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Black Butte Lake

Black Butte Lake Kiteboarding Guide

Part of the State of Jefferson Kiteboarding Guide



This US Army Corps of Engineers project created a lake with a surface area of 4,460 acres and 40 miles of shoreline. The lake is located eight miles west of Orland, California and Interstate 5 in the Sacramento Valley. If it weren't for the small buttes around parts of the lake, this would be an almost ideal situation for wind. Black Butte Lake is situated 250 feet above a wide open valley (elevation 470 feet when full), except for the surrounding buttes and foothills to the west.


The lake enjoys a long season due to low elevation and delta influences with spring and fall offering the best conditions. The number of rideable days is influenced largely by the occurrence of passing fronts. Count on three rideable days on north winds after a passing front. South wind preceding low pressure storms offers steady on shore conditions at Buckhorn but also more chop. The long season is also reflected in the fact one campground is open year round.


Prefrontal south wind at Buckhorn Campground


Buckhorn Campground or Angler's Cove work on north or south winds. Angeler's Cove can be accessed via the road marked "Lake Access" just before Buckhorn Campground off Newville Road but is more rocky than the beach in Buckhorn. The east west lake orientation at the day use beach in Buckhorn works great for south winds. The campground has a $5 per day use fee or $40 annual pass. Many other launch options excist, such as Burris Creek, but are not as user friendly.


Hazards & Warnings:

The wind can die rapidly in the evening. Keep this in mind with off shore conditions. It's a big lake, as much as 7 miles long which can make for long swims and walks.

Angler's Cove is a No Wake - 5 mph zone so act accordingly when boat traffic is present.

Wind & Water Data:


Corning is the closest reporting weather station or check the NOAA point forecast.

NWS Corning (CRGC1)
Red Bluff Weather Data
NOAA Point Forecast
Black Butte Reservoir Elevation


Two nice campgrounds are located right on the lake. Buckhorn Campground is open all year whereas Orland Buttes Campground is open April through September.

Camping reservations for Buckhorn and Orland Buttes campgrounds:
phone 1-877-444-6777 or reserve a site on

Facilities include:

  • RV and tent units available with parking pull outs
  • Picnic tables and fire pits at each site.
  • Restrooms with showers
  • Potable water
  • No electrical hookup




Go back to the I-5 for eats. There is nothing out here!