Upper Feather River Lakes
The three Upper Feather River lakes -- Antelope, Frenchman, and Davis -- sit at the top of the State Water Project. With recreation areas operated by the U.S. Forest Service, the lakes are situated in heavily-wooded Plumas County and provide traditional-style recreation. All three lakes have excellent fishing, camping, and boating in relatively tranquil and uncrowded settings.
Antelope Lake, which is the smallest of the Upper Feather River lakes, is located on Indian Creek, a tributary of the East Branch North Fork Feather River. At 5,000 feet in elevation, it offers 15 miles of shoreline and closes in the winter due to snow.
Frenchman Lake was the first lake created for the SWP in 1962, and consists of 21 miles of shoreline, and a 129-foot-tall earthen dam. With five campgrounds and two boat launches, visitors can enjoy a variety of water-based recreation in a wooded setting.
Lake Davis is located on Big Grizzly Creek, a tributary of the Middle Fork Feather River. The largest of the three lakes, it is a hub for recreation including boating, fishing, hunting, swimming, and wildlife viewing.
Antelope Lake and Antelope Valley Dam are located 43 miles from Quincy. Entrances are on Genesee Road and Indian Creek Road to the lake. The lake has one three-lane boat ramp.
Frenchman Lake and Dam is 26 miles from the town of Portola and 38 miles northwest of Reno, Nevada. It offers two boat launch ramps with two paved lanes, which can be reached by taking Frenchman Lake Road (Highway 284) north from Highway 70.
Lake Davis and Grizzly Valley Dam are located seven miles north of the City of Portola. Lightning and Honker Cove boat ramps offer paved launching ramps, boarding docks, toilets, and drinking water. Mallard car-top boat launching facility has a paved unloading and loading area for boats. There are also several areas for fishing access and swimming spots.
Antelope Lake has three campgrounds nearby with something different to offer at each one. Lone Rock is the largest of the campgrounds at Antelope Lake. It offers 87 family sites for tents and RV’s and some lakefront stiess. Boulder Creek has 69 family sites for tents or RV’s and allows for a maximum of six people per site. Long Point has the most lakefront sites of all three campgrounds. It boasts 38 family sites and four group sites, which can accommodate up to 25 people each.
Frenchman Lake offers five developed campgrounds: Chilcoot, with 40 sites, is tent only; Cottonwood Springs has 20; Frenchman has 38 sites; Spring Creek has 35 tent and RV sites; and Big Cove has 38 tent and RV sites. All campgrounds offer tent camping. Frenchman, Big Cove, Chilcoot, and Cottonwood Springs have flush toilets and Spring Creek has vault toilets.
Lake Davis has three campgrounds around the lake. Grizzly has 55 campsites, Grasshopper has 71, and Lightning Tree has 40. All campgrounds have tables, grills, fire rings, and water. There are also nearby coin-operated showers. Grizzly and Grasshopper have flush toilets, while Lightning Tree has vault toilets.
All three lakes are great for sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and windsurfing. Strong winds can come up suddenly, making the lakes hazardous for small craft. Water skiing is permitted at Antelope Lake and Frenchman, but not at Lake Davis. All boaters must adhere to state, county, and other regulations.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife stock the lakes frequently. For more information about fish planting, view the Department of Fish and Wildlife fish planting schedule.
Antelope Lake is stocked with rainbow trout and also supports brook trout, crappie, channel catfish, and small-mouth and large-mouth bass. Fishing is often good in Indian Creek at Antelope Dam.
Frenchman Lake holds rainbow trout, including Eagle Lake strain. Fly fishing is popular in the shallow coves north of the boat ramp. The six fishing access points around the lake are Nightcrawler Bay, Snallygaster Point, Crystal Point, Turkey Point, Salmon Egg Shoal, and Frenchman Dam.
Lake Davis is known for excellent trout fishing in the spring and ice fishing when weather permits. There are several no-fee fishing spots around the lake at Bluff Cove, Coot Bay, Cow Creek, Eagle Point, Fairview Point, Freeman Creek, Jenkins Point, Long Point, and Mosquito Cove.
The three lakes are surrounded by the Sierra Nevada's Plumas National Forest, making it a popular destination for a wide variety of recreation year long. In the summer and fall, outdoor recreation include picnicking, hunting, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing. Ice fishing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing are favorite activities in the winter.
For more information about Antelope Lake Recreation Area, view the Antelope Lake page on the U.S. Forest Service website.
For more information about Frenchman Lake Recreation Area, view the Frenchman Lake brochure on the U.S. Forest Service website.
For more information about Lake Davis Recreation Area, view the Lake Davis brochure on the U.S. Forest Service website.
- Lake Oroville Operations Update: June 14
- Annual Lake Oroville Boating, Fishing Event Provides Lifetime Memories for Children with Special Needs
- Celebrate Independence Day With Fireworks Over North Forebay in Oroville
- Enjoy an adventure at California's lakes, reservoirs
- Five Ways to Stay Safe While Swimming in California's Lakes and Reservoirs