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Bear River Campground

Welcome To Bear River Campground

The Park encompasses approximately 200 acres and is located along the Bear River, which divides Nevada and Placer Counties in Northern California, near the city of Colfax. The River and surrounding Sierra Foothills offer a variety of activities for the outdoor enthusiast including picnicking, camping, fishing, and hiking trails. During the summer months floating down the river is also a popular activity.



Location, Camping Season and Hours

  • 2500 Campground Road, Colfax CA 95713
  • Bear River Camping season is April through October. November through March the campsites are closed. The Day-Use area is open daily, year-round.
  • Bear River Park consists of a Day-Use area, 23 family campsites & 2 group campsites.
  • Day-Use park hours are ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset. There is no charge for parking in the Day-Use area.

Family Campsites

23 Family campsites are available on first-come, first-serve basis*. No reservations are accepted. Most campsites are on the river; some are on a tributary creek that feeds into the river. Camping is permitted only in designated areas. *Please note: Popular holidays such as Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day usually fill up 3 or 4 days before the actual date.


Fees per family campsite:

  • $10.00 per night. It is unlawful to occupy a campsite without having paid the required camping fee. The County shall have the authority to evict or issue a citation to anyone occupying a campsite that has not paid the required fee.
  • $2.00 per night for the second vehicle.
  • $1.00 per night for each dog.

Maximum Capacity

Maximum capacity per family campsite:

  • 8 people
  • 2 vehicles
  • 2 dogs

Group Campsites

The Bear River Group Campground consists of two campsites, the Upper campsite and the Lower campsite. Reservations are required for reserving the Bear River Group Campsites. You may reserve both campsites together or reserve the Upper or Lower campsite separately. The Placer County Facility Services Parks Division reservation phone number is (530) 886-4901. Please be advised your reservation will not be confirmed until evidence of acceptable insurance coverage and all documents and payment have been submitted and approved by the County.

We will begin taking reservations by telephone only for the 2014 camping season on January 2, 2014. Please call (530) 886-4901 between the hours of 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM. If the phone is busy, please keep trying until you make a connection. Walk-In reservations are not allowed the first week in January. Due to popularity of the Bear River Group Campgrounds, we suggest you consider alternate dates. Reserved dates will be updated as they occur online at

Insurance Requirements

A $1,000,000 Liability Insurance Policy naming Placer County as Additionally Insured and Insurance Endorsement are required.


Fees per group campsite:

  • $75 per day for the entire group campground site
  • $40 per day for half of the group campground site
  • $2.00 per night for the second vehicle
  • $1.00 per night for each dog
  • In addition to the fees above an Application & Deposit fee apply 

Deposit Refund

The campground will be inspected after your stay. If it is determined the campsite was left clean and undamaged and there were no incidents, the County will refund your deposit approximately 4-6 weeks after your stay.

Maximum Capacity

  • Whole site (Upper and Lower): 100 people and 35 vehicles
  • Half site (Upper or Lower): 50 people and 18 vehicles

Gate Access

The gate must be kept closed and locked at all times. If you are having a large group arriving at different times, you may wish to bring a combination lock for the gate and “chain link” it to the County lock. Be sure to give the combination to your group. Direct or indirect costs incurred to replace the lock will be taken out of the deposit. Please call the Parks Division at (530) 886-4901 the business day before your reservation to obtain the access code to the gate. Our office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

General Campground Information 

No water is available at Bear River Park, please be sure to bring your own water.

Thank you for keeping our park clean for everyone to enjoy. Deposit trash in the receptacles provided.

Swim At Your Own Risk. Never swim alone. No lifeguards are on duty. A responsible adult must supervise children swimming. Please use caution during periods of high water, portions of the river may flow rapidly. Fishing is allowed.

All Fish and Game regulations apply.

Campsite Amenities

Most campsites have upright B-B-Q grills and ground fire pits. There is a picnic table at every site. Vault restrooms with no running water are available. There are two community ground fire pits in the group camping area.


Fires are allowed ONLY in established B-B-Q grills and ground fire pits. Fires are subject to the California Department of Forestry restrictions. Fire restrictions will be posted in the kiosks around the campsite. Bring your own firewood. Burning wood pallets and trash is prohibited.

Check-In Check-Out Times

Check In: after 2:00 PM on the first day of your reservation

Check Out: by 12:00 PM on morning after the last full day of your reservation

Quiet Hours

Quiet hours are strictly enforced between 10:00 PM and 7:00 AM.  Amplified music is never allowed.

Maximum Stay

Maximum Stay at any campground site is fourteen (14) days in any thirty (30) day period and thirty (30) days in any one calendar year.

Gold Panning

Gold panning is permitted. It is unlawful to operate any motorized mining equipment in any County Park.

Motor Vehicles

Motor vehicles are limited to the maintained roads and parking lots only. Off-road vehicle activity is prohibited anywhere in the park. The State of California Vehicle Code shall be enforced within the park.

Wildlife and Plants

Wildlife and plants including fallen trees are protected within the park and shall be left undisturbed. Please do not collect wood for fires or damage plant growth by cutting, picking, or trampling.

Projectiles Prohibited

Firearms, BB, pellet and paintball guns, bows and arrows, sling shots, and other weapons or projectiles are not permitted in the park.

Recreational Vehicles and Tents

RVs and tents are allowed however no guarantee if space is large enough to accommodate. No hook-ups are available. Motor homes and travel trailers over 30' are not recommended due to narrow and steep road conditions.

Natural History

The Bear River is part of a large network of streams draining the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. It was to these streams and rivers that the pioneers of the 1800’s came to seek their fortunes. Although the “Gold Rush” is over, the Bear River is still a valuable mining resource. However, today it is aggregate, not gold, which is taken from the river bed.

At the park’s average elevation of 1800 feet, there exists a diversity of plant life, from willows and alders at the river’s edge, to towering Ponderosa Pines and Douglas Firs along the hiking trails. Beneath these largest members of the plant community can be found a variety of grasses, wildflowers and shrubs, such as Manzanita, Ceanothus, Poison Oak California Buckeye, Elderberry, Toyon, bleeding heart, Trillium and Mountain Misery. Wildlife is also abundant although most are wary of people and are not often seen. Animals such as black-tailed deer, raccoons, squirrels, skunks, porcupines, foxes, and even a few bobcats are among the many animals living in the park. And of course, always be careful of rattlesnakes which are native to this area.


Fishing is permitted on the Bear River. In addition to the Rainbow Trout, most frequently caught, German Brown, Smallmouth Bass, and Blue Gill are also common. All state laws regarding fishing apply here in the park, so please observe them.

Hiking Trails

Bear River offers a wonderful hike through nature. With many trails provided to help you explore the park. Some trails are narrow and caution is advised.

In addition to Park Facility Reservation Procedures and Use Policies the following pertains specifically to the Bear River Park: