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part ofPlumas National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Open through Tue Sep 15 2015   Season Dates


Cottonwood Campground sits at the headwaters of the Feather River, just steps from 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 campground is located between the rugged Sierra Nevada and the fringes of the Cascade ranges. The forest is home to hundreds of high alpine lakes and thousands of miles of clear-running streams.

Pine trees provide moderate to good shade in most sites, but also allow for plentiful sunshine on a clear day. The nearby Frenchman Lake is a manmade reservoir with 21 miles of shoreline. A few campsites overlook the lake's blue waters and others have a view of a sagebrush meadow dotted with pine trees.


During the summer the campground offers a variety of outdoor experiences including hiking, biking, picnicking and hunting. Winter activities range from snowmobiling to ice fishing and cross-country skiing.

The nearby 1,580-acre lake provides ample opportunities for swimming, boating, water skiing and jet skiing. Fishing is also popular among visitors. Free fishing days are sponsored twice every year, in April and September. There is also an accessible fishing trail within the campground.


Cottonwood Campground offers multiple single-family campsites available for both tent and RV camping, as well as a large group site that can accommodate up to 50 guests.

All sites are equipped with tables, campfire rings and grills. Accessible flush toilets and drinking water are also provided.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Boat Ramp
  • Accessible Flush Toilets
  • Accessible Sites
  • Beach Access
  • Boating
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Firewood
  • Fishing
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Off-Road Vehicle Trails
  • Picnic Area
  • Showers
  • Swimming
  • Trash Collection
  • Water Skiing
Within 10 Miles
  • General Store
Know Before You Go
  • Additional fees apply for pets on a per-day basis
  • Additional fees apply for extra vehicles and for use of the boat ramp
  • Off-road vehicles are prohibited in the campground
  • 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):
    39.88472, -120.23667
    39°53'5"N, 120°14'12"W

    From Reno, Nevada, travel north on Highway 395, then merge onto Highway 70 west and travel 5 miles to Chilcoot. Turn north on Highway 284 and continue for 8 miles to the Frenchman Lake Reservoir, then turn left before crossing the dam and travel 2.5 miles to the Cottonwood Campground.

    Contact Information:

    Mailing Address:

    CHILCOOT  CA  96105

    Phone Number:

    Project Office: (530)258-7606
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