No matter what kind of water sport you're into—fishing, waterskiing, jet-skiing, sailing, boating, kayaking, or just plain floating downstream in an inner tube—you'll find the perfect lake in Plumas County to spend your day. There are nearly 50 small glacial lakes and streams throughout the Lost Sierra such as Gold Lake, Salmon Lake, Long Lake, and Sardine Lake; these are considered some of the best lakes in the area. Other top spots for water sports include the Middle Fork Feather River and Lake Davis. Both are known for their trout fishing and spectacular scenery.
For endless adventures, head to Lakes Basin Recreation Area. Located nine miles southwest of Graeagle, this spectacular expanse boasts 20 shimmering lakes, unique geological features, and pristine nature. While there’s plenty to do on land—including horseback riding, hunting, and backpacking—take to the water and enjoy boating, swimming, swimming, and windsurfing. You can even try your hand at catching rainbow trout and crayfish.
(In the winter months, Lost Sierra visitors can snowmobile, cross-country ski, and snowshoe in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area and beyond; ski down the same slopes Cornish Bob—the world's first champion speed skier—did in 1867.)
Biking in the Lost Sierra
The Lakes Basin Recreation Area also offers scenic bike trails that any cyclist is bound to love. Rent your bike from Yuba Expeditions, and venture off to the picturesque Lakes Basin and Mount Hough for the most adrenaline-filled rides in the Lost Sierra. After returning your bike, take a stroll along Downieville’s Main Street lined with Old Western buildings.
Daredevils will want to bike the Downieville Downhill (the nation’s longest and most demanding downhill mountain bike race) to experience the thrill of dropping 5,000 vertical feet in 15 miles from Packer Saddle to Downieville. It’s bound to get your adrenaline pumping.
Must-Visit Museums in the Lost Sierra
Similar to other regions bordering the Sierra Nevada range, the Gold Rush has left its imprint on this alpine wonderland—with abandoned, deteriorating barns and farmhouses reminding us of the Lost Sierra’s rich history.
Visit the little town of Portola, home to The Western Pacific Railroad Museum and Williams House Museum. Learn all about the Maidu and Washoe Indians who called these territories their home long before the European settlers, and see how the area grew after its establishment in 1905 and the ensuing construction of the railroad.
From there, drive two miles east along Feather River Highway to the Jim Beckwourth Cabin Museum and hear legends of the mountain man, tribe chief, and African American adventurer.