Red Bluff Recreation Area
The sparkling Sacramento River bisects 488 acres of riparian forest, flowering grasslands, wetlands, and oak woodlands providing very diverse nature viewing experiences. Visitor facilities are closed.
At a Glance
|Current Conditions:||Call (530) 934-3316 for information.|
|Area Amenities:||Interpretive Site,Accessible,Boat ramp,Tent camping,Camping trailer,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking|
|Closest Towns:||Red Bluff, CA - all services.|
|Passes:||Annual boat launch pass $30; daily launch fee $6. Passes are available for purchase in advance via Recreation.gov or onsite at the boat ramp. If purchasing in advance, please print your pass and place it on your vehicle's dashboard. If purchasing at the boat ramp using scan and pay, please ensure you have the Recreation.gov mobile app downloaded before arrival for ease of purchase. The app is available for Android or iPhone. Scan and Pay functionality at the boat ramp is only available for a single day pass. Annual boat ramp passes may be purchased by mail-in form. You must download and mail the form to Mendocino National Forest, 825 N. Humboldt Ave., Williows, CA 95988. Please allow two weeks for processing mail-in forms.|
|Operated By:||U.S. Forest Service|
General InformationGeneral Notes:
Over 125 species of birds literally flock to this variety of habitats over the course of the year.
Fishing opportunities attract otter, herons, egrets, ospreys and bald eagles.
The trails provide great views of Mount Shasta, Mount Lassen, and the Yolla Bolly Mountains, which are especially scenic in the winter and spring when they are capped with snow.
Shooting/hunting is not allowed in the Red Bluff Recreation Area.
The Red Bluff Recreation Area is adjacent to the Sacramento River on Sale Lane in Red Bluff, CA. This site is open year round unless flooding or high winds occur.
Arriving from the North on I-5
Take the CA-36/Antelope Blvd exit toward Central Red Bluff/CA-99. Turn Left onto CA-36/Antelope Blvd. Turn right onto Sale Lane. The entrance gate is approximately 2 miles down Sale lane.
Arriving from the South on I-5
Take the exit for Central Red Bluff/Antelope Blvd/Hwy 36. Turn Right onto Antelope Blvd. Turn right on Sale Lane. The entrance gate is approximately 2 miles down Sale Lane.
Arriving from Chico on CA-99
Continue onto State Hwy 36W/Antelope Blvd. Turn Left on Sale Lane. The entrance gate is approximately 2 miles down Sale lane.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
Sycamore Grove Campground offers 30 beautiful sites that are convenient, clean and new. Campsites can accommodate RV's/trailers up to 40', as well as tents. Sites available are on first come first serve basis. Our deluxe comfort station has showers and flush toilets and are designed and operated for overnight customers.
Areas for Campground Camping at Red Bluff Recreation Area
Sycamore Grove Campground offers 30 beautiful sites that are convenient, clean and new. Campsites can accommodate RV's/trailers up to 40'.
Areas for RV Camping at Red Bluff Recreation Area
When planning a trip with 2 or more families or for a family reunion, consider reserving the Camp Discovery Campground. Limited to 100 occupants maximum.
Areas for Group Camping at Red Bluff Recreation Area
River and Stream Fishing
Consult the state fishing regulations for specific regulations. No fishing is allowed in the River near the dam. Salmon and trout fishing is usually best August through October. Shad can be caught below the diversion dam in May and June. Trout and a variety of nongame fish inhabit this stretch of the river year-round.
Visit Ben's Pond near the group camp. It's a short hike down the Nature Trail to the point where the trail turns away from the river and riparian forest.
The pond is home to a varied community of largemouth bass, bluegill and frogs which can be seen if you walk quietly along the banks.
The warm water fish in the small pond are fishable year-round.
Areas for River and Stream Fishing at Red Bluff Recreation Area
Enjoy walking trails through native habitats such as a riparian forest, flowering grasslands, wetlands, and oak woodlands.
Areas for Day Hiking at Red Bluff Recreation Area
The two acre Discovery Garden was designed to illustrate low water use landscaping. Plants were selected based on their decorative qualities in addition to their easy maintenance and low water needs. The 150 different plant species are either California native or adapted to our California climate. On the last Saturday in October the Center hosts an annual garden festival/plant sale. Discovery Garden is always open.
The Sacramento River Discovery Center hosts a visitor's center that is open to the general public. The center contains educational displays and hands-on interpretive displays. The center also hosts monthly evening programs, an annual dinner meeting, and a Watershed Celebration on the third Saturday in May. For more information, call (530) 934-3316.
Discover the vision of the Sacramento River Discovery Center. Imagine the experience of learning in a 488 acre outdoor classroom located on the Sacramento River, at the Red Bluff Recreation Area. Enjoy walking trails through native habitats such as a riparian forest, flowering grasslands, wetlands, and oak woodlands. People from many diverse agencies and organizations, representing a broad-based community effort, came together to create a place that promotes understanding of the balance between the river, its watershed and the community. The goals of this endeavor were laid out as:
- Show the evolution of the Sacramento River Watershed and demonstrate that balanced use of its natural resources is dynamic and often a struggle between competing interests.
- Provide a place for on-going research which supports an understanding of the watershed.
- Improve the public viewing of flora and fauna typical of the watershed.
- Create and maintain a forum for education, dialogue, and information about resource management and recreational opportunities along the river.
- Assist with the coordination of activities in the Red Bluff Recreation Area.
- Promote and enhance information and education partnerships with public and private organizations.
Boating, water skiing, jet skiing, swimming, fishing, rafting and canoeing plus a large grass areas for activities.
Areas for Picnicking at Red Bluff Recreation Area
Boating - Motorized
The Sacramento River, from the Delta to the city of Redding, is accessible by boat from Lake Red Bluff. There are two boat launches at the Red Bluff site, one upstream of the dam on Lake Red Bluff (free when available) and the other downstream of the dam which has a daily launch fee ($6) or an annual permit ($30).
Passes are available for purchase in advance via recreation.gov or onsite at the boat ramp.
1. If purchasing in advance, please print your pass and place it on your vehicle's dashboard.
2. If purchasing at the boat ramp using scan and pay, please ensure you have the Recreation.gov mobile app downloaded before arrival for ease of purchase.
Scan and Pay functionality at the boat ramp is only available for a single day pass.
Annual boat ramp passes may be purchased by mail-in form. You must download and mail the form to Mendocino National Forest, 825 N. Humboldt Ave., Williows, CA 95988. Please allow two weeks for processing mail-in forms.
Additional fees are required to use the campgrounds.
Areas for Boating - Motorized at Red Bluff Recreation Area
|Interpretive Site:||Sacramento River Discovery Center|
|Camping trailer:||Up to 40 ft|
|Picnic tables:||All Sites|
|Tent camping:||Sycamore Grove Campground|
|Toilets:||Comfort Stations with Showers, vault toilets|
|Fee charged for some activities:||Yes|
|Accessible:||Accessible trails, restrooms, and campgrounds.|
|Boat ramp:||$6 per day|