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San Joaquin River Gorge Special Recreation Management Area, CA

Bureau of Land Management

Overview

The Dumna and Kechayi Native Americans people once occupied the Management Area and surrounding lands. It is from their language that we derive the names of the trails contained within the Management Area. The Pa'san Ridge Trail (pa'san translates to pine nut) is a six-mile loop trail. This trail takes one into the chaparral clothed uplands where they will encounter mountain lilac (ceanothus), manzanita, mountain mahogany, and many other shrubs and wildflowers.

There is a wide range of wildlife present throughout the San Joaquin River Gorge area which can be enjoyed by the sportsman and the naturalist. The list of species includes the California mule deer, California quail, band-tailed pigeons, waterfowl, Audubon cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, and mourning dove. The area is open to the hunting of game species only. Target shooting is prohibited.

In the spring and early summer, when Millerton Lake is nearly full, anglers can catch catfish and stripped bass from the shoreline. But note that there is no vehicle access to the upper end of Millerton Reservoir in this area. You have to hike in on somewhat primitive trails which are steep and slippery in places.

Recreational Activities:

  • AUTO TOURING
  • BIKING
  • CAMPING
  • FISHING
  • HIKING
  • HISTORIC & CULTURAL SITE
  • HORSEBACK RIDING
  • INTERPRETIVE PROGRAMS
  • PICNICKING

Address:

Bakersfield Field Office
3801 Pegasus Drive
Bakersfield,CA,93308
Phone: 661-391-6000
Email: pdewitt@blm.gov

Directions:

The Gorge is about two miles northwest of the town of Auberry and is accessed by Smalley Road, off Power House Road, north of Auberry. The trail head and parking lot are on the Fresno County side of the San Joaquin River, about 6 miles downhill on Smalley Road from the entrance at Powerhouse Road. The trail leads to BLM's trail bridge which crosses the San Joaquin River. It may be used by hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders. The Bridge allows recreation users to cross the river and explore the Madera County side of the Management Area. The Madera County side contains the Pa'san Ridge Trail and the Wuh-ki'o Trail, that have a combined length of ten miles.

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