+ O.A.R.S. is one of the most respected names in guided river raft tours with more than 40 years of
+ Raft down 5 miles of class IV water by Calaveras Big Trees State Park
+ Daily runs April to early June
O.A.R.S. - Stanislaus River
+ Twin zip lines, 1500 feet long, speeds exceeding 40 MPH
+ Offered by Moaning Caverns, Parrots Ferry Rd., just north of the bridge
+ Must weight between 70 and 260 pounds, no age limit
+ Open daily, $44
Moaning Caverns Zip Lines
+ Guided tour of the famous Mercer Caverns
+ Just a few miles outside of Murphys
+ $16 for adults and $9 for children between the ages of 3 and 12 years.
+ 18-hole Public Access course near Copperopolis
+ Scenic course with lakes, streams, and dramatic views of the Sierra
+ Recognized as the 8th best public access course in California by Golf Week Magazine in 2006
+ Practice putting greens and target greens, lessons
To reserve a tee time, call
(888) 852-5787 or (209) 785-3700
Green Fees: $45 - $99
Saddlecreek Resort - Golf
New Melones Lake Visitors Center and Museum are located on Highway 49, between Sonora and Angels Camp, just 1/4 mile south of the Highway 49 Stevenot Stanislaus River Bridge.
(209) 536-9543 Website: New Melones Lake Visitors Center
Hours: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day - open 7 days a week
Labor Day to Memorial Day Weekeend - 5 days a week, closed Mondays and Tuesdays
The New Melones Lake Visitor Center and Museum contains displays and exhibits on the area's geologic past, Mi-Wok Indian and early human history, the California Gold Rush, mining techniques, ranching, the town of Robinson Ferry, natural history, and the New Melones project.
Learn more about these activities: Spring 2017 Recreatioin Activities or contact Park Ranger Mike McGraw at (209) 536-9094 ext. 233
Junior Ranger programs offer activities and games for children to learn about subjects such as the plants, animals, history, water safety and geology of New Melones Lake. The programs are open to children 5 years and older. A parent or guardian must be present during the program. By participating in a program and completing activities in a Jr. Ranger handbook, children are able to earn a special badge and gift, making them a New Melones Junior Ranger.
Interpretive park rangers lead walks and hikes during the fall, winter, and spring. These often focus on history, wildlife or geology. The hikes are always free. They are suitable for all ages and do no require reservations.
The Kids' Day fishing Faire is for disabled and disadvantaged children throughout the area, ages 15 and younger. The children enjoy a fun filled day of fishing and activities to help them learn about the environment and boat and water safety.
Around the country on National Public Lands Day thousands of volunteers join in a hands-on effort to improve and enhance public lands. Volunteers plant trees and plants, build trails and bridges, remove trash and invasive plants.
Picnic Areas, Day-Use Areas, and a Swim Beach are located around Tuttletown Recreatioin Area and Glory Hole. All locations have restrooms and most have picnic tables.
Miles of developed hiking trails loop along the shore of New Melones Lake. The Bureau of Reclamation has developed excellent maps of the trails:
Natural bridges formed in the limestone by the water. A 1-mile downhill hike from Parrots Ferry Road just south of the bridge. It can be a popular teenage swim location in the summer
Check at the Visitoir Center for Ranger led hikes to Natural Bridges in the spring or fall.
Off Parrots Ferry Road, north of the bridge
(209) 736-2708 or (866) 762-2837
45-minute walking tour of the cave, $14.95 adult, $7.95 child (ages 3 - 12)
Open daily, year-round.
More adventurous types of tours available.
Calaveras County Fairgrounds at Frogtown
(209) 736-2561 Frogtown
Jumping Frog Contest, Carnival Rides, Exhibits, Music. Expect big crowds.
If you are not attending the fair, it's a good weekend to avoid the area.
Highway 4, 35 minutes driving time east of Angels Camp
Calaveras Big Trees State Park
Camping Reservations: (800) 444-7275 or
Hiking trails through groves of giant sequoia trees, visitors center
10 miles from New Melones Lake. Take Highway 49 south and watch for signs.
Preserved Gold Rush town with dozens of old establishments to explore, museum, stage coach rides, gold panning
Columbia State Historic Park
Railtown 1897 State Historic Park
Historic trains, roundhouse, interpretive center, location for many TV shows and movies, including Petticoat Junction, The Wild, Wild West, High Noon, and Back to the Future III.
Train Rides on Saturday and Sundays, April - October.
Explore all the best places along Highway 4 and over Ebbetts Pass - recreation, camping, activities.