Friday, May 20, 2016

Merrill Campground, Eagle Lake, Susanville, CA



Our drive from Washoe Lake to Susanville, CA along Hwy 395 was uneventful. Between the two of us we probably checked at least five or six times to make sure the car was hooked up properly. This being new territory for us we weren’t sure what to expect, but traffic was not bad going through Reno, and it was very light the rest of the 135 miles.

We decided to check out Susanville but there is only one RV park in town which we didn’t want to stay at, so we drove another 15 miles northwest on the long and winding road to Eagle Lake in the Lassen National Forest. There are several campgrounds that just opened for the season on the 16th, and we picked Merrill because some of the sites have hookups and the weather for the weekend wasn’t looking good. Our site has water and electric, but there are some really nice non-hookup sites closer to the lake, and full hookups sites farther back. We’re paying $20/night with Jim’s senior pass. It’s $30 without the discount. It’s a nice campground at this time of year since there is hardly anyone here, but I wouldn’t want to be here when it was full.

We have a limited lake view through the trees.


The day we arrived we rode the five mile paved bike path that connects the campgrounds and goes to the marina/boat launch area. It’s a very pleasant ride and mostly level.



The lake level is quite low as this used to be a break wall.


Wonder how many years it’s been since this boat ramp was actually used.


We found this building near the marina.



DSC05164      DSC05165

Yesterday we took the bikes to Susanville for a ride on the 25 mile Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail. We started downtown at the Susanville Depot and rode 6.5 miles west through the lovely Susan River Canyon.

Eagle Lake, Merrill Campground, Susanville, CA

Going west the dirt/gravel trail is a gradual uphill the entire way, plus we had a strong westerly headwind, so it was a real struggle to make much distance.

But the scenery was beautiful so we stopped frequently for photos, crossing numerous trestles and bridges over the river.








There were two tunnels to go through, and we wished we’d had headlamps, since they were really dark in the middle.




It was much better after we turned back, all downhill and a tailwind, which is why people take a shuttle to the other end at Westwood for a 25 mile downhill ride. It was still an enjoyable ride, although our butts were feeling it having ridden the day before. Jim is back to wanting to trade in his mountain bike for a recumbent.

Since the depot was just a couple blocks from Lassen Ale Works, of course had to stop and try their beer. The Devil’s Corral Imperial Stout and the Belgian Style XXX Tripel were excellent.

After two very nice days in the 70s we were under a winter weather advisory last night, with snow predicted for over 5,000’.  Merrill Campground happens to be at 5,300’, so this morning we woke up to this.



It’s snowing again as I write this, but our high is projected to be 41 today so it will most likely melt. Looks like a good day for some indoor projects. We’ll be here until Sunday when we head to Redding for some Lazy Daze maintenance. Hope we won’t have to shovel our way out.


  1. Thanks for the picture tour again. Here is my take on "bents". I have owned one and ridden many. Bents all had one thing in common I did not like. They did not go slow well at all. I frequently went slowly to look at things and it was a challenge. A bent going too slow is what got me the two muscles ripped off my left upper arm and subsequent surgery. Other than that I really liked the bents.

  2. How is Jim coping with all those "@#$%ing trees??"

    1. Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negativity. But on the other hand the trees suck.


  3. You did turn north a tad early, you know... :)
    Sometimes Summer doesn't get to the Oregon coast till mid July. Please try and divert the inclement weather either south or north of the San Juans please.

  4. Oh Boy SNOW! - for sure the Susanville all the way to Red Bluff up to Dunsmuir can be hammered! But you got a nice bike ride in before it hit! Nice pictures of the ride and the beautiful country.

  5. Wonderful looking bike ride. Great pictures. I might be interested in having snow like that in my life for an over night or even two as long as I don't have to drive in it. Sure looks pretty

  6. Shorts in one pic and snow the next. It occurs to me elevation in Susanville resembles some of the weather in TX! :)) Love the pics. Did you peddle fast to get ahead of Jim for that 2nd tunnel shot? Glad the snow is temporary for you.

  7. It's not snowing in Ellensburg, but it looks like rain all next week in Seattle. :-( Guess I shouldn't be surprised.

  8. Yuk! Snow is to be avoided by right-thinking RVers. Sorry you ran into it. Hope that is the last of the white stuff.

  9. We are near freezing here this weekend for the lows but fortunately no snow here although a frost warning again tonight. Although I say this from the comfortable warmth of inside. We have had nice weather at the lower elevations. I love seeing the kitties out for a walk...Looks like Elvis is getting out more these days.

  10. SNOW??? May??? Yikes!! We were headed to Likely CA for a few days, but based on the weather forecast we revised our plans and stopped in Reno. Turned out to be a wise choice, when we put up the satellite antenna and turned on the local news we discovered that Interstate 80 west of here was closed due to snow. We're going to hang out here for 4 days or so before heading on to Bend. Stay warm y'all!!

  11. Thanks for another campground I had no idea about....I have yet to go left..It quacking snowed 1000' above my house last night and it was 30* on my deck @ 3:30 A.M.....It was 90* here last week...Arrrg Matey....And the Memorial weekend is fast showing up..

  12. The bike ride does look beautiful.
    Snow...yuck! Stay safe and warm.

  13. We never made it out to Eagle Lake during our stay in Susanville, thanks for taking me there. Nice to see some water in the lake even if it is still low.

  14. I guess Lassen park is still snowbound. We walked a little of that bike trail. Didn't know there was a shuttle. Cool

    1. I really wanted to visit Lassen but not this year. Road and campgrounds are not yet open so it will have to wait for another time.

  15. This is an area we haven't visited yet. The bike trail looks great. Thanks goodness we can't see the wind in your photos. Riding through tunnels when you really can't see the path is so scary. Brrrr! I hope your snow melts quickly!! At least there isn't a crowd:)

  16. We enjoyed riding the Bizz Johnson. While in the tunnels (no headlamps with us either) I kept wondering when I was going to hit something and take a tumble. Hope the weather clears for you soon.