Lake Davis Recreation Area

Area Status: Closed

Lake Davis is located 7 miles north of Portola, California. This lake was created in 1967 for recreational opportunities. The Lake Davis Recreation Area offers a wide variety of summer outdoor experiences including: camping , picnicking,  fishing, hunting, boating, mountain biking, swimming, and wildlife viewing. Waterskiing and jet skis are not permitted. Frequent strong winds can cause the lake to become very hazardous for small craft.  In the winter, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing are popular activities.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Visitors should always check Alerts and Notices on the Plumas National Forest website.
Reservations: 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, Fee charged for some activities, Picnic tables, Toilets, Drinking water, Parking
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions:  14 day camping limit
Closest Towns:  Portola
Water: yes
Restroom: yes
Passes: Senior and Access passes honored for single campsites. These passes are available at the Beckwourth Ranger Station in Blairsden, CA. from 08:00 to 16:00. Call (530) 836-2575 for information.
Information Center: For information about this location please call the Beckwourth Ranger District Office in Blairsden, CA at (530) 836-2575

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

Recreation areas with activity Mountain Biking:

Campground Camping

Recreation areas with activity Campground Camping:

Campgrounds include

RV Camping

Recreation areas with activity RV Camping:

Group Camping

Recreation areas with activity Group Camping:

Lake and Pond Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Lake and Pond Fishing:

3 boat docks, 1 car top boat launch

River and Stream Fishing

Recreation areas with activity River and Stream Fishing:

Click Here for fishing information

Ice Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Ice Fishing:

Click Here for a Fishing Recreation Guide

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

Seven miles of the Lake Davis Trail is a great place to stretch your legs wondering through mixed conifer forest and rangeland with wonderful views of the mountain peaks behind the blue waters of Lake Davis.

Horse Riding

Recreation areas with activity Horse Riding:

The 7 mile Lake Davis Trail is a great place to ride.

Viewing Wildlife

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:

Black bears, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, rabbits, squirrels and an occasional mountain lion can be viewed around the lake. In over and around the lake there is bird watching with eagles, owls, ducks, geese, pelicans and many more to view.

Viewing Plants

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Plants:

Mixed conifer forest combines with abundant rangeland making this a great place to explore. Rangeland, meadows and other areas throughout Lake Davis Recreation Area are wonderful locations to view carpets of spring wildflowers.

Click Here for information about Beckwourth Ranger District trees

Viewing Scenery

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Scenery:

Naturally sculpted oftentimes snow capped, forested slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains provide the backdrop for just about any panoramic view of the lake.


Recreation areas with activity Picnicking:

Visitors will find many opportunities for picnicking and other day use activities at Lake Davis Recreation Areas.

Boating - Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Motorized:

There are four launching facilities at Lake Davis. All are fee areas. The most popular boating activity on the lake is fishing. Sailboats, pleasure boating, paddle boarding, wind surfing, kayaking, canoeing and float fishing are also very popular.

All facilities have concrete ramps. Three facilities have loading docks. The loading dock at Camp 5 is undergoing renovation, replacing wooden skirting and upgrading the splintered wooden deck to aluminum. Date for relaunching of the camp 5 dock us unknown. 

  • Honker Cove is located just north of Grasshopper Flat Campground and has plenty of parking
  • Camp 5 is located on the west side of the lake. It has a double lane ramp and plenty of parking. The deck is being renovated.
  • Lightning Tree Launch Facility is located north of Lightning Tree Campground and has plenty of parking.
  • Mallard Cove is a car top launch facility suited to hand launching small craft. It does not have a loading dock available
Fees: All facilities, $6.00 per day, $35.00 annual. No fee after September until next season.

Boating - Non-Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized:


Recreation areas with activity Swimming:

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Recreation areas with activity XC Skiing/Snowshoeing:

Lake Davis Trail extends 7 miles from the intersection of County Road 126 and forest road 24N10 to the Lightning Tree Boat Ramp. The trail is not groomed in the winter. Adventurous snowshoers and cross country skiers can enjoy a day on the snow. Other trail access points include Catfish Cove Trailhead, at the dam and near the intersection of Grizzly Road and County Road 126.


Fee charged for some activities: camping and parking day use fee
Accessible: accessible sites each cg
Boat ramp: 3 boat docks, 1 car top boat launch

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



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