Northern California

2014 American River Calendar

by Sherri on November 8, 2013

american river, california, sherri meyer photography

Photos of the American River, Northern California.

Here is a “Sneak Peek” of some of the images I will be including in my 2014 “American River Series” calendar coming out soon!

Watch for the announcement on my Facebook page, or you can sign up for my Photo Newsletter and you will be notified by email, when it is available for purchase.

This will be the perfect Christmas gift, especially for the people in your life who have a love affair with the American River!

Plumas County RV Trip

by Sherri on October 2, 2013

RVing, Northern California, Lake Almanor, Canyon Dam, Plumas County, Sherri Meyer Photography

RV camping at Forest Park RV Spaces, Canyon Dam, California.

We did it! Not only did Jeff, me, Hope (my Mom) and Cocoa (our dog) just return from a fantastic RV trip, but it was our first one! We have had the 26 foot travel trailer for several months now, but had yet to try out the many awesome features it has, hence the main purpose of this trip. We baked brownies in the oven, cooked burgers and steak on the RV-Q, tried out the shower, microwave, CD player and more.

Forest Park RV Spaces, Plumas County, Plumas County, Sherri Meyer Photography

Jeff, Mom & Cocoa walking in the Plumas National Forest bordering Forest Park RV Spaces.

We spent a wonderful week at the Forest Park RV Spaces in Canyon Dam. It was the perfect RV park for our needs. The RV spaces were very spacious with plenty of shade, was dog friendly and backed up to the Plumas National Forest. The owners Joe and Crystal were very friendly and helpful during our stay. We did a lot of research on places to stay in the area before leaving home and this was definitely “The best bang for the buck!”

Mill Creek Falls, Hike, Lassen National Park, Northern California, Sherri Meyer Photography

Mill Creek Falls, Lassen National Park, Northern California.

Canyon Dam is located at the Southern end of beautiful Lake Almanor and about a one hour drive to the southwest entrance to Lassen National Park. For one of our day trips, we met up with local photographer and friend Jan Carmichael Davies, for a hike to the very unique Mill Creek Falls in Lassen. It was 3 1/2 miles round trip and a wonderful mix of uphill, downhill and nearly level terrain. It was just what the doctor ordered!

Sherri Meyer Photography

Jan hard at work!

Before we left home, I made a photo shoot list of some of the things I wanted to do and photograph during our visit to the area. Exploring the back roads is always one of the top priorities. After a recommendation from Jan and studying the California Gazetteer, we opted for a drive out to Round Valley Reservoir for another day trip.

On the way there, we stumbled upon one of the neatest old, abandoned log cabins in the woods I have ever seen. Of course, we hung out there for quite awhile capturing photos of it. Check it out!

Plumas National Forest, Northern California, Old Log Cabin, Sherri Meyer Photography

Old log cabin in the woods, Plumas National Forest, Northern California.

We finally pried ourselves away from this cute little cabin and continued on, taking the wrong fork in the road on the way to Round Valley Reservoir. We didn’t go too far out of the way though and we saw plenty of awesome scenery we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. We eventually made it to our destination and were pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it was.

Round Valley Reservoir, Plumas National Forest, Northern California, Sherri Meyer Photography

Round Valley Reservoir, Plumas National Forest, Northern California.

Round Valley Reservoir was beautiful at a distance, as well as close up and personal. One end of it had lily pads galore. I love shooting nature close ups and this was a very exciting subject to work with.

Lily pads, Round Valley Reservoir, Plumas National Forest, Northern California, Sherri Meyer Photography

Lily pads on Round Valley Reservoir, Plumas National Forest.

You could find us relaxing by Lake Almanor, waiting for the sweet light all but a couple of nights we were in the area. The next photo is a great example of how I maximize a photo shoot. Included in this image are several of the shots I had on my shoot list for the trip. They are: sunsets, silhouettes, landscapes, outdoor recreation, Lake Almanor and Mount Lassen. We arrived early and I decided on a background first. In this case, it was Mount Lassen. Then I waited patiently for my subjects to arrive and a brilliant sky. This is what I got. It was definitely worth the wait!

Mount Lassen, Northern California, Outdoor Recreation, Boating, Fishing, Lake Almanor, Sherri Meyer Photography

Fishing on Lake Almanor at Sunset, with Mount Lassen in the background.

We did a lot of relaxing too. We also took a drive to Juniper Lake in Lassen National Park. To get there, you enter from the town of Chester. It was a nice drive, but not nearly as exciting as other parts of the park. It was also very windy and cold up there.

Juniper Lake, Lassen National Park, Northern California, Sherri Meyer

Whatever it takes to get the shot! Here I am laying down on the job, shooting Juniper Lake, Lassen National Park.

The photo below is what I was shooting! :-)

Juniper Lake, Lassen National Park, California, Sherri Meyer Photography

Juniper Lake, Lassen National Park, California.

Our first RV trip was a huge success. We learned a LOT, took plenty of notes and photos and we can’t wait to go again! Don’t be surprised if our next trip is BOON DOCKING!

I hope you found this article interesting and informative. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below in the comments section. :-)

Happy travels,


To order prints or greeting cards of this area, please visit our Shasta Cascade Gallery. We will be adding more photos to this gallery soon! To see more galleries click here.

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Gold Lake Sunrise.

Got kayak or canoe? Looking for a great place to paddle this summer in Northern California? Well, I have a great line up for you. These are 6 of my personal favorites in random order. They all offer other great things, in addition to paddling and all but one of them are “Dog Friendly.”

Gold Lake – Dog Friendly

Camping/day use fees/other accommodations – Jeff & I have been camping and paddling (canoe & kayak) here for many years. You can camp at either end of the lake, but we prefer to camp at the Gold Lake 4×4 Campground at the back end of the lake, which requires a high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle to get there. Another alternative is to paddle into camp. Some of our friends choose this method of getting there. Camping is free, has tables and fire rings in most of the sites and pit toilets nearby. Campsites are on a first come, first served basis. If you don’t have a high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle, there is Gold Lake Campground near the entrance to Gold Lake. Camping fee is $10.00 per night. There is no fee for day use. NOTE: Make sure you have a valid fire permit. If camping is not your thing, there are lot’s of other really cool places to stay. Take a look at this list of accommodations near Graeagle. There are also lot’s of places to stay in the Sierra City/Downieville area. Many of these accommodations are “Dog Friendly” too!

Best time to visit/nearby stores – June -September. I recommend going during the week if possible. There are a couple of stores nearby. From the entrance to Gold Lake, travel 6-miles on Gold Lake Road to Bassetts Station in Sierra City. This is a really fun place to go for groceries, gas, propane, ice, fishing gear, liquor, gifts and more. You can also travel 12 miles in the other direction from the Gold Lake entrance, to the Historic Graeagle Store in Graeagle. .

Paddling level of difficulty – Paddling is relatively easy here, but with most mountain lakes the water is the best in the morning and in the evening. The winds tend to kick up usually in the early afternoon. Power boats are allowed on this lake, however I have never seen it crowded. There are plenty of little coves along the shoreline too, where you can get away from the power boats.

Jeff and Cocoa kayaking Gold Lake.

See our Kayaking Gold Lake video from our last camping trip! You might also be interested in this Sierra Buttes Adventure post from our last trip!

Other things to do at Gold Lake/surrounding area – Hiking, fishing, swimming (good swimming, but not warm), catching crawdads, off-road adventures and more. MUST DO – I highly recommend hiking to the Sierra Buttes Fire Lookout. NOTE: If you would like to leave the planning up to someone else, I recommend contacting Nevada County Escapes. They can create the ideal package, tailored to fit your individual needs. Contact The Dog House, for your dog sitting needs in the Nevada City area.

Directions – Take Highway 89 southeast from Graeagle, California for 2 miles. Proceed south on Gold Lake Highway for 10 miles to Gold Lake. From Highway 49 go 17.5 miles past Downieville, turn left at Bassett’s Station on to Gold Lake Highway for 6.3 miles to Gold Lake.

Sherri kayaking Lake Almanor at Sunset, with Mount Lassen in the background.

Lake Almanor – Dog friendly

Camping/day use fees/other accommodations – We have only camped here once before, but let me tell you…what a gem it is. Lake Almanor is a very large lake, with a similar feel to Lake Tahoe minus all of the people. In fact, when we were there, we learned that many of the Lake Tahoe lovers have discovered it and it is now being referred to as the “New Lake Tahoe.” There are several campgrounds at Lake Almanor. I highly recommend Almanor Campground. It is located on the lake’s west shore. Typically open May-October, the campground has over 100 campsites arranged in two loops. After checking them all out we opted for this one, because of the location & the price. See the Campgrounds in Lake Almanor for more information. There is no day use fee. If you don’t feel like camping, my friends own Carson Chalets at Lake Almanor and I have heard good things about them. For more places to stay (including pet friendly), pet sitting, grocery stores and a whole lot more, visit the Lake Almanor Website.

Paddling level of difficulty – This is a wonderful & easy place to paddle, plus you get to stare at Mount Lassen while you are on the lake. There are power boats allowed here, so hugging the shore is the best way to paddle this lake. The best time to paddle is in the morning and the evening. It is a mountain lake and the winds usually kick up in the early afternoon.

Other things to do at Lake Almanor/surrounding area – MUST DOI highly recommend that you visit Lassen National Park. You are so close already. Just remember that you will be very limited on what you can see & do there, if you are traveling with your dog. You cannot take them on any of the trails, however you can take them to Lake Helen. They are also allowed in the campsites, as long as they are leashed. Visit Lassen Volcanic National Park for more information.

Directions – Take CA-99 N toward Chico, Turn right on CA-32 E for 52mi, Turn right on CA-36 for 10mi, Turn right on CA-89 S for 3.2 mi. Here is an alternate Route – Take CA-99 N to CA-70 N travel 60 mi, turn left on CA-89 N for 30 mi.

Peg Challender kayaking Sugar Pine Reservoir.

Sugar Pine Reservoir – Dog friendly

Camping/day use fees – Although there are a couple of campgrounds here, we have never camped at either of them. They are really nice, but a little too crowded and close together for our taste. For us, it is close enough that we make a day trip out of it. There is a day use fee of $3.00 and you can pay with cash or check. Visit Shirttail Creek Campground & Giant Gap Campground for information on camping.

Update 8/29/13 – We have now camped at Sugar Pine Reservoir. For a review of what it was like, please read “Camping at Sugar Pine Reservoir.”

Best time to visit/nearby stores – The best time to visit this lake is spring through fall. Worton’s Foresthill Grocery is not too far. You will see it as you head up to Sugar Pine. It is located at 23140 Foresthill Road. It is a full service grocery store & deli. They also have ice cream & pizza.

Paddling level of difficulty – Paddling here is easy. Fishing boats are allowed, but no water skiing. The speed limit is 10 MPH. There are a couple of coves and an island you can paddle to.

Other things to do at Sugar Pine Reservoir – Swim, hike, mountain bike, run, fish. Sugar Pine is a great swimming lake. The water is nice and warm. The more popular areas are the beach area by the boat launch and by the island. However, there are lot’s of nice spots on the shore between those two areas. Dogs love this place too. We bring our dog, Cocoa, every time we go there. She keeps herself entertained, by fishing along the shore for minnows. Hiking is great here too. There is beautiful trail that goes around the lake. No one seems to agree on the distance, but it is between 3.5 & 4.5 miles. I guess the only way to find out for sure is to bring a GPS, or a Pedometer. The prettiest part of the lake is between the boat launch and the campgrounds. Sometimes we just hike that part. During the spring this section is also loaded with wildflowers. The trail is great for hiking, biking, & running. When we visit in the spring, we hike. During the summer months, we like to hike & paddle.

Directions – From I-80 in Auburn take the Foresthill Rd. exit for 26 mi, Turn left on Sugar Pine Rd. for 7.5 mi.

Jeffrey Hartnett getting ready to paddle Lake Clementine.

Lake Clementine – No dogs allowed!

Camping/day use fees – Boat in camping is available here at Upper Lake Clementine. These campsites get snatched up really fast, so I recommend planning your trip a year in advance if possible. The campsites are right along the lake, have sandy beach areas and some of the warmest water around. Visit the California State Parks Website to make reservations. Day use fees are $10.00. NOTE: – Chemical toilets are provided. No dogs, glass containers, or alcohol are permitted on the lake.

Best time to visit/nearby stores This lake can be paddled year-round, however during the winter months you must launch your boat at the Lower Lake Clementine entrance. Our favorite time to paddle this lake is mid-week in September. You can have the lake pretty much to yourself. The day this photo was taken, we saw maybe a handful of other kayaks on the lake. Also, the water and weather were still very warm. The nearest Grocery Store is Raley’s. Is is right on the corner of Foresthill Road and Lincoln Avenue.

Paddling level of difficulty – Paddling is easy. The best part to paddle is Upper Lake Clementine. There are power boats allowed here, but there are plenty of places to get away from them!

Other things to do at Lake Clementine/surrounding area – Swimming is fantastic. The North Fork of the American River flows through here. The water is safe and as I mentioned above, it is very warm. There are lot’s of hiking trails in the Auburn State Recreation Area nearby. Contact me for recommendations on hiking trails and other things to do in the Auburn Area. There are far too many to mention here.

Directions to Lower Lake Clementine – From I-80 in Auburn, exit at Foresthill, drive 2.5 miles on Foresthill Road, turn left onto Lake Clementine Road, and then follow Lake Clementine Road 2 miles down to the boat dock. Lake Clementine Road is narrow, and you may encounter vehicles towing boats on trailers, and bicyclists on the road. Please use caution and observe the 15 mph speed limit.

Directions to Upper Lake Clementine

From I-80 in Auburn, exit at Foresthill, drive 5.6 miles on Foresthill Road, Turn left at the sign to the Upper Lake Clementine Day Use Area. The road turns to gravel after leaving the highway and is somewhat narrow and rough at times. This road is suitable for even small passenger vehicles. The road is narrow and you may encounter other vehicles.

Pet SittingIf you are visiting the Auburn area and you need a pet sitter while you paddle Lake Clementine, I recommend All Creatures Professional Pet Sitting.

Canoeing Utica Reservoir.

Utica Reservoir – Dog friendly

Camping/day use fees – Camping at Utica Reservoir is hard to beat. You have a choice of dispersed camping along the south end of the lake, or you can load up your kayak/canoe and paddle camp to one of many islands. There is no camping or day use fee to camp here. NOTE: Make sure you have a valid fire permit.

Best time to visit/nearby stores – The best time to camp here is June – October. It is a very popular place for camping and day use. I recommend going mid week, or after schools are back in session, if you plan to car camp. If you are planning to paddle camp, you can go pretty much any time. There are plenty of islands for everyone! If you need ice, food, groceries, snacks, fresh brewed coffee, fishing supplies, camping gear, beer or wine and more, visit the General Store at Lake Alpine Resort. There is also a General Store in Bear Valley.

Paddling level of difficulty – Paddling is easy here, but with most mountain lakes the water is the best in the morning and the evening. The winds tend to kick up in the early afternoon. There is no motorized boating allowed on this lake.

Other things to do at Utica Reservoir – Hiking, off-road adventures, swimming, fishing. You can hike the road from the campground to the 4×4 trail, to watch the brave soles navigate the huge boulders and ruts in their off road vehicles. This trail is the alternative route into Utica. The first time we went there (over 25 years ago), we went via this 4×4 trail. What a grand trip. It was also my first 4×4 trip. Swimming is excellent here. The water is warm, clear and safe.  Although lot’s of folks fish here, we have not personally tried it. If you love to fish, then by all means pack your pole. Here is an article I wrote about our adventure to Utica Reservoir. You can also search for Utica Reservoir on this blog, to see a lot more photos of this lake.

Directions – For directions and more information on Utica Reservoir, visit paddling Utica Reservoir. BONUS – Check out Utica Kayak Camping, an excellent video about a family of 4 and their dog kayak camping at Utica.

Peg Challender kayaking Lake Faucherie.

Lake Faucherie – Dog friendly

Camping/day use fees – NOTE: Make sure you have a valid fire permit. The Lake Faucherie Group Campsites are very popular and they get snatched up really fast. I recommend that you reserve a year in advance to get one of these. These campsites are very large and right near the lake. There are also a few 4×4 campsites sprinkled on the hillside near the dam. A high clearance 4×4 is necessary to get to these, however. I almost forgot about the island you can camp on. This is a popular spot too, so don’t count on getting it; at least not having it all to yourselves. Last, but not least, you can paddle camp to the far side of the lake. There are a few spots there, where you can have easy access to the water and more privacy. Another option is Canyon Creek Campground. It is about 1/2 mile before you get to the lake. The campsites here are fantastic. See my blog post on Canyon Creek Campground for more information. You can also do a search on this blog for Lake Faucherie or Canyon Creek and you will find lot’s more photos and information.

Best time to visit – Summer & Fall are the best times to visit this lake. I recommend going mid week, or after the schools are back in session, as this is a very popular lake…popular but not crowded. The nearest store is the Nyack Shell Convenience Store in Emigrant Gap.

Paddling level of difficulty – It is an easy paddle, but the winds do come up periodically. It is always a good idea to hug the shore, or paddle in the morning or evening, when the water is quiet. The one drawback to paddling on Lake Faucherie (unless it is a day trip), is the limited amount of places to camp. So, if you end up down at Canyon Creek, then you have to load/unload your boat every time you use it.

Other things to do at Lake Faucherie – MUST DO – Hike to the waterfalls along Canyon Creek. I believe there are 7 of them. If you are short on time, the first 2 are some of the best ones. You can have them all to yourselves if you time it right. The 2nd waterfall you come to is a fine place for swimming and a little skinny dipping too (or chunky dunking), if that is your thing. NOTE: The water in both the creek and the lake is cold but doable. This lake is also well known for it’s great fishing.

Directions – See this link for directions to the lake and for more information.

Please share this with all of your paddle pals. The more people that see this the better. Also feel free to ask questions, or add any information you have regarding this article, in the comments section below. I’m sure I will be updating this periodically, as some things do change.

Happy paddling!


To see more photos from these areas, please visit the following galleries:

Archive Galleries

Fine Art America Galleries

Sherri Meyer Photography

Lower Sardine Lake

by Sherri on October 14, 2010


Little Jeff viewing Lower Sardine Lake from Upper Sardine Lake, Sierra County, Northern California.

After leaving our spectacular campsite at Gold Lake, the two Jeff’s and I (can’t forget our dog, Cocoa!) headed for Sardine Lakes. If you ever get a chance to visit this area…go for it. You can hike to this point, or drive via 4-wheel drive. The views in every direction are breathtaking!

I have several more images to share of this area over the next couple of weeks, so be sure to check back soon!



Young’s Market, Taylorsville, California

by Sherri on August 29, 2008

Sue Hadley sitting in front of Young’s Market (built in 1862), Taylorsville, California

There is not a whole lot in Downtown Taylorsville, but that’s the way we like it. Our favorite travel destinations are usually the lesser known, off-the-beaten-path locations, such as Taylorsville in Plumas County, California.

The population here is less than 200. There are only a handful of business establishments in town. But, this little “Po Dunk” town located in beautiful Indian Valley is rich in beauty and history. There is also a lot to do and see in Taylorsville and the surrounding area.

We learned while visiting McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park later on in our trip, Taylorsville is quite the happening place over the 4th of July weekend. The family we talked to from the Bay Area have been visiting Taylorsville over the 4th of July weekend for years. I think we just might have to put that on our travel list for next year!

More photos of Taylorsville to come!

Photo of the Day

by Sherri on April 3, 2008


Man and son fishing on Gold Lake, Sierra County, California.

I have been going through our collection of slides lately, many which have not been added to our on-line galleries yet. I came across this image and decided to post it as the photo of the day.

When I took this photograph, I didn’t know who the man and his son were and still don’t. Since that day, this image landed on the cover of Tom Stienstra’s California Fishing Guidebook. I figured they would eventually stumble upon it in a bookstore, or perhaps someone they know might.

It never happened.

Now, they would have to stumble upon it in a library, as there has been a couple revisions of this book since then. Or maybe they will see it on this Blog.

Here is what this photo looks like as a cover.


Cover of the California Fishing Guidebook.