You’ve never camped anywhere like on Lake Oroville Floating Campsites! These campsites are an absolute blast.
If you’re thinking of giving them a try, here you will find all the info you need on the Lake Oroville floating campsite rentals as well as plenty of Lake Oroville floating campsite pictures. There is even some cool drone footage for your entertainment.
Floating Campsites on Lake Oroville
All of the floating campsites at Lake Oroville have many things you’ll need but not everything. Each site has a bathroom (but no shower), a table, sink, closet/storage space, and propane grill with propane included!
Note that while there is a sink and restroom, the water is not potable so bring your own drinking water!
There is a covered living area as well as a sun deck on the upper level where most people set up their tents.
|Number of sites||10|
|Reservations||Required -- book well in advance|
|Website for reservations||Reserve California|
|What’s included||Covered living area, upper sun deck, bathroom, sink and food prep area, storage closet, grill and propane|
|What’s not included||A boat to get there, drinking water, a lock for the storage closet, camping equipment, eating and cooking utensils|
|Open||Usually from April -- mid October (exact dates vary)|
|Location||75 North of Sacramento (about 1.5 hour drive), 8 miles east of the town of Oroville (15 minute drive)|
If you’re still not convinced that this place is absolutely awesome, watch this great drone footage with many of the floating campsites at Lake Oroville:
Lake Oroville Floating Campsites Reservations
You do need a reservation for these sites and you can make a reservation here. You’ll have to fill in the search info: just type “Lake Oroville SRA” for the place and enter your dates and number of nights (you don’t have to fill in the Rental Type). In the search results, look for: “Floating Camping Area”
Check In is usually at Bidwell Marina Kiosk but this can change periodically so you should call and ask where to check in before your trip. Call the marina kiosk here: (530)-538-2218
Remember, there is a two night minimum if you’re arriving Friday or Saturday or on a holiday.
The campsites are usually available from early April until mid October but this can change year to year depending on the decisions of the California Department of Parks and Recreation. You can make reservations up to six months in advance and often times you need to book that far in advance to find an available site!
All campsites are in 5 mph zones.
The Lake Oroville floating campground is broken up into different areas that are located in different parts of the lake. You will make a reservation for a general area and then be assigned a specific campsite number upon arrival. Check the Lake Oroville map to see where they are. Their exact locations depend on the current depth of the lake so you will receive directions upon check-in.
Lake Oroville floating campsites cost $175 per night.
Don’t forget to check the State Park website for any closures or updates before you go!
What to Bring and Not Bring
You must have your own boat or rent one there to get to the campsites. The parks department will not take you to the campsites.
Another option is to take a kayak to the floating campsites, which a lot of visitors choose to do.
Lake Oroville Floating Campsites are limited to 15 people and 3 boats per site. No pets are allowed.
The second thing to bring is drinking water. The campsites are not supplied with drinking water and you don’t want to drink the lake water. Remember, you will likely be swimming and in the sun a lot so bring A LOT of water…and remember to drink it!
You will want to bring a lock if you leave the campsite during the day. There is a storage area but no lock on it so bring some kind of a padlock.
Of course, don’t forget camping equipment like your tent, sleeping bag, and some lights. There is no electricity on the floating campsites so you’ll want some lights for night time.
While there is a grill and propane is supplied, you’ll have to bring your own cooking utensils like tongs or whatever equipment you like to grill with. Don’t forget paper plates and plastic cutlery or you’ll be stuck eating with your hands!
You have to pack out your trash so you need to bring your own garbage bags.
Finally, don’t forget your swimming suit!
Here’s a quick checklist of the things you need:
- A Boat (your own or rent one)
- Drinking water
- A lock
- Camping Equipment -- Tent, Sleeping Bags, etc.
- Food, cooking and eating utensils, and plates (grill and propane are provided)
- Garbage bags
Getting to Lake Oroville
Lake Oroville is located 60 miles north of Sacramento.
From Sacramento: take highway 70 north to exit 162 (Oroville Dam Blvd.) and head east. Stay on Oroville Dam Blvd. for 8.5 miles (about 15 minutes) until you get to Kelly Ridge Rd. and you will see signs for the visitor center to the left and Bidwell Canyon to the right.
Things to do at Lake Oroville
Besides having a great time boating and swimming, there is lots to see and do around Lake Oroville.
The visitors center is definitely worth going to. There is a museum where you can watch short films about the dam construction, or learn about native people and the surrounding area.
Next to the visitors center, there is a 47-foot viewpoint tower featuring two high-power telescopes. The view up there is simply fantastic.
Hiking in Lake Oroville Recreation Area
There are plenty of great trails to hike near the lake and the surrounding area. Try Potters Point Loop which is a five mile loop along the shores of the lake. Or Kelly Ridge Trail which is three miles out-and-back and starts at the visitors center.
One of the most popular hikes in the area is the Feather Falls Scenic Trails which is a bit more strenuous but absolutely worth it. It’s nine miles round trip so plan pretty much a whole day.
Attractions Near Lake Oroville
if you want to get off the lake for a while and visit the surrounding area, Table Mountain Ecological Reserve is absolutely gorgeous where you can hike and see gorgeous wild flowers.
Between the lake and the town of Oroville, you can visit the oldest orange tree in California. At 161 years old, this tree is called the “Mother Orange Tree” because so many of the orange trees growing in orchards today were spawned from this tree.
Lake Oroville Overflow in 2017
In early 2017, California was experiencing flooding in many parts of the state due to abnormally high rainfall. In February, the main and emergency spillways of Lake Oroville were damaged and dam operators were unable to release water from the lake while the damage was being assessed.
Given the danger of the lake overflowing, 180,000 people downstream of the lake were evacuated.
Crews were able to open the main spillway, but all the lakes in northern California were filling up too fast due to the continued rain.
Here is a great photo from the International Space Station of the main spillway. You can see the flow diverging to the right where the spillway is damaged.
Eventually, water flowed over the emergency spillway. While this was expected and this is what the emergency spillway is designed for, there was massive concern that the emergency spillway was susceptible to erosion. There was potential for a collapse of the barrier wall, which would send a 30 foot tidal wave downstream. No collapse occurred but you can see the massive damage in this extraordinary video:
The floating campsites at Lake Oroville offer a very unique camping experience that is a total blast! Don’t forget a few key supplies, like cooking utensils, and you are guaranteed a great experience full of swimming and fun. There is also plenty to see and do in this gorgeous area.
Have you been to Lake Almanor in Lassen National Forest? You should go, and before you do check out the 31 Best Lake Almanor Camping Spots.
And even though you can’t have a campfire on the floating campsite, these 21 Campfire Games for Adults are perfect to play during your trip to Lake Oroville!
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