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- 6000 feet
Blue Lake is a beautiful deep-blue 160 acre lake surrounded by ponderosa pine, white fir trees and meadows and is located approximately 15 miles east of Likely, California and 35 miles south of Alturas, California in the South Warner Mountains. The road to the lake is a paved all-weather road. It is not plowed in the winter.
Blue Lake, at an elevation of 6,000 feet, is a natural lake that sustains a good population of rainbow and brown trout. A boat ramp is available for launching boats. The Blue Lake Campground is a fee campground containing 48 units with piped water, stoves, vault toilets and picnic tables. Handicap accessible restrooms are available and there is an accessible trail to a fishing pier. The managed season of use is from Memorial Day through October 15.
SeasonJune to October
Several of the campsites are located directly on the lake. A boat ramp is located close to the campground. Don''t forget your fishing license. Boating is usually done by those fishing by rowboat, canoe or low powered boat as the lake is very small. Motor boat speed is controlled and patrolled by Lassen County Sheriff. Skiing is usually done on the larger and warmer West Valley Reservoir located approximately 12 miles to the northwest of Blue Lake.
The Blue Lake National Recreation Trail is 1.5 miles long, beginning at the Blue Lake Campground, the trail continues around the west side of the lake to the boat ramp. At least 90 percent of the trail is shaded by picturesque white fir and massive ponderosa pine trees. Deer tracks on the trail often outnumber hikers'' tracks. Tree squirrels, ducks, geese, loons and hawks are frequently seen by hikers while walking the trail. The Blue Lake National Recreation Trail is closed to all motorized vehicles.
The South Warner Wilderness Area is only six miles to the north of this camp ground, and offers ample opportunities to leave civilization behind. Both Mill Creek Falls Campground/Trailhead and Patterson Campground/Trailhead will provide access into the southern portion of the wilderness.
Wildlife Viewing Opportunities While a variety of wildlife may be seen around Blue Lake, a key attraction is a pair of nesting bald eagles. Far enough away not to disturb the birds, the boat ramp and fishing dock offer a rare opportunity to observe the nest site. Normally shy and easily disturbed while nesting, this pair has successfully fledged young two years while most of the campground and lake remained open to recreation.
Waterfowl may also be seen around the lake. Beavers maintain a lodge at the south end and can occasionally be viewed from the National Recreation Trail. Mule deer and small mammals are frequently seen in the forest around the lake.
Nearby areas also offer viewing potential. The South Fork of East Creek lies about 12 miles to the east off of the South Warner Road. Beaver activity is apparent along the stream. A variety of riparian songbirds inhabit the meadow and willow communities. Patterson Mill Meadow is home to riparian songbirds as well. Jess Valley, which visitors pass through between Likely and Blue Lake, is home to waterfowl and shorebirds. Canada geese may be seen along the ponds and ditches of the private ranch. White pelicans are often seen on the reservoirs at the south end of the valley where peat moss was once mined and sold for gardening.
The nearest food, gasoline, and restaurant are located in the town of Likely, California, which is approximately 16 miles northwest of the campground. Likely is located on the only paved access to the campground. The nearest 24 hour services and hospital are located in Alturas, CA.
Blue Lake Campground is located 16 miles from the small community of Likely. From Highway 395, turn east on forest service road 64. This paved, two lane road winds through the juniper and sagebrush filled West Valley. At approximately 10 miles, you will come to a road junction, stay on FS 64 for the remaining 6 miles. You will soon enter a landscape dotted with fir trees and towering ponderosa pines.