About Lake Davis

Lake Davis is located seven miles north of Portola, California. This lake was created in 1967 for recreational opportunities. The Lake Davis Recreation Area offers a wide variety of summer outdoor experiences including: camping, picnicking, fishing, hunting, boating, mountain biking, swimming and wildlife viewing. Waterskiing and jet skis are not permitted. Frequent strong winds can cause the lake to become very hazardous for small craft. In the winter, ice fishing, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing are favored activities.

Why Visit


There are twelve fishing accesses on Lake Davis. Some have toilets and picnic tables are available at Coot Bay Fishing Access. Fishing is regulated by the California Department of Fish and Game with a five trout limit and tributary restrictions. If any of the invasive species Northern Pike are caught immediately cut off its head. Below Lake Davis, almost three miles of Big Grizzly Creek is open to fishing for day use on a public access strip. Native and stocked trout occur in the lake. Varieties include Rainbow, German Brown and Eagle Lake Trout as well as Largemouth Bass and Brown Bullhead. Click here for fishing report.

Boat Launching

Camp Five, Honker Cove, Mallard Cove, and Lightning Tree Boat Ramps all have paved launching ramps, floating boat docks, toilets and paved parking lots. Camp Five Boat Ramp also has a universally accessible Fishing Levee 100 feet long for deeper water fishing.


A concessionaire manages three campgrounds around Lake Davis. Grizzly, Grasshopper Flat and Lightning Tree Campgrounds have approximately 144 family camping sites, 21 double sites and 1 group site. Campsites may be reserved through Reserve USA (1-877-444-6777 or on-line at www.ReserveUSA.com). Grizzly and Grasshopper Campgrounds have piped water and flush toilets. Coin-operated showers are available at Honker Cove Boat Ramp. Trailers of up to 35 feet can be accommodated. No hookups are provided. Facilities are usually open from late April through late October. Lightning Tree Campground has vault toilets and is open year-round except when closed by snow.

Drinking Water & Supplies

Only water from developed recreation sites is maintained for safe drinking. Open water sources are easily contaminated by human or animal waste. Water from springs, lakes, and streams should be properly treated before drinking. Supplies can be purchased in the town of Portola, seven miles south of Lake Davis.


Mule deer, black-tailed deer, waterfowl, quail, and some small game may be hunted in-season in the Lake Davis Recreation Area. The California Department of Fish and Game regulates hunting seasons and permits. Discharging a firearm within 150 yards of a campsite, across or on a Forest road or body of water is prohibited.

Area Interests

Smith Peak Lookout, located about seven miles southwest of the dam,provides a good view of the lake and an opportunity to learn about the job of a fire lookout. It is operated full time during fire season and visitors are welcome. Lake Davis is also home to several interesting species of birds. Eagles and osprey can be seen at different times of the year, as well as hawks and owls.