Black Butte Lake was formed in 1963 upon the completion of Black Butte Dam. Located on Stony Creek west of Orland, the lake is an inviting and accessible recreation area on the west side of the Sacramento Valley.
The lake has over 20 miles of hiking, mountain biking and nature trails, all of which provide scenic vistas and opportunities for wildlife viewing. The Buckhorn Recreation Area includes a playground and exercise area for active children. Families will enjoy the shady and well maintained picnic facilities available at several locations around the lake.
When full, the lake has a surface area of 4,460 acres, is seven miles long and has a shoreline of 40 miles. The dam provides flood damage protection for local towns and agricultural lands.
Powerboats, personal watercraft and sailboats will find ample room for water fun throughout the "V" shaped lake. Sailboarding is especially popular. Boat ramps are located at Buckhorn, Orland Buttes and Eagle Pass Recreation Areas. Be aware of shallow areas and other hazards that may appear as the lake level changes.
Black Butte is well-known throughout California as an excellent warm water fishery, with the best fishing during the spring and early summer. Crappie, largemouth and smallmouth bass and channel catfish are the major game fish. A valid State of California fishing license is required.
Over a several month period in the spring, wildflowers put on an abundant show for all. Fiddlenecks, California poppies, baby blue eyes, and lupine are just a few of the wildflowers that make an appearance. This is a very good time to take a hike or go for a drive to see what is blooming.
Black Butte Lake is very popular with horseback riders looking for a quiet and scenic place to ride. Grizzly Flat and Burris Creek are undeveloped day use areas that have everything the equestrian is looking for. Trails wind through oak woodlands with gentle hills and valleys, offering frequent views of the lake through the trees.
An 18-hole disc golf course with concrete tee pads is located adjacent to Orland Buttes Campground and is available year-round.