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The Best of Lake Valley Reservoir Camping

| Updated May 31, 2023

Are you interested in finding new reservoir camping spots? Located on the American River in California, Lake Valley reservoir camping offers fun activities for all.

High in the Sierra mountain range lies a crystal clear blue lake reservoir that will not disappoint. If camping, fishing, or boating is something that interests you, you will not want to miss this small slice of natural heaven!

Or, if hiking and seeing wildlife like black bears are more up your alley, this Placer county gem will deliver!

The following outlines all you need to know about Lake Valley reservoir camping. And in all things camping, check well in advance as these areas are sometimes closed due to fires.

7 Things to Do While Lake Valley Reservoir Camping

stand up paddle boarding
Have you tried this yet?

This 2-mile long reservoir is managed by Pacific Gas & Electric. It is situated in a gorgeous forested mountain setting, offering recreation for all ages.

It sits at an elevation of 5,840 and when the reservoir is full, it can hold 8,000 acre-feet of water.

1. Recreation

There are many popular activities that people enjoy in this gorgeous recreation area. You can boat and fish among many other things on this beautiful lake.

2. Kayak

Kayakers from all over come to enjoy the glassy morning water and gorgeous mountain setting of this reservoir.

3. Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP)

Many people enjoy doing SUP on this picturesque mountain body of water. Whether it is early or late summer, you have easy access to the natural beauty and calm waters of this crystal blue reservoir.

4. Fishing

Are you ready to cast your line and relax? This lake is excellent for those that want to launch their fishing boats. Try and catch those brown bullheads, catfish, and rainbow trout.

5. Boating

If you want to launch your boat using the convenient boat ramp, it is pretty simple to do. Take Interstate 80 (West if heading from Truckee, outside of Lake Tahoe) to the Yuba Gap exit. Head south to Lake Valley Road, and turn right.

After about a mile, turn left onto Forest Road b19. This dirt road will lead you to a parking area, Silver Tip Picnic Area, and a boat launch.

6. Windsurfing

Windsurfers can catch the wind while enjoying the crisp, cool water this location has to offer.

7. Swimming

If fishing, boating, or other sports are not your forte, dip into the cold water for a refreshing swim. There is nothing better than cooling off on a hot day. Some people enjoy swimming until late September!

Lake Valley Reservoir Camping

Camping is made easy at the Lodgepole Campground. With 35 campsites, vault toilets, piped water, picnic tables, fire rings, and grills, your family will have everything they need.

Be sure to pay attention to any fire restrictions that may be in place when you go.

There is no dump station.

Unfortunately, you cannot reserve a spot using an online reservations system. Only group campsites may be booked ahead of time.

This campground is usually open from mid-May to mid-October. Make your Memorial Day weekend or Labor Day weekend plans now!

The daily fee for camping is $25. Always check well in advance, as these areas are sometimes closed due to fires.

Day Use

If you are not going to camp onsite, enjoy the “day use” amenities. There are picnic areas available near Lake Valley Reservoir in the Silvertip Picnic Area. That is also where the boat launch is located.

There are 10 picnic sites available to enjoy. Spread out your feast while enjoying the sun rays reflecting off the water!

You can also picnic in nearby Kelly Lake at the Kelly Lake Day Use Area. Kelly Lake is open to non-motorized boating.

Mike and Jennifer's RV Lifestyle hat collection

The Best of Lake Valley Reservoir Camping 1
Who needs a hat?

Who needs a hat? You do! Dad hats aren't just for dads. This comfy one's got a low profile with an adjustable strap and curved visor. Just the thing to wear on your next RV Lifestyle adventure.

5 Other Lakes to Visit

Are you finished with Lake Valley Reservoir? There are plenty of other lakes and bodies of water to dip into that offer plenty of recreational opportunities! Always check well in advance, as these areas are sometimes closed due to fires.

1. Lake Almanor

This large reservoir is located in northwestern Plumas County. Surrounded by beautiful forests and deep blue skies, enjoy this 1,308,00 acre-feet lake with a 90-foot depth.

2. Union Valley Reservoir

Situated in eastern El Dorado County, Union Valley Reservoir is about a 20-mile drive northeast of Placerville. This 277,000 acre-feet body of water resides within the Eldorado National Forest at an elevation of 4,870 feet.

If fishing is your sport, you will enjoy catching rainbow trout, largemouth bass, sockeye salmon, smallmouth bass, and brown trout.

3. Round Valley Reservoir

This quiet and peaceful lake is located in Plumas County and allows kayaks and non-motorized boats. There is no swimming allowed, but you can walk the 5.6-mile loop in the forest.

Anglers can try their luck at catching largemouth bass, channel catfish, and bluegill.

4. Butt Valley Reservoir

Also located in Plumas County is Butt Valley Reservoir. This mountain lake sits at an elevation of 4,150. It is five miles long and three-quarters of a mile across.

Enjoy kayaking, canoeing, and sail boating on the lake. While jet skiing and water skiing are prohibited, you can use a motorized fishing boat if not going over 5 miles per hour. Boat height is restricted to 30′, including the mast.

To access the boating parking lot, take highway 36 to highway 89. Take that for about seven miles, and turn right onto Butt Valley Road. Drive 3.2 miles through the first campground, then continue a short distance on the partially unpaved road to the second campground and boat launch.

5. Lake Spaulding

Sitting at a 5.014 elevation in Nevada County, this gorgeous mountain lake was carved out of a glacial bowl of granite. Surrounded by giant rocks, with a surface area of 698 acres, this lake will not disappoint.

All boating is allowed in the lake. Enjoy power boating, row boating, canoeing, sailing, jet-skiing, windsurfing, and any inflatables you may have.

You can also enjoy swimming, hiking, backpacking, and picnicking.

If you fish, look for the abundant Rainbow and Brown Trout.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2021-08-03

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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