Bullards Bar Lake, Dobbins, California

This post was written by jd on March 25, 2009
Posted Under: Lakes in nevada county,Recreation
Emerald Cove Marina - photo courtesy of Emerald Cove Marina

Emerald Cove Marina - photo courtesy of Emerald Cove Marina

While Bullards Bar Lake is not in Nevada County, it is close enough to Nevada City and Grass Valley as to make it a designation for water skiing, house boating and fishing. It’s only 21 miles north of Nevada City off of Highway 49 in the historic gold country. The two closest cities are Nevada City, Grass Valley and Marysville.

The lake surface is at 2,000 foot elevation, 16 miles loan with about 60 miles of shoreline. The boating surface is 4,700 acres, which is a lot of area to boat in. There are only two launch ramps and once you are in the water, you are surrounded by a greenbelt covered with pine, oak, fir, madrone, dogwood and other species of trees native to the area. As you cruise up into the North Yuba Canyon, sheer cliffs of granite come down to greet the crystal clear water.

The North Yuba River is backed up by Bullards Bar Dam which is an awesome sight all by itself. Standing 645′ above the canyon floor, it holds back 960,000 acre feet of water. It’s the second tallest dam in California, 5th tallest in the United States. A hydro-electric dam, Bollards’ Bar Dam is operated and controlled by the Yuba County Water Agency. They are able to manage the water so that recreation access to the reservoir is never restricted.

Bullards Bar offers boat access campgrounds, land based sites, and shoreline camping permits. There are a total of only 160 sites, which limits the amount of people the area can accommodate. Emerald Cove takes site specific reservations for all camping.

For the fisherman, there are kokanee salmon, rainbow trout, german browns, largemouth, smallmouth and black bass, crappie, catfish, and bluegill. Bullards Bar has a reputation as having the best kokanee salmon fishing in California.

39 Boat access campgrounds – Call for reservations & fees
Pets, Full Hookups, RV & Trailer Storage, Disposal Station, Flush Toilets

Power, Row, Jet ski, Windsurf, Canoe, Sail, Water-ski, and Inflatables are allowed.
There is a full service marina with gas and propane available
Rentals: Fishing Boats with Motors, House Boats

Swimming, Picnicking, & Hiking
Snack Bar, Groceries, Bait & Tackle

For further information and reservations contact   Emerald Cove Resort and Marina (530) 692-3200

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Reader Comments

I LUV Bullards bar!

Written By Anonymous on May 13th, 2010 @ 5:55 PM

Tent camping here is horrible! Nobody is patroling the campgounds and it is a free for all there. Large goups take over small camp spots, lound childern running around screaming for hours on end. Leahless dogs coming into you camp spot.one of the worst camping experences I have ever had. If you are looking for peace and quiet this is not the place. Left a day early because it was so terrible!

Written By Anonymous on June 11th, 2010 @ 2:27 PM

Well I guess I understand your point of view but i kind of think kids running and playing with an occasional dog or two is kind of what camping is supposed to be about? Do you complain about those loud wakebaording boats as well?

Written By Anonymous on June 15th, 2010 @ 10:16 AM

I had a great time last weekend boating. it was so nice to get out of the and play for a while.. I love to see the kids and animals having fun it’s what life is all about..

Written By Anonymous on July 4th, 2010 @ 3:59 PM

Darn kids and animals…somebody should exterminate them so that I can read my romance novel and sip my Chardonnay in peace.

Written By Anonymous on July 6th, 2010 @ 11:53 AM

i absolutly love bullards bar lake. houseboating is soo fun! the camping spot are nice and if you are planning on camping ofcoarse there are going to be screaming kids everywhere. they are just kids and love to be loud and have a good time. and atleast dogs are friendly, they are just looking for attention. i love this lake and recommend it to all people! i have been going there for 10 years and i will keep going there every summer i love it :)

Written By Anonymous on August 11th, 2010 @ 2:36 PM

Great spot… with a great campground. But don’t tell anyone! Big spots some with drive thrus, lots of shade under huge pines. I have camped near people that complain about the noise of kids playing and dogs barking. I usually tell them to STAY HOME… there’s only so much room up there.

Written By Anonymous on August 22nd, 2010 @ 12:55 AM

Came across this while looking for a place to get out of the city with my dog for a few days. We’re looking forward to screaming kids and large groups of loud people enjoying the outdoors. Glad there’s at least one campground in Northern California that isn’t just for uptight retirees.

Written By Anonymous on September 27th, 2010 @ 8:47 AM

Bullard’s Bar has spectacular views! The campgrounds are cool and the trails that run through the area are really fun to explore. Kids are supposed to make noise.

Written By Anonymous on December 4th, 2010 @ 3:46 AM

I have been searching for a place to camp where I can let all of my kids under 5 years old just run and scream and play and fight while our big dog can bark because thats what dods do while I take a nice long nap. Thank you for the info. we are going to make plans to go…can’t wait:)

Written By Anonymous on April 5th, 2011 @ 1:54 AM

Camping on a lake is supose to be fun, noise from children, barking dogs… it is a way of life. we hear the owls, mountain lions, birds , ect.. I dont hear anyone complaining about that! WHY? Because it is a way of life. Bullards is for people who like to have fun and to hear someone having fun, feel like smiling for them. join them, offer a burger or beer. Have a few laughs, they be your next Best Friend. Have a wonderful time. Thank you Bullards Bar Staff. Great job.

Written By Anonymous on June 19th, 2011 @ 11:16 PM

Can you guys add something here about if dogs are allowed and restrictions, etc?

Written By Anonymous on July 28th, 2011 @ 11:10 AM