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Overnight trip: Lakes Basin Recreation Area - Rock Lake

  • Sep 21, 2013 · 11:30 AM
  • Plumas Eureka State Park

This moderate backpacking trip into the Lakes Basin Recreation Area begins at the Jamison Mine trailhead in Plumas-Eureka State Park. We will backpack in to Rock Lake, passing Grass and Jamison Lakes along the way. While the hike to Rock Lake is only 3.2 miles, the elevation gain is significant, at 2,090 feet. The first part of the hike is steep through loose rocks and boulders.

This trip is in conjunction with the Chico-Oroville Outdoor Adventurers Meetup group. So far there are seven backpackers coming from that group: four men and three women (including myself). We may hike in two groups to allow one group to hike at a slower pace.

Additional details: Bear canisters are optional; I plan to hang food. Overnight temps will be a few degrees cooler in September so you will want to be prepared. No wilderness permit needed. $8 state park entrance/parking fee per vehicle

Here is a link to a trip report, with pictures of Jamison and Rock Lakes:

We will meet at the trailhead on Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m.
I will be driving up on Friday evening after work, leaving Sacramento around 6 p.m., to car camp the night before at the Plumas-Eureka State Park. You are welcome to join me either Friday evening or Saturday morning. We can carpool from Sacramento if you would like to go up Friday night.

Here are driving directions from the Bay Area (I chose San Francisco as a general starting point):

Here is a link to the Plumas-Eureka State Park brochure, with map:

We will not be able to have a campfire. Fire restrictions went into effect June 15. See link:

We can use portable stoves with a campfire permit:

...lanterns and portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed as long as the forest visitor has a valid California Campfire Permit available from Forest Service offices during normal business hours (M-F; 8-4:30). 

Or you can get a campfire permit online, via the Sequoia National Forest link, below, good in any National Forest:

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the 4 question quiz.

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  • Lorraine

    I was wondering how you were doing out there in the rain! Glad it didn't ruin your trip. Thanks for posting the pix and I'm glad you had a good time.

    1 · September 23, 2013

  • Joan G

    We had a great trip, even though no one from BABW could join us. We did have 2-3 hours of rain during the hike in and while setting up camp. The guys who went have backpacked together for years, and quickly put up tarps in camp so we could cook and eat dinner out of the rain. The rain stopped in the early evening and Sunday was beautiful for walking around Rock Lake and going over to Jamison Lake. I think this would be a good beginner trip (minus the rain). The only issue is the initial steep section, which I found harder to descend versus climb. Also, it is a very popular area, so it may be hard to find campsites on weekends. This past weekend there was only one other occupied campsite. It's late in the year, and the rain most likely kept people away.

    If you're up there I also recommend the museum at the Plumas Eureka State Park entrance. Really enjoyed seeing the exhibits, old photographs, and historical artifacts.

    September 22, 2013

  • Megan

    I was just up there and spent the night at Jamison Lake this past weekend. It's really beautiful up there have a GREAT time!

    Bear bags are fine, I've never had a problem up there.

    August 20, 2013

    • Megan

      Hey Joan, That's interesting. I frequent that forest so much I didn't bother going on the website. And low and behold its the first thing on the site.You wouldn't know it from being up there, there were no posted signs on any of the boards we stopped to read. We were even looking for information on that and the only signage we could find was fire safety signs. Everyone up there last weekend seemed to have fires so good to know for next time!! I'll spread the word! I'm up there quite a bit in the summer.

      1 · August 21, 2013

    • Joan G

      Thanks Megan. It does get confusing, as I backpacked in the Trinity Alps a couple weeks ago, where campfires are allowed in some areas but not others. We originally thought we couldn't have a campfire, but then found a USFS trail report which spelled out where campfires were restricted and where they were ok, within the same wilderness area.

      August 21, 2013

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