UPDATE 4/2/2021: Sly Creek is closed until 3/10/2023 due to a Forest Closure Order in response to dangerous fire conditions related to wildfires in 2020.
Tucked away in the eastern corner of Butte County, the Sly Creek Recreation Area attracts campers, anglers, and flatwater boating enthusiasts. Part of its treasure is its remoteness, which requires visitors to enjoy a scenic drive through foothill communities and the Plumas National Forest. The centerpiece of the recreation area is the 562-acre Sly Creek Reservoir. Surrounded by conifer-lined shores under bright blue skies, the water is a beautiful emerald hue; fall will bring even more color as the oaks and big-leaf maples turn yellow.
Sly Creek Reservoir has room for a variety of boating activities. The larger Lost Creek arm is a beautiful area for waterskiing and touring around by boat. The concrete boat launch near Sly Creek Campground allows access for motorized boats. The Sly Creek (Strawberry) arm has a 5 MPH speed limit for motorized boats and is a popular area of the lake for kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding. There is a small boat launch for non-motorized vessels near the Strawberry Campground. Bring the fishing poles and you may catch rainbow trout, brown trout, or kokanee salmon.
There are two campgrounds in the Sly Creek Recreation Area. The Sly Creek Campground is the larger of the two (23 sites) with opportunities for lakeside camping. Strawberry Campground (17 sites) is nestled in a forested area along Sly Creek. Both campgrounds are equipped with picnic tables, fire rings, potable water, and vault toilets. Trailers up to 22 feet in length can fit in some sites, but there are no hookups. The first-come, first-served campgrounds are open between April and October and are $20 a night. Be sure to check in with the Plumas National Forest Feather River Ranger District (530-534-6500) to be sure the campgrounds are open before making the trek.
From Oroville and all points north, you can exit Highway 70 at Oro Dam Boulevard and travel east on Highway 162. After about 8.5 miles, turn right onto Forbestown Road and continue for 14 miles to the forested foothill community of Forbestown. Continue onto Challenge Cutoff Road for three miles and turn right onto La Porte Road. You will pass by the communities of Woodleaf and Clipper Mills and see a sign for the Sly Creek Recreation Area after about 10.5 miles. To reach the boat launch and Sly Creek Campground, turn left onto the paved access road and continue for four miles to the Sly Creek Dam. The boat launch and campground are just past the dam. To visit the Strawberry Campground, continue east on La Porte Road for another three miles through the community of Strawberry Valley and turn left at the campground sign. There will be a one and a half mile long access road.
For those traveling from the south, you can turn left onto Lower Honcut Road from Highway 70. Lower Honcut Road will meet with La Porte Road after five miles. Turn left onto La Porte Road and continue for 31 miles to the Sly Creek Recreation Area sign.