San Joaquin River California Fly Fishing, Camping, Boating

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San Joaquin River

The California San Joaquin River is the second longest river in the state, offering numerous recreation opportunities for Yosemite visitors and a chance to experience the beauty of the Sierras.

  • The San Joaquin River is the second longest river in the California, with many recreation opportunities
  • Great hiking and biking is to be found in the San Joaquin River Gorge Basin
  • Catch brook, rainbow, golden and brown trout in the river
  • Try whitewater rafting from Redinger Dam to Kerckhoff Reservoir


The San Joaquin River flows 330 miles, from high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains all the way to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, draining most of the area south of Yosemite. Along its path, it offers plenty of opportunities for visitors to enjoy many outdoor water activities.

Location & Information

The Middle Fork of the San Joaquin CA drains into Millerton Lake, which is south of Yosemite National Park. You can reach this section by going south on California Highway 41, going left on Road 145, turning right at Road 206 and following the signs to the lake.

The San Joaquin River is accessible the year round.

Contact information:
San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust
11605 Old Friant Road
Fresno, CA 93730


  • Hiking and Biking
    Probably the best hiking is to be found west of Mammoth Pools in the San Joaquin River Gorge Basin. Many trails allow for hiking and biking. Go 5 miles west of Road 222 and park in the lot where you will begin a six-mile loop past meadows and wildflowers. The San Joaquin River Trail also leaves from this area, for a 15-mile trek that takes you all the way to Millerton Lake.
  • Fishing
    The Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River is great for fishing, and you can easily access some perfect spots to throw in a line. You’ll find brooks, rainbows, golden and brown trout. The higher in elevation you go, the better the fishing.
  • Whitewater Rafting and Floating
    South of Yosemite close to Shaver Lake, you will find a 6-mile section of the San Joaquin River with Class III and IV sections of whitewater. This is from Redinger Dam to the Kerckhoff Reservoir. There are other places along the river for floating and paddling.

Fun Facts

San Joaquin River in California has many tributaries, including the Tuolumne River, Stanislaus River, Merced River, Mokelumne River and the Calaveras River.