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Bear River Park & Campground

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Bear River Campground Fee Schedule (PDF)

Bear River Campground Location Map (PDF)

Other Link Bear River Campground Reservations


  1. Camping
  2. Fishing
  3. Gold Panning
  4. Hiking
  5. Photography
  6. Rafting/Tubing
  7. Swimming

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.

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
  • Trillium



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
  • Squirrels


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. The fishing regulations of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife apply here in the campground.

Hiking Trails

Bear River offers a wonderful hike through nature with 3 miles of natural surface trails to help you explore the park and enjoy nature. Some trails are narrow and caution is advised.


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


Gold Panning

Gold panning is permitted. It is unlawful to operate motorized mining equipment. Excavating or removing soil from above the water line (high-banking) is prohibited.


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


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.

Rafting / Tubing

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 XX miles downstream of the campground. Be aware of swift and cold water conditions that can change rapidly.

Bear River Campground Trail
The trail network meanders through the 200 acre Bear River Park and Campground. Please be respectful to campers with reservations in the group camping area.

Fees & Use
  • Multiple-use trail for horses, bicycles and hikers.


Trail Length
  • 5 miles
Additional Information