Posted Under: Hiking,Lakes in nevada county,Nevada County Information,Recreation
Camp Far West Reservoir also called Camp Far West Lake, is located at the junction of Placer, Nevada and Yuba counties. Both Beale Air Force Base and the Spenceville Wildlife Area lay directly to the north of the lake. The lake’s location makes it easily accessible by coming from Nevada City, Grass Valley and Western Nevada County along with Sacramento, Roseville or the Yuba City/Marysville area.
Camp Far West’s 185 foot high earth and rock dam was completed in 1963 as part of the Central Valley Water Project impounding water from both the Bear River and Rock Creek. The dam was built for the purpose of flood control and irrigation, but has proven to be a boon for anglers and recreational boaters in the years since.
Camp Far West is situated at an elevation of 280 feet. It is a fairly large lake, impounding 104,500 acre feet of water when at full capacity with a surface area of 2,000 acres and 29 miles of shoreline. The lake got its name from a gold rush era immigrant camp that was located just downstream from the present day dam site. Since it was the last camp on the immigrant trail before the 49ers coming from the east reached the Sacramento Valley, it was dubbed, Camp Far West.
In the spring when the lake is full, the hills are green and the oak trees lining the shoreline are covered with budding leaves, the lake is quite beautiful. In the fall when the water level is drawn down 60 feet or more, the grass is parched and the leaves have fallen, the visual impact isn’t quite as awe inspiring, but the camping and recreation can be just as good as it is early in the year, plus crowds are typically very light during the fall.
Fishes in the lake include largemouth and smallmouth bass, black bass, crappie, catfish, brown trout and striped bass.
Availability: The North Shore is open year-around. The South Shore is open mid-May to September.
Camping and Lodging: Camping facilities and a store are available at the lake. There are 70 campsites on the North Shore and 8 RV hookups. There are 67 campsites on the South Shore and no RV hookups.
Boat Launching: The North Shore and South Shore each has a boat launch ramp and mini marts. The mini marts also include tackle and bait.
Activities: Swimming, boating, water skiing, jet skiing, hiking, biking, fishing and horseback riding
Reservations and Fees: Camp Far West Lake (916) 408-5037 or (530) 633-0803
Their Website: Camp Far West Lake