat launch facilities. However, Lunker Point closes when water levels drop. Docks are
available when the water level is high enough. Many fishing access points dot the shore, some have fees. There is
a fee dump station near Frenchman Campground. All campers may use coin operated showers at Big Cove or
Cottonwood Springs Campgrounds.

Chilcoot Campground (5,100 feet) is located just downstream from Frenchman Lake alongside Last Chance Creek. The sound of flowing water along with shade from the surrounding pine and cottonwood forest are key features making this a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. The campground is far enough away from the lake that visitors can experience the serene sense of solitude that the remote mountain setting provides.

 

40 Units – flushing Toilets – drinking water – No Showers – tent – Rv- Trailers

Reservations Available at Recreation.gov

Frenchman Campground (5,700 feet) sites along the shores of its namesake lake, which boasts 21 miles of shoreline. The campground is situated at the southeastern peninsula of the lake. Situated on a pine covered hillside overlooking the lake, this is the place for campers to get in tune with their surroundings. The campground offers single-family campsites for tent and RV camping. Twelve of the campgrounds 38 campsites can be reserved during peak camping season. All other campsites may be taken on a ‘First Come’ basis. The campground remains open throughout the years. However, most winters include enough snow to keep the road closed. Each site is equipped with tables and campfire rings with grills. Vault toilets and drinking water are also provided.

38 Units – Vaulted Toilets – Drinking water – No Showers – RV – Tent – Trailer

Reservations Available at recreation.gov

Big Cove Campground (5,700 feet) is located near the shores of Frenchman Lake in Northeastern California. Some families have been returning here for more than thirty years. Situated at the interface between the wild Sierra and the high desert, it’s a perfect place to serve as hub for a wide range of recreation opportunities. The campground offers single and double family campsites for tent and RV camping. Accessible campsites are available. Fifteen of the 38 campsites can be reserved during peak season. All other campsites may be taken as ‘First Come’ sites. All ‘First Come’ sites must be occupied on the first night rented. Big Cove Campground also offers coin operated showers, accessible flush toilets, drinking water, trash bins and paved roads during peak camping season. An RV dump station is located nearby, at Cottonwood Springs Campground.

38 Units – Flushing Toilets – Drinking water – Coin Operated Showers – Tent – RV- Trailers

Reservations at recreation.gov

Spring Creek Campground (5,800 feet) is just minutes away from the clear waters of the Frenchman Lake. The landscape provides a magnificent backdrop for a variety of recreational activities. The campground offers 35 camp sites with 12 sites available for reservation. 

35 Units – Vaulted Toilets – Drinking water – No showers – Tents – RV- Trailers

Reservations Available at recreation.gov

Cottonwood Springs Campground (5,700) is located on the southwest side of Frenchman Lake. The surrounding pine forest provides ample shade during summers’ hot afternoons. The lake, recreation area and surrounding forest and rangeland offer a wide variety of recreational opportunities and adventures. Cottonwood Springs Campground has 20 single-family campsites available for both tent and RV camping. Need a location for your family or group get together? There are two reservation group sites here. Group site B can accommodate up to 25 guests and six vehicles and Group site D up to 50 guests and 12 vehicles. Lunker Point Boat Launch Facility is about two miles away. An RV dump station is just outside the campground. All sites are equipped with paved parking, tables, campfire rings and grills. The campground has paved roads, hosts, accessible flush toilets and drinking water are also provided.

22 Units – Flushing Toilets – Drinking Water – Showers – RV- Tents- Trailers

Reservations available at recreation.gov

 

Lodges, Cabins and Campgrounds outside Recreation Areas


There are many places throughout Beckwourth Ranger District that offer a more remote quieter place to stay

For more than a century folks have made Camp Layman their vacation getaway for a few days or weeks every year. For many it has become an annual tradition.

The camp features 13 cozy cabins with full bathrooms and kitchens nestled in the forest along the Feather River between Cromberg’s Twenty Mile House and Graeagle. Camp Layman is just minutes away from some of the best hiking, fishing and golfing in Northern California’s Sierras.

Rent Direct – contactus@
camplayman.com

Crocker Guard Station was built in 1912 as a home for Forest Service personnel, and was later staffed as a fire station until the 1980s. The historic Crocker Guard Station is located ten miles northeast of Portola, California, at an elevation of 5,700 feet. Visitors will experience the beautiful solitude of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. 

The house has four bedrooms with ten twin beds and mattresses including two sets of bunk beds, a kitchen, dining room, living room and an outside vault toilet building. Children will enjoy the large fenced in front yard. The rental has propane operated lights, cook stove and heater. There is no refrigerator. Cooking and eating utensils are provided. The house is equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers. Visitors must bring drinking water. There is an outside hand pump with water for fire protection. Guests should bring bedding, towels, flashlights, trash bags and first aid kits. Visitors are responsible for cleaning the house, packing out trash and locking up before departure.

1 Unit – Vaulted Toilets – No water – No Showers

Reservations Available at recreation.gov

Crocker Campground is a  ten unit campground is located approximately ten miles northeast of Portola, California.  Tables, vault toilets, and fire rings are available.  Water and garbage service is not provided. Pack out all trash

This campground is located adjacent to the historic Crocker Guard Station.  The guard station was recently updated and is available for rental.  

This campground is popular in the fall for deer hunters.

  • 14 day camping limit
  • 6 people per campsite, 12 people for double sites
  • 2 vehicles per campsite
  • OHV riding is not allowed:

10 Units – Vaulted Toilets – No Water- No Showers – No Reservation Required Pay at site – RV- Tent- 

Black Mountain Lookout remained closed for the 2020 season and is expected to remain closed into 2021. Closure is due to COVID related demands in maintaining a safe environment for our customers and our staff.

Black Mountain Lookout is located on the eastern edge of the Beckwourth Ranger District, 10 miles from Highway 395, near Milford, California.

The lookout was constructed in 1934 and is a great example of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) architecture. The C-3-type lookout is situated on a single story 10 foot tower and is extremely well-preserved. 

The lookout tower is normally available for Memorial Day weekend through October, offering guests a unique lodging experience in Plumas National Forest.

The one-room lookout cabin is set on a tower, rising 10 feet above the ground. It is furnished with two single beds with mattresses, but can accommodate up to four people. There is also space for tent camping adjacent to the lookout, for up to four visitors. The cabin has a small table and chairs, a refrigerator, a small stove, heater, and lights, all powered with electricity. A picnic table and vault toilet are also on site. Although the lookout provides a few amenities, guests must bring several of their own, including food, cooking utensils, sleeping bags, towels, dish soap and garbage bags. No water is available at this facility, so guests must bring their own water for drinking, cooking and washing. Packing an additional light source is also recommended.

Reservations Available at Recreation.gov

Conklin Campground is a nine unit campground is located approximately eight miles northwest of Frenchman Lake.  This is a quiet campground situated along a small creek. Vault toilets, tables, fire rings and food lockers are provided.  There is no water or garbage service. Pack out all trash.

  • 14 day camping limit
  • 6 people per campsite, 12 people for double sites
  • 2 vehicles per campsite
  • OHV riding is not allowed:
  • Store food, trash and scented items appropriately – Be Bear Aware

9 Units – Vaulted Toilets – No water – No Showers – No Reservations – Tent – Trailer

Meadow View Horse Camp is a six unit campground is located five miles north of Frenchman Lake. This a family and equestrian campground. This is the only equestrian campground on the Beckwourth District. There is a horse corral across the road from the campground with a table and fire ring.

Each campsite has a table, fire ring and food locker. A vault toilet is provided. There is a hand pump with non-potable water. No garbage service is provided.

  • 14 day camping limit
  • 6 people per campsite
  • 2 vehicles per campsite
  • No horses in campground – keep them in corral
  • OHV riding is not allowed
  • Store food, trash and scented items appropriately – Be Bear Aware

This site is managed by ‘Outdoors in Plumas’ from May 1 to September 13, 2020. During that time report issues at https://www.outdoorsinplumas.com/ For more information contact the Beckwourth Ranger District Office at 530-836-2575 at 23 Mohawk Road (PO Box 7) Blairsden, CA 96103 

Ross Campground has three rustic campsites tucked off of the beaten path. It is located next to Jamison Creek in a conifer forest of predominantly red fir tree. 

  • 14 day limit
  • 6 persons per site
  • 2 vehicles per site
  • OHV riding is not allowed
  • Store food and scentined items appropriately – Be Bear Aware

3 Units – vaulted Toilets – No water – No Showers – Tent- trailers

This site is managed by ‘Outdoors in Plumas’ from May 1 to September 13, 2020. During that time report issues at https://www.outdoorsinplumas.com/ For more information contact the Beckwourth Ranger District Office at 530-836-2575 at 23 Mohawk Road (PO Box 7) Blairsden, CA 96103 

Laufman Campground is a six unit campground located four miles southeast of the small town of Milford, California.  Each campsite has a table and fire ring.  A vault toilet is provided.  There is no water or garbage service.

  • 14 day camping limit
  • 6 people per campsite
  • 2 vehicles per campsite
  • This site is managed by ‘Outdoors in Plumas’ from May 1 to September 13, 2022. During that time report issues at https://www.outdoorsinplumas.com/ For more information contact the Beckwourth Ranger District Office at 530-836-2575 at 23 Mohawk Road (PO Box 7) Blairsden, CA 96103
  • From Susanville, California, take Highway 395 southeast 20 miles to Milford.  Take County Road 336 approximately four miles southeast to the campground.

6 Unit- Vaulted Toilets – No Water – No showers – Tent – trailer

Lakes Basin Recreation Area


Many crystal clear alpine lakes set in glacially carved granite are ready to be explored via more than 30 miles of
trails. Campgrounds open soon after snow melt allows access. They remain open until closed by snowfall. Soon after
Labor Day all campgrounds have reduced amenities and no fee. The area is rich in recreational opportunities
including hiking, biking, nature viewing and water sports. Gold Lake Boat Launch Facility has a two lane ramp,
seasonal boat dock, day-use area, large parking area, vault toilets, seasonal trash bins and solar lighting. There is also
a gravel hand launch for small water craft near the dam. Beginning in 2020, both boat launch facilities will become
fee areas. Directions 1.5 miles south of Graeagle go west on the Gold Lake Highway. From California State Highway
49 turn onto Gold Lake Highway at Bassett’s Station.

The lush forests and scenic grandeur of the High Sierra welcomes the vacationer to Elwell Lakes Lodge. Nestled in a pine and fir forest at the end of a mountain road, it will take you back to an earlier era when you reach your destination. Built in 1920 the Lodge has maintained its rustic heritage. Elwell has ten small cabins with kitchens and bathrooms. Each comfortable cabin has everything you might need to stay a week in the mountains, hiking each day and swimming in the lakes, without camping on the ground.

Reservations available at: https://www.elwelllakeslodge.com/ or email : elwellodge@aol.com for more information.

Gold Lake Lodge is a peaceful family resort in the mountains. Trails lead off directly from the lodge, and the nearest lake is a short ten minute walk. A cabin resort that provides all your meals, set in the Lakes Basin of the Northern California Sierra Nevadas. Boats for fishing, lakes for swimming, trails for hiking. Even golfing nearby. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, or a weekend of relaxation this summer, come for a visit. Breakfast and dinner are served and lunch is provided to be taken on the trail with you. Forget the city and start a country adventure.

Property amenities
Free parking
Free internet
Free breakfast
Bicycle rental
Game room
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Shops
24-hour front desk
Show more
Room features
Iron
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Complimentary toiletries
 
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
 
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Quaint
LANGUAGES SPOKEN
English

Everyone gets a timeless vacation at Gray Eagle Lodge in the heart of the Lakes Basin Recreation area. Take a deep breath, turn off the “devices”, and check-in to your private cabin…your vacation has begun! Since our nightly package includes breakfast and dinner, everyone gets a break from the kitchen! Our on-site restaurant, Firewoods, offers the perfect setting for morning plans to be decided on and dinners complete with recounts of the day’s adventures! Kids will leave their “virtual” world and experience the real world of exploring alpine lakes, waterfalls, and wildlife with the family and friends. Your four-legged friends can come, sit, and stay too! This unforgettable escape offers natural beauty, outdoor challenges, and the opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime!

20 cabins and two Lodge guest rooms are nestled in the Lakes Basin of the Plumas National Forest. The cabins, most located near Graeagle Creek, are well off the beaten path and offer safety and privacy for all guests. Check-out each cabin description and determine which would fit your needs; a private two-person cabin high atop our property or a large cabin along the creek that can fit the whole family. Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have!

Lakes Basin Campground (6,445 feet) is situated in the ruins of an old mining community. Some of the old stonework still exists, including steps leading into a deep pool of Gray Eagle Creek. This campground is within easy reach of many trailheads. The campground also offers a tent only group campsite by reservation only. 

The single loop campground offers family campsites and one group tent-only site. One double-family site is also available. Vault toilets, drinking water and trash collection are provided. All sites have fire rings with grills and picnic tables.

24 Units – Vaulted toilets – Drinking water, showers, Bear Lockers – Tent- RV- Trailer Max 30′

Reservations available at recreation.gov

Gold Lake Campground is located along the shores of Gold Lake at an elevation of 6,400 feet. 11 of the 37 campsites are available for reservation. The road leading north of the boat launch facility is narrow and rough and may not be suited to your vehicle. Vault toilets are available and from May to October portable toilets are installed. Trash collection is available from May to October. No water.

There are 37 total campsites suitable for RV and tent camping, standard non-electric sites Each site has a fire ring and picnic table. There are vault toilets and Porta- potties

37 Units – Vaulted Toilets – Bear lockers – No drinking water – Tent and Trailer only – Narrow turnarounds

Reservations Available at Recreation.gov

The Gold Lake 4×4 Campground is located at 6,400′ elevation on the southwest end of Gold Lake. It includes 16 rustic campsites suited for those craving some solitude and/or access to some great back country 4X4 roads. Campsites include picnic tables, food locker, fire ring and parking. Several sites are next to the lake. Some people confuse this campground with the Gold Lake Campground which is located at the southeast end the Gold Lake. The new toilets were damaged by the 2018 snowpack and will remain closed. Come prepared to pack out all solid human waste.

  • 14 Day camping limit
  • 6 people per campsite
  • 2 vehicles per campsite
  • Store all food, trash and scented items appropriately

16 Units – No toilets – No water -Bear lockers – fire rings – Leave No trace if you bring it in you carry it out

Take Highway 89 southeast from Graeagle, California a couple miles.  Proceed south on Gold Lake Highway for 10 miles to Gold Lake.  Take the Gold Lake 4X4 road to the campground. 4-wheel drive and high clearance is required.  

  •  
  •  

Goose Lake Campground has 13 campsites that include table, fire ring, food locker, vault toilets and parkin. Access to some campsites is via rough unpaved roads. Some of the features of this area include breathtaking scenery and over 20 scenic lakes for hiking, biking and equestrian enjoyment.

  • 14 day camping limit
  • 6 people per campsite
  • 2 vehicles per campsite 
  • OHV riding is not allowed
  • Store food, trash and scented items appropriately – Be Bear Aware
  • This site is managed by ‘Outdoors in Plumas’ from May 1 to September 13, 2022. During that time report issues at https://www.outdoorsinplumas.com/ For more information contact the Beckwourth Ranger District Office at 530-836-2575 at 23 Mohawk Road (PO Box 7) Blairsden, CA 96103

10 units- Vaulted Toilets – No drinking water – Bear lockers – fire rings- tables

No Reservations

Haven Lake Campground has 4 campsites that include table, fire ring, food locker, vault toilets and parking. Access to some campsites is via rough unpaved roads.. Some of the features of this area include breathtaking scenery and over 20 scenic lakes for hiking, biking and equestrian enjoyment.

  • 14 day camping limit
  • 6 people per campsite
  • 2 vehicles per campsite
  • OHV riding is not allowed
  • Store all food, trash and scented items appropriately – Be Bear Aware
  • This site is managed by ‘Outdoors in Plumas’ from May 1 to September 13, 2022. During that time report issues at https://www.outdoorsinplumas.com/ For more information contact the Beckwourth Ranger District Office at 530-836-2575 at 23 Mohawk Road (PO Box 7) Blairsden, CA 96103 

4 units – Vaulted toilets – No drinking Water – Bear lockers – fire rings- tables – no reservations

Jamison Creek Campground is part of the Plumas-eureka California State Park. It was close din 2021.

Plumas-Eureka State Park is open year-round for day use.
Hiking trails and unpaved roads are open for visitor exploration.

The Upper Jamison Campground is closed for the 2021 camping season.

Camp Lisa Group Campground is currently closed.

Due to extreme fire danger, no wood or charcoal fires until further notice.

The museum is open from 8:30-4 pm 7 days a week, but will close for the season mid-late September. 
However, if visitors arrive earlier or later they are welcome to walk around the surrounding historic area.

For updated information, please visit this website or call the park office at (530) 836-2380.

Plumas-Eureka State Park was established in 1959, and provides visitors with a glimpse into a fascinating period of California history, as well as opportunities for quiet recreation in a beautiful high Sierra mountain setting.

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: Up to 24 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: Up to 28 Feet

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
Family Campsites
Group Campsites
RV Dump Station
RV Access



The focal point of the park is the museum building and historic area surrounding it. Originally constructed as the miner’s bunkhouse, the museum now serves as a visitor center. Inside, displays depict the natural and cultural history of the park.  Outside and across the street from the museum is the historic mining area, where the Mohawk Stamp Mill, Bushman five-stamp mill, stable, mine office, Moriarity House (historic miner’s residence) and the blacksmith shop depict life in gold rush-era California.

 

 

Dispersed Camping

Dispersed campers include backpackers, equestrian campers, car campers, RV campers, hunters, and back country
enthusiasts. Dispersed campers should be aware of forest and other restrictions placed to help prevent resource
damage. Some examples of restrictions include;
• Restriction of camping in recreation areas
• Requirement to have a state campfire permit https://www.readyforwildfire.org/permits/campfire-permit/
• Campfire restrictions imposed by county, state or Plumas National Forest
• 14 day stay limit.
• All campers should use “Leave no Trace” ethics. For more information https://lnt.org/


There is a small Forest Service operated campground at McCrea Meadow. This three campsite campground is
underdeveloped with one fire ring, one picnic table and no toilet. Camping is free at this remote location.

sierrarecmagazine

sierrarecmagazine

Publisher of Sierra Rec Magazine. An avid hiker and explorer of mountain lifestyle and adventure. I love to discover new trails, hike along rivers and hang a hammock along the shores of a mountain lake. I often great people on the trail and have found some of my favorite places from the advice of people I meet in the Wilderness. I love the sierra and just like sharing what I know.

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