Fishing, boating, camping, bike riding, and hiking are all available at Lake Davis, but this lake is also known for birding. Many of Plumas's nearly 300 species are at Lake Davis. Birds such as the warbling vireo (Vireo gilvus) are best observed by listening first. They're found in the lodgepole fir belts and in such trees as the Lemmon willow (Salix lemmonii), which are near the water. The vireo's throaty "zree" can be sustained and repeated many times. The red-breasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) is another that can be heard before being seen. It can be heard repeating its high nasal "na," faster and faster when it becomes agitated. It sounds like a small trumpet. Other birds worth watching are the hairy woodpeckers (Denrocopus villosus), American white pelicans (Pelicanus erythrorhynchus), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), western tanager (Pranga ludoviciana), and, of course, the seemingly ubiquitous wood duck (Aix sponsa). For a free list of birds common to the area, contact the Plumas Audubon Society, PO Box 3877, Quincy, CA 95971, or phone (800) 326-2247. Biking is another favorite activity around Lake Davis. In many parts of the Plumas, including Lake Davis, cyclists can use abandoned logging roads, areas designated for off-highway vehicles, and some backcountry roads. These areas are open to bikers and provide a good cross-section of terrain and topography. Stay on the roads, and don't cut the switchbacks. The Lake Davis Loop is perhaps the best-known bicycling trip in the area, featuring a flat, easy loop around Lake Davis. Points of interest include Jenkins Sheep Camp and lake vistas. Cyclists can also enjoy bird and wildlife viewing. Vehicle traffic may be heavy on weekends. The loop is 18.4 miles at an elevation just below 5,800 feet. Average riding time is two hours. The surface is gravel for 6.1 miles and paved for 12.3 miles. To reach the trailhead, from Highway 70 near Portola take Lake Davis West Street (County Road 126) 7 miles to Lake Davis Dam. Park at the information kiosk.
But bird-watching and bicycling are not the only attractions. Fishing may be more popular. The lake is stocked and some natural trout occur in this 84,000- acre-foot body of water. The dimensions of the lake— maximum depth, 105 feet; surface area, 4,000 acres; and shoreline, 32 miles—make it small enough for anglers to learn quickly. Yet it is large enough to allow a lot of water recreation, which does not include water skiing. Varieties of trout include rainbow (Oncorhynchus mykiss), brown (Salmo trutta), and Eagle Lake (Salmo eagllia). Brown bullhead (Ictalurus nebulosus) also are found in this cold-water lake. Fishing is regulated by the California Department of Fish and Game, not the U.S. Forest Service.
This group of links will take you to information on activities, sites of interest, Calendar of events, merchants. history, and dining in the Graeagle/Plumas county area.