Lower Bear River Reservoir is often overlooked by visitors heading up Carson Pass, yet the lake has more campgrounds than any other location along Highway 88. National Forest campgrounds, including a group campground, are situated around the lake. Also camping is available at Bear River Lake Resort. The lake is a favorite for fishermen, boaters, waterskiers, and hikers.
Fees: $22 per night for 6 people and 2 vehicles
Pardoes Point Campground Map
Located at an elevation of 6,000 feet, 40 miles east of Jackson and 2.5 miles off Highway 88 on Bear River Road. Then 3 miles east on Forest Road 8N20. On the north shore of Lower Bear river Reservoir. Usually open from May 1 to mid-November.
Fees: $20 per night for 6 people and 2 vehicles
Sugar Pine Point Campground Map
Located at an elevation of 6,000 feet, 40 miles east of Jackson and then 2.5 miles off Highway 88 on Bear River Road. Then go right (west) at the Y across the dam and travel 2 miles. About 1.3 miles to south shore of Lower Bear River Reservoir. Usually open from mid-June to early October.
Reservations: Required. (877) 444-6777 or
Recreation.gov - Bear River Group Campground
Fees: $150 for Kokanee (1-50 people), $75 for each of the other sites (3-25 people)
Bear River Group Campground Map
Bear River Lake Resort, on the shore of Lower Bear River Reservoir, offers camping and cabins, water skiing and fishing, hiking and various outdoor sports. At an elevation of 5,800 feet, Lower Bear River Reservoir is often open before any of the other large lakes higher on the pass.
40800 Highway 88, Pioneer, CA
(209) 295-4868 Bear River Lake Resort
For more information about boat rental rates and boating at Lower Bear River Reservoir, see Carson Pass Boating.
Day Use: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, boat launch fee $10, use of beach and picnic area $5
All campsites include power, water, picnic tables, fire fits, flush toilet bathrooms, showers.
Rates for 1 vehicle and 4 people: $33 per night for standard site, $49.50 for extra large site (weekly and monthly rates available).
Sleep 4, bedroom and living room, linens and blankets provided, full baths, kitchens.
Rates: $117 for a single night, $102 per night for 2 or more nights, $612 per week.