Parking fees for Hidden Falls Park during peak times, new online reservation system coming in September

Published on August 15, 2017

Placer County’s Hidden Falls Regional Park in North Auburn is a gem of a park. Unfortunately, parking can be hard to find, especially during weekends, holidays and times of mild weather, which is often.

To help avoid would-be park visitors from being turned away, the Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved a new parking fee during times of peak visitation.

Beginning in September, Hidden Falls visitors will be able to reserve a parking spot and pay the fee, when it’s required, using a new online reservation system. Reservations for all other county park facilities will also be managed through the system.

On high volume days (weekends, holidays and some Fridays) during mild weather seasons (spring, early summer and fall) park users will be required to pay $8 per vehicle for a full-day reservation. Except for some holiday times, there will not be a charge Monday through Thursday, nor will reservations be required. Parking will be available on a first-come-first-served basis on those days.

Visitors will obtain reservations before arriving at the park via an online calendar accessible from Placer County’s website. The calendar will allow would-be visitors to see which days require a reservation fee and secure reservations up to 60 days in advance. With a full-day reservation, guests can arrive and leave any time between sunrise and sunset.

Park staff have observed that the parking lot tends to thin out after about 2:30 p.m., even during days that experience overcrowding earlier in the day. To allow visitors to take advantage of space left after the parking lot naturally thins out, park staff will issue a set number of partial day passes for $4 to those wishing to arrive later in the day.

“It is our hope that the new reservation system will help increase the number of visitors enjoying the park and avoid the frustration of being turned away,” said Placer County Parks and Recreation Director Andy Fisher.

The proposed fee is comparable to the current $10 per day fee for use of the nearby Auburn State Recreation Area that is managed by California Department of Parks and Recreation.

The board’s approval also authorizes the county to enforce parking violation fines of $25 for first time infractions and $100 for repeat offenders.

The fees and fines, in combination with the parking restrictions implemented in the areas bordering the park, are also intended to reduce traffic impacts to surrounding neighborhoods.

County staff will return to the board at a later date to reevaluate the parking fee program and further explore the possibility of discounts for members of our military community.

Reservations for the following county facilities will also be handled exclusively through the new online reservation system.
●       The Bear River Campground in Colfax’s 23 individual campsites,
●       The Loomis Basin Community Park North’s picnic area, which can accommodate 50 people, and
●       The batting cages at Ronald L. Feist Park in Granite Bay, which is reservable in tandem with nearby ball fields, but will remain open to the public on a first-come-first-serve basis without cost when the ball fields are not reserved.