Brochure of Auburn State Recreation Area (SRA) in California. Published by California Department of Parks and Recreation.
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Auburn State Recreation Area Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Deep in California’s legendary gold country, the spectacular canyons and clear waters of the American River draw hikers, equestrians, cyclists, and California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (530) 885-4527. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov Auburn State Recreation Area 501 El Dorado Street Auburn, CA 95603 (530) 885-4527 © 2010 California State Parks (Rev. 2016) Printed on Recycled Paper river enthusiasts. A uburn State Recreation Area is a jewel of a park within the heart of the gold country. Once crowded with hard-living gold miners, Auburn SRA now offers something for everyone. Whether you prefer a strenuous workout on 100 miles of trails, the thrill of finding “yellow” in your gold pan, or relaxing in one of Northern California’s most beautiful landscapes, you will enjoy the wild beauty of this special place. Summer temperatures here average from high 80s to mid-90s, and winters are wet, with highs in the mid-50s and lows in the 30s and 40s. Expect rain between October and April. Auburn SRA is made up of federal project lands under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, set aside for the building of the Auburn Dam. Gold is Found In January of 1848, gold was discovered at nearby Coloma on traditional Nisenan lands. Within a few months, the foothill and mountain homelands of the native people were overrun by would-be millionaires. Europeans, Americans, and even local residents dug, panned, deluged with high-pressure hoses, dredged, and pounded the gold out of any place it might be found. Within months, mining activity on the South Fork of the American River in Coloma expanded to include the Middle and North Forks, now a part of Auburn SRA. Although early mining created extensive environmental damage, the damage has since been diminished by natural processes. PARK HISTORY Native People The Southern Maidu or “Nisenan” were the area’s predominant native group for thousands of years. The Nisenan hunted and gathered from their established villages. Their winter homes were covered in earth for insulation and dug partially underground — two to three feet deep. Summer shelters consisted of branches laid over a framework of saplings and covered with brush. The Nisenan wove baskets for trapping fish and for carrying, winnowing, and storing food. Many Nisenan baskets grace museum collections all over the world. Today’s descendants honor their ancient traditions. Mountain Quarries Railroad Bridge, circa 1930s A rich array of historic and cultural features can be seen at the park. The Mountain Quarries Railroad Bridge, an early concrete arched bridge, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Several historic bridges are still being used in remote areas. California’s highest bridge, the 730-foot Foresthill Bridge, lies within the park. The hard rock tunnels on the Middle Fork of the American River were the earliest tunnels of this type constructed in California. Whitewater rafting through one of these tunnels at Tunnel Chute provides an unparalleled experience. THE AUBURN DAM Flood control and water storage have been important issues since California’s statehood. When the Folsom Dam was built in the mid-1950s, a “companion” dam was planned for the ravines and gorges of the American River Canyon that comprise today’s Auburn SRA. In 1966 Congress authorized a dam at Auburn; construction was begun by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 1967. In the 1970s, concerns emerged about environmental, engineering, and earthquake risks, with rising costs associated with Auburn Dam. As a result, construction was halted in the early 1980s. Although no active construction work is taking place, the Auburn Dam remains a Congressionally authorized project. As an authorized project, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has funded California State Parks’ operation of Auburn SRA. NATURAL RESOURCES Auburn State Recreation Area has richly varied natural habitats. Riparian habitat — White alders, willows, Fremont cottonwoods, and creek dogwoods line the rivers and streambanks. 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 as 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 hosts California quail and canyon wrens. Red-tailed hawks and bald eagles soar overhead, seeking their next meal. RECREATION Swimming and river touring — 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’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. Lake Clementine — Off the Foresthill Road about two miles from Auburn, the lake has a seasonal boat launch ramp, a marina, boat-in campsites, and a day-use swimming area at the upper end of the lake. Call (530) 885-4527 for current boating regulations. 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. 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 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. Make reservations at (800) 444-7275 or visit www.parks.ca.gov. • 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. Off-highway recreation — The Mammoth Bar OffHighway 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 on the park website, www.parks. ca.gov/auburnsra, or at the park office, 501 El Dorado Street in Auburn. Trails — 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 multi-use Quarry Trail (¼-mile south of the North Fork at Highway 49), the multi-use Olmstead Loop and connector at Cool (behind the fire station), and the multi-use 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. Gold Panning — Recreational gold panning is allowed only in permanent, running streambeds. All use of metal detectors is prohibited. Call (530) 885-4527 for specific information. ACCESSIBLE FEATURES Some accessible features (e.g., parking areas, restrooms, routes of travel) may meet current accessibility guidelines. Visit http://access.parks.ca.gov for updates. PLEASE REMEMBER • 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. • Fires may be built only in fire rings provided Poison and must be attended oak at all times. • 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. NEARBY STATE PARKS • Folsom Lake State Recreation Area 7806 Folsom-Auburn Road, Folsom 95630 (916) 988-0205 • Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, 310 Back Street, Coloma 95613 (530) 622-3470 • Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park 9980 Greenback Lane Folsom 95630 (916) 988-0205 to Grass Valley to Truckee 80 s Trail S t e ve n COLFAX 80 s Rd Jim d Trail W R Trl Bar ne ai M Slige rM Pil g Wa rim y Road ca Am eri We s l Tra il GEORGETOWN 1.5 2 R Three Queens 3 Kilometers 2.5 Marysville 99 r Tra il w Bro ns 193 org eto w 80 193 d nR Auburn 80 Roseville 193 Cool Folsom Lake 49 Marshall Gold Discovery SHP Folsom Powerhouse SHP to Lake Tahoe 50 Prairie City SVRA Folsom Lake SRA Folsom 5 Sacramento 80 to San Francisco 5 99 Tunnel Chute Last Chance Auburn SRA 65 to Redding 49 15 Km 10 Lincoln Ge 10 Mi 5 5 0 Orange Wall to Reno 65 70 Tr a i l St Trail R i v er n C re e k yo an 1 2 Miles 1.5 0 rl de T Ba Lo 0.5 1 20 tsi il il ra Lo o d Culvert FB T rview Tr ail ric a n R i v e r North Fo rk A S ra 1 Mile 1.5 Kilometers Supplies uito Rid Mosq g Kanaka Falls C 0.5 0 Ea s R e ll ss Ru ek Fa lls n me s 0.75 1 (Class 3 & Higher) d 0.5 River Rapids eR ve Rd 0.5 s im eJ ke 0.25 n Ya Rd 0 Restroom a ai s t 0 193 Parking il Tra n Ranch Trl id e ate ge or n Park Office P te s Sta c eri er n st Ge ow r K nickerbocke Creek Dam ddle Fork Am Mi We COOL Ford’s Bar ek C re Q rry Campground Campground: (Boat-In) Off Highway Vehicle Area n ter es W River Bar Trail ua Bridge r tte es 49 Mammoth Bar OHV Area Tr Trail P Boat Launch: Hand Boat Launch: Vehicle O ill s H iver an R eric Am Stonewall Trail Murderers Trail Trail Intermittent Stream Off-Highway Vehicle Area Ro ad FORESTHILL t 0 Ston e Tra W il a ll River View Trail Murderer’s Bar (Class V+, portage highly recommended) n k d Trail: Multi-Use Horse Staging Area Co nn Shortcut 2 Trail Trail: Hike & Horse Gas Station n Rd Trail: Hike Trail: Hike & Bike ad Ro ll R l Unpaved Road d Gate d hi Tra i R P Trail op COLOMA P 49 ut 1 rtc s Rd Lotu Knickerbocker R d rn Sta t Trail &E PG T R oa d o Sh t Creek al te es W ad tes Tr Sta rn te l ai Old F Middle Fo r t T ua rry il l Major Road Trail nR ow Q st h Cl e me or ge l Trai tor ec ck es or p te a Chunder e in e Fore P Lake Freeway YANKEE JIMS t in P ne ti Fuel Br ea k d Ro w er C le en m Stagecoach Trail s Ol m Ol m ste Lo Tinkers Cut-off Trail on Gard e ill Ri v Trail McKe g Parallel Parking Ruck-A-Chucky (Class VI, portage highly recommended) 193 Ge Legend l Shirttail Can 101st Airborne k Lake Clementine Dam er i Tra ek Paved Road Sp rin h st re North Fork Americ a ke Clementine La il Tra M a nza n it inted Po Cr ee e P Trail ates n St r er C ipp Cl k ee Cr Big Bend ster We P Bridgeview Trail r ige Sl ero sa W y a sa Rd ero nd Trail n Flo Roaod Tra d il d Upper Stagecoach Trail a P 49 Mossy Rock Trail hill R d Park Access Trail CONFLUENCE AREA t res Fo Wy L inc ol n 49 AMERICAN RIVER 80 AUBURN tes S ta nd Fo Rd rn P Roa d Greenwood Access/ Ruck-A-Chucky Campground e Trail Min Trail e a De vin il Tra Ra te es hill Po Western Sta te s Rd ub Bar Tr d T ail ru ck ail Tr n yo s n e at Ca St n rn te es W Mc Wendell T Roble wn Rd A to Placerville n ter P Cherokee Bar tes Sta onder n-P Keo a e to ar PILOT HILLurn ail Tr es Poverty W Fores t os org eB 49 iver n R fall Trail r ica Ge ak sn AU B U R N S TAT E R E C R E AT I O N AREA P ivers Dr oad tR Fla Divide ate W tes Ponderosa Way Po Maine o r k AmeBar r Yankee Jims oad sR Jim il Tra rn eF Tra il C re ee d dl Bogus Thunder r P P Mineral Bar Campground nd Staircase Indi a n Yank Mi Qua rr West y e P Loop Trail op Fo ill s th re s n’ ive C od fish Fa lls Trl Divide ad Ro r es t h ill Hoosier Sta Rd P Fo eck T rl en neb F or esth ill Divid Lo e Tra il T op OH V 49 o Ri ly Bear Hoosier B a r Bar 193 ttle lm K il Foresthill Divide Loop Trail Grand Slalom aW ay In di an th Fo rk Am e see detail map below w Bro ead m st Ol r P nR Point Lo T COOL a n R iv e Tra e ri c a Wi Achilles’ Heel Codfish Falls P Long r ai l rail p Loo Zig-Zag ke n yo Lo r k Amer ic Trail op Tr l d ad Ra Sa Fo Sq u t Fla C re ek ste Mid er Ol m le Connec to N o r t h F o r k Am Upper Lake Clementine Day Use Area Cle m en il r Tra ck 49 Lake Clementine Boat-In Campground ke aw Mammoth Bar OHV Area bo FOLSOM LAKE SRA os e i ck er AU B U R N SRA Tongue & Groove e l Ru s Rd sel La k Gr Tr izz ail ee ek Lake Clementine Access Trail tin Pio ne er N Salt C r Kn d ar R dB lan Oregon Bar r . F ork Am e r i c a n R ive Ya n r C re Ro ck yI s China P Bar to Folsom Lake SRA P Expre s Trail s N Birdsall r ee C l i p pe B ar on Pi China Bar Road s es rican River r P e 49 P l Tr or iv Dr Pacific Ave Slaughter’s Sluice APPLEGATE de idu Rd l Rd Chamberlain Falls Pon Ma om E xpr s r n F ol t Aub u Hig h S coln Wy d ill R resth Fo Elme Av Lin WEIMAR 80 Hi l wa int Trail sV a ll Gr AUBURN Io yon Way C an Weimar Crossroad BOWMAN 80 Way Po gh Hi ey 193 State Recreation Area as to Roseville, Sacramento Canyon Auburn y wa y 49 174 to Grass Valley 16 © 2010 California State Parks (Rev. 2016) Oxbow P