Car camping recommendations in the Plumas/Graeagle/Gold Lake area?
May 26, 2016 10:34 AM   Subscribe

Planning a week long car camping trip to California's Lakes Basin region -- roughly Gold Lake/Yuba River/Feather River (the general area of this map). Looking for recommendations for campgrounds. More details/requirements below the fold.

We're planning a family vacation/car camping trip to the north eastern Sierra for early August (leaving from the Bay Area). Four of us -- two adults, teen son and teen daughter. We are experienced car campers. Looking to do some hiking, not-too-technical mountain biking, fishing (from shore, creek-side, and from a small 13' boat), and general lazing about. Have never really visited this region* and think it would be a place to explore and hang out in for a week.

I know this is a popular outdoors region, one that boasts a CA state park and a good number of drive to and hike to lakes and campgrounds. I could really use some help paring down the many options in front of me.

What I'd really like to find:

* a beautiful car camping site with enough room for three tents (a double and two singles), and enough parking space for a pickup truck and a towed boat (boat-on-trailer is ~17' long).
* access to running water
* flush toilets, or at least decent pit toilets
* decent day hiking opportunities from camp
* not a huge party spot - it doesn't need to be a solemn sanctuary to nature, but I want to avoid Party Central
* mountain biking opportunities nearby
* great (!) fishing nearby - the closer the better. I know the area is a world class trout fishery (no complaints), but would also love to do some bass fishing, even if it's just for a day trip
* near a small town for the odd dinner out and to resupply

The Upper Jamison Creek Campground in Plumas-Eureka State Park is one possibility I am considering, but with so many campgrounds and lakes in that area I would love to get some more info on other possibilities. Really, casting a wide net (so to speak) and searching for the best fit in this general area.

Fill me with your camping knowledge, MeFites!
posted by mosk to Travel & Transportation around Sierra City, CA (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm really fond of the Lime Saddle campground on Lake Oroville. Meets your needs (although I don't know shit about fishing, it seems like a place for that). Campsites are big, modern, near nice toilet/shower facilities, have a helpful attendant, and are on the upper slopes of hills that border on the edge of the lake. We were last there for Thanksgiving 2014, when the lake was so dry you could walk across the bottom at that spot, and it was still wonderful. Now the lake's pretty much full so the water comes up to just about the campsites. You're also near a boat ramp, and nice roads to take further up into the Sierras.

Here are some phone pics from that super drought Tgiving trip (when the lake turned back into the Feather and the old access roads reemerged; these pics were taken right around this parking area just a short distance from camp, and even with the water up I would mountain bike the hell out of the denuded-but-still-above-water valley walls). If you go, take pics!
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 3:22 PM on May 26, 2016

Update: I found what I think will be an ideal spot for us: Eureka Plumas State Park, in the Lakes Basin region. It appears to hit absolutely everything on my list, so I'm pretty psyched. Vacation can't get here soon enough for me.

Thanks for the tip on Oroville, late afternoon dreaming hotel. I don't think we'll get there this trip, but I've wanted to fish that lake for a long time so I'll keep your suggestion in mind.

BTW, if anyone is familiar with the area, I'm happy to hear more about it or other places nearby. Thanks.
posted by mosk at 2:40 AM on May 27, 2016

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