Tuttletown Recreation Area, CA

Short drive day – 99 miles. We thought we would go a tad further, but pulled in here and liked it. Gotta love the views!


Acorn Campground: Site #43. this site has water nearby, dump station, 69 total sites, 1288 ft elevation. Nov 18th - 23rd.

Overall Experience: smile

Touring around Arnold, CA

Rainy sort of day, so we hopped in the car to explore a tad. We drove out Hwy 4 just past Arnold, CA, to Calaveras Big Trees State Park, which is in the Sierra Nevada's middle elevations. We intended to hike a tad, but the rain & wind didn't let up, so we wimped out. Instead, we nosed around the Stanislaus National Forest a little bit before having a late lunch at Snowshoe Brewing in Arnold. It turned out to be a relaxing low key rainy day.

Local Flavor – Area Businesses We Enjoyed & Recommend (on this visit to the area)
• *Snowshoe Brewing** 2050 Highway 4, Arnold, CA

Acorn Campground is a popular camping spot in central California's Tuttletown Recreation Area, which is part of the New Melones Lake. This area has a rich history as it sits on the outskirts of the Mother Lode region, where a significant gold rush took place in the 1800s.

The New Melones Lake itself is massive, covering 12,500 acres, and is known as the fourth largest reservoir in California. It's a haven for water-based activities like boating, fishing, and swimming.

Within the Tuttletown Recreation Area, there are three main campgrounds: Acorn, Manzanita, and Chamise. Additionally, there are two group campgrounds called Fiddleneck and Lupine. Among these options, Acorn Campground stands out as one of the most sought-after choices for campers.

Features of Acorn Campground

Acorn Campground offers a total of 69 individual campsites spread across different loops. These sites cater to various camping preferences:

  • Small tent-only sites
  • Larger pull-through sites for RVs up to 40 feet long

The campground provides essential amenities such as restrooms with flush toilets and hot showers. For RV owners, there's also a dump station available for waste disposal.

One of the highlights of staying at Acorn Campground is the beautiful scenery it offers. With views of rolling hills and the nearby lake, campers can immerse themselves in nature's wonders. Many campsites are nestled among trees, providing much-needed shade during sunny days.

Recreation Opportunities

Aside from its natural beauty, Acorn Campground boasts easy access to New Melones Lake's recreational offerings. The campground features its own boat ramp, making it convenient for campers to launch their watercraft and enjoy activities like fishing or exploring the lake.

Reservation Details

If you're interested in staying at Acorn Campground, here are some important reservation details to keep in mind:

  • Reservations can be made through the Recreation.gov website.
  • Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Nightly rates range from $11 to $22, depending on the site and eligibility for discounts such as the America the Beautiful Senior Pass.

Note: Winter Storm Damage and Potential Closures

It's essential to be aware of potential disruptions before planning your trip to Acorn Campground. In recent years, the campground has faced challenges due to damage from winter storms.

For example, in 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation had to temporarily close Acorn Campground for repairs. However, it has since reopened in time for the 2023 Memorial Day weekend.

To avoid disappointment or inconvenience, visitors are advised to check the campground's status and any potential closures before making their travel plans.

Positive Reviews from Campers

Despite occasional setbacks, Acorn Campground continues to attract campers who appreciate its natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Reviewers on platforms like Campendium and The Dyrt have praised several aspects of the campground:

  • Well-maintained facilities: Campers have commended the cleanliness and good condition of amenities like restrooms and showers.
  • Scenic setting: The picturesque views of hills and the lake have left a positive impression on many visitors.
  • Convenient lake access: Being able to easily reach the waters of New Melones Lake has been highly valued by water enthusiasts.

Any comments, questions, etc? Contact us.

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