Auburn State Recreation Area

Quick Facts

Auburn State Recreation Area

California

(530) 885-4527

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

In the heart of the gold country, the Auburn State Recreation Area (Auburn SRA) covers 40-miles of the North and Middle Forks of the American river. Once teeming with thousands of gold miners, the area is now a natural area offering a wide variety of recreation opportunities to over 900,000 visitors a year.

Major recreational uses include hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, camping, mountain biking, gold panning, equestrian/horseback riding trails and off-highway motorcycle riding. Whitewater recreation is also very popular on both forks of the river, with Class II, III and IV runs. Over 30 -private outfitters are licensed to offer whitewater trips in Auburn SRA.

Auburn SRA is made up of the lands set aside for the Auburn Dam. California State Parks administers the area under a contract with the US Bureau of Reclamation.

Map of Auburn State Rec. Area (CA)

Latitude, Longitude: 38.922558, -121.028481

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Activities

  • Boating

    River flows and levels are swift and unpredictable, so please use common sense and proper safety equipment. A wide variety of non-motorized boating opportunities can be found on the North and Middle Forks. The river and canyon scenery are breathtaking, but the river's swift currents are not for beginners. The North Fork and Middle Fork range from a Class II float to a much more dangerous Class VI portage. Off the Foresthill Road, about two miles from Auburn, Lake Clementine has a seasonal boat launch ramp, a marina, boat-in campsites, and a day-use swimming area at the upper end of the lake.

  • Bicycling

    More than 100 miles of mountain biking, hiking and equestrian trails cross the steep canyons and both forks of the American River. Major trailheads include the Auburn Horse Staging Area (on Pleasant Avenue in Auburn), the multiuse Quarry Trail (¼-mile south of the North Fork at Highway 49), the multiuse Olmstead Loop and connector at Cool (behind the fire station), and the multiuse Foresthill Divide Loop Trail. For your safety, check trail usage signs at each trailhead or fork, and obey all trail regulations. A detailed trail map is available at the park office.

  • Camping

    Three primitive campgrounds have no flush toilets, showers or drinking water. Mineral Bar Campground--A narrow, paved road leads to 17 campsites on the east side of the North Fork, off the Iowa Hill Road. Campsites are available first come, first-served. • Ruck-a-Chucky Campground-- A 2.5-mile gravel/dirt road takes you to five primitive first-come, first-served sites on the Placer County side of the Middle Fork (Driver's Flat Road). Lake Clementine Boat-in Campground-- Twenty primitive sites, reachable only by boat, have no vehicle access. River Permit Camping--Some areas outside of designated campgrounds are available for camping by special permit. Get information and permits at the Auburn SRA office. River camping permits are not available between July 1 and October 15.

  • Fishing

    The Middle Fork is a good place to catch trout and bass. Fishing on the North Fork is only fair due to low flows during warm summers.

  • Hiking

    More than 100 miles of mountain biking, hiking and equestrian trails cross the steep canyons and both forks of the American River. Major trailheads include the Auburn Horse Staging Area (on Pleasant Avenue in Auburn), the multiuse Quarry Trail (¼-mile south of the North Fork at Highway 49), the multiuse Olmstead Loop and connector at Cool (behind the fire station), and the multiuse Foresthill Divide Loop Trail. For your safety, check trail usage signs at each trailhead or fork, and obey all trail regulations. A detailed trail map is available at the park office.

  • Horseback Riding

    More than 100 miles of mountain biking, hiking and equestrian trails cross the steep canyons and both forks of the American River. About 20 miles of the Western States Trail pass through the park; this trail hosts the world renowned Tevis Cup 100 mile Endurance Horse Ride and the annual Western States 100 Endurance Run. Major trailheads include the Auburn Horse Staging Area (on Pleasant Avenue in Auburn), the multiuse Quarry Trail (¼-mile south of the North Fork at Highway 49), the multiuse Olmstead Loop and connector at Cool (behind the fire station), and the multiuse Foresthill Divide Loop Trail. For your safety, check trail usage signs at each trailhead or fork, and obey all trail regulations. A detailed trail map is available at the park office.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is not available.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    The Mammoth Bar Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area, with two MX tracks and 12 miles of motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle trails, is about 30 miles northeast of Sacramento in the foothills. Obtain a detailed Mammoth Bar brochure and a list of regulations at the park office.

  • Picnicking

    Recreational gold panning is allowed only in permanent, running streambeds. There are special restrictions on use of metal detectors. Call the park for specific information.

  • Water Sports

    Off the Foresthill Road, about two miles from Auburn, Lake Clementine has a seasonal boat launch ramp, a marina, boat-in campsites, and a day-use swimming area at the upper end of the lake.

Seasonality/Weather

Typical California warm/hot summers and cool wet winters. Fall and spring weather can be variable.

Park Partners

Whitewater Recreation Office

Call the Whitewater Recreation Office for information about whitewater rafting and outfitters.

(530) 823-4162

Directions

Driving

The park (which is 20 miles long on two forks of the American River) is situated south of Interstate 80, stretching from Auburn to Colfax. The main access is from Auburn, either on Highway 49 or the Auburn-Foresthill Road.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(530) 885-4527

Campground reservations

(800) 444-7275

Links

Comments

The Official URL has no map or trail information that would be helpful for planning a trip to visit this place. The American River Canyon Hikes booklet is an excellent guide for many hikes at Auburn SRA. Even more information is available at hiking trails of Auburn SRA - Lincoln Wiki.