Cottonwood Springs

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Located in the headwaters of the Feather River, Frenchman Lake is only 38 miles northwest of Reno, NV, and 26 miles northwest of Portola, CA. The California Department of Water resources created the lake in 1962 by damming Little Last Chance Creek. A shoreline 21 miles long ends at the 129-foot tall earthen dam, which rises to an elevation of 5,607 feet. During summer, this recreation area offers a variety of outdoor experiences, including: camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, fishing, swimming, boating, water-skiing, jet-skiing and hunting. Winter activities range from snowmobiling to ice fishing and cross-country skiing.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Closed for the 2016 season.
Operational Hours: Closed for the 2016 season.
Reservations: This campground is closed for the 2016 season. Sites can be reserved by calling 1-877-444-6777 or online at  The campground has about half reservation and half first come first serve.
Area Amenities: Accessible,Boat ramp,Tent camping,Camping trailer,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
  • $23.00 per night
  • $3.00 pet fee
Open Season: April - September
Usage: Medium
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Closest Towns: Chilcoot, CA.
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Flush
Passes: Senior and Access passes honored. These passes are available at the Beckwourth Ranger Station in Blairsden, CA. from 08:00 to 16:00. Call 560) 836-2575 for information.
Operated By: Thousand Trails
Information Center:  For information about this location please call the Beckwourth Ranger District Office in Blairsden, CA at (530) 836-2575

General Information


The boat launch at frenchman lake has an accessible loading ramp and toilet building.


From Reno take highway 395 North to Halleluiah Junction. Head West on Highway 70 to Chilcoot. Head North on Highway284 to Frenchman Lake,  at the dam turn left.


parking is available

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

  • Reset Map
    Reset Map
Loading Icons...


Camping & Cabins

Hide detail HIDE

Campground Camping

There are 20 units available. Half are by reservation and the other half first come first serve.

Fees: $23.00 per night


Boat ramp 2 docks with ramps nearby
Camping trailer yes
Toilets flush toilets and showers
Accessible Loop B is universally accessible
Picnic tables yes
Parking yes
Tent camping yes
Drinking water yes