Visit Placer County

Water Activities in Placer County

The waterways of Placer County attract people from all over the world.

The lakes, reservoirs and rivers offer whatever activity you may prefer. Waterski in picturesque Lake Tahoe, raft the whitewater of the American River or fish for bass in Folsom Lake. Rollins Lake in Colfax is a popular spot for waterskiing, houseboating, fishing and swimming.

And at Lake Tahoe, nearly every manner of floating, motorized, oared, sailed and/or other kind of equipment to carry you in and on the water is available, if you don't have your own.  Check out the list below for all the activities both in and on the water at Lake Tahoe. 

Several reservoirs and lakes offer boat-in campgrounds, boat launching or docking facilities. Hell Hole Reservoir, 25 miles east of Foresthill, offers 15 boat-in campsites and is an ideal location for fishing, canoeing or swimming. One of the most exciting and fun things to do in Placer County is spending a day whitewater rafting on the American River in the Auburn State Recreation Area. For a more complete discussion of rafting activities on the various forks of the American River, please read the Auburn State Recreation Area information here.  If you are in the mood for a more challenging paddle experience, one to three day trips are offered on both the North Fork or the Middle Fork of the American River. Both of these rivers offer segments from expert level down to novice. For listings and direct links to 25-plus outfitters who are permitted to run trips visit Auburn State Recreation Area Whitewater Outfitters. 

It can get hot in the foothills so jump in, get wet and stay cool!

The Valley

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

Offers excellent opportunities to spend a day riding along with the wind in your face on a Jet Ski or one can experience the thrills of sailing the picturesque shoreline with the chance to see many different species of wildlife that utilize the lakes in their daily search for food and shelter. If you enjoy water-skiing then this is the place for you. This 18,000-acre recreation area is located in the Sierra foothills, about 15 miles east of Sacramento, accessed via Highway 50 or Interstate 80.

Folsom Lake State Recreation Offices

7755 Folsom-Auburn Road
Folsom, CA
916 988-0205


SunSplash in Roseville

Is Northern California's biggest and most thrilling waterpark. Adrenaline-pumping water slides excite even the most extreme thrill seekers. With slippery rides like Vortex, Master Blaster Water Coaster and The Stealth, you're sure to hoot and holler as you zip past friends and family. Water attractions for young children and non-swimmers include and arcade, laser tag, miniature golf and raceway.

Roseville Golfland Sun-Splash

1893 Taylor Road
Roseville, CA
916 784-1273

The Gold Country

Auburn State Recreation Area

At Lake Clementine the enjoyment of traveling behind a powerful boat while gliding across the water on small wooden sticks, then water skiing is for you. It also is the perfect place to do a little paddling in a canoe or lake kayak.

Lake Clementine

Lake Clementine Road
Auburn, CA
530 885-4527

Swimming Holes

A dip into a refreshing "old swimmin' hole" in the Gold Country along the American River. Some are accessible only by footpath and others down old dirt roads, like Clark's Hole, Yankee Jim's and Ponderosa Way Bridge. Directions and brochures available at the California Welcome Center.

California Welcome Center

1103 High Street
Auburn, CA
530 887-2111 or 866 752-2371

Clarks Hole Trail

  • Distance: 0.6 miles one way; 20 min. (hiking)
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Description

This is a great family hike to a large, deep swimming hole on the North Fork American River, upriver of the confluence.  In the early 1900s, Clarks Hole (also called Clarks Pool) was managed by the City of Auburn as a municipal swimming pool, complete with concession stands and lifeguards.  Today, it is still popular with Auburn locals for picnics and swim parties, although there are no lifeguards.

Directions

Trailhead is 1¾ miles south of ASRA Park headquarters. Take Hwy 49 south to Old Foresthill Road at the bottom of the canyon. Continue straight for ¼ mile and park on the left. Trailhead is just beyond the parking area at the green gate (#137).


Gold Panning

Popular panning spots along the American River, the Bear River, and small streams and tributaries include: American River in Weimar; Bear River in Weimar; North Fork of the American River in Iowa Hill; and the Bear River in Colfax. Direction and brochures available at the California Welcome Center.

California Welcome Center

1103 High Street
Auburn, CA
530 887-2111 or 866 752-2371

Pioneer Mining Supplies

878 High Street
Auburn, CA
530 885-1801 or 530 823-9000

Rollins Lake

Whether your pleasure is water skiing, wake boarding, launching a canoe or kayak, relaxing on a patio boat or trolling for fish Rollins Lake with 26 miles of shoreline has it all. It offers rental of fishing boats, patio boats, kayaks, canoes, water bikes and paddle boats.

Greenhorn Park Campground

Greenhorn Road
Grass Valley, CA
530 272-6100

Long Ravine

Rollins Lake Road
Colfax, CA
530 346-6166

Orchard Springs Resort Campground

Orchard Spring Road
Chicago Park, CA
530 346-2212 or 530 265-5302

Peninsula Campground

21597 You Bet Road
Grass Valley, CA
530 477-9413

If you are looking to rent a raft or other water "toys," check out the following:

Canyon Raft Rentals

133 Borland Avenue
Auburn, CA
530 823-0931

Sierra Outdoor Center - Raft Rentals

440 Lincoln Way (at Hwy 49)
Auburn, CA
530 885-1844 or 888 502-7066

The Valley

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

Offers excellent opportunities to spend a day riding along with the wind in your face on a Jet Ski or one can experience the thrills of sailing the picturesque shoreline with the chance to see many different species of wildlife that utilize the lakes in their daily search for food and shelter. If you enjoy water-skiing then this is the place for you. This 18,000-acre recreation area is located in the Sierra foothills, about 15 miles east of Sacramento, accessed via Highway 50 or Interstate 80.

Folsom Lake State Recreation Offices

7755 Folsom-Auburn Road
Folsom, CA
916 988-0205


SunSplash in Roseville

Is Northern California's biggest and most thrilling waterpark. Adrenaline-pumping water slides excite even the most extreme thrill seekers. With slippery rides like Vortex, Master Blaster Water Coaster and The Stealth, you're sure to hoot and holler as you zip past friends and family. Water attractions for young children and non-swimmers include and arcade, laser tag, miniature golf and raceway.

Roseville Golfland Sun-Splash

1893 Taylor Road
Roseville, CA
916 784-1273

The Gold Country

Auburn State Recreation Area

At Lake Clementine the enjoyment of traveling behind a powerful boat while gliding across the water on small wooden sticks, then water skiing is for you. It also is the perfect place to do a little paddling in a canoe or lake kayak.

Lake Clementine

Lake Clementine Road
Auburn, CA
530 885-4527

Swimming Holes

A dip into a refreshing "old swimmin' hole" in the Gold Country along the American River. Some are accessible only by footpath and others down old dirt roads, like Clark's Hole, Yankee Jim's and Ponderosa Way Bridge. Directions and brochures available at the California Welcome Center.

California Welcome Center

1103 High Street
Auburn, CA
530 887-2111 or 866 752-2371

Clarks Hole Trail

  • Distance: 0.6 miles one way; 20 min. (hiking)
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Description

This is a great family hike to a large, deep swimming hole on the North Fork American River, upriver of the confluence.  In the early 1900s, Clarks Hole (also called Clarks Pool) was managed by the City of Auburn as a municipal swimming pool, complete with concession stands and lifeguards.  Today, it is still popular with Auburn locals for picnics and swim parties, although there are no lifeguards.

Directions

Trailhead is 1¾ miles south of ASRA Park headquarters. Take Hwy 49 south to Old Foresthill Road at the bottom of the canyon. Continue straight for ¼ mile and park on the left. Trailhead is just beyond the parking area at the green gate (#137).


Gold Panning

Popular panning spots along the American River, the Bear River, and small streams and tributaries include: American River in Weimar; Bear River in Weimar; North Fork of the American River in Iowa Hill; and the Bear River in Colfax. Direction and brochures available at the California Welcome Center.

California Welcome Center

1103 High Street
Auburn, CA
530 887-2111 or 866 752-2371

Pioneer Mining Supplies

878 High Street
Auburn, CA
530 885-1801 or 530 823-9000

Rollins Lake

Whether your pleasure is water skiing, wake boarding, launching a canoe or kayak, relaxing on a patio boat or trolling for fish Rollins Lake with 26 miles of shoreline has it all. It offers rental of fishing boats, patio boats, kayaks, canoes, water bikes and paddle boats.

Greenhorn Park Campground

Greenhorn Road
Grass Valley, CA
530 272-6100

Long Ravine

Rollins Lake Road
Colfax, CA
530 346-6166

Orchard Springs Resort Campground

Orchard Spring Road
Chicago Park, CA
530 346-2212 or 530 265-5302

Peninsula Campground

21597 You Bet Road
Grass Valley, CA
530 477-9413

If you are looking to rent a raft or other water "toys," check out the following:

Canyon Raft Rentals

133 Borland Avenue
Auburn, CA
530 823-0931

Sierra Outdoor Center - Raft Rentals

440 Lincoln Way (at Hwy 49)
Auburn, CA
530 885-1844 or 888 502-7066

The High Sierras

Rafting The Truckee River

Take a leisurely, self guided float from Tahoe City down a 5 mile stretch of the Truckee River. You will float along peaceful and quiet stretches, as well as a variety of small, exciting rapids and pools. The open meadows and timbered mountain slopes are spectacular. Check out the following companies that rent rafting equipment:

Truckee River Raft Company

185 River Road
Tahoe City, CA
530 583-0123

Truckee River Rafting

175 River Road
Tahoe City, CA
530 583-1111

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Beaches

Lake Tahoe beaches with crystal clear water, warm sand, rocky shorelines, picnic areas and beautiful views of the sunset are worth visiting for a relaxing day of sun and fun.

Agatam Beach

Off Highway 28 at Agatam Road
Tahoe Vista, CA
530 546-4212

Carnelian Bay Beach

Highway 28 between Gar Woods Grill
Carnelian Bay, CA
530 546-4212

Chambers Landing Beach

Highway 89 adjacent to Chanbers Landing Restaurant
West Shore, CA

Commons Beach

Highway 28
Tahoe City, CA

Coon Street Dog Beach and Boat Launch

Coon Street
Kings Beach, CA
530 583-3075

Kaspian Recreation Area

HIghway 89
Sunnyside, CA

Kings Beach State Recreation Area

8318 North Lake Boulevard
Kings Beach, CA
530 546-7248

Lake Forest Beach

Foot of Bristlecone Avenue off Lake Forest Road
Tahoe City, CA

Meeks Bay

7941 Emerald Bay Road
Meeks Bay, CA
530 525-6946

Moon Dunes Beach

North Lake Boulevard
Tahoe Vista, CA
530 583-3075

Patton Landing

Waterman's Landing
5166 North Lake Tahoe Boulevard
Carnelian Bay, CA

North Tahoe Beach Center

Across from Safeway
Kings Beach, CA
530 546-4212

Sandy Beach

Highway 28 and the othe east of Anderson Road
Tahoe Vista, CA
530 583-3075

Secline Beach

End of Secline Street
Kings Beach, CA
530 546-4212

Skylandia Beach

Lake Forest
Tahoe City, CA

Tahoe Vista Recreation Area and Boat Launch

National Avenue and Highway 28
7010 North Lake Boulevard
Tahoe Vista, CA

U.S. Coast Guard Beach

Coast Guard Drive off Lake Forest Road
Tahoe City, CA

William Kent Beach

Highway 89
Tahoe City, CA

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Parasail at Lake Tahoe

Imagine being harnessed into a parachute and flying off in the sky, high above beautiful Lake Tahoe. Experience Tahoe's most exciting way to get an aerial view of the lake. The "stay dry" adventure experience includes a cruise in a beautiful new speedboat.

Lake Tahoe Parasailing

Tahoe City Marina
700 North Lake Boulevard
Tahoe City, CA
530 583-7245

North Shore Parasailing

8290 North Lake Boulevard
Kings Beach, CA
530 546-7698

North Tahoe Watersports

Kings Beach State Recreation Area
8400 North Lake Boulevard
Kings Beach, CA
530 546-9253 or 530 546-WAKE

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See Lake Tahoe from a Paddle Wheeler

Glide over Lake Tahoe's crystal clear waters to Emerald Bay and enjoy the views of the West Shore and some of California's most lavish and historic real estate, Erhman Mansion at Sugar Pine Point, spectacular Rubicon Point, Vikingsholm Castle and Fannette Island are just some of the many places to see. During your voyage, you may be able to see Osprey, Bald Eagles and other wildlife along the shoreline as your captain gives a narration on the historical and ecological issues of the Tahoe Basin. To ride the Tahoe Gal contact the North Tahoe Cruises.

North Tahoe Cruises

952 North Lake Boulevard
Tahoe City, CA
530 583-0141 or 800 218-2464

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Sailing

In the High Sierra one can experience the thrills of sailing on Lake Tahoe. The lakes offer a picturesque shoreline along with the chance to see many different species of wildlife that utilize the lakes in their daily search for food and shelter.

Tahoe Sailing Charters

700 North Lake Boulevard
Tahoe City, CA
530 583-6200

Tahoe City Marina

700 North Lake Boulevard.
Tahoe City, CA
530 583-1039
Rentals & Sales:  sail boats, power boats, buoy rentals, guest buoys, slips and fuel sales

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Kayak, Canoe, Paddleboard, Windsurf or Jet Ski

The High Sierra offers the perfect settings for all types of paddling crafts from canoes and lake kayaks to river kayaks. Lake Tahoe and Donner Lake can be found to have all forms of paddling sports, plus the opportunities to spend a day riding along with the wind in your face either windsurfing or on a Jet Ski.

High Sierra Water Ski School

Sunnyside Marina
1850 West Lake Boulevard
Tahoe City, CA
530 583-7417
Rentals: kayaks, paddleboards, wave runners, water ski lessons, wake boards, boat rentals

Kings Beach Aqua Sports

Pier across from Taco Bell
8324 North Lake Boulevard
Kings Beach, CA
530 546-2782
Rentals:  kayaks, canoes, sailboats, pedal boats, jet skis, parasailing, waterskiing & wakeboarding, lake boat tours

Meeks Bay Resort & Marina

7941 Emerald Bay Road
Meeks Bay, CA
530 525-6946
Rentals:  kayaks, paddleboards, boat rentals, pedal boats

North Tahoe Watersports

King Beach State Recreation Area
8400 North Lake Boulevard
Kings Beach, CA
530 546-9253 or 530 546-WAKE
Rentals: jet skis, kayaks, canoes and lake tours

Tahoe Adventure Company

Tahoe Vista Recreation Area
7010 North Lake Boulevard
Tahoe Vista, CA
530 913-9212 or 866 830-6125
Rentals: kayaks, paddleboards and tours

Tahoe Aquatic Center

8290 North Lake Boulevard
Kings Beach, CA
530 546-2419
Rentals: wave runners

Tahoe City Kayak

521 North Lake Boulevard
Tahoe City, CA
530 581-4336
Rentals: kayaks, paddleboards

Tahoe Paddle & Oar

8299 North Lake Boulevard
Kings Beach, CA
530 581-3029
Rentals: kayaks, paddleboards

Waterman's Landing

5166 North Lake Boulevard
Carnelian Bay, CA
530 546-3590
Rentals: kayaks, paddleboards

West Shore Sports

5395 West Lake Boulevard
Homewood, CA
530 525-9920
Rentals: kayaks, paddleboards

Windsurf North Tahoe

7276 North Lake Boulevard
Tahoe Vista, CA
530 546-5857
Windsurfing classes and equipment

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Water Skiing

Enjoy gliding across the water on beautiful Lake Tahoe. If you don't have your own boat or know how to ski, check the following:

High Sierra Water Ski School

Sunnyside Restaurant Lodge & Marina
1850 West Lake Boulevard
Tahoe City, CA
530 583-7417
Rentals: kayaks, paddleboards, wave runners, water ski lessons, wake boards, boat rentals

High Sierra Water Ski School

Homewood High & Dry Marina
5190 West Lake Boulevard
Homewood, CA
530 525-1214
Rentals: kayaks, paddleboards, wave runners, water ski lessons, wake boards, boat rentals

Tahoe City Marina

700 North Lake Boulevard
Tahoe City, CA
530 583-1039
Rentals & Sales:  power boats, sail boats, buoy rentals, guest buoys, slips and fuel sales


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