Looking for an adventure that will strike gold with your pack? The Glory Hole Recreation Area campground will have your family feeling like they've hit the jackpot! The recreation area sits at the convergence of the Stanislaus River and the 12,500-acre New Melones Lake -- the fifth largest lake in California! This area is home to the Mother Lode, a gold vein that drew thousands of prospectors seeking fortune in the 1840s and 1850s. Gold panning is still a favorite activity in these parts today, but nowadays, you are more likely to find a piece of pyrite than a golden nugget.
Marble cliffs and chamise covered hillsides surround the campsites, and shade from the vanilla-scented ponderosa pines will keep campers cool during their stay. Nightly rates range from $18 to $22 per day, depending on site type, which is quite a bargain when you take into account all there is to do here! The facilities have the best of both worlds, offering two and four-legged adventurers primitive camping sites with modern conveniences like flushing toilets, hot showers, and drinking water. Shower use costs $0.50 for five minutes, so be sure to bring some quarters! Each site is complete with campfire rings, picnic tables, and grills -- so don't forget the hot dogs and marshmallows! Bears are common in the area, so make sure you take advantage of the bear-proof food lockers and dispose of any trash away from your sleeping quarters. Don't leave Fido's kibble sitting out either -- bears are not picky eaters!
The park has lots of activities to keep your campers happy during their stay, like fishing, boating, jet-skiing, swimming, kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, and horseback riding A visit to this campground would not be complete without hiking the Table Mountain Trail that follows the path of a lava flow that occurred 9 million years ago. The surrounding area offers an abundance of attractions too, including museums, shopping centers, golf courses, and several national parks (including Yosemite!).
You may not find any actual gold at the Glory Hole Recreation Area, but the memories made here are definitely a treasure worth seeking!