Glory Hole Recreation Area

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Overview

Glory Hole Recreation Area is located at New Melones Lake on the Stanislaus River. The 12,500 surface-acre lake is the fourth largest reservoir 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.

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. Camping is also permitted in designated campsites. 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

The campground provides modern amenities like flush toilets, showers and drinking water. Visitors will also find a full-service marina, boat launch, day-use areas, barbeque grills and a fish cleaning station. There is an amphitheater for Ranger programs and horseshoe pits in the Ironhorse campground. Picnic tables and fire rings are provided at each campsite.

Recreation Area gates close at:

9:00pm: October 1 – March 31

10:00pm: April 1 – Memorial Day (May)

11:00pm: Memorial Day (May) – Labor Day (September)

10:00pm: Labor Day (September) – September 30

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.

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.

Charges & Cancellations

All site changes and cancellations need to be done through the Recreation.gov website. 

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