Recreational Areas

Public spaces, places for conservation, recreation

You expect more from us than the reliable power at competitive rates we deliver every second. We expect more from ourselves, too, as part of our commitment to the community we serve. That’s why SMUD goes the extra mile to provide public spaces developed hand-in-hand with our publicly owned power-generating facilities.

We help to maintain thousands of acres of U.S. Forest Service lands that attract thousands of visitors each year, providing a wide range of activities. The way we run our power generating facilities also provides water for rafters .

Our properties are also used to preserve the region's natural and agricultural heritage. And that’s a good place to start.

Nature gets a boost

Like you, we care about our natural environment and work hard to protect the wildlife and agriculture around us.

In partnerships with the Sacramento Valley Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy, we dedicated a nature preserve of approximately 1,200 acres bordering our Rancho Seco property, where seasonal vernal pools support threatened and endangered species and where cattle now graze on land we lease to a local rancher.

Together with SMUD's Rancho Seco Recreational Area, the Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge and the Howard Ranch Trail, we have conserved more than 1,800 acres of land.

We are also using wetlands in another way, earning credits towards the future power projects our community needs as we grow.

A gem in the Sierra

Preserving and sharing our beautiful lands with customers and neighbors is nothing new for us, of course. For decades the Crystal Basin Recreation Area off Highway 50 near Placerville has been a favorite year-round destination for those who can’t get enough of the outdoors.

Crystal Basin offers more than 700 campsites set around three beautiful mountain reservoirs. In the summer, Crystal Basin is a natural for boating, hiking, biking and horseback riding. Cross-country skiing is the lure in winter.

A Rancho for all to enjoy

The iconic towers of the decommissioned nuclear plant have long been empty, but everything else at the Rancho Seco Recreation Area operates fully for the public, including the recreational facilities. Site of twice-yearly trout derbies, Rancho Seco lake is the focus of the fun, but that’s not all there is. For those who don’t want to be in or on the lake, the hiking and camping are just the ticket.

No matter your style of outdoor activity, we hope you’ll be joining us soon at Rancho Seco or Crystal Basin. Come play with us!

A jewel in the Sierras

Take a panoramic look at the source of our hydro power.

Great getaways close to home

Our nearby lakes offer camping, boating, hiking and more.