Bucks Lake. Located 17 miles southwest of Quincy on Bucks Lake Road (Quincy-Oroville Road), Bucks Lake has long been considered one of the finest snowmobile destinations in the West. Up to 100 miles of groomed snowmobile routes are maintained during winter, and there are hundreds of ungroomed routes marked for snowmobiling throughout the forest. Snowmobiling is not allowed, however, in the Bucks Lake Wilderness Area. Two staging areas are in the vicinity - Bucks Summit, and Big Creek - and there is year-round lodging and dining. Travel into the resorts is via snowmobile, snowcat or cross-country skiing, as the Bucks Lake Road is not plowed past the summit. For the latest trail and grooming reports, visit the Bucks Lake Snow Drifters page.
Historic La Porte is also renowned for its excellent snowmobiling opportunities, with more than 80 miles of marked, groomed trails, a staging area with warming hut and restrooms, and four trailside warming huts. The Quincy/La Porte Road is not plowed from Quincy in the winter. Access is from the southern route (from Marysville/Oroville, via Highway 20 and County Road E-21).
The Almanor Basin offers an abundance of scenic snowmobiling areas. Near Chester are five staging areas--Chester-Lake Almanor Snowmobile Park, Swain Mountain, Morgan Summit, Jonesville, and Fredonyer-- which lead to many miles of both groomed and ungroomed trails. A lesser maintained trailhead begins at the boat launch just north of Canyon Dam and continues across to the west side of Highway 89. Another popular area off Highway 89 is Humboldt Road, which offers access to a trail leading to restaurants and lodges along Highway 36 west of Chester. For more information on the Jonesville area west of Chester, visit the Butte Meadows Hillsiders Snowmobile Club. You'll find grooming information, maps, and more. Just west of Chester, the St. Bernard Lodge offers cozy rooms, a full bar, restaurant, and lots of parking space.
Indian Valley offers stunning scenery on marked ungroomed routes. Popular rides include the unplowed road from Genesee to Antelope Lake, the Lights Creek trail north of Taylorsville, and Old Haun Road north of Greenville.
Gold Lake Highway, which winds through the Lakes Basin Recreation Area south of Graeagle, has spectacular beauty and diverse terrain that has made it a primary snowmobiling destination for many years. The Gold Lake Staging Area is located five miles south of Highway 89 on Gold Lake Highway, which connects with Highway 49. From the staging area, the road is unplowed, groomed and marked. Snowmobilers can choose from many trails that branch off the road, including a groomed trail to Mills Peak Lookout, or continue south to the staging area at Bassett's Station.
Farther east, the trout fisheries of Lake Davis and Frenchman Lake near Portola become excellent locations for snowmobiling during the winter. Ungroomed trails run around both lakes, and there's a parking area at Davis Lake off Grizzly Road.
For more detailed maps of the trails, staging areas and warming huts, contact the Plumas National Forest (530) 283-2050 or the Lassen National Forest (530) 258-2141.
Annual snowmobile poker runs:
La Porte Harold Schmidt Memorial Poker Run (January or February)
Lake Davis Winter Holiday Poker Run (February)
Bucks Lake Snow Drifters Poker Run (February)