Black Butte Lake

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. 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 reduces flood risk for the surrounding communities and provides irrigation water to agricultural lands immediately downstream of the dam.

Eight miles west of Orland, California, off Interstate 5. View Map

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Open all year.

FAX: 530-865-5283


  Current Status  

All day use facilities and campgrounds are open to the public.  The project office is currently closed to the public due to construction.  If you have questions or wish to purchase a pass, please contact the project office at (530) 865-4781. ​  

Camping reservations can be made now through

 Recreation Area Services Status

  Recreation Area Info & Fees  

Day Use:
The lake has over 20 miles of hiking, mountain biking and nature trails, all of which provide scenic vistas and wildlife viewing. Families will enjoy the shady and well maintained picnic facilities available at several locations around the lake and the Buckhorn Recreation Area includes a playground and exercise area.

 Black Butte Lake Facilities Map

 Trail Map

There are two campgrounds at Black Butte Lake: Buckhorn and Orland Buttes. Both provide drinking water, picnic tables, fire pits, launch ramps, trailer dump stations and restroom facilities with showers. Group camp sites are available at both campgrounds and many campsites can accommodate recreational vehicles up to 35 feet in length. No electrical hookups are available.

Individual campsites can be reserved up to 6 months in advance, and group sites up to 12 months, by calling 1-877-444-6777 or by visiting

The Buckhorn Campground is open all year (during the off-season the number of campsites available is reduced) and contains 65 developed campsites and 26 reduced fee undeveloped campsite parking spots with no amenities (no fire pit or picnic table).

 Buckhorn Campground Map

Orland Buttes Campground is open April through September and has 35 campsites. 

 Orland Buttes Campground Map


  • Day Use - $10     
  • Camping - $18 - $20        
  • Group Camping - $130 - $200
  • Special Use - $50 - $2500
  • Annual Pass - $40

The Corps of Engineers participates in the America the Beautiful-Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series. The series includes the; Annual Pass, Every Kid Outdoors Pass available to 4th and 5th graders, Annual Senior Pass, Lifetime Senior Pass, Lifetime Access Pass, Volunteer Pass, and Military Pass. Be sure to pick up your America the Beautiful pass at any of our Corps projects as the money is directly invested back into the facilities to improve your recreational experience. Get more details about the pass series here.

The Annual Pass is $80, and you will have access to all of your favorite Corps recreation areas and participating federal agencies public lands. The Annual Pass is good for one year from the date of purchase.

Individuals 62 years and older have the choice of purchasing an Annual Senior Pass for $20 which is good for one year from the date of purchase, or a Lifetime Senior Pass for $80, which does not expire. Senior and Access Pass holders also receive a 50 percent discount on campsites at Corps-managed campgrounds.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also sells their Corps Annual Pass for $40. The Corps Annual Pass gives unlimited access to day-use areas at any Corps project and is good for one year from the date of purchase.

Powerboats, personal watercraft and sailboats will find ample room throughout the "V" shaped lake. Sailboarding is very 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. You can find crappie, largemouth and smallmouth bass and channel catfish.  A valid State of California fishing license is required.

Fiddlenecks, California poppies, baby blue eyes, and lupine are just a few of the wildflowers you can find at Black Butte Lake in the spring.  

Equestrian Areas:
Black Butte Lake's Grizzly Flat and Burris Creek undeveloped day-use areas are popular with those looking for a quiet and scenic place to ride. Trails wind through oak woodlands with gentle hills and valleys, offering frequent views of the lake through the trees. 

Disc Golf:
An 18-hole disc golf course with concrete tee pads next to the Orland Buttes Campground is available year-round.

 Disc Golf Course Map

Park Ranger Programs: 
Park ranger programs and amphitheater reservations can be scheduled by calling 530-865-4781. 

  Camping Reservations 

  Fun & Games for Kids
  Additional Information

Please help us make everyone's visit enjoyable by:

  • Watching children closely when around water.
  • Keeping your pets on a leash at all times.
  • Keeping fires confined to grills and pits and using only dead and down wood.
  • Maintaining quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Operating vehicles only on designated roads and parking areas provided.
  • Camping only in designated campsites.
  • Helping clean up litter and keeping a neat campsite.
  • Reporting safety hazards to project staff.
  • Reading the project rules, copies of which are posted throughout the facility.

All areas are patrolled by Corps of Engineers park rangers and deputies of the Glenn and Tehama County Sheriff's Departments. If you need help, contact a park ranger, deputy sheriff, or dial 9-1-1.

Corps Recreation Across our Nation

Volunteer at a Corps Recreation Area

State Hunting & Fishing Regulations

Recreation on Federal Lands

Project Documents:
Current Black Butte Lake Master Plan - 1977

Rules and Regulations: Title 36 - Parks, Forests, and Public Property Chapter III - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Part 327 - Rules and regulations governing public use of Water Resources Development Projects administered by the Chief of Engineers.