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spring wildflowers in Northern California

Spring Weekend Trip Ideas in Northern California

Spring in Plumas County

Spring is a wonderful time to visit Plumas County– the valleys are green and verdant, rivers are rushing, and snow is still on the high mountains. Spring weather is pleasant and perfect for daytime activities like hiking or a morning bird walk. Nights are cool enough for cozy sweaters, hot chocolate, and curling up with a good book. Read on for our top picks for your spring getaway in the Sierra Nevada!


Plumas County offers some of the best birding opportunities in Northern California with everything from waterfowl, waders, songbirds, and raptors. Spring is THE time to visit if you are a bird enthusiast. Plumas County is located along the Pacific Flyway and has a diversity of habitats including expansive wetlands and meadows that are filled with bird life each spring.

Spring Wildflowers

Colorful shows of wildflowers can be seen along roads, lakeshores, craggy canyons, and creekside trails in late Spring. Plumas County hosts a tremendous diversity of wildflowers due to the range in elevation and varied landscapes types. From carnivorous plants to memorable mountain peonies, Plumas County probably has a flower you haven’t met yet. 

Kayaking and Whitewater

The kayaking and rafting season in Plumas County runs approximately from January to April or May, depending on the flow. Spring snowmelt and rain swells creeks and rivers making it an ideal time for whitewater enthusiasts.

Spring Hiking

Plumas County’s beautiful shoulder seasons and long dry summers mean hiking can be enjoyed most months. Spring is a lovely time to hike trails in the Feather River Canyon and lower elevation trails if there is still snow. Expect verdant green meadows, snow-capped mountain views, and great wildlife watching. Here are our favorite spring hikes

Visit a Museum (rainy day idea)

Plumas County is a wonderful destination for those interested in California’s history. From trains to natural history, to indigenous heritage, the museums across the County are rich in interesting exhibits. If the weather isn’t ideal for hiking, or if you have a curious kid, stop by one of these wonderful museums to learn and explore. 

Spring Skiing

Because snow in the Sierra is precious, we always hope for a good Spring ski season. If you are a backcountry skier or snowshoe hiker, some of the higher elevation locations in Plumas County can make for very fun spring trips. Try the Bucks Lake Wilderness, Plumas-Eureka State Park, the Lakes Basin Recreation Area, and Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Places to Stay

Destination lodging for you summer vacation in the Lost Sierra


Your perfect basecamp in charming old town Chester, centraly located to Lake Almanor and Lassen Volcanic NP.


Beautiful treed park with great internet tucked away from Highway 70 in Quincy, with rivers, lakes, and recreation areas not far outside of town.

Lake Almanor

Lake Almanor CC Vacation 4 Bdrm, 2 Ba Sleeps 10 2 Game Rooms, Free 90M WIFI Bedding, Towels, Soaps, Coffee Bar, Laundry Room, BBQ All-Season Rental


Unrivaled privacy on 5 acres of river. Wake up to coffee on the deck listening to the river, birds and basking in the morning sun.

Lake Almanor

Magical home with gorgeous lake and sunset views. Sleeps 10. Located in the Lake Almanor Country Club with all the amenities.

Lake Almanor

Lakefront cabin, sleeps 12, near historic Hamilton Branch Powerhouse.


Five rustic cabins sit on the water’s edge of the lake while three sit nestled in the trees. Cabins vary in size, sleeping from two to eight guests.


Greenhorn Ranch is a premier guest ranch in California’s Northern Sierra offering traditional & contemporary ranch activities.

Lake Almanor

Lake View Condominium in Peninsula Village with dock & boat slip. Sleeps 6.

Canyon Dam

Rocky Point is a PG&E operated Campground Located on the West Shore of Lake Almanor just North of Canyon Dam


Ada’s Garden Cottages are a gorgeous oasis hideaway in the center of historic downtown Quincy with full kitchens and cozy-custom-artful-architecture.


Full hook-up RV spaces located in downtown Quincy along the beautiful Feather River quietly amongst the riverbank and tress.

Butt Valley Reservoir

63 fee sites along the shore of Butt Valley Reservoir. RV’s and tents are welcome with a limit of 6 persons per campsite. Pet Friendly.


Has a small-town atmosphere that will refresh your spirit. Enjoy watching the sunset over Spanish Peak from your own porch.


Step into our uniquely designed rooms in the heart of Chester.


Just steps from the Feather River, Family Friendly Campground w/ everything you need for a relaxing & exciting vacation. Bring the family, toys & pets

Canyon Dam

A family owned/operated resort since 1928, featuring 9 cabins, 25 RV sites, marina, cafe and a commitment to providing an amazing vacation experience

Mill Creek

Close to the SW entrance of Lassen Volcanic National Park. A stay at the historic lodge includes full breakfast, option of dinner and a full bar.


Quaint, beautiful, family-friendly and pet friendly cottages in the Feather River Canyon with access to the Feather River.

Lake Almanor

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

Butt Valley Reservoir

Enjoy the outstanding views and tranquil atmosphere at Butt Valley Reservoir when you set up camp at Cool Springs Campground in Northern California.


Antlers Motel is in the best location in Chester close to shopping, restaurants, parks and trails. Best value in the Lake Almanor area.

Lake Almanor

Nestled in the pines this quiet clul-de-sac cabin is right up the road from your own boat slip at Knotty Pines Marina in Big Cove.

Lake Almanor

The Dorado Inn is a waterfront boutique resort, retreat and healing center located on the east shore of Lake Almanor, California.


Located in the heart of Plumas County, Quincy California. Easy to find right off the highway with beautiful mountain views. Open 24/7!


Quincy Feather Bed Inn is nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mt. range, in the heart of historic downtown Quincy. Steps to restaurants & watering holes.

Lake Almanor

Set in a quiet cove, off Peninsula Drive, this lake access home sleeps 10.


We’re not a five star accommodation but we are the jewel of the Sierra Mountains. Clean, comfortable and with many amenities.


It’s easy to relax when you are surrounded by this much space and luxury. Our beautifully decorated suites offer all the comforts of home, and more.

Lake Almanor

Lake Almanor Country Club Log Cabin near Recreation Area 2 & Golf Course.

Lake almanor

Lakefront condominium on the Lake Almanor Peninsula with boat slip.


Beautiful resort along the shores of Lake Almanor. We offer a wide range of amenities including; cabins and rooms, an RV park, and a marina.

Lake Almanor

Wonderful Lake Almanor Cabin on a deep water parcel with gently sloped lawn to sandy beach, waters edge, and dock.

Bucks Lake

Set among the beautiful pine trees in a cove at the south end of Bucks Lake, Haskins Valley Campground is a popular vacation spot.


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!


Caribou Café and Store Postal Service Laundry, Bathroom, and Showers Cozy Cabin Komfort RV

Lake Almanor

Big Springs Resort is among the tall pines with a quiet serene atmosphere. Family and pet friendly near Hamilton Branch.


This home is located in the heart of Chester. Minutes to Lake Almanor, for boating, water sports, swimming, kayaking, 40 minutes to Mt. Lassen.


We love welcoming visitors to create lifelong memories on our beautiful lands and in our unique communities. Take the Plumas Pledge to help us care for the health of our natural places and the well-being of our communities while visiting Plumas County.

take the plumas pledge!

  1. Prioritize wildfire prevention
  2. Leave places as you found them
  3. Pack out all of your trash—bonus points if you pick up trash left by others! 
  4. Stay on designated trails and camp in designated areas
  5. Check the weather before heading out
  6. Be mindful of your energy and resource usage
  7. Ditch plastic bottles and drink our mountain fresh tap water instead
  8. Choose locally made products and services from local businesses
  9. Slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life in Plumas

Know Before You Go

  • Safety first! Always check weather and road conditions before an outing.
  • Depending on snow levels, roads can be closed or have chain requirements 
  • Leave no trace–take all trash with you and stay on designated roads and trails
  • Plan for variable weather and temperatures ranging from freezing to the low 80s.
  • Gas stations can be 30 miles or more apart depending where in the county you are traveling–when in doubt, get gas!

Regions of Plumas County

Four distinct regions define Plumas County, each with their own alluring qualities, diverse destinations, and unparalleled hospitality.

map of plumas county showing the 4 regions

Spring Conditions

Spring is lovely in the Lost Sierra but weather is variable. Generally, be prepared for mild days and cool nights dipping down to freezing. Best to dress in layers and bring a jacket. It’s perfect for daytime hiking and exploring. A few of our mountain roads remain CLOSED in the early spring including the Gold Lakes Highway, the Quincy-Oroville Road (Bucks Lake), and La Porte Road. Check road conditions before traveling.

Did You Know?

  • The Feather River Watershed is an important source of clean, fresh water for the State of California. Millions of downstream users get their water from the Feather River and Plumas County reservoirs.
  • Snow in the Sierra is critically important! Nearly 30% of California’s water supply comes from snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. 

The Feather River Watershed

Read our blog to learn all about the Sierra Nevada’s largest watershed


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