Lightning Tree

Plumas National Forest

Lightning Tree Campground (5,800 feet) is one of three family-friendly campgrounds located in the Lake Davis Recreation Area. The lake was formed by damming Grizzly Creek in 1967. The purpose of the lake was to provide water for the town of Portola, improve area fishing and provide recreation opportunities. The 32 miles of shoreline has several boat launch facilities and fishing access points. Lightning Tree Campground is a great place to serve as hub for family fun and recreation. At the end of the day return to this home away from home to relax around the campfire. 

The campground offers more than three dozen single and double capacity campsites, available for tent and RV camping. Some accessible campsites are available. Most sites are available on a first come basis and the rest are open for reservation up to six months in advance. Coin-operated showers are available 4 miles away at Grasshopper Flat Campground.

Need to Know

Natural Features

Lake Davis is situated in the hills north of the town of Portola in the Plumas National Forest. Smith Peak State Game Refuge to the south and west of the lake is a great place for bird watching, nature viewing, photography and exploring. Large sheep herding ranches used this area before the dam was build. Today, cattle trek across the rangeland meadows. Get a panoramic view of Lake Davis, Sierra Valley and peaks of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Ranges from Smith Peak Fire Lookout.

Nearby Attractions

Restaraunts, stores and services are available in Portola, CA

Visit the largest railroad museum in the Western United States located in Portola. 

The old Basque style sheepherder bread oven at Jenkins Point has been restored

Visit Smith Peak Fire Lookout


In addition to camping, the area offers a wide variety of popular water-related activities, including fishing, boating and swimming. Numerous fishing access points are located around the perimeter of the lake and anglers will find rainbow and brown trout, bass and catfish. A boat ramp is located nearby.

Mountain biking, hiking, hunting and wildlife viewing are also available in the area. During winter months, visitors enjoy ice fishing, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

Contact Information



Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

From Reno, travel north on Highway 395 to Highway 70 and turn west to Portola. From Portola, take County Road 126 north for 7 miles, then County Road 112 to the east side of Lake Davis. Continue approximately 5 miles to the campground, which is on the left.

Available Campsites

Photo Gallery