Oak Flat Campground at Lake Pillsbury in the Mendocino National Forest is operated by the Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation. The campground is situated among the trees, a short distance back from the northern side of the lake. Lake Pillsbury, the largest lake in the Mendocino National Forest, is popular for fishing, swimming, and boating. Nearby is a boat launch ramp. Keep your eyes open for tule elk in the meadows at the north end of the lake.
Oak Flat Campground has 18 sites which can accommodate small RVs or trailers (up to 16 feet). There is some dispersed camping there as well as designated campsites. When the lake is full the campground is only a short walk from the water's edge. Even when water levels begin to drop in the fall, many sites have nice views of the lake. Oak Flat Campground has a much more open feel to it than its neighbor, Navy Camp Campground.
Off Simmons Road at Lake Pillsbury, 23 miles north of Highway 20 via Potter Valley Rd., Eel River Rd., and Elk Mountain Rd. For some route finding tips, see Directions below.
Mileage and driving time from gateway city:
Santa Rosa - 96 miles, 2:09
Number of Sites:
Open - Closed:
Max. People per Site:
6 (including children)
Vehicles per Site:
2 ($3 fee for 2nd vehicle)
on leash, always attended
(916) 386-5164 or Upper Lake Ranger District at (707) 275-2361
First come, first served
Maximum RV/trailer Length:
$10 per night, $5 pr night in winter (pets $2 per night)
2:00 PM, check-out Noon
Oak Flat Campground Amenities
Picnic table, fire ring with grill; no hook-ups
Vault toilets, no potable water
Attractions near Oak Flat Campground:
Watch for tule elk in nearby meadows. Enjoy fishing and boating at Lake Pillsbury. Visit Lake Pillsbury Resort for its swim beach, marina, and boat rentals. Find nearby boat launch ramps. Set out on hiking trails. Explore the Snow Mountain Wilderness and Bloody Rock historic area.
Directions to Oak Flat Campground
Once you have made the turn at Potter Valley, signs become scarce. Four miles beyond Potter's Valley the road suddenly splits, either road looking as likely as the other, and no sign to indicate which way to go. Actually either way works. Left is more gradual. The two roads meet again at the bottom of the hill.
After crossing a bridge over the Eel River, turn right. (Again, no signs). The next dozen miles are on gravel road high on the north side of the Eel River. The road on the south side of the river is filled with ruts, bumps, and pot holes. Unless you like 4-wheeling, avoid it.
General Camping Information
Opening and closing dates of campgrounds are only estimates, usually dependent on snow conditions. Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the website when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite.
In order to prevent the spread of invasive insects, obtain firewood from the local area of the campground.
Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.