Cottonwood Creek Campground

Tahoe National Forest


Jackson Meadows Reservoir


Cottonwood Campground, Highway 89,  Tahoe National Forest

Cottonwood Creek Campground

Jackson Meadows
Attractions and Activities

Jackson Meadows Reservoir north of Truckee is a popular camping and boating destination. Visitors to the area find a variety of activities and interesting places to explore.

  • Boating and fishing on Jackson Meadows Reservoir
  • Hike or horseback ride on the Pacific Crest Trail
  • Visit Independence Lake for hiking, bird watching and kayaking or motor boating with rentals from The Nature Conservancy (no outside boats).
  • Explore the history of Henness Pass crossed by emigrants during the Gold Rush - Oregon-California Trails Association - Henness Pass
  • Set out for a day of Birding in Sierra County. Spot ducks, geese, and teal at Jackson Meadows Reservoir; watch for bald eagles, visit Kyburz Marsh for everything from eagles to osprey.

Key Campground Regulations

  1. Bears: Food and similar items must be stored in bear-proof lockers.
  2. Water is in short supply during California's drought.
  3. Firewood: Purchase firewood locally to avoid bringing in pests.

Cottonwood Creek Campground

Cottonwood Creek Campground is along Highway 89 in the Tahoe National Forest, 4 miles south of Sierraville. This well-layed-out campground makes a good overnight stopping place. The nearby highway is lightly traveled and distant enough from most campsites so as not to be a distraction.

The 48 campsites at Cottonwood Creek all accommodate RVs, trailers, and tents. Reservations are accepted.

Jeffrey pines and red and white fir spread shade over the Campground. Cottonwood Creek Botanical Trail and Overlook Trail both begin at Cottonwood Creek Campground. Jackson Meadows Reservoir is 20 miles away.

Campground Basics
Location: Along Highway 89, 4 miles south of Sierraville, 26 miles north of Truckee
Elevation: 5,680 feet
Mileage and driving time from gateway city: Truckee - 26 miles, 30 minutes
Sacramento - 121 miles, 2:06
Number of Sites: 48
Open - Closed: Late April through October
Max. People per Site: 6 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 2 (fee for 2nd vehicle)
Pets: on leash, always attended
Sierraville Ranger District: (530) 994-3401

Reservations
Reservations available whenever campground is open
Reservation Window: available 4 days to 6 months in advance
Maximum RV/trailer Length: 40 feet
Accessible Sites: None designated
Fees: $20 per night
Reservations: Cottonwood Creek Campground Reservations
Check-in, check-out: 2:00 PM, check-out Noon

Cottonwood Creek Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, food locker, fire ring with grill; no hook-ups
Campground: Vault toilets, tap water
Showers: No
Dump station: No
Nearby attractions: Cottonwood Creek Botanical Trail and Overlook Trail, Sierra Hot Springs in Sierraville, Jackson Meadows Reservoir for boating, waterskiing, fishing, and swimming; horseback riding trails, mountain biking, OHV routes

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, purchase firewood locally.

Accessible Sites

Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.

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