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GLORY HOLE RECREATION AREA, CA

Photo: GLORY HOLE RECREATION AREA
Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
 

Overview

Glory Hole Recreation Area is located at New Melones Lake on the Stanislaus River. The 12,500 surface-acre lake is the fifth largest lake in California and is situated along the edge of the Mother Lode, the rich gold vein that prompted the California Gold Rush of 1849. At an elevation of 1100 feet, the diverse and resource-abundant Foothill Oak Woodlands hug the 100 miles of shoreline.

Popular activities on and around the large, yet uncrowded lake include fishing, boating, water skiing, wake boarding, jet skiing, sailing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, wildlife viewing, rock climbing, hiking, biking, horseback riding and picknicking. The New Melones Visitor Center offers year-round interpretive events and a museum highlighting natural and cultural resources.

Natural Features:

New Melones Lake is located in Northern California between the historic gold rush towns of Sonora and Angels Camp. The terrain varies from rolling hills to steep marble cliffs, and the vegetation consists of oaks, Ponderosa pines, chamise and buckbrush shrubs.

Visitors can experience the beauty of New Melones by hiking the many trails in the Tuttletown and Glory Hole Recreation Areas.

The climate is Mediterranean with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. For those who wish to venture outside the main recreation areas, there are many unique places to visit. Overall, the geography is quite varied and provides many opportunities for all types of recreation.

Recreation:

Hiking, fishing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, boating, sailing and road and mountain biking are just a few of the activities available in Glory Hole Recreation Area.

Equestrian trails are also present in the Peoria Wildlife Mitigation Area and open for the general public. Other interesting sites include Natural Bridges, which can be accessed from Parrott's Ferry Road and has a nice hiking trail and a creek that flows through a marble cave. The Table Mountain Trail provides visitors an opportunity to hike to the top of an extensive lava flow which occurred over nine million years ago.

Facilities:

Visitors will find a full-service marina, amphitheater, playground, horseshoe pits, day-use areas, a multi-lane boat ramp, and a fish cleaning station. The campground provides modern amenities like flush toilets, showers and drinking water. Picnic tables and fire rings are provided at each campsite.

Nearby Attractions:

Glory Hole Recreation Area is surrounded by many places of natural beauty including Natural Bridges, Camp Nine, Yosemite National Park, Stanislaus National Forest, Moaning Caverns, Big Trees State Park and Columbia State Park.

Angels Camp Museum, Calaveras County Museum and Sonora Military Museum also provide great opportunities for learning interesting information about the area.

Surrounding communities are popular vacation and retirement destinations and provide necessary services and shopping opportunities. Golfing, snow skiing, river rafting, commercial caves, historical railroad and Native American museums are close by as well.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Flush Toilets
  • Accessible Sites
  • Amphitheater
  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boat Rentals
  • Boating
  • Campfire Programs
  • Campfire Rings
  • Comfort Station
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Educational Programs
  • Evening Programs
  • Fish Cleaning Stations
  • Fishing
  • Fuel Available
  • Geological Attractions
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Horseshoe Pit
  • Marina
  • Mountain Biking
  • Parking Area
  • Self Pay Station
  • Showers
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • Bait Shop
  • General Store
Know Before You Go
  • Recreation area entrance gates are closed at night during the posted hours.
  • Vehicle entry after the gates are closed is prohibited. Exit at any time.
  • Campfires are only allowed in fire rings or grills in designated areas.
  • For additional information see 43 CFR Parts 423 and 429. They are available at the New Melones Administrative Office or online at: http://www.usbr.gov/cio/im/rules/Rules.htm
  • For your safety and security, recreation gates are closed at night; gate closure times vary by season; vehicle entry after the gates are closed is prohibited; exit at any time.
  • Click here for more information
  • Getting There:

    GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
    38.0075, -120.54028
    38°0'27"N, 120°32'25"W

    From Sacramento, take Highway 99 south to Highway 12 east. At San Andreas, take Highway 49 south for approximately 15.2 miles. Turn right onto Glory Hole Road and follow the road 3 miles to the recreation area.

    From Central California and the Bay Area, take Highway 108 east from Modesto to Sonora, then take Highway 49 north approximately 17 miles. Turn left onto Glory Hole Road and follow the road 3 miles to the recreation area.

    Contact Information:

    Mailing Address:

    GLORY HOLE RECREATION AREA
    GLORY HOLE ROAD
    ANGELS CAMP CA 95222

    Phone Number:

    Information: (209)536-9094
    Weekends: (209) 536-9543

    Special Events:

      The events listed here are not intended to be an all inclusive list. Please contact the park for further details.

    • Sunday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m.
      Natural Bridges
      Come out for a hike to discover some of the ''scary'' critters at New Melones Lake. Find out about their importance to our ecosystem and why they're really not scary at all! We will bring microscopes to examine some of the creepy crawlies we find along the way. This is a moderate-to-strenuous hike, 2 miles round-trip; participants may return uphill on their own. Please bring water and snacks and wear shoes appropriate for hiking. We will meet at the Natural Bridges Trailhead parking lot off of Parrotts Ferry Road at 10 a.m. Dogs are not allowed on the Natural Bridges trail. on Oct 27 2013
    • Saturday, Nov. 2, 10 a.m.
      New Melones Lake Visitor Center
      Coyote Creek is the home of year-round raptors! Join Ranger Hilary on this kayaking-birding adventure. We will launch from the Mark Twain Day Use Area and then traverse across the lake and up Coyote Creek. This will be a strenuous paddling tour. Expect to be out on the water for 4 to 5 hours. This outing is open to experienced swimmers with their own kayak or other non-motorized boat. Participants need to bring their own boat, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket (properly fitted and serviceable), paddles, sunscreen, hat, water and lunch; waterproof binoculars are recommended. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Please contact Ranger Hilary at 209-536-9094 ext. 236 to reserve your place. We will meet at the New Melones Lake Visitor Center at 10 a.m. on Nov 02 2013
    • Sunday, Nov. 10, 10 a.m.
      Tuttletown Recreation Area
      There's gold in those hills! Ranger Greg has hidden trinkets along the trails in Tuttletown, and it's your job to find them! Cash in on the Geocaching craze and join us in Tuttletown! This is a moderate 3-mile roundtrip hike. We will meet at the Tuttletown Entrance Station at 10 a.m. Please bring your GPS unit or download an app on your phone before the event. Participants will be given a parking pass for the duration of the event. on Nov 10 2013
    • Saturday, Nov. 16, 10 a.m.
      Peoria Wildlife Management Area off of Peoria Flat Road
      There are miles and miles of undiscovered trails on the other side of the lake! Join Ranger Alicia on this strenuous mountain-biking excursion and find out what goes on on the south side of the lake. Participants need to bring their own bike, helmet and safety equipment. Space is limited; pre-registration is required. To register, please contact Ranger Hilary at 209-536-9094 ext. 236. We will meet at the Peoria Wildlife Equestrian Staging Area on Peoria Flat Road at 10 a.m. on Nov 16 2013
    • Sunday, Nov. 24, 10 a.m.
      Angels Creek Trail, Glory Hole Recreation Area
      You don't need expensive or fancy equipment to take meaningful photographs: composition before you click is the true key to success. Bring your camera or cell phone and get some pointers on pictures! This will be a moderate 2.5-mile hike along the Angels Creek Trail. We will meet at the Glory Hole Entrance Station at 10 a.m. and then caravan down to the Angels Creek Trailhead. Participants will be given a parking pass for the duration of the event. on Nov 24 2013
    • Saturday, Nov. 30, 10 a.m.
      New Melones Visitor Center
      Step back in time to experience Mark Twain's past while we follow the Sierra Railroad's tracks that traverse through the winding foothills from Angels Camp to Jamestown. This is an easy 2.5-mile hike. We will meet at the New Melones Visitor Center at 10 a.m. and then caravan to the Stevenot Bridge. on Nov 30 2013
    • Sunday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m.
      Glory Hole Recreation Area
      Carson Creek is filled with history. Join us as we explore what the receding water levels reveal from the past. Launching from Glory Hole Point, we will hug the shoreline past the marina and up Carson Creek. This outing is open to experienced swimmers with their own kayak or other non-motorized boat. Expect to be out for 3 to 4 hours. Participants need to bring their own boat, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket (properly fitted and serviceable), paddles, sunscreen, hat, water and lunch. Space is limited; pre-registration is required. Please contact Ranger Hilary at 209-536-9094 ext. 236 to reserve your place. We will meet at the Glory Hole Entrance Station at 10 a.m. Participants will be given a parking pass for the duration of the event. on Dec 08 2013
    • Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m.
      New Melones Visitor Center
      Everything is dependent on everything else. You cannot remove a single entity without causing a chain reaction in the ecosystem. Join us on a short journey along the Norwegian Gulch Trail and find out how we are all connected. This is an easy 1-mile hike. We will meet at the New Melones Visitor Center at 10 a.m. on Dec 14 2013
    • Sunday, Dec. 22, 10 a.m.
      French Flat
      Come out for the fun of our first-ever Frisbee Golf interpretive program! Rangers will set a course filled with clues about the natural and cultural history of New Melones Lake. Hit the targets, gain the clues and answer the questions to win a prize! This will be a 9-hole course set in the rambling oak woodlands of French Flat. Participants will be walking through tall grass, so long pants and your own Frisbee are required. We will meet at the corner of Shell and Rawhide Roads at 10 a.m. and then caravan down to French Flat for a great game of Frisbee Golf! on Dec 22 2013
    • Saturday, Dec. 28, 10 a.m.
      Table Mountain
      Join us on a hike though time and discover the geologic wonders of Table Mountain. Learn where this lava flow originated and the processes that occurred to create such a beautiful landmark. This is a challenging 3-mile hike with a ¼-mile series of steep, rocky switchbacks that lead to the top for grand views of New Melones Lake. We will meet at the corner of Shell and Rawhide Roads at 10 a.m. on Dec 28 2013