Rancho Seco Lake Recreational Area

Get back to nature at Rancho Seco Recreational Area

A short 25 minute drive from downtown Sacramento, you’ll find the 400-acre park that makes up the Rancho Seco Recreational Area. Take a short vacation and enjoy camping, boating, hiking, bird watching and even a sanctuary for rescued exotic animals and wildlife. Camp in comfort with recreation and concession buildings, shade structures, laundry facility, boathouse and newly renovated restrooms and showers.

Have a large group? Picnic or camp with your friends or have a family reunion.

  • Groups of 50 or more can reserve our picnic areas
  • Group campsites are also available by reservation
  • We have RV and tent spaces available, some with gorgeous lake views

Would you like to spend a quiet weekend enjoying nature with someone you love?

For information and reservations, call 1-800-416-6992 (Monday through Friday)

Hiking opportunities

Self-led hikes

Enjoy an easy seven mile round trip hike at the Howard Ranch Trail. The walk along the lake offers something special in each season – vernal pools in late winter, soft carpets of wildflowers in spring, contented cattle grazing on lush grass. It’s a working cattle ranch, so please leave your canine friends home.

Docent-led hikes 

For those who would like to learn from local naturalist volunteers on docent-led hikes, the Cosumnes River Preserve offers springtime hikes on the Howard Ranch Trail. Each hike begins at 8:30 AM, takes 3+ hours and is taken at a casual pace. Visit the Cosumnes River Preserve event page for more information.

The current docent schedule is:  March 24, April 1, April 21, April 29, May 5, May 13

Learn more about Howard Ranch Trail

Would you like more information? We’re here to answer your questions. Call 1-800-416-6992 Mon-Fri.