Bureau of Land Management's Dodge Reservoir Campground is a designated campground area accommodating both RVs and tent camping on the 480 acre Dodge Reservoir. The recreation area and campground are situated 17 miles northeast of Ravendale, California. The reservoir is used for irrigation purposes by local ranching operations, and there is no minimum pool here, so during times of drought, the reservoir may be low and not appropriate for recreational activities.
The BLM Dodge Reservoir Campground is situated on level ground at about 5600 feet elevation, adjacent to the lake, and surrounded by hills with stands of juniper and sagebrush scrub. The campground has picnic tables, fire pits, and a vault toilet, and is ADA accessible. There is no fee for camping here. The Dodge Reservoir Campground is a beautiful, natural, remote location, that is very peaceful and lightly used with few visitors.
The BLM campground also has a boat launch providing access to the reservoir and the site is a destination for fishing as it is well stocked with a variety of trout. The area also provides recreational opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, sightseeing, and wildlife photography.
A short drive away, visitors to the region can also explore the Modoc National Forest, Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, and Lassen National Forest.
The Dodge Reservoir Campground is located northeast of Ravendale, California, in a remote area of northeast California. There are small towns and habitations in the region, but limited services and amenities, so travelers should be well stocked up prior to their trip. Cellular coverage may be spotty in the area and should not be relied upon.
To reach the BLM Campground at Dodge Reservoir head 54 miles north from Susanville on Highway 395 until you reach Ravendale, then turn right on Lassen County Road 502.
The Highway and Route 502 area paved; however, the 506 access road is a gravel and dirt naturally surfaced road. While it is normally accessible for RVs and tow vehicles, it can be rough and dusty, and it may become impassable in wet weather. The last five miles of the route are fairly rough, and you will need to proceed slowly in RVs or when hauling tow vehicles to minimize wear and tear on your vehicle and to avoid stirring up additional dust. For weather conditions and reservoir levels call the Eagle Lake Field Office prior to your trip.
The Dodge Reservoir Campground is secluded and quiet. It is lightly used and remote, so campers here can enjoy the pristine wilderness in the area, and excellent night sky viewing. The campground is situated on level ground at 5600 square feet and has 11 spacious sites suitable for large RVs, or tent camping. Some of the sites are pull-throughs.
There are rolling hills around the campground to hike on, and the reservoir lake which is stocked with trout is great for fishing. A boat launch to access the lake is situated at the campground. Campsites have picnic tables, fire rings, and grills, and there are vault toilets on site. One of the vault toilets is ADA accessible.
This is a primitive campground with no additional services, there are no hookups, and no trash collection, so you will need to pack out your trash. Camping at this campground is free of charge and on a first-come, first-serve basis. While camping here you may even be lucky enough to view the local wild horse band that crosses through the area from the nearby herd management area.
The Dodge Reservoir, located adjacent to the BLM campground, is stocked by the California Department of Fish and Game, with rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout for fishing and angling. There is a boat launch at the site to facilitate watercraft access to the lake for fishing purposes.
The water level in the reservoir can become low later in the year, and fishing is best here in spring and early summer. Be sure to have a valid State of California fishing license.
A variety of wildlife resides in the Dodge Reservoir Campground area. You can spot mule deer, antelope, and even wild horses that roam the sagebrush-covered hills, juniper stands, and access water at the reservoir.
Predators such as bobcats, coyotes, and mountain lions pass through the area, as well and numerous bird species which are attracted to riparian areas along the reservoir shores. Have a camera handy to “capture” your finds.
The New Ravendale Herd Management Area creates habitat for a herd of wild horses, descendants from domestic ranching stock in the area. Some of the horses resemble draft horses, and they are large in size for wild horses, with solid-colored individuals displaying bay, black, and chestnut coats.
The HMA spans 32 137 acres near Ravendale, California, and is a short distance from the Dodge Reservoir Campground. The horses occasionally wander into the campground area, but a trip to the New Ravendale HMA is the best way to get to view these remnants of the “old west”.
The Lassen National Forest is located southwest of the Dodge Reservoir Campground. A 35 mile groomed snowmobile trail is located 10 miles from Highway 89 and 44, near Old Station and the Ashpan Campground. There is a warming hut in the staging area.
A sledding hill is also located in this region, 13 miles south of Old Station. You can toboggan, sled, and slide down Eskimo Hill from December to March. The sledding area has a large parking area and vault toilets to support users enjoying the fun sledding activities at the site.
The rolling hills surrounding the Dodge Reservoir Campground provide elevated views of the beautiful, natural, wilderness areas and a vista of the reservoir lake. Hike up the gentle hills to explore the campground area. There is scrub brush in the area, and the occasional rattlesnake which can present hazards to hikers, so wear sturdy hiking boots and keep an eye on your path.
During the summer, temperatures in the area are very hot, and hiking in the offseason when temperatures are cooler is preferable. No matter what time of year you visit, make sure you have lots of drinking water.
The Modoc National Forest, northwest of the Dodge Reservoir Campground, has high elevations that receive permanent snowpack in the winter months. Fire roads in the park make great cross country skiing and snowshoeing trails that attract the hardy during the offseason. The nearby mountains provide spectacular, scenic, snow-covered peaks in the background.
There is a warming hut in the winter recreation area for winter sports enthusiasts to use. This area also has 250 miles of trails that are designated for snowmobile use. Also in the park area, the Cedar Pass Ski Area has a downhill skiing area with a T-bar and rope.