From downtown Sacramento to the suburbs and up in the foothills, opportunities to explore the great outdoors in Greater Sacramento are only steps away. Seasoned outdoor enthusiasts and young families alike enjoy year-round recreation thanks to the region’s many lakes, rivers, trails and more.
Greater Sacramento is home to over nine lakes and rivers, offering ample opportunities for swimming, boating and rafting. From the pristine blue waters of Lake Tahoe to beautiful Folsom Lake and Bullards Bar, the region’s many lakes are popular destinations for boating and camping. For a refreshing summer dip, head to the river. Stop off at one of the many swimming holes along the American River, which runs from the foothills to downtown Sacramento, or opt for a swim in the Sacramento or Yuba Rivers – options abound. For thrill-seekers, the South Fork of the American River offers renowned white-water rafting and kayaking.
From hiking to biking, backpacking and horseback riding, Greater Sacramento’s rich trails system offer something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a challenging road bike ride, a leisurely riverfront pedal or an epic mountain bike adventure, there are endless opportunities to pedal. Davis, Downtown Sacramento and more regional communities are studded with bike lanes to make road rides a breeze while paved riverfront trails offer bikers, walkers and runners alike scenic routes through Sacramento, Folsom, Lake Tahoe and more. For hikers, backpackers and equestrians, the region’s foothill areas offer incredible trails for all skill sets. There’s so much to explore, from winding through the canyon of the Auburn State Recreation Area to trekking through high alpine lakes in El Dorado National Forest. If that’s not enough, how about backpacking through the world-famous Pacific Crest Trail and the Desolation Wilderness? It’s all here in Greater Sacramento.
For avid campers, there’s no better place to settle down than Greater Sacramento. Our vast region is home to a variety of camping opportunities. The Tahoe Basin is rich with campgrounds while other lakes and rivers around the region offer opportunities for shoreline and boat-in camping as well as houseboating. The region’s multiple national forests afford adventurers the chance to get off the grid with backpacking and OHV-accessible and dispersed camping.
The Tahoe Basin offers some of the most scenic and varied snow sports – yes, we even hosted the winter Olympics here! The area is dotted with world-class ski resorts, making hitting the slopes a breeze. Those looking to get off the beaten path can enjoy backcountry skiing and snowmobiling. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and tubing are popular activities as well.
Greater Sacramento proudly boasts world-class fishing that challenges and thrills anglers of all varieties and skill levels. A local favorite and truly unique fishery is the Lower American River, which flows out of Folsom Lake, through Rancho Cordova and empties into the Sacramento River just outside of downtown. Here, anglers are pleased to find a variety of game fish at all times of the year, including Chinook Salmon, Steelhead, Stripped Bass, Shad and Carp. Yuba, Sutter, Placer and El Dorado Counties all offer beautiful trout fishing in rivers not limited to the Yuba, Truckee and Middle and South forks of the American. If you are an avid angler, Greater Sacramento is much deserving of its namesake as the #CaliforniaOption.
From Pebble Beach and the Monterey Peninsula to the mountain courses of Lake Tahoe, the Greater Sacramento region is at the center of some of the world’s best public golf courses. Avid golfers have access to two of the top-rated public golf courses in the country (Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hills Golf Course) to the West as well as to nationally ranked courses like Edgewood, Coyote Moon and Old Greenwood to the East. For a championship course that won’t break the bank, look no further than within region itself with courses like Darkhorse Golf Course ($69-$79), Apple Mountain Golf Course ($49-69) and Yocha Dehe at Cache Creek Casino ($45-$165), which ranked among the top 10 best courses you can play in California in 2020 by Golfweek. With over 70 courses, the region is aptly suited for golfers of all levels.