New Melones Dam and Reservoir are part of the Central Valley Project operated by the Bureau of Reclamation. Located 60 miles upstream on the Stanislaus River from the confluence of the San Joaquin River. The reservoir has a capacity of 2.4 million acre feet of water with 100 miles of shoreline, and a water surface area of 12,500 acres.
New Melones is located between the historic mining towns of Sonora and Angels Camp on Highway 49 and is nestled in the Foothill Oak Woodlands of the Sierras at the 1100 ft elevation. Summer temperatures range from 85-100F and winter range from 32-60F.
New Melones Lake is noted for outstanding year-round fishing for both cold and warm water species, and outstanding boating. Nature viewers and birders will find a number of species common to the Foothill Oak Woodland, with an occasional Bald Eagle and Osprey. Hikers and mountain bikers will enjoy the numerous trails through the woodland areas.
A year-round visitor center/museum is located on Highway 49 just south of the Stanislaus River bridge and is open from 10:00-4:00 daily. Features include a variety of exhibits highlighting the area's prehistory, the gold rush era of the "submerged town" of Melones, water management and conservation. Ranger-guided nature hikes and visitor center programs are provided year round, and evening campground programs are provided during the summer months.
Location: 8 mi S of Angels Camp along Hwy 49