You can experience the exhilaration
of paddling with
abandon and sense of solitude at
Butte Lake due to the restriction of motorized boats
and limited number of park visitors.
sunrise views of the gorgeous surrounding terrain
provide a first-rate paddling experience for all
levels of paddlers. A special feature of the lake is
the campsites situated beneath dense pine groves in
area. Camping is on first-come, first-served basis.
Occasional deer and bear have been seen wandering in
the campground, so use caution when hiking and
storing your food. It is the perfect destination if
you enjoy paddling and camping at remote locations.
Caution: Bears frequent the area. All food and
scented products must be kept in the bear boxes
provided at each campsite.
If Butte Lake were in a more easily accessible
location, it would be one of the premier paddling
destinations in Northern California. The lake access
Road 18 to Butte Lake is approximately six miles on
a gravel road with mobile grating that shakes your
vehicles so hard your teeth chatter. Access to the
lake is limited to car top boats only.
Several hiking and backpacking trails are located
nearby. Hikers will find the trailhead for the
Cinder Cone Trail, one of the most popular trails in
the park that ascends a nearby volcanic dome.
This destination used to be a
superb lake for trout fishing up until they stopped
planting the lake with trout, but there’s still a
few trout in the 10 to 13 inch class left over since
it doesn’t receive a lot of visitors due to its out
of the way location. The handful of times I have
been here, I have seen a couple of fishermen, with a
number of fish on their stringer, so apparently the
fishing isn’t as bad as it is cracked up to be.
Open: The lake is open June 3rd to the end of
October depending on snow conditions. Boats with
motors are not allowed.
Fees: There is a day use and camping fee, but no
fee to launch.
Lake Facilities: The facilities include a boat
launch, swimming sailing, fishing, off-road
four-wheeling, and hiking and horseback riding
trails, self-pay station, a visitor's center, a camp
host, ranger station, picnic tables, and food
storage lockers. Jet and water-skiing are not
permitted. Only car tops boats are allowed. No
motorboats of any kind which is convenient for
kayaks and canoes.