Lakes Basin Recreation Area in Plumas and Sierra County

Lakes Basin Recreation Area

Sierra City, California
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Local Phone: (800) 995-6057

The Lakes Basin Recreation Area, straddling Sierra and Plumas counties, contains dozens of great fishing lakes, most of them accessible by hiking and horse trails. Gold Lake, the largest, has a boat landing and nearby stables. A number of quaint lakeside lodges in the area offer rustic accommodations and fine dining.

Formed by glaciers and filled with reminders of the 19th-century mining days, the Lakes Basin area offers pristine camping and hiking—all of it dog-friendly—as well as popular mountain-biking trails. The most prominent feature on the landscape is the Sierra Buttes, a series of jagged peaks reminiscent of the Swiss Alps, with a hiking trail to the top.

The Gold Lake Highway through the Lakes Basin area is not plowed during the winter, making it a popular playground for snowmobilers and cross-country skiers.

For more information on the Lakes Basin, contact the Eastern Plumas Chamber of Commerce or Sierra County Chamber of Commerce.

sierra county, plumas county, gold lakes road, gold lakes highway, sierra buttes, sierra city

Lakes Basin Recreation Area - Photo Credit: @cmalexander
Lakes Basin Recreation Area - Photo Credit: @cmalexander
Cabin resorts—some rustic, some luxurious—have been hosting High Sierra vacationers for a century, and many are so popular in summer they can only be booked in blocks of a week or more. Come September, however, reservations open up, minimum-stay requirements are reduced and opportunity beckons. We’re partial to those in the uncrowded Lakes Basin Recreation Area straddling Sierra and Plumas counties about 50 miles northwest of Truckee. more »
Downieville, California <br/> Photo Credit: @bernies_best
Downieville, California
Photo Credit: @bernies_best
Historic Highway 49 in the north starts in the Sierra County town of Vinton and winds south through a mountainous region where the rivers still run free. Even during the summer high season, this county of fewer than 4,000 souls is off the beaten track for most visitors. In fall, it can feel like your own private realm. Set up basecamp in Downieville, a Gold-Rush town on the Yuba River, and prepare to be charmed. more »
Old-Fashioned Fun at Shasta Cascade Cabin Resorts
Back in the “olden days,” families taking a summer vacation often stayed at rustic cabin resorts situated in the mountains near scenic lakes and streams. Many of these old-style places (along with a few new ones) survive in the Shasta Cascade, and many are so popular they can only be booked in blocks of a week or more in summertime. Come September, however, reservations open up, minimum-stay requirements are reduced and opportunity beckons. Here are six dog-friendly places—some rustic, others high end—that might be just right for a fall getaway. more »
Road Trip! Photo Credit: Kip Leland
Road Trip! Photo Credit: Kip Leland
The farther you roam from metropolitan areas, the more relaxed the rules. Fall is a great time for a scenic-drive vacation, and it would be hard to find more options than in the Shasta Cascade region, which boasts 12 designated scenic byways, each with its own intrinsic qualities. The 500-mile Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, which winds through the least populated part of California, is one of just 21 routes nationwide designated an “All-American Road” by the U.S. Department of Transportation. more »
Exploring the Sierra Buttes. Photo Credit: @theadventuresofbeezus
Exploring the Sierra Buttes. Photo Credit: @theadventuresofbeezus
Looking for somewhere cool (in more ways than one) for you and your dog to collect yourselves this summer? The Lakes Basin Recreation Area straddles Plumas and Sierra counties about 70 miles north of Lake Tahoe. It's truly a land of lakes, with more than four dozen pools of blue scattered in granite-strewn, glacier-carved landscapes laced with hundreds of miles of dog-friendly hiking trails. more »
Chuck's Rock in Plumas County
Photo Credit: J (CC)
This scenic region an hour north of Lake Tahoe in Plumas County has been making family vacation memories for generations, but it’s just now appearing on the radar screens of mountain bikers, hikers, winter sports enthusiasts and DogTrekkers looking to trade congestion and commercialism for recreational and lodging opportunities with elbow room. more »
Barn in Hope Valley
If you’re not already packed up and headed for the hills, get moving! The first week of October is prime time for fall foliage in the upper elevations of Gold Country, and right now extensive stands of quaking aspen in Hope Valley, Donner Lake and elsewhere in the Lake Tahoe basin are dressed in their autumn best. The Highway 88/Carson Pass corridor, with its string of silvery lakes tucked into a rugged mountain landscape, is a favorite haunt of hikers and photographers, many of whom hang their hats at Sorensen's Resort, where dogs are welcome in the cozy cabins at no extra charge. more »
The farther you get from big cities, the more relaxed the rules. You'll never run out of room to roam in scenic Plumas and Sierra counties, where the Plumas National Forest alone offers more than a million acres where dogs are allowed to accompany their uprights either on- or off-leash. Countless access points to public lands are situated along the Volcanic Legacy and Feather River Scenic Byways, which are ranked among the nation's most scenic drives. Photo: "Dogs at Bucks Lake" - Jeff DeVries (CC) more »
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