Day Use - Sunrise to sunset
Auburn Sector Office hours 8am to 4pm Sunday-Saturday excluding holidays
Auburn State Recreation Area
As State Parks increases access to the State Park System, it is critical that Californians continue to recreate responsibly in the outdoors as the pandemic is far from over.
Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and the COVID-19 guidelines for this park unit.
What is open now?
Auburn State Recreation Area is open to vehicular traffic and parking at the following areas:
- Please note there is no water, soap, or hand sanitizer available for hand washing anywhere in Auburn State Recreation Area.
- The Confluence (best access to Lake Clementine Trail and Dam Overlook)
- Lower Lake Clementine Road Lake access.
- Upper Lake Clementine.
- Lake Clementine Boat-In Campground
- Sliger Mine Road/Cherokee Bar.
- Driver’s Flat Road/Ruck-a-Chucky Campground.
- Quarry Trail Parking Lot.
- Auburn Staging Area.
- Mineral Bar day-use areas.
- Robie Point.
- China Bar.
- Cool Staging Area.
- Drivers Flat Staging Area.
- Mammoth Bar OHV Area.
- Murphy's Gate.
- Mineral Bar Campground.
- The Sector Office.
What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
- Some park units and campground sites continue to be temporarily closed due to the pandemic, impacts from wildfires or other issues. Please visit the webpage of your local outdoor destination to find out if it is open.
- High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
- Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.
Are there any new visitor guidelines?
State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:
- Stay Local: Stay close to home during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time.
- Plan Ahead:
- The ongoing pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of your outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it is open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect.
- Learn what safety precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
- SNO-PARKS: Make sure your vehicle is snow ready. A permit is required for each vehicle parked at a SNO-PARK site. Parking is on a first come, first-serve basis at all SNO-PARK sites. The public is advised that parking lots are filling up early in the day. Illegal parking is prohibited. More information can be found at ohv.parks.ca.gov/SNOPARKS.
- Stay Safer at Six Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties. If there are too many people to maintain the required physical distance, please visit us on a different day.
- Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
- Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
- Keep Clean: Be prepared as not all services may be available. Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities.
- Stay Covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.
Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.
California State Parks continues to work with local and state officials on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.
Ponderosa Road has been closed for the last few weeks to repair a washout and for road maintenance. The road is now open as of March 19th for public vehicle access on both sides of the Ponderosa Bridge.
Closure of Ponderosa Bridge
The US Bureau of Reclamation will be closing Ponderosa Bridge to vehicular traffic over the North fork of the American River on July 15th, 2020 due to structural deficiencies. The area will remain accessible by vehicle, however vehicles will not be able to cross the bridge. Please review the BOR press release.
Reservations - Mineral Bar Campground
Starting May 1st, 2021, Mineral Bar will require reservations to camp. It will no longer be a first come first serve campground. To make reservations please visit www.ReserveCalifornia.com https://reservecalifornia.com/CaliforniaWebHome/.
Mammoth Bar OHV Area
On May 3, 2021 State Park staff broke ground on the replacement/relocation project for the Mammoth Bar Motocross Track. This project will involve relocating the former motocross track to the area previously used as the staging area, trials area and access road, while establishing a new road alignment through the prior track footprint. Upon completion, the day use, track and trials areas will have been relocated and the 90cc track will be left intact. We expect this project to be completed in the summer of 2021.
During construction, access will be maintained via temporary routes and the staging area will be relocated upriver to the gravel bar area near the 90cc track. There may be times when the area is temporarily closed due to construction activities. Temporary closures will be posted to our website and the Mammoth Bar phone line at (530) 885-4527. During construction please stay out of the fenced areas and away from the heavy equipment
Upper Lake Clementine
On Monday, May 17th, 2021 Upper Lake Clementine will be Closed.
Starting on Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 Upper Lake Clementine will reopen. Upper Lake Clementine's access road will be reduced to one lane, all vehicles must enter and exit using the entrance lane. On Friday, May 21st, 2021 Upper Lake Clementine's access road will tentatively reopen to two lanes.
Upper Lake Clementine- Open for the season.
Lower Lake Clementine Boat-In Campground- Parking lot and launch ramp open. Campground Opening May 1st, 2021.
Ruck-A-Chucky Campground/Driver's Flat Road- Open for the season.
Mineral Bar Campground- Open. Seasonal and COVID-19 limitations apply. Starting May 1st, 2021, Mineral Bar will require reservations to camp. The day use areas remain open.
China Bar- Open Friday through Monday 8 am until sunset.
Cherokee Bar/ Sliger Mine Rd.- Open for the season.
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 Foresthill Road.
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, river access, boating, fishing, camping, mountain biking, gold panning, limited hunting, 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, IV, and V runs. Over 30 -private outfitters are licensed to offer whitewater trips in Auburn SRA.
Auburn SRA is made up of mainly federal lands. California State Parks administers the area under a Managing Partnership Agreement with the US Bureau of Reclamation.
Summer temperatures here average from high~80s to mid~90s, and winters are wet, with highs in the mid~50s and lows in 30s and low~40s. Dress in layers, and bring rain gear between October and April.
Auburn State Recreation Area has richly varied natural habitats.
Riparian habitat- White alders, willows, Fremont cottonwoods and creek dogwoods line the rivers and stream banks.
Chaparral and foothill woodland- South facing upper canyon walls support chaparral-small, drought resistant trees and shrubs. Poison oak grows in the foothill woodlands community, as well buckeyes, interior live oaks, blue oaks, manzanita, deer brush and toyon.
Mixed conifer- Ponderosa pines, Douglas-fir, California black oaks and madrone cover the north facing upper canyon walls.
All habitats bloom in spring with acres of wildflowers such as monkey flowers, fiddleneck, Indian paintbrush, larkspur, lupine and brodiaea.
Park Wildlife- Black tailed deer and rabbits can be seen during the daylight hours, while raccoons, opossums, gray foxes and coyotes rule the night. Black bears, rattlesnakes, mountain lions and bobcats live in the park. The riparian habitat host California quail and canyon wrens. Red tailed hawks and bald eagles soar overhead, seeking their next meal.
Gold Panning Regulations
The Auburn SRA allows gold panning using the “hands and pans” method. Please abide by the following regulations when collecting minerals:
Panning for gold is considered to be “rockhounding” as the term is applied in the Department. The goldpan is the only exception permitted to the exclusion of tools from rockhounding in a unit (T-14 CCR 4611 (i))
Rockhounding is the recreational gathering of stones and minerals found occurring naturally on the undisturbed surface of the land, including panning for gold in the natural water-washed gravel beds of streams (T-14 CCR 4301(v)).
Tools and equipment may not be used in rockhounding, except gold pans. Rocks or minerals gathered may not be sold or used commercially for the production of profit. One person may gather no more than 15 pounds of mineral material per day. Historic and prehistoric or archeological specimens may not be gathered. In state recreation areas rockhounding is limited to beaches which lie within the jurisdiction of the Department and within the wave action zone on lakes, bays, reservoirs, or on the ocean, and to the beaches or gravel bars which are subject to annual flooding on streams. Rockhounding is limited to within the wave action zones of lakes and streams. Muddy water from panning must not be visible more than 20 feet from the panning operation (T-14 CCR 4307, 4308, & 4611).
If you have any questions, please call the Auburn SRA office for more information.
Carry a trail map, and be aware of the park's steep canyons and extreme heat during the summer.
All natural and cultural features of the park are protected by law and must not be removed or disturbed.
Do not hike alone. Wear long pants and be alert for ticks.
Watch out for mountain lions, rattlesnakes, and black bears.
Poison oak grows throughout the park.
Pets must be under control and on a leash no longer than six feet. They must be enclosed in a tent or vehicle at night.