By andy

Kairos 2 and 4 just got back from our camping trip up to the Sierra Nevadas and we wanted to share some of the resources we came across in planning for this trip and also comment on what worked and what didn’t.

Nevada City Ranger Station: 530-265-4531
– all information regarding weather, fires, camp grounds, bathrooms at campsites, etc.

California Department of Foresty, Auburn: 530-889-0111
– you can get a free fire permit to have fires outside of designated campsites. Fire permits are good for 1 calendar year

Great Hikes: (TRUCKS REQUIRED for Lake Bowman and Faucherie Lake)

  1. Lake Bowman Falls (1-2 hours) – http://www.waterfallswest.com/waterfall.php?id=293
  2. Lake Faucherie Falls (1-3 hours) – http://www.waterfallswest.com/waterfall.php?id=294 
  3. Island Lake from Carr and Feeley Lake – (2-4 hours including lunch)

Campsites:

  1. Link to most major campsites in the sierra lodge area. This gives very good information for campsites including bathrooms, running water, number of sites, reservabiliity, general location, etc. http://www.publiclands.org/explore/quadrant_map.php?plicstate=CA&quad=ca_q22z1
    — Easy Access sites: Lake Spaulding, White Cloud, Indian Springs,Skillman Group
    — Longer drive but great sites: Bowman Lake, Jackson Creek, Lake Faucherie, Carr Lake
  2. Lake Spaulding (1st come 1st serve) – http://www.aboutnevadacounty.com/lakes/spaulding/
  3. All campsites/trails on Bowman Lake Road are all considered public lands. Therefore you can either camp in the campsites or you can backpack in and set up tent anywhere. You will need to the fire permit to do the later if you want to cook anything.
  4. Campsites on Highway 20 and 80 are generally reservable. Campsite on Lake Bowman Road are generally 1st come 1st serve.

Weather information:

  1. National Weather Service http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/forecast/MapClick.php?site=sto&smap=1&textField1=39.39417&textField2=-120.74056
    — Allows you to click or search for small towns near your campsite.

Where to bring a boat/raft?

  1. Lake Faucherie – there is an small rock island on this lake that you can raft to in about 5-10 minutes. The lake is very calm and beautiful. Great for eating lunch on island.
  2. Lake Bowman – huge lake is safety must be a concern when going here.
  3. Lake Spaulding

What we did – just the activities and campsites for a 3 day 2 night trip:

  1. Setup camp at Lake Spaulding (fee $16 per site, $3 extra car fee, no limit on number of campers) If you camp here, you don’t need to pay their day use parking fee at the lake.
  2. Borrowed kayaks from SL and went boating at Spaulding
  3. Went on a hike to Island Lake off Lake Bowman Road, about 10 miles in from highway 20. Round trip including lunch takes about 2-3 hours.
  4. Short hike down to Yuba River from the bridge about 2-3 miles in from Highway 20. Great picture taking spots
  5. Drive to Lake Bowman about 16 miles in from Highway 20. High Clearance vehicles recommended. (warning: no cell phone reception about 10 miles in) We saw one sedan but it got beat up! There were also 2 trucks that got flat tires so your truck needs to be in good condition. Took about 45 minutes to reach beginning of lake.
  6. Setup camp at Lake Bowman campsite. The is on the far side of the lake but is beautiful and takes 5 minutes to walk down to the lake from here. You can hear the falls from this campsite. There is a bathroom but no running water here. If you want running water, supposedly Jackson Creek Campsite has it. This is about 5 minutes down the road. (While a minivan can make it to the beginning of Lake Bowman, if you want to access this campsite, you will need a truck) Takes 20 minutes from beginning of lake to campsite.
  7. Walked at night from camp ground to shore of Lake Bowman and brought guitar and praise books. This is a very safe walk along a rocky road. It gets cold as it is next to the water. Great view of stars except that there was a full moon when we went =(
  8. Hiked to Lake Faucherie Waterfalls. This was the highlight of the trip!! Access to the falls is a bit confusing; falling the rocky path from the parking lot, go down a steep hill, cross the dam on the right hand site and you will see a trail in front of yout hat snakes around the lake on the left side from the parking lot. Then follow the trail to the falls. Takes about 15-20 minutes. Takes 30 minutes from bowman campsite to Lake Faucherie.
  9. Rafted to island in the middle of Lake Faucherie for lunch. Be sure to bring plenty of life vests. We had 2 rafts shuttle 15 ppl to the island but this took about 1 hour each way. An extra raft would have been very helpful.

* Our schedule can be found on the wiki.

Additional Things to bring:

  1. Bug Repellent (“Bug and Sun” has both sun block and bug repellent)
  2. Propane stoves
  3. Toilet paper if you go to Lake Bowman area
  4. Hand Sanitizer since there’s no running water at Lake Bowman
  5. Sandals
  6. First aid (stomach med since bathrooms are pretty bad)
  7. Car sickness med since the road into Bowman was pretty bumpy

Finally, the best resource on our entire trip was Sierra Lodge!! Of course you don’t want to constantly go there, but it was great to see Pastor Ed and Kelly Kang there training all these different groups from gracepoint fellowship church. The boats are all kept there as well.

Alright, good luck, and feel free to ask if you have any questions! Also, if you find better resources and websites, feel free to add them to the comments section. Have fun!!

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1 Response to “Sierra Trip 2008”


  1. July 22, 2008 at 9:39 am

    You can now read more about the trip on our blog post!


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