Bucks Lake Quincy2

Bucks Up!

Kayak and Picnic at Bucks Lake in Plumas County

Come on in, the water is beautiful. Whether you like swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddling, or heading out on a bigger boat, Bucks Lake is a high mountain haven that’s easy to access, blissfully uncrowded, and surrounded by sandy beaches, picnic areas, pines, and aspens. The 1,827-acre lake, set at 5,200 feet, has 14 miles of shoreline, and was once a massive meadow inhabited by the Mountain Maidu people, for whom this place remains important.

Just 17 miles from the charming town of Quincy, you can drive up to it by entering The Bucks Lake Wilderness, home to an excellent section of the famous Pacific Crest Trail, among other hikes. You’ll also find lakeshore cabins and camping, like Haskins Valley Campground.

Day-use areas make a great way to spend an afternoon here. The water is welcoming to swimmers, kayakers, boaters, and stand-up paddlers. For a scenic picnic area with a beautiful beach and a shallow, crystalline entrance to Bucks Lake, head to Indian Rock Beach. This day-use area has forest-shaded picnic tables, a roomy beach, and hulking boulders just steps away in the water.

Bow-wow bonus: Most beaches and trails at Bucks Lake are dog-friendly.

Rent boats or kayaks at Bucks Lake Marina or Lakeshore Resort (which we recommend for lunch or dinner). Lakeshore Resort also has a good store for provisions, with everything from souvenirs and camp supplies to first-aid, toiletries, and an array of food and drinks.

STAY & EAT: The nearby town of Quincy delights throughout its hassle-free streets. Parking is easy (and free), and you can easily walk to most places to explore Main Street artisan shopping.

Quincy Featherbed Inn is a quiet B&B that’s a short walk or bike ride from the heart of town, has charmingly appointed rooms, and nice patios for enjoying some fresh air. The hospitality is super friendly and helpful, and the old-school red phone booth next to the front entrance is a throwback novelty… it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a Featherbed!

Across the street from Featherbed Inn, Quintopia Brewing Taproom has an outdoor patio, trivia nights on Thursdays, and plenty of craft brews on tap. It’s also got really delicious food. Definitely try the {Not Your Mother’s} deep fried brussels sprouts. For main dishes, the cold noodle bowl and fried chicken sandwich are Weekend Sherpa favorites.

Afterwards, head over to Europe… make that the European aesthetic of Quincy’s The Drunk Brush Wine Bar. Set in Grover Alley just off of Main Street, and artistically lit by string lights over a small courtyard with a winding stairway up to balcony rooms at Quincy Courtyard and Suites, the wine bar itself is filled with photographs by local artists and—of course—an outstanding selection of wines. There are non-alcohol beverages too. Live music features a rotation of solo singers, violinists, and bands.

The breakfast mainstay in Quincy is Patti's Thunder Cafe (557 Lawrence St.)

VISIT: The Toy Store may have a straightforward name, yet this store is anything but straightforward, and we mean that in the best possible way. It’s a must-stop in Quincy, with friendly, welcoming owners, and an unparalleled curation of toys and games, from new to nostalgic. It’s a local treasure that's been around since 1977. Their fresh hand-scooped ice cream is the real deal. The peppermint candy cane flavor easily tops our unicorn list of true delicacies, but they’ve got all kinds of delicious choices. Pacific Crest Hikers take note: The Toy Store treats all through-hikers to a free ice cream.

Dubbed the sweetest spot in the Sierras, Carey Candy is located on Bradley Street and serves homespun pastries like bear claws and cinnamon twists, along with fudge and other sweets. It’s also got fantastic coffee (evidenced by the locals in line for a specialty order) thanks to BREW haha beans. And it’s probably one of the best artisan gift stores in Plumas County, with all kinds of unique handcrafted housewares, body products, jewelry, and greeting cards. Local bands play here in late afternoon.

Find more great places to stay in Plumas County.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST: In episode "56. The Secluded Sierra" Weekend Sherpa co-founders discuss their explorations of Plumas County and Lassen Volcanic National Park.

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    Come on in, the water is beautiful. Whether you like swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddling, or heading out on a bigger boat, Bucks Lake is a high mountain haven that’s easy to access, blissfully uncrowded, and surrounded by sandy beaches, picnic areas, pines, and aspens.