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

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
Usage: Medium
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Closest Towns: Chilcoot, CA.
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Flush
Passes: Senior and Access passes honored
Operated By: Thousand Trails

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

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Camping & Cabins

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Campground Camping

There are 20 units available. Half are by reservation and the other half first come first serve. $20.00 per night with water and flush toilets.

Fees: $20.00 per night
Reservation required?: Y


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