Swimming Holes and Lakes

With Stanisluas National Forest road closures leading to many popular destinations (including Utica, Union,  Spicer reservoir, McKay’s Dam, Candy Rock,  and Slick Rock), we’d like to give a shout to the bounty of Calaveras by celebrating a few of the many places that are still open for water sports throughout the 2017 Calaveras summer season. From secret swimming holes, to hundreds of acres of open water, we’ve got you covered!

Play safe! Our wild and scenic rivers are exceptionally wild this year. All of the following recommendations exclude Stanislaus and Mokelumne River swimming for the health and safety of you and your loved ones. Learn more by calling 1-800-225-3764.

Get up-to-date information on forest road closures recovering from the wet and wild 2017 winter season.

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Swimming Holes Open for 2017

Play safe! Our wild and scenic rivers are exceptionally wild this year. All of the following recommendations exclude Stanislaus and Mokelume River swimming for the health and safety of you and your loved ones. Learn more by calling 1-800-225-3764.

1. White Pines – Easy

LOCALS TIP: While the Mooselodge bridge is under repair, you can access the beach by following the White Pines Lake trailhead.

FIND SUPPLIES: Pick up disc golf  supplies, rent kayaks, paddle-boards or other non-motorized lake toys from SNAC.Check out nearby Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods for fishing supplies and permit Looking to enjoy a nice shady picnic with your feet in the water? Grab some grubbage from one of Arnold’s many iconic restaurants such as Butter and Cream Bakery or Giant Burger.

Learn all About White Pines Lake



2. Arnold Rim Trail – Adventurous Access

LOCALS TIP: With over 17 miles of trail, your bound to encounter not only a secret swimming hole or two, but also stunning overlooks galore. Download your Arnold Rim Trail Map today,

Learn all about the Arnold Rim Trail


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3. Natural Bridges – Easy Access

LOCALS TIP: We love to keep this gorgeous 2 mile family-friendly trail green! There’s no restrooms or trash service at the bottom of the trail so be prepared to #hoplightly and pack out whatever you pack in.

Learn all about Natural Bridges


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Luscious Calaveras Lakes Open for 2017

Looking to head out on open waters? Here’s a detailed look at 6 of our favorite expansive lakes accessed through Calaveras County.

DID YOU KNOW: Lake Camanche, New Hogan, New Melones, and Lake Tulloch all offer boating, fishing, day-use hiking, biking, wildflowers, wildlife viewing, and interpretive programs throughout the summer. They also all welcome personal watercraft and other towables, and have reservable tent and RV campsites with views of their lakes!

1. Lake Alpine

DID YOU KNOW: Lake Alpine is located just within the border of Alpine County, home of Bear Valley Mountain and the least populated county in all of California. Talk about a High Sierra getaway!

FIND SUPPLIES: You can rent SUPs, kayaks, and most anything else you may need across the way at Bear Valley Adventure Company, in Arnold at the Sierra Nevada Adventure Company.

Learn all about Lake Alpine

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2. New Melones

DID YOU KNOW: At 12,500 acres, New Melones is one of the largest reservoirs in California! Now that’s BIG! There’s even a hidden cave along the shoreline accessible by boat.

LOCALS TIPS: Grab a meal to go 10 in downtown Angels Camp or killer barbecue right outside of the marina at Glory Hole SportsLooking for shore-line fishing? (Coming either direction on Hwy 49) Head towards the New Melones Visitors Center by turning onto Melones Court. Stay left to stay on Melones Court. If you come to a closed gate, park your vehicle and walk 100 yards to the shoreline.

FIND GEAR: Rent your water craft at New Melones Marina and stock up on camping or fishing gear at Glory Hole Sports. (Staying in Arnold or above? You can also rent water gear at the locally owned Sierra Nevada Adventure Company in Arnold.)

Learn all about New Melones

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3. Lake Tulloch

DID YOU KNOW: You can enjoy shoreline views from cabin and cottage rentals at Lake Tulloch where you’ll savor–not only a roof over your head, but your own personal barbecue and porch to take it all in!

LOCALS TIPS: Hit Copperopolis Town Square for coffee, icecream, shopping and food, and check out Drifter’s Marina, where you can enjoy killer food, cold drinks, and an awesome view of the shoreline, while you’re at it.

Learn all about Lake Tulloch

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4. New Hogan Lake

LOCATION: Part one of the Valley Springs tri-lake area, 30 miles east of Stockton.

ACTIVITIES: New Hogan Lake is the perfect place for camping, water sports, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Note: there is no marina or fuel service, so come fueled and ready to go.

LOCALS TIPS: Grab a bite at one of Valley Spring’s killer restaurants including award winning Villa Bakery. Work up a sweat at La Contenta Golf Club, before you cool down at this luscious lake. Boat-in camping is available at Deer Flat Campground–just one of New Hogan’s three idyllic campgrounds.

Learn all about New Hogan Lake

5. Lake Camanche

LOCALS TIPS: Get your boat and gear rental at the Marina Stores located on both the North Shore and South Shore of Lake Camanche. Load up on grub in Valley Springs, or right on site at the Cafe on the North Shore.

DID YOU KNOW: Part two of the Valley Springs tri-lake area, Lake Camanche has 54 miles of shoreline and 7,700 surface acres of water and is a popular destination for outdoor weddings and festivals!

Learn all about Lake Camanche

6. Pardee Lake

DID YOU KNOW: Part three of the Valley Springs tri-lake area, Pardee Lake is the only lake in Calaveras County that does not allow people to swim in the water, making for an extra serene fishing experience.

FEATURES: In addition to their full service marina and wildlife galore, Pardee Lake features fishing, boating, camping, hiking, equestrian trails, picnicking, boat rentals, ten lane boat launch ramp, new state of the art fish cleaning station, developed overnight camping, swimming pools, RV sites with full hook-ups/laundry /hot showers, WiFi, Flush restrooms, a cute little coffee shop, store, and gas station.

Learn all about Pardee Lake

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Looking to find your own favorite Calaveras getaway?

Give us a call 7 days a week to get up-to-date on forest road closures, or to find the right lake, river, restaurants, activities, and/or lodging for you! 1-800-225-3764. See you on the water!

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