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Lake New Melones

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Bureau of Reclamation - New Melones Recreation Office
6850 Studhorse Flat Road
Sonora, CA 95370
12,500 acres
Max. Depth:
565 ft


New Melones Dam and Reservoir are part of the Central Valley Project - New Melones Unit operated by the Bureau of Reclamation. The reservoir has a capacity of 2.4 million acre feet of water with 100 miles of shoreline, and a water surface area of 12,500 acres. New Melones is located between the historic mining towns of Sonora and Angels Camp on Highway 49 and is nestled in the Foothill Oak Woodlands of the Sierras at the 1100 ft elevation. Summer temperatures range from 85-100F and winter range from 32-60F.

Gloryhole Recreation Area has two campgrounds (Big Oak and Ironhorse) with 144 campsites, 3 day-use areas, 30 miles of hiking/biking trails, a fish cleaning station, a swim beach, and 2 boat launch ramps with parking lots. A full service marina and store complete with fuel and houseboat rentals is available.

Tuttletown Recreation Area has 3 campgrounds (Acorn, Chamise, and Manzanita) with 161 campsites, 2 day-use areas, a boat launch ramp with parking lot, an RV dump station, and fish cleaning station. Two group campgrounds are available by reservation only. Campsites in both recreation areas have a combination of back in, pull through, and walk-in tent sites, complete with fire rings, picnic tables, shade trees, shared water, and flush toilets (with showers available in selected restrooms). The camping fee for standard sites is $16 per night and for walk-in sites the fee is $12. Camping sites can accommodate up to 8 people with 2 vehicles, and do not have hookups. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash at all times.

A year-round visitor-center/museum is located on Highway 49 just south of the Stanislaus River bridge and is open from 10:00-4:00 daily. Features include a variety of exhibits highlighting the area's prehistory, the gold rush era of the submerged town of Melones, water management and conservation. Ranger-guided nature hikes and visitor center programs are provided year round, and evening campground programs are provided during the summer months.

New Melones Lake is noted for outstanding year-round fishing for both cold and warm water species, and outstanding boating. Nature viewers and birders will find a number of species common to the Foothill Oak Woodland, with an occasional Bald Eagle and Osprey. Hikers and mountain bikers will enjoy the numerous trails through the woodland areas.

Tour Companies

  • Nationwide Lakes
  • Boating, Houseboating
  • 888-454-8825

Houseboat Vacations If you've never taken a houseboat vacation before, you don't know what you're missing. Houseboating is a fun and easy way to explore the unique waters of North America. We pride ourselves on our commitment to working with our customers to help make their trip the best it can be.

Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Brown Trout
Rainbow Trout
Fishing Methods:
Trolling,Bridges,Sunken Structures,Night-time Fishing is good,Live Bait produces well
12,500 acres
Max. Depth:
565 ft
Water Access:
3 Public Boat Ramps
Water Features
  • Boat Ramp
  • Modern Restrooms
  • Stocked Fish
  • Campground
Water Activities
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Water Skiing
Water Services
  • Bait Shop
  • Boat Rentals
  • Food Service
  • Fuel Available
  • Motorboat Rentals
  • Personal Watercraft Rentals
  • Restaurant
Basic Directions

From Sacramento, drive 46 miles south on I-5 to Stockton. At Stockton, east on California Highway 4 for 56 miles to Angels Camp. The Park headquarters is 8 miles south of Angels Camp along Highway 49.

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