C A L I F O R N I A ' S
Gold Country

Established 1998


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History - The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) built a series of hydroelectric power plants along with a network of beautiful mountain reservoirs hosting recreational facilities in the Crystal Basin. Covering 85,000 acres of evergreen forests and dotted with lakes, reservoirs and streams, the Crystal Basin Recreation Area offers a myriad of outdoor adventure opportunties.

Loon Lake from Bunker Hill
Camping - Over 700 developed campsites, with fire ring and grate, table, and parking. Piped water and toilets at most campgrounds. USFS cabins available.
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Fishing - Small mouth bass, mackinaw, German brown or rainbow trout. More...

Boating - Free boat ramp access at all lakes. Paved boat ramps at Ice House Reservoir Click for photos, Union Valley Reservoir Click for photos, and Loon Lake Click for photos. More...

Horseback Riding - Group and individual equestrian campgrounds at Loon Lake and Wrights Lake. Access to scenic riding trails. More...

Hiking - 117+ miles of trails across the Sierra Nevada. Many easy to moderate day hikes. More... top

Wheelchair Access - Many of the developed areas accessible for people with disabilities. Fishing pier at Gerle Creek, several parking areas, and paved boat ramps accommodate wheelchairs.

Snow Skiing - Cross-country on miles of exquisite, pristine ski trails near Loon Lake Click for photos. More...

Biking - 4.5 mile paved bike trail meanders through beautiful timber stands of old grove sugar and ponderosa pine trees and offers great views of the Union Valley Reservoir Click for photos. More...

USFS Information Station
Information Station - History of Crystal Basin, once the home of the Miwok, Washo and Maidu people, and SMUD's Upper American River Project. On Ice House Road.

For more information

Eldorado National Forest
Information Center

(530) 644-6048

(888) PIC-SMUD (742-7683)

Climate and Water Data

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California poppies - Click for more photos
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This website is an independent community project developed and maintained by Donna Reddin of
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