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In the heart of the Gold Country, the Auburn State Recreation Area (Auburn SRA) covers over 35,000 acres (142 km²) along 40 miles (60 km) of the North and Middle Forks of the American River, in Placer County, California. The largest city with close proximity is the city of Auburn. Once teeming with thousands of gold miners, the area is now a natural area offering a wide variety of recreation opportunities to over 900,000 visitors a year. Auburn SRA is also world famous for a number of endurance races that are hosted throughout the year.

View of the Recreation Area from State Route 49.

Major recreational uses include trail running, hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, camping, mountain biking, gold panning, equestrian/horseback riding trails, road bicycling, and off-highway motorcycle riding. Whitewater recreation is also very popular on both forks of the river, with Class II, III and IV runs.

Auburn SRA is made up of the lands set aside for the Auburn Dam. However, a large earthquake at Oroville nearby was found to have been caused by the dam and reservoir at that location, which led to examination and discovery that the Auburn dam site is situated on a geologic fault. This discovery halted the Auburn Dam project because of fears that constructing a dam and lake would cause a reservoir-induced earthquake which would lead to a dam's collapse, with catastrophic consequences for the city of Sacramento lying directly below. As such, the project has been abandoned and as a result millions of people now enjoy the Auburn State Recreation Area in its spectacular natural state, with multiple wilderness canyons offering access to one of the last remaining natural river systems in Central California. The California Department of Parks and Recreation administers the area under a contract with the United States Bureau of Reclamation.

Endurance races

Within the boundaries of this state park are more sporting endurance events than any other place in the world, giving Auburn the undisputed and internationally-acclaimed title of Endurance Capital of the World. Examples include the Western States Endurance Run, Western States Trail Ride also known as Tevis Cup Equestrian Ride, American River 50 Mile Endurance Run, American River 50 Mile Equestrian Ride, Way Too Cool 50 Kilometer Endurance Run, Auburn International Half-Ironman Triathlon, Auburn Century 100 Mile Bike Ride, Coolest 24 Hour Mountain Bike Ride, Rio Del Lago 100 Mile Endurance Run, Sierra Nevada 50 Mile Endurance Run, and the Coolest Run: Ride & Tie.

Media appearances

A stunt from the 2002 film XXX was filmed in the park, in which a Corvette is driven off the Foresthill Bridge while the driver parachutes to safety. The 2005 book Nature Noir: A Park Ranger's Patrol in the Sierra (ISBN 0-618-71195-3) recounted author Jordan Fisher Smith's experiences as a ranger in the park.

External links

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