Camp Clean

Minimal Impact Camping

Camping Tread Lightly

Leave No Trace Camping

Camp Cleaning

  • No Soap in Streams, Creeks or Lakes: Even Biodegradable Soap is not good for the poor fish downstream.
  • Bring a bucket or wash tub – Wash dishes, clothes & yourself 100′ from streams & lakes
  • Food put away & dishes washed up before bed time. Keeping a clean camp will lessen the chances of wildlife or a bear visit
  • Use existing campsite or rock campfire ring to prevent impacting new areas
  • Pitch tent in cleared camp spots only (when primitive camping). No need to trample new spots.
  • Do not set a tent up in a meadow, next to a creek or on a lake shore. It’s too fragile an environment.
  • Bring extra trash bags (heavy duty lawn type is best) for cleaning any litter you might find at your selected camp site.
  • Sometimes you’ll need to shovel out the whole fire pit (full of glass and trash)  to start a fresh new campfire. Building your fire on top of somebody else’s mess means you’ll be inhaling all their left-over garbage.
Always leave a clean camp

always leave a clean camp

leave no trace

Camp Kitchen Outdoors

Try to keep all food, drinks and cooking to one area of the camp. If you plan to cook over the campfire, this choice will make much more sense. Setting up kitchen area in between the tent and the campfire is usually an excellent spot. Having the vehicle close by for proper food storage is also advised, or use bear boxes if available. If you choose to hang your food in the tree, bring adequate ropes and bags.

The last person still up around the campfire at night should double check the cleanlness camp before retiring for bed. Chances are there is a half-eaten snack or left over beverage that could attract the animals. Oh no, the GARBAGE!! Don’t forgot to put your garbage bag away at night, or dispose of it in a proper trash container. Double bag your garbage if you are concerned with it leaking or smelling up the vehicle.

Food Preparation

Potty Breaks in the Outdoors

shovel

  • Bathroom break in the bushes? Don’t leave your toilet paper trash. Dispose of in your vehicle with a plastic bag or back at camp.
  • For human waste – Bring a shovel, dig holes 8″ deep & pack out all toilet paper. Do not bury paper as animals will just dig it up.
  • Certain areas are so sensitive or overused that all solid waste must be packed out, check for the local regulations.

Camp Hygiene in the Outdoors

Spicer Reservoir

spicer terrain


Spicer Meadow Reservoir

Spicer Meadows, Spicer Reservoir, Rd #7N01
Spicer Lake, Stanislaus National Forest

lake elevation 6418′
227 surface acres

public boat ramp
hiking trail around lake
more lakes nearby

Ebbetts Pass Sierra Hwy 4

Ancient volcanic peaks mix with Sierra Nevada granite rock, pine forests and fresh, clear, clean mountain water! California, of course.

Stanislaus Forest Road #7N01 leads down from Highway 4 to this popular series of alpine lakes and reservoirs. Camping, fishing, hiking and mountain biking. Sailing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, floating and fishing are also popular water activities.

Rules of the Reservoir:
10 mph speed limit on Western Arm.
No motorized boating in Eastern Arm.
Camp only in developed Campgrounds.

NFS
2 NFS Campgrounds at west end of lake:

  • Spicer Campground (60 sites)
  • Spicer Group Camp (75 people max)
  • Campgrounds only open June-September. Some campsites at the campground are wheelchair accessible.

    Additionally, Stanislaus River Campground w/ only 8 sites, is located just off the main access road #7N01, right near the river.

    spicer lake shore

    Spicer #7N01

    Numerous smaller lakes in the region make this a hot spot for summer vacations. Union and Utica Reservoirs (both with dirt road access) are good for kayaking and canoes, while power or sail boats prefer the larger Spicer Lake. Summit Lake and Elephant Rock Lake are perfect for quite picnics and day hikes. Trails (many unmarked) connect the lakes to each other. Area gets buried with snow in winter, so these roads are generally only open half the year.

    More reservoirs and lakes nearby:
    Highland Lakes
    Mosquito Lakes
    Lake Alpine, CA
    (all along Hwy 4)

    Stanislaus National Forest Map USDA

    Stanislaus National Forest Map USDA

    Nearby mountain towns:
    ARNOLD, CA
    BEAR VALLEY, CA
    Lake Alpine, CA

    7N01 – Stanislaus NF

    Spicer Meadow Reservoir & more lakes: Paved Forest Rd #7N01

    Spicer, Utica & Union Reservoirs, Central Sierra, Stanislaus National Forest

    summit lake

    Stanislaus National Forest
    North Fork of the Stanislaus River
    Highland Creek
    Carson Iceberg Wilderness Area
    Spicer Meadow Reservoir (6418′ elev)
    Union Reservoir (6850′ elev)
    Utica Reservoir

    Spicer Meadow Reservoir can also be found on various publications, listed as Spicer Meadows, Spicer Mdws, Spicer Lake and Spicer Reservoir.

    tent camping

    Ebbett’s Pass is California State Route (SR 4) Highway 4, which cuts thru the middle of the Sierra Nevada mountains (east-west). Wilderness peaks and rivers surround this whole region. Deep snow pack is common, so much of this region is off-limits half the year (or more). Always check with local rangers by phone before venturing out, as winter conditions can keep these roads closed late into the year.

    Topo Maps of this Region:

    Stanislaus National Forest Map USDA
    Carson Iceberg Wilderness Map USDA
    Carson, Emigrant, Mokelumne Map NatGeo
    Sierra Nevada Topo Map

    Wilderness Maps

    N of Arnold, California; Continue up SR 4. Passing Calaveras Big Trees State Park & Camp Connell; After Big Meadow Campground, take the paved right turn for Spicer Meadow; This is forest road 7N01. Meandering thru a forest and descending in elevation, road will dead end at Spicer Reservoir.

    7N01, the main paved mountain road, is located on the south side of the highway. The highway turn off reads ‘Spicer Reservoir’. Suitable for travel w/ RVs and trucks with boat trailers. Quite curvy, scenic and about 7 miles long. There are developed campgrounds in the vicinity.

    The dirt side roads off the pavement can be narrow, muddy, rocky and overgrown, so be cautious when exploring. Choosing a dispersed camp site should be done during daylight hours, and will require a campfire permit ahead of time. Use an existing camp site whenever possible, instead of creating new ones.

    freespice

    Several man-made reservoirs attract outdoor seekers, mountain bikers, campers, canoes and fishermen. Kayakers tend to love Union and Utica, but power boats and sail boats prefer Spicer Lake.

    Volcanic features mix with Sierra granite in this part of the forest, and geologic formations make for interesting hikes. Mountain biking is common around these lakes, as well as day hiking and backpacking.

    Spicer Lake

    NFS Campgrounds in the region: NFS

  • Stanislaus River Campground
  • Spicer Campground
  • Spicer Group Camp
  • Campgrounds only open June-September. Some campsites at the campground are wheelchair accessible. Boat ramp located near campgrounds.

    outdoor recreation:
    backpacking
    boating
    bouldering
    camping
    canoeing
    fishing
    floating
    granite
    hiking
    kayaking
    mountain biking
    lakes
    sailing
    swimming
    trails
    wildflowers

    Left fork turn off, Dirt Road #7N05 leads out to Utica & Union Reservoirs. No motorized boats allowed on those two lakes. No developed campgrounds back that way either. No RV spots; only primitive style camping.

    Another dirt road treks steeply up the hill from Union Reservoir to Lake Alpine (at the highway). That primitive truck trails is actually a (somewhat designated, but not well-signed) 4×4 route and suitable for high clearance vehicles only.

    car camping lakes

    Spur Road #7N29Y is a small dirt road which leads a couple miles into the forest, over to trailheads and primitive camping options. Ideal for accessing all the lakes (on foot) from this prime location. A fire permit is required. No water, no bathrooms, no facilities.

  • Elephant Rock Lake
  • Summit Lake (7068′ elev)
  • elephant rock

    Closest small towns are:

    ARNOLD
    BEAR VALLEY
    LAKE ALPINE, CA

    lake camps

    7N01 – Los Padres NF
    There is another Forest Road in California named 7N01, but that one is a 4×4 OHV access route @ Dutchman Campground, located in south part of Los Padres National Forest. We have mention of it on the page for Frazier Park Camping.

    Plumas Campgrounds

    Plumas Campsites

    Snake Lake Campground near Quincy, California

    Snake Lake Campground near Quincy, California

    Plumas National Forest has excellent outdoor recreation and developed campgrounds, as well as secluded, primitive back roads camping sites. If you prefer a camp with table, toilet and a campfire ring, then expect to pay a fee. There are several small, remote campgrounds listed below, but most are located on paved roads. Venture down dirt roads to find a premium camp sites for free. Scroll the map links below to explore the back roads of Plumas, and discover hidden fishing holes.

    CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

    Plumas Camping; Sierra Nevada Campgrounds; Feather River Fishing Lakes

    campground elev spots veg toilet water notes
    Black Rock Campground 5046′ 20 vault piped Little Grass Valley Res.
    Boulder Creek Campground 5000′ 70 pines vault piped Antelope Lake Camp
    Brady’s Campground 7200′ 4 pines vault creek Greenhorn Pine Creek
    Cottonwood Springs 5700′ 9 vault creek Frenchman Reservoir
    Conklin Park Campground 5900′ 9 vault creek NW Frenchman
    Crocker Campground 5800′ 10 vault creek County Road 111
    Deanes Valley Campground 4400′ 7 mixed vault creek remote
    Feather Falls Campground 2500′ 5 vault piped trailhead camp /no RVs
    Gansner Bar Campground 2300′ 14 flush piped Feather River
    Gold Lake Campground 6400′ 6 vault lake 4WD camp site
    Grizzly Creek Campground 5000′ 8 vault piped Bucks Lake
    Hallsted Campground 2800′ 20 pines flush piped Feather River, fishing
    Horse Camp 5046′ 10 vault lake Little Grass Valley Res.
    Hutchins Campground 5200′ 10 pines flush piped Bucks Lake Group Camp
    Lake Almanor Campground 4500′ 53 pines vault piped SW shore, boats
    Lakes Basin Campground 6400′ 24 pines vault piped Gold Lake, many more
    Laufman Campground 5100′ 6 vault creek Willow Creek
    Little North Fork 4000′ 8 mixed vault creek Feather River
    Lone Rock Campground 5000′ 87 mixed vault creek Antelope Lake
    Long Point Campground 5000′ 38 mixed vault creek Antelope Lake
    Meadow View Campground 6100′ 6 vault no W Doyle, CA
    Mill Creek Campground 5000′ 10 pines vault piped Bucks Lake
    Milsap Bar Campground 1600′ 20 mixed vault creek CLOSED 2016
    North Fork Campground 2600′ 20 vault piped fish, Feather River
    Peninsula Campground 5046′ 25 flush piped Little Grass Valley
    Queen Lily Campground 2600′ 12 flush piped fish, Feather River
    Red Feather Campground 5100′ 60 flush piped Little Grass Valley Res.
    Rogers Cow Camp 4000′ 5 pines vault no Oro-Quincy Hwy
    Silver Lake Campground 5800′ 8 vault lake fish, Bucks Lake area
    Snake Lake Campground 4200′ 9 mixed vault lake snow sports, fish
    Sundew Campground 5000′ 19 pines vault piped Bucks Lake
    Tooms Vehicle Campground 5046′ 20 vault piped Little Grass Valley Res
    Whitehorse Campground 5000′ 20 vault creek Bucks Creek
    Plumas National Forest Map
    Plumas National Forest Map

    primitive camp sites hikes camp

    CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

    FIRE LOOKOUTS & NFS CABINS for rent

    Plumas Forest Regions

    • Beckworth Ranger District

    Lake Davis, Conklin, Crocker, Gold Lake, Lakes Basin

    • Feather River Ranger District

    Little Grass Valley, Sly Creek, Feather River

    • Mount Hough Ranger District

    Antelope Lake, Bucks Lake, Feather River Canyon, Indian Valley

    Bike Trail Lake Almanor

    Paved bike path along the west shore of Lake Almanor.

    California Camping River

    map river | hiking river | map gorge

    California River Maps

    Tent Camp Yosemite Valley

    There are many gorgeous rivers in California that are perfect for camping and fishing, but none are located in Southern California. None! Yep, you read that right. If you think about it, the golden state is about half desert! The majority of our natural water in our state is coming from the north – so take this as a warning: you might need to drive a few hours to find your ideal river camp.

    The easy-to-access waterways are found mostly along highways in the Sierra Nevada – or way up in NorCal. Deep granite gorges carved out by glaciers, surrounded by forested peaks is only half the appeal. High elevation lakes, waterfalls, big trees, abundant wildlife, and the alpine villages are all part of the Sierra Nevada experience.  Raft, kayak, fly fish, hike, bike or just camp out next to a big, rushing, flowing river. Our selection of California maps will get you narrowed down to a specific region, so you can find that perfect river campground, or explore and discover the back roads – for the most seclusion.

    NorCal Rivers:

    EEL RIVER
    KLAMATH RIVER – Klamath NF Map
    MAD RIVER – NFS Campground
    MATTOLE RIVER
    McCLOUD RIVER
    NAVARRO RIVER
    NEW RIVER
    NOYO RIVER
    PIT RIVER
    RUSSIAN RIVER
    SACRAMENTO RIVER CAMPING
    SALMON RIVER
    6 RIVERS NATIONAL FOREST
    SMITH RIVER
    TRINITY RIVER
    VAN DUZEN RIVER

    Sierra Rivers:

    AMERICAN RIVER – El Dorado NF Map
    CONSUMNES RIVER – Stanislaus NF Map
    FEATHER RIVER Recreation Map
    FEATHER RIVER – Plumas NF Map
    KERN RIVER – Sequoia NF Map
    KAWEAH RIVER – Sequoia
    KINGS RIVER
    KINGS RIVER – Sequoia Kings Canyon Map
    KINGS Cyn NP
    MERCED RIVER – Sierra
    MERCED RIVER – Yosemite Map
    MOKELUMNE RIVER – El Dorado NF Map
    OWENS RIVER – Inyo NF Map
    SAN JOAQUIN RIVER – Sierra NF
    SOUTH YUBA RIVER Recreation Map
    STANISLAUS RIVER – Sonora Pass
    STANISLAUS RIVER – Stanislaus NF Map
    TULE RIVER – Sequoia
    YUBA RIVER – Tahoe NF Map

    LOCAL TIPS for RIVER DESTINATIONS

    calmrivers

    KERN RIVER: The Kern River is one of the most popular of all the Sierra rivers due to its proximity to SoCal. Hurried, stressed-out, Angelinos (LA) can be at this destination in under 3 hours which makes it a very busy place most warm months. So, let it be told, that summer is not the best time to enjoy the Kern. If you do plan a summer outting, make sure you head for the Upper Kern (10+ mi N of Kernville & Lake Isabella) or the North Fork of the Kern (out in Monache Meadows) where 4×4 is often needed.

    The Lower Kern River has only 2 developed campgrounds: Hobo (closed for winter) and Sandy Flat (open all year). Numerous primitive camp spots are available along Old Kern Canyon Rd, which parallels the Hwy 178 on the south side. None of which are located at the rivers edges. Fire danger is great in this area, so pay extra close attention to signs and fire restrictions.

    Beer at River

    YOSEMITE RIVER: Take note, this is the most popular park in the whole state. The majority of campers want to stay right on the river when they visit Yosemite National Park, but that is just plain old impossible, since reservations go fast and there is only so much room for everyone in this enclosed, narrow, precious valley. This particular park has some major floods (1997 & 2005) that wipe out bridges, the road ways, all the old wooden cabins (at Yosemite Lodge) are gone and only half of the campgrounds are still available. Yosemite has had 11 winter floods since 1916 that have caused substantial damage to property. Reservations are taken for camping and cabins – far in advance; like one year. No joke!

    CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

    3 Yosemite Campgrounds are located next to the Merced River (inside spectacular Yosemite Valley)

    hikehike

    Way up in the Yosemite high country which is only open a few months outta the year, the beautiful Tuolumne Meadows Campground is located next to lush meadows and the scenic Tuolumne River. All Yosemite campsites must be reserved well in advance, so click the links above – if you are serious about a Yosemite camping trip.

    Mokelumne

    STANISLAUS RIVER: The Sonora Pass, the fishing is very decent way back in this granite gorge. The highway 108 is only open a few months outta the year, due to snow & rock slides – so time is of the essence. Summer time that is. Several campgrounds are located right on the river, or on the major feeder streams. Or you can opt for secluded primitive camping on the back roads. Find Sonora camping in Stanislaus National Forest.

    YUBA RIVER: The biggest play time river in the northern Gold Country, this runs along Hwy 49 near Downieville and also has a major South Fork for the best swimming holes and primitive camping in this region. Tubing, rafting, kayaking, fishing, camping, gold panning, you name it, Yuba has it. Look for more on the South Yuba Recreation map, or Plumas National Forest map.

    FEATHER RIVER: The top fishing river in the Lassen – Lake Oville area. Chester and Lake Almanor in the upper reaches. High Bridge Campground is nice paved-camp-site camping; a forested spot where you can fish 2 rivers on the same day. A Plumas NF or Lassen NF map would be quite helpful for this region. Lower down the mountain, lower Feather Rivers which include all 4 forks which feed Lake Oroville – West Fork, North Fork, Middle Fork Feather, and the South Fork. Lots of waterways to explore in between Chico and Quincy.

    KINGS RIVER: This one particular river is the longest in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, pulling snow melt from the upper reaches of the High Country and Mount Whitney. The river area just to the West of the National Park, over to Pine Flat Reservoir, is all prime for outdoor recreation. Several river rafting companies work this stretch of river.

    CAMP FOUR & A HALF CABIN RENTAL
    NFS KINGS RIVER
    NFSrangers

    hikehike

    Kings River Rafters