Unincorporated Outdoor Adventurer Hiking Boating Rafting / Kayaking Fishing Camping

Discover the Sly Creek Recreation Area

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.

Before vis­it­ing, make sure to check Alerts and Notices on the Plumas Nation­al For­est web­site for clo­sure information.

Tips for Respon­si­ble Recreation

Make sure to help keep Sly Creek clean and acces­si­ble for all by fol­low­ing oth­er Leave No Trace prin­ci­ples.

Dogs must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times while in devel­oped recre­ation areas and on inter­pre­tive trails.

The road to Sly Creek is a bumpy one — small­er cars may strug­gle to make the trip.

Camp­grounds do not take reser­va­tions and are first-come, first-serve; enjoy a week­day vis­it or arrive ear­ly and come with a back­up plan in case there are not avail­able spots.

Please leave the space bet­ter than you found it.

Boat­ing, Float­ing & Fishing

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 (25 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 May and Octo­ber and are $20 a night. 

Be sure to check in with the Plumas Nation­al For­est Feath­er Riv­er Ranger Dis­trict (5305346500) 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.