Auburn State Recreation Area

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 more than 900,000 visitors a year.

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Latitude: 38.9158802 Longitude: -121.0412693 Elevation: 613 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Anita Yoder


Recreational Opportunities

The Auburn State Recreational Area has features suitable to virtually every interest. Major recreational uses include hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, camping, mountain biking, gold panning, 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 the Auburn SRA. Water runs swift, deep and cold with snow melt in the spring, but later in the summer, some parts of the river, particularly in Upper Lake Clementine, are suitable for wading and similar water play.

Over 100 miles of hiking and horse trails wind through the steep American River canyons and along the North and Middle Forks of the river. The most famous trail is the Western States Trail, which runs 100 miles from Lake Tahoe to Auburn, with over 20 miles in the park.

Some trails are long and challenging; however there are also trails suitable for families with school- age children. A map showing the trails is available from the park office.

The Auburn State Recreation Area is also a wonderful place to simply walk, watch wildlife, take photos, paint a picture, study its fascinating geology, or just find a place to relax and watch the world go by.

Given its Gold Rush Heritage, the Auburn State Recreation Area also has a vibrant history, complete with a designated tour of historic bridges, old railroad routes through the canyon, and colorfully-named sites, such as "Murderer's Bar."

The region was also a construction site for a major Auburn Dam, which was never completed due to earthquake concerns.  

Nearest to the City of Auburn, the Area is a natural treasure with a wide variety of activities possible, many year-round.

Seasons Accessible

For the current park hours click here.  

Trails are open year round - potentially an ideal spot to spend a sunny day even mid-winter.

Some sites are closed during the winter, including Upper Lake Clementine, Lake Clementine Campgrounds, Cherokee Bar, part of the Mineral Bar Campground, and Ruck-A-Chucky Campgrounds.


$10/day use fee/vehicle all areas except Confluence. Camping fees some areas; see web site for details.

ADA Accessibility Notes

To use the California Relay Service with TTY, call (888) 877-5378 or without TTY, call (888) 877-5379.

Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need special assistance should contact (530) 885-4527.

Pet Friendly Notes

Dogs are welcome on trails, but must be kept on a six-foot leash at all times.

Flexileads are dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists.  

Dogs are not allowed on Lake Clementine Road near the dam site, nor in or on Lake Clementine or Upper Lake Clementine.


Incredible pictures. Love the kayaker.

Jorge E. Gosalvez, 2/12/2011

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