Bear River Campground

A photograph of the Bear River and two people fishing

Welcome to Bear River Campground

Located in Colfax, the Bear River Campground offers a variety of recreational activities from camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, gold panning, and much more! The campground is home to five miles of trails that run throughout the park’s 200-acre property where wildlife such as deer, porcupines, and squirrels are often seen. Make your online camping reservation now.

Placer County is in partnership with the California Land Management (CLM) who maintain, operate, and assist with the Bear River Campground site.


Bear River Campground is open to the public for DAYTIME USE from one-half hour before sunrise until one half-hour after sunset, seven days a week.

The campground will be CLOSED TO OVERNIGHT CAMPING through the 2022 calendar year. The closure will include both family and group campsites.

If you would like to stay informed of public meetings and opportunities for public input on the future of Bear River Campground, please email [email protected] with “Bear River Campground Notification List in the subject line.


2500 Campground Road
Colfax, CA 95713

Day-Use Hours of Operation

1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset

Camping Season

April 1st through October 31st


Click here for frequently asked questions about this park


Placer County Department of Parks and Open Space
Phone: (530) 886-4901
Email: [email protected]
Emergency: 911 or Colfax Dispatch (530) 346-2256

No Open Flames: June 1st through October 31st

  • No campfires and no fireworks allowed at any time
  • No fireworks allowed at any time
  • For more detailed information, please click on the PDF below:

Trail Length & Use

5 miles of multiple-use trail for horses, bicycles and hikers.

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  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Gold Panning
  • Hiking

  • Photography
  • Rafting/Tubing
  • Swimming
  • Barbecuing (seasonal)

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Camping Reservations

Make your online camping reservations here!

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Wireless service is limited, download a map to your mobile device prior to your visit.

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Access FIRE RESTRICTIONS, fee schedules, Placer County Codes, reservation policies as well as deposit and cancellation information and additional information about the Bear River Campground.

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Make sure to check out Placer County's Twitter for news and information about Placer County.

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Make sure to check out Placer County's Facebook for news and information about Placer County.

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Make sure to check out Placer County's Instagram; #bearrivercampground #placerlife

Bear River Campground Multipurpose Trail

A photograph of the Bear River with mountains, trees and plants

Natural History

The Bear River is part of a large network of steams 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.


Bear River Campground Opens April 1st and Closes October 31st. There are 23 Family and 2 Group Camp sites available.


Fishing is permitted on the Bear River pursuant to State Freshwater Fishing Regulations. Hunting is expressly prohibited. In addition to the rainbow trout, most frequently caught, german brown, smallmouth bass, and blue gill are also common. The fishing regulations of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife apply here in the campground.

Gold Panning

Gold panning is permitted, however, it is unlawful to operate motorized mining equipment pursuant to Placer County Code (12.24.020(G)). Excavating or removing soil from above the water line (high-banking) is prohibited.

Hiking Trails

Bear River offers a wonderful hike through nature with five miles of natural surface trails to help you explore the park and enjoy nature. Some trails are narrow and caution is advised.


The natural beauty of the canyon and river are ideal settings for nature photography.


Cruising along the riffles of the Bear River on a raft or inner tube can be a fun and relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Rafters can use the section of river from the upper to the lower portion of the campground, or shuttle to the Dog Bar Road Bridge about 2.5 miles downstream of the campground. Be aware of swift and cold water conditions that can change rapidly.


Refreshing swimming holes can be found along the Bear River. Beware of swift and cold water conditions, particularly early in the season. There is no lifeguard on duty.


Wildlife is also abundant although most are wary of people and are not often seen. Always be careful of rattlesnakes which are native to this area. Among the many animals living in the park are: black-tailed deer, bobcats, foxes, porcupines, raccoons, skunks, and squirrels.

Plant Life

At the park’s average elevation of 1,800 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: bleeding heart, California buckeye, ceanothus, elderberry, manzanita, mountain misery, poison oak, toyon, and trillium.