French Meadows Reservoir - Placer County, CA



Elevation 5263 ft.

This is a remote, forested basin that is peaceful and lovely because of it's location. However, the reservoir is usually drawn down to low water levels by late summer.
The lake also makes a good base camp for day-hiking into the Granite Chief Wilderness from the west side.
The area is a State Game Refuge; so - no firearms.
...peaceful and lovely because of it's location.
North Fork Yuba River

From Auburn follow the Foresthill Road east for 17 miles to Foresthill. Then take the Mosquito Ridge Road east of Foresthill for 36 miles. The road is paved, but canyon drop-offs are not for the squeamish.


Camping (Best)

French Meadows Campground: South shore, 75 campsites, flush toilets. This is a fee area; reservations accepted. French Picnic Site: South shore, 7 sites, tables and grills, flush toilets nearby. 

Gates Group Camp: East side, near but not adjacent to the lake, two-25 person and one-75 person campsites, central parking. Fees and reservations required. 

Coyote Group Campground: Northeast shore, three-25 person and one-50 person campsites, central parking. Fees and reservations required. 

Lewis Campground: North shore across road, 40 campsites and flush toilets. This is a fee area; reservations accepted. 

McGuire Picnic Site: North shore, ten sites with tables and grills, flush toilets, and includes a designated swimming area. 

Poppy Walk-in/Boat-in Campground: Northwest shore, 12 campsites, either pack-in drinking water or purify lake water and pack-in/pack-out garbage. Free

Ahart Campground: One mile on road 96 above reservoir on the river, 12 campsites, either bring drinking water or purify river water. This is a fee area and no reservations accepted.

 Boating Lakes & Reservoirs (Rating: Good)

Open to all craft, but speedboats and water-skiing not advised due to submerged hazards. Boat ramps on both south and north shores. Even in summer the long slow drive and winding access road discourages large boat owners.

Flat water paddling is good in late summer if you donít mind the bathtub ring effect between the water level and the normal shoreline after draw down.

 Fishing (Good)

Rainbow and brown hatchery catchables are planted. Large resident fish lurking about.


Ahart Campground
Coyote Group Campground
French Meadows Campground
Gates Group Camp
Lewis Campground
Poppy Walk-in/Boat-in Campground

Nearby CommunitiesForesthill

Reservations-   1-877-444-6777

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