RV Rental Portola

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Named for Gaspar de Portolá, a Spanish explorer and soldier, Portola, California is a lofty village nearly a mile high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The town lies on both sides of the middle fork of the Feather River, complimenting the scenic mountaintop vistas with beautiful river rapids. Portola inhabits one of the largest high-elevation valleys in the world and was founded as a trading post by James P. Beckwourth in 1850, during the gold rush frenzy.

It was not until 1946 that the peaceful town of Portola would officially incorporate, yet it existed as a tight-knit community for nearly 100 years prior. Logging was the primary industry in and around Portola, and when the first railroad arrived in town in 1885, it further solidified Portola as a great place to live and do business.

Now you can book an RV in Portola, and set yourself up for both an exciting and relaxing vacation in the towering peaks of the Sierra Nevadas. Both Sacramento and Reno are within driving distance, so you have plenty of places to visit when you rent an RV in town. The area is absolutely teeming with national forest land, state parks, campgrounds, and recreation areas, so spending most of your time in the great outdoors is not unusual. No matter how you decide to plan your trip, you are bound to have an excellent time in one of California’s hidden gems, no matter the time of year.

Discover Portola

The Great Outdoors

Depending on when you visit with a camper rental from Portola, there will be a vastly different set of activities available to you. The tranquil wintertime brings with it freshly fallen snow, and an assortment of winter recreation activities like snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and alpine skiing and snowboarding too. In the summertime, there is even more to do, and so many places to enjoy the comfortable Mediterranean climate. Donner Memorial State Park is a great place to start your trip and is an hour's drive south of the mountain town. This park is named for the ill-fated Donner Party that was decimated by impassable mountain passages and the treacherous winter storms. A memorial to this settler party can be found in the park, along with some scenic hiking trails, a museum, and lakefront swimming areas.

South Yuba River State Park is located to the west on the south fork of the Yuba River after descending from the Sierra Nevada Mountains in your Portola RV rental by owner. The park is known for peaceful riparian habitats near the river, historic bridges, and unique geological formations. You can walk the Independence Trail, a handicap-accessible nature trail, or search for some of the park’s well-hidden swimming holes.

Plumas National Forest, Eldorado National Forest, and Tahoe National Forest make up a trio of California’s finest national forests, all found within an hour's drive of Portola. When you bring your Portola camper rental to the wooded paradises surrounding the town, there is no limit to the fun you can have. Plumas National Forest is the closest to town, practically surrounding Portola on all sides. There are over a million acres of nature to lose yourself in, with miles of hiking trails and large swaths of ancient, old-growth forests scattered throughout the wilderness areas. Tahoe National Forest is home to Lake Tahoe, a popular recreation area that deserves its own book with all it has to offer. Skiing and snowboarding are some of the most commonly enjoyed activities in the many ski resorts surrounding the lake, while Lake Tahoe itself is home to several recreation areas and state parks with their own campgrounds, making for an ideal place to visit in your Portola motorhome rental.

Where to Park It

Part of Portola’s appeal is its abundance of campgrounds and natural areas within minutes of town. There are several local RV parks and campgrounds, with a cluster of parks concentrated over by Lake Davis. Crocker Springs RV Park is one of these camping areas that can host you and your Portola camper rental for however long you need. The lake is a short walk from the campsites, and there are loads of amenities and activities for guests including disc golf, horseshoes, and fly fishing,

Sleepy Hollow RV Park is only a short distance from Lake Davis, and a few miles outside of Portola. This outdoor hub allows guests to participate in hunting, fishing, ATV riding, horseback riding, river rafting, golfing, skiing, and snowboarding depending on the time of year.

J&J Grizzly Store and Camping Resort comes equipped with its own store where you can load up on supplies, fishing gear, food, and more. The spacious campsites are part of the appeal, and a five-minute walk to the lake will yield some special views.

City Attractions

Since Portola is primarily known for its serene, alpine environment, the town itself can sometimes be overlooked. There are lovely restaurants and locally owned businesses lining the town’s main road, East Sierra Avenue. Breweries, adventure/wilderness tour companies, golf courses, and spas are commonplace in this stunning mountain town, along with historic buildings and fascinating museums. The Williams House Museum is an old log cabin built in the early 20th century. Lots of valuable information can be gleaned from this small-town museum, including local lore as well as the Williams Family history.

The Western Pacific Railroad Museum is perhaps the town’s best-known attraction, with a near constant stream of guests. The Western Pacific Railroad Museum pays homage to the railway industry that was an integral part of the town’s early formation. There are a series of different exhibits going into detail about the first locomotives, the importance of the rail lines, and guests can even rent their own locomotive and operate it safely under guidance on the property, a unique program not seen anywhere else.

Plumas County Museum over in the town of Quincy can supplement what you learn about the area, giving you a well-rounded understanding of the town’s surroundings. The volunteer-run museum delves deep into local history, and proudly displays antiques and historical artifacts.

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Popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds

  • Hiking TrailLocation
  • Portola \P\" Trail", CAPortola, CA
  • Lake Davis, CAPortola, CA
  • Gray Eagle Waterfalls, CAPlumas-Eureka State Park, CA
  • Gray Eagle Creek Trail, CAPlumas-Eureka State Park, CA
  • Madora Lake Loop Trail, CAPlumas-Eureka State Park, CA
  • Chapman Creek Trail, CATahoe National Forest, CA
  • Frazier Falls Trail, CAPlumas-Eureka State Park, CA
  • Smith Lake Trail, CAPlumas-Eureka State Park, CA
  • Lily Lake Trail, CAPlumas-Eureka State Park, CA
  • Bear Lakes and Round Lake Loop Trail, CAPlumas-Eureka State Park, CA

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