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part ofPlumas National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Open through Thu Oct 01 2015   Season Dates


Big Cove Campground is located at the headwaters of the Feather River, near the shores of Frenchman Lake in northeast California. Visitors to the area enjoy day hikes and backpacking trips as well as hunting in the Plumas National Forest's numerous canyons. A variety of water sports are also available.

Natural Features:

The California Department of Water Resources created the lake in 1962 by damming the Little Last Chance Creek. The shoreline is 21 miles and the 126-foot earthen dam sits at an elevation of 5,607 feet.

A few campsites overlook the lake's blue waters and others have a view of a sagebrush meadow dotted with pine trees that provide limited shade throughout the day.


During the summer, the campground's lush forest surroundings offer a variety of outdoor experiences, including hiking and biking. Hunting is also popular among visitors, as a variety of wildlife makes its home in the area.

The nearby 1,580-acre Frenchman Lake provides fishing, swimming, boating, water skiing, jet skiing and other water-related opportunities. Winter activities range from snowmobiling to ice fishing and cross-country skiing.


The campground offers multiple accessible single-family and large group campsites for tent and RV camping. Some sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Big Cove has additional overflow camping available on weekends and holidays when other campgrounds are full.

Accessible flush toilets and drinking water are also provided as well as hot showers.

Nearby Attractions:

Little Last Chance Canyon Scenic Area is a short drive from Big Cove Campground.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Flush Toilets
  • Accessible Sites
  • Drinking Water
  • Firewood
  • Hot Showers
  • Picnic Area
  • Trash Collection
Within 10 Miles
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boating
  • Dump Station
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Off-Road Vehicle Trails
  • Showers
  • Swimming
  • Water Skiing
Know Before You Go
  • No camp fires are permitted in overflow camping areas.
  • Additional fees apply for parking and pets.
  • Click here to learn more about the Plumas National Forest
  • A variety of wildlife live in this area, including black bears. Before making a reservation, become aware of bear safety.
  • Please go to the following link for more information: http://www.centerforwildlifeinformation.org/BeBearAware/Hiking_and_Camping/hiking_and_camping.html
    • Don't Move Firewood: Protect California's forests from tree-killing pests by buying your firewood locally and burning it on-site. For more information visit firewood.ca.gov.

    Getting There:

    GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
    39.90194, -120.1725
    39°54'7"N, 120°10'21"W

    From Reno, Nevado, take Highway 395 for 24 miles. Merge onto State Route 70 west and continue for 5 miles to Chilcoot. Turn right on State Route 284 and continue for 8 miles to Frenchman Lake.

    Contact Information:

    Mailing Address:

    CHILCOOT  CA  96105

    Phone Number:

    Project Office: (530)258-7606
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