According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 12.4 square miles (32.0 km²), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 254 people, 109 households, and 72 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 20.6 people per square mile (7.9/km²). There were 130 housing units at an average density of 10.5/sq mi (4.1/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 92.91% White, 3.94% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.39% from other races, and 1.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.76% of the population.
There were 109 households out of which 21.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.9% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.71.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 20.9% under the age of 18, 2.0% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 39.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 104.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.0 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $27,083, and the median income for a family was $31,250. Males had a median income of $41,250 versus $33,750 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $11,943. About 21.6% of families and 24.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.7% of those under the age of eighteen and 11.8% of those sixty five or over.
In the state legislature French Gulch is located in the 4th Senate District, represented by Republican Sam Aanestad, and in the 2nd Assembly District, represented by Republican Doug LaMalfa. Federally, French Gulch is located in California's 2nd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +13 and is represented by Republican Wally Herger.