Day Use: Sunrise to Sunset
Auburn Sector Office: 8am to 4pm, open daily excluding holidays
Mammoth Bar, China Bar, Lower Lake Clementine: 8am to Sunset
Upper Lake Celementine: 8am to 6:30pm
Confluence Area Shuttle Service
The Confluence area parking can fill up quickly on any weekend. Thanks to a partnership with Auburn Transit, there is now an on demand shuttle that will take you from any of 5 locations in the City of Auburn to the Confluence between 9:00a.m. and 5:00p.m., Friday to Sunday. This shuttle will be operating April 1st through October 1st. To make reservations please visit https://www.auburn.ca.gov/585/Confluence-RouteCheck and do your part to help reduce traffic on an zero emission electric bus!
Beginning May 1, 2022 wake surfing is prohibited at Lake Clementine. This new regulation was enacted due to damage to the shoreline, other vessels and the marina facility caused by abnormally large wakes associated with wake surfing. The Posted Order defining wake surfing can be found here.
The Federal highway Administration, Central Federal lands Highway Division, in cooperation with the US Bureau of Reclamation, has awarded a contract for the replacement of the Ponderosa Bridge. Construction of this project began in early August of 2022, the Bridge and Ponderosa Day Use area is expected to be closed through Fall of 2023. Throughout this project, Ponderosa Road will be closed to vehicle traffic near the State Park boundaries on the north and south sides of the canyon. A Posted Order prohibiting vehicular traffic on this portion of roadway has been issued and may be viewed here. Additional information regarding this project can be found here: https://highways.dot.gov/federal-lands/projects/ca/ponderosa
Upper Lake Clementine- Open for the season
Lower Lake Clementine Boat-In Campground- Open for the season
Ruck-A-Chucky Campground/Driver's Flat Road- Open for the season
Mineral Bar Campground- Open - Campsites available through www.ReserveCalifornia.com
China Bar- Open to vehicle access 7 days a week from 8am until sunset.
Cherokee Bar/ Sliger Mine Rd.- Open for the season, 4x4 required due to road conditions.
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.
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.