off-roading plumas county

Off Road Recreation Adventures

Best Places Off-Road in Plumas County

Off-road recreation opportunities are endless in Plumas County! Whether you are a fan of Dirt Bikes, ATVs, Side-by-Sides, Rock Crawlers, or 4x4s, we have something for you. Consider Plumas County’s long-running logging industry. To get to the woods, you will need roads! The loggers built them. The US Forest Service currently shows 4,482 miles of off-highway access roads in Plumas County…this could take a while. Our recommendation: visit any Forest Service office in the county and pick up a free copy of the Motor Vehicle Use Maps, grab your GPS, and hit the road. 

Do you like fabulous views? How about planning a route to hit some of the over 22 Fire Lookouts in the area? All are situated high on a peak and offer an incredible 360-degree view, mind-blowing! As a bonus, many of the lookouts have been replaced by satellite technology and have been converted to accommodate lodging; you can rent one for a few days and hang out; what an experience! 

How about making one of the 100 lakes in the county your destination? Hit the over 1000 miles of rivers and streams? Explore the mining history in the Johnsville, Lakes Basin area. How about a visit to Crystal Peak near Frenchmen Lake? The opportunities are endless! Load up your rig, get your camping gear, fishing outfit, and gold pan – let’s do this!

The guidebook Backcountry Discovery Trail, by Plumas National Forest, is now available at all Plumas National Forest Ranger District Offices. This beautiful guidebook is also available as a PDF.

Easier Trails to Test Your Rig

Most ATV routes are old logging roads mapped nicely on the Forest Service OHV use maps. Have fun and explore. Make use of the OHV maps. It is best to pick a destination and then map it out. 

Suggested Destinations to start with

  1. Lake Almanor to Soda Springs
  2. Canyon Dam to Seneca
  3. Butte Valley Reservoir to Seneca or Soda Springs
  4. Spencer Lakes
  5. Johnsville to La Porte

2  Challenging Routes

if you are looking for more rugged off-highway adventure, head for one of the 4×4 routes, staging areas, or campgrounds explicitly developed for off-highway vehicles.

  1. Gold Valley 4X4 trail
  2. Snake Lake Lake Basin Recreation Area

Know Before You Go

  • Safety first. Notify someone of your route and the time you expect to return.
  • Cell phone coverage is limited. Download to your phone or print out a map before you go.
  • Do not count on apps unless they work offline
  • Confirm current conditions and permits needed
  • Leave no trace. Take all trash with you and stay on designated trails.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected
  • Be prepared for quickly changing weather

Additional Resources


See information that needs to be updated? Please let us know!

Discover more of Plumas County
Places to stay in Plumas County
Bucks Lake

At bucks lake a quarter mile from marina. We are up in the northern Sierras Many places to fish and bike in the mountains. Close to the PCT trail


Experience glamping in the Lost Sierra! Our spacious sites and safari-style tents offer the perfect place to rest, renew, and reconnect!

Lake Almanor

Lakefront home set in a quiet cove with a private dock.