DeSabla Watershed \ Lake Almanor Area
Ponderosa Campground, sometimes called Ponderosa Flats, is appropriately named for its setting in the Ponderosa Pine forest along the shores of Butt Lake. Butt Lake is actually part of a system of reservoirs formed by hydro-electric dams managed by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Butt Lake is smaller than Lake Almanor and lake levels can change rapidly without much warning. Although you are allowed to beach your boat near your campsite, you'd best heed the warning sirens or you may not be able to use your fishing boat during your camping trip. The boat launch is just a couple miles from the campground and there is no charge for launching or parking.
Water skiing and jet skiing are not allowed on the lake but you may use your motorized fishing boat. Canoeing, kayaking and sail boating are also popular activities on Butt Lake.
Prattville is just across Hwy 89 from the turnoff to Butt Lake. The Marvin Alexander Picnic Area has a beach for playing on Lake Almanor for the day. Campers can also find showers and dining in Prattville. Chester is 15 - 20 minutes from the campground; where you can find fuel, dining and groceries for your camping trip.
Ponderosa Campground has 2 onsite hosts to keep those vault toilets clean and smelling sweet. There is garbage service in the campground. Consolidating the garbage collection in one location has kept bear sightings in the campground to a minimum. The storage box in the campsite is NOT bear proof, or even squirrel proof. Only non-perishable foods or cooking utensils should be stored in the box.
The campground is generally open from early May to early October. Ponderosa has 63 single family campsites and an overflow area. It has a mix of first-come-first-served and reservation sites throughout the campground. The overflow area may be reserved for large groups. General reservation information is available on their website here: PG&E Recreation Areas. To make reservations: PG&E Reservations