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Folsom BLM Field Office



North Fork American River- Fasten your life jackets--It's going to be a bumpy ride. The famous Giant Gap run of the even more famous North Fork American River is one of the most popular whitewater challenges in California.

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General Information

Geese Taking Flight During A Sunrise in Folsom
Copyright: - US Bureau of Land Management
Geese Taking Flight During A Sunrise in Folsom
Description - The Folsom BLM region encompasses a smattering of public lands in the counties of Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Merced, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne and Yuba. The sprinkling of lands stretch from Sacramento northeast 30 miles to Auburn, one of California's earliest mining towns. To the south, the BLM land extends into the Sierra Nevada foothills reaching the town of Mariposa, aptly named by early Spanish explorers who discovered creekbeds flourishing with butterflies.

The Folsom Field Office landforms encompass three regions: Central Valley, The Sierras, and Gold Country. It is in Gold Country where young men from the Mid West and East Coast gambled to find their fortune in high adventure and gold nuggets. Most of the emigrants succumbed to journey hardships experiencing Indian conflicts, hunger and disease. Those that succeeded found themselves in a territory of lawlessness and hardship, yet breathtakingly beautiful. Area elevations vary from 1,200 feet to over 8,000 feet where mountain streams drop a thousand feet reaching famed rivers such as the American, Merced River, and Yuba. Rocky gorges sensuously weave across the landscape providing boulder-chocked passages at the mountain floor.

These public recreation lands are just a short drive from the populous regions of Lake Tahoe and Sacramento. Millions come to enjoy its beauty reigns of sheer riverside cliffs and sparkling river rapids. Nestled in the heart of Gold Country lies California's most popular whitewater rafting opportunities in addition to remnants from an era dating back 150 years when Chinese laborers channeled creek water by hand with pick and shovel for gold.

Two unique areas within the Folsom BLM resource area is the Red Hills and the Cosumnes River Preserve. Each harbor unique landscape that is ecologically important to the wildlife, particularly birdlife along the Pacific Flyway. Red Hills is a land noticeably different from its surrounding countryside. The natural serpentine landscape is a rich gathering of buckbrush, gray pine, and mixture of wildflowers such as lupines, and shooting stars that put on a showy display each spring. The Cosumnes River Preserve harbors one of the finest remaining examples of California Valley oak riparian forest.

Attractions - Activities available in the Folsom BLM unit include enjoyments from primitive camping to developed camping. Whitewater rafting is one of the best in the state with whitewater ranging from Class II (beginner) to Class V+ (advanced). Known as California's gold rush country, gold prospecting remains a fascination. Horseback riding, OHV use, mountain biking and hiking can be enjoyed in public areas along the Stevens Trail and the Merced River Recreation Area. There are nine parcels of public lands along the South Fork American River; only one is accessible by automobile -- the Dave Moore Nature Area. Discover the Cosumnes River Preserve, California's largest remaining valley oak riparian forest, and one of the few protected wetland habitat areas in the state. It serves as a critical stop on the Pacific Flyway for migrating and wintering waterfowl. Over 200 species of birds have been sighted on or near the Preserve, including the State-listed threatened Swainson's hawk, greater and lesser sandhill cranes, Canada geese and numerous ducks.

Finding the BLM-administrated public lands in the Folsom Field Office can be very difficult. Maps are available from the BLM office in Folsom and are recommended.

Note: Not all the parcels of public land in the Folsom Field Office have legal access. In some cases, adjacent private property owners have declined to allow public land visitors (including BLM staff) to cross their property. They are well within their legal rights to do so.

Recreation - Recreational opportunities in the Folsom resource area include archeological and cultural sites, bird watching, camping, hunting, river sports, rockhounding, and multi-use trails.

Climate - A generally warm, dry climate prevails in the Central Valley, it is hot in the summer, mild in the winter. In the Central Valley precipitation falls mainly from October through April. Winter temperatures fall well below freezing producing frost, however, snow is very rare. Summer temperatures above 100 degrees F are part of the normal pattern.

The High Sierra generally experiences warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters. Weather can change rapidly during all seasons of the year. Elevation plays a major role in temperature and precipitation. The precipitation falls mainly from October through April. At higher elevations, it comes mostly in the form of snow. A snowpack from 5 - 10 feet or more is usually present from December to May at elevations above 6,500 feet. Winter temperatures below zero and summer temperatures above 100 degrees F indicate the normal seasonal spread. Clouds can build up during the summer to produce spectacular thunderstorm activity. It is wise to pack for any season with clothing that can be "layered," ready to peel off or add on as the thermometer dictates. Always include some kind of rain gear.

Location - The Folsom Field Office area is located in the Central Valley and in some of the High Sierras.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Thomas Carty (Key West, FL)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This isn't a current trip report, I was checking out this site and wanted to comment on my visit in August 2002. While visiting Tahoe last year (my first time in California) some friends convinced me to try gold prospecing at the Pennyweight Trail site near the Iowa Hill Bridge. I must say I'm coming back this summer. Although none of us got rich, I had a wonderful time (once I got used to the trail itself, you see, the highest elevation in Key West is 12 feet). Even the Rangers (I guess that's their title) from the Bureau of Land Management) were great. Friendly and courteous. Real nice guys. They could teach the law enforcement in Key West a thing or two. They even complemented us on the neatness and cleanliness of our campsite. The only thing I'm hoping is different are the rain/drought conditions. When we were there there was a drought and couldn't have an open fire. Maybe this year. As for any suggestions, just be careful and just leave your footprints behind. Yours truly, Thomas Carty Key West, Florida


More Information

Contact Information:
Folsom Field Office, 63 Natoma Street , Folsom, CA, 95630, Phone: 916-985-4474, Fax: 916-985-3259

Additional Information:
California BLM Areas - The Bureau of Land Management manages 14.5 million acres of public land in California. The area includes sagebrush plains, old-growth forests, Pacific coastline, lush riparian areas, and arid high deserts.
Central Valley Region - California's breadbasket, the great Central Valley, stretches for 450 miles down the center of the state, from Willows to Bakersfield. This region includes culturally diverse communities, historic sites, exceptional outdoor recreation, abundant wildlife and the California Delta.
Gold Country Region - The Gold Country Region lies in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada. With its remnants of the gold rush era, pastoral towns, Sierra foothills, recreational and cultural activities, this region is filled with opportunities.
High Sierra Region -

Links:
Bureau of Land Management in California - Official agency website.
Folsom BLM Field Office - Official agency website.
Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument - Official agency website.

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