Camp panorama

About Camp Layman

For more than a century folks have made Camp Layman their vacation getaway for a few days or weeks every year. For many it has become an annual tradition.

The camp features 13 cozy cabins with full bathrooms and kitchens nestled in the forest along the Feather River between Cromberg's Twenty Mile House and Graeagle. Camp Layman is just minutes away from some of the best hiking, fishing and golfing in Northern California's Sierras.

Kid with fish

While many folks use the resort as a base camp for exploring the scenic Lakes Basin Recreation Area by hiking or on horseback, there are plenty of family friendly outdoor activities right outside your cabin. The younger kids will immediately spot the swings and slide on the playground. You might also want to try your hand at basketball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, ping-pong, volleyball or badminton. The Middle Fork of the Feather River runs right behind the camp and offers some of the best trout fishing in Plumas County. Of course, the river is a great place for a swim in the summer. Take the kids and the dog and some inner tubes and enjoy a refreshing day on the river. While you're there, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, including deer, river otters and, of course, birds. Birders will be delighted by the vast variety of birds to watch. If you are lucky, you will get an up-close look at a train rolling down the tracks on the far side of the river. Wave at the engineer and he'll gladly give you a couple toots of his horn.

Evenings at Camp Layman can be almost magical. With the smell of barbecue still in the air, guests enjoy gathering around the group campfire to roast marshmallows, share stories, play guitar and make new friends. Others choose to hang out in their cabin and play some of the large assortment of board games available in the office.

Not sure what you want to do tomorrow? Ask Dan and Shelley. The camp's owners live onsite and are always happy to help. Need a fishing pole? Dan has extra poles and fishing gear on hand in the gift shop. It's all complimentary. And so is his fishing advice.

Whether you want a personal getaway, couple's retreat or a family vacation, Camp Layman's cabin rentals offer a unique and memorable lodging experience. Groups are welcome. The camp features a large group barbecue area which includes a giant picnic table that can seat up to 40 people. The group area is ideal for family reunions, birthday parties and even wedding receptions.

If you have questions, check out our Frequently Asked Questions or give us a call at 530-836-1430. Make this the year you begin your Camp Layman tradition.

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Camp panorama

Camp Layman: A vacation destination for more than a century

A man named Frank Layman had a vision soon after he found a forested site in the Sierras along the Middle Fork of the Feather River in 1912. In a few short years, he vision would become Camp Layman.

Layman was working for the railroad as a surveyor when he first eyed the picturesque site. At that time, the railroad was buying up mining rights in the Sierras gold country so the rails could be laid with few disputes.

Frank's original resort was comprised of tent cabins. He constructed a narrow suspension footbridge across the river so his guests could walk from the train tracks to the camp. He soon began replacing the tent cabins with cabins constructed of wood. The oldest existing cabin on the property is Trout cabin. The largest cabin, Pine, was originally a store and chuckhouse. Over the years the Pine cabin has also been a restaurant, and later a bakery. Between 1922 and 1935, Frank added 10 cabins to his resort. Fir and Feather cabins, which feature large screened-in sleeping porches, were built in the early 1940s. Two of the smaller cabins were connected to form what is now Eagle's Nest cabin. Today, there are 13 cabins at Camp Layman.

Frank and his wife Ida sold the resort in the early 1940s and it has had several owners since then. The current owners are Dan McDonald and Shelley Wilkerson. Dan and Shelley bought the resort in 2010 with Shelley's aunt and uncle, Eric and Pat Wilkerson. They have been dedicated to restoring the cabins to their original rustic charm, while upgrading the interior plumbing and fixtures as much as possible. The work continues to this day.

About half of the guests who stay at Camp Layman have made the camp an annual vacation destination. Some of the families have been vacationing here for generations. Many guests choose to stay at least a week during our busy summer season.

You might want to know...

Guests at campfire pit Guests and Camp Layman sign

Check-in time is 4:00 p.m.

Check-out time is 10:00 a.m.

The hours between 10:00 and 4:00 are used to prepare the cabin for the next guest. We cannot offer early check-ins or late check-outs during summer months.

• There is $25 fee per pet, with a maximum of two pets in a cabin. The fee covers the entire duration of the stay.

• Pets MUST BE FRIENDLY with people and other animals.

• Pets MAY NOT BE LEFT UNATTENDED IN CABINS; tied up and left unattended outside a cabin; or left unattended in a vehicle.

• Pets are not permitted on beds, futons, or in the showers. Cabin bedding and towels may not be used for pets.

• Owners are responsible for their pet's behavior, for cleaning up after their pets (including cleaning up pet waste), and for any damage caused by their pets.

• Pit bulls and rottweilers are not permitted in camp.

• Because of our location, Camp Layman is still essentially “off the grid” when it comes to electronic communication. For some, not being connected can be too much to handle. We certainly understand, and for those folks we wouldn't recommend the camp.

• Cell phones do work less than a half mile from the camp (a relaxing 10-minute walk or two-minute drive).

• We also have a remote land-line phone available in the office in case of emergencies.

• While being “off grid” can be hard for some, others embrace it. It's a chance to get back to basics and experience the outdoors the way we used to.

• Our quick answer is “just pack your clothes, toiletries, food and a blanket.” We know you will want to bring more than that, but the cabins are equipped with just about everything you need. If you are flying here or don't have room to pack blankets, just let us know in advance and we will provide them.

• The kitchens all have a stove/oven, dishes, cookware and utensils.

• If you find that you need something that isn't included, there is a good chance we will have it.

• All of the linens are included. Just not blankets.

• The bathroom has a shower and is stocked with towels.

• Each cabin has a Weber barbecue with utensils. Guests will need to bring their own charcoal.

• The camp also features a large group barbecue area with seating for up to 40 people.

• A large group campfire is centrally located in the middle of the camp. We provide the firewood and even the marshmallow sticks.

• The group campfire pit is the only place where a fire is permitted.

• The last person at the fire each night is responsible for extinguishing it with a water hose that's located 20 feet away.

• There are days during the summer and fall when campfires are prohibited by the Forest Service because of dangerously dry and/or windy conditions.

Out of respect for our neighbors and other guests, we ask that all guests refrain from loud voices and noise after 10 p.m.

• The cabins are “house keeping cabins,” meaning you are responsible for cleaning and taking care of them just as you would at home.

• We will provide replacement towels and linens if needed, especially for guests staying longer than a week.

Smoking is not permitted inside any cabin. Guests who choose to smoke must do so outside.

• There is a small gift shop located in the main office. It features an assortment of souvineers, including t-shirts, hats, coffee mugs and small items.

• It isn't a general store, but you can buy candy, coffee, bug spray, charcoal and some basic fishing gear.

• There is also an assortment of books, board games and playing cards that guests are welcome to check out.

• The closest shopping is five miles away in Blairsden-Graeagle. The small towns are literally side-by-side. They have just about everything you need, including a small grocery store, gas station, hardware store and several gift shops and restaurants.

• You can also take a guided horseback tour, rent bikes or play a round of miniature golf.

• There are larger supermarkets located in Portola (15 miles away from camp) and Quincy (18 miles).

• There are hundreds of great hiking trails and destinations in our area. Some of the best hikes are in the Lakes Basin recreation area.

• Most of the trailheads are within a 20-minute drive of your cabin.

• Most of the hikes are featured in a book “Feather River Country Adventure Trails, 101 Fun Hikes with the Region of the Feather River Upper Middle Fork, the Lakes Basin, and the North Yuba River” written by local author Tom DeMund.

• Many locals consider DeMund's book a “must-read” for anyone who wants to hike in this section of the Northern Sierras. You can purchase the book online or at most of the stores and gift shops in this area. We also keep a couple copies handy in the office for our guests to check out.

"My favorite hike in the Sierras is the Round Lake Loop Trail, which is about a thirty minute drive from Camp Layman.
Six mountain lakes in a five mile loop ... you can't beat that." Bruce Titus ~ Webmaster

• Some of the best trout fishing in the Sierras is literally just a few-minute walk from your cabin on the Middle Fork of the Feather River.

• There are also about 20 lakes within a 20-minute drive of Camp Layman.

• If you need some fishing gear, we have a few fishing poles and a tackle box full of gear we are glad to loan you. There is also some fishing tackle for sale in the gift shop, including a large assortment of locally hand-tied flies.

We do not sell fishing licenses at the camp. The closest place to buy a license is the hardware store in Blairsden.

• There are five championship golf courses within 20 minutes of camp. They are Plumas Pines, Graeagle Meadows, Whitehawk Ranch, The Dragon at Nakoma Resort and Grizzly Ranch.

• A more affordable, but still challenging, round of golf can be played five miles away at the nine-hole Feather River Park Resort.

• There are many things to do without leaving Camp Layman.

• For younger children there is a playground set that includes swings, a slide, ropes to hang on and a small fort to climb into. There are chairs on the playground so adults can relax and watch the kids have fun.

• For people a little older we have shuffleboard, ping-pong, volleyball, badminton, horseshoes and even a tetherball (now that's stepping back in time).

• Of course, the main attraction is the Feather River. You can hear the river from your cabin, and in just a few minutes you can be in the water.

• The fishermen staying at the camp will likely try their luck at some beautiful holes first thing in the morning and right before dark (usually the best fishing times).

• In the heat of the day, the swimmers take over. Those great fishing holes make even better swimming holes.

• Some folks might prefer to take a walk. There are a couple of trails that lead to the river. Or take a stroll down the road and see if you can spot a train.

• Camp Layman is actually somewhat famous in train-spotting circles. It's a scenic treat, watching a freight train rumble past on the far side of the river.

• The engineer will usually honk his horn a couple times when swimmers wave.

• There is no set schedule for the trains. Some days there might be one or two, the next there could be five or six.

Although we host travelers from all over the world, most our guests are from the greater Bay Area, Sacramento Valley and Reno-Carson City. Below are driving distances from major cities to Camp Layman and from the camp to some local destinations:

San Francisco – 239
Redding – 162
Sacramento – 153
Lassen National Park – 141
Chico – 105

Susanville – 99
South Lake Tahoe – 95
Carson City – 92
Reno – 64
Truckee – 54
Lake Davis - 21

Quincy – 19
Lakes Basin Recreation Area - 15
Portola – 15
Graeagle – 5
Cromberg – 2

It's a rule we have no control over, but it is strictly enforced. The camp is for cabin rental guests only.

• Each of our cabins has a maximum number of guests that can sleep there. That number is clearly listed on Camp Layman's website, promotional material and is posted inside the cabin.

• For safety and insurance purposes, we have no choice other than to strictly enforce this rule.

• Parties who have more guests than the cabins can legally hold will have to rent an additional cabin. If no additional cabin is available, the extra person(s) will have to secure lodging outside of Camp Layman.

Camp Layman currently does not accept credit or debit cards for payment, just cash or a check. That includes cabin reservations and purchases in the gift shop.

• Camp Layman is a small, family-run business and cancellations affect us significantly. We guarantee your cabin(s) from the date of your booking and therefore turn away other business that we may have acquired for the cabin(s) that you have reserved. By making a reservation with Camp Layman, you agree to accept our cancellation fees and refund policy.

• We require a 40% deposit to hold each cabin reserved. Deposits not received by the due date will result in an automatic cancellation of the reservation.

• In order to receive a refund of your deposit (minus cancellation fee), you must notify us of your intent to cancel at least six weeks prior to your arrival date. A $25 cancellation fee for each cabin reserved will be deducted from your deposit. If you cancel your reservation within six weeks of your reservation arrival date, the deposit is not refundable.

• Parties who cancel on the same calendar date as their scheduled arrival, shorten their stay, or do not arrive on their scheduled calendar date (“No-shows”) are responsible for the entire period that they reserved.

• Deposits for parties renting the entire camp are non-refundable.

• If you or anyone in your party are sensitive to poor air quality, please do not reserve a cabin at Camp Layman during the summer or fall months. Wildfires in the Sierras have become a regular occurrence the past several years. Smokey skies are common. As long as we are open for business we require six weeks notice of cancellation to return a deposit refund. If we are ordered to close because of a fire your full deposit will be refunded.

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