6503 Glory Hole Rd
Angels Camp, CA 95222
We stayed at the Ironhorse campground for 3 nights in April. Space 66 has a loop driveway which was great for our 18 ft trailer. The camp spots are large and gives plenty of solitude. We had a great 180 degree view of the lake and surrounding hills and mountains. Most spots have oak trees for shade. This time of year the grass is green and there are wildflowers everywhere. The store at the marina is not open yet though.
There is water about every 100 ft, not at every space.
The camp host was extremely helpful and went out of his way to help us with a dead battery.
We saw lots of wildlife- deer, turkey, hawks, birds, etc.
a beautiful place and we will be back.
My husband and I just came back from a great camping trip with some new and old friends. After changing the location a few times, for various reasons, we ended up here and had a great weekend!
The weather was amazing. The trailer back in spots were easily accessible and the launching fee is included with the camp fee.
We stayed in sites #100 and #102. My husband and I own a travel trailer and the rest of our friends stayed in tents. It was first come first serve, but we went at the end of the season and there were plenty of places to choose from. We had many things to play with in the water including kayaks, jet skis, and paddle boards.
A few warnings though, the bank is pure mud, the walk down to the water was extremely steep and slick from the dry grass. The shore has many sharp rocks as well, so I advise to bring water shoes and tennis shoes to be prepared for the terrain.
I love this spot. And not just for the name and the beer coozy I got with the name and the reaction people give me when I say where I’m hanging out. It’s not overcrowded, beautiful sunsets, and just a LOT of character. Watch out for rattlers, flying spiders, bathrooms not working, etc. Call ahead to make sure you’re ready for what you’re walking in to. And its HOT AS HELL, even in the shade, so be prepared and choose campsites wisely. But we had a great time.
This camp site is definitely one of the best we’ve been to. We reserved Iron Horse #25 and #26 and I would say either one would be one of best sites here. It is close to the restrooms and especially close to the lake, just a walk down the hill and you’re at the edge. The water was perfect for a swim to cool off. Back at the camp site, there is enough shade to hide from the summer heat. The only thing to note was a snake slithering on the ground. But you’re out with nature so it should be expected. Lots of wildlife including a family of deer. We saw three the afternoon after we checked in and again as we woke up in the morning. Also saw wild turkeys walking about at the campgrounds and the lake had wild ducks, fish, lots of baby frogs and a variety of dragonflies! Would definitely come back! The Park Rangers and Sheriff also frequented their patrol which was comforting! The video is for site #27.
Beautiful campsite! The Hosts on-site were extremely friendly and helpful. We we’re immediately greeted once we entered site and any questions we had were answered. We even spotted cranes and deer while on our little hike. My Verizon phone had signal while we were here. Found buckeye seeds on the hiking trail and apparently they’re edible after being cooked but I would do a little more research before eating them. The reserved campsite is the same price as the come-and-claim sites but the reserved ones are a bit bigger! The campsites include a nice clean ground area that fits about three normal tents, a fire ring, and the carway is big enough for only two cars.
We camped at site 131 which has a beautiful view of the lake. There are trees, but they offer very little shade. It was overwhelmingly hot, so more shade would have been nice. Great proximity to places like Columbia, Sonora, Twain Harte, Calaveras Big Trees. Very clean bathrooms. We rented a small patio boat one day, it was a bit over-priced for a dirty boat (hadn’t had a basic cleaning in months), but we were able to cruise all day and park it to swim in the middle of the lake…only way to jump in really. No beachy areas to go dip your feet in without getting stuck in mud. If you get a chance to go for a swim from a boat, the water is lovely! Like 78-81 degrees! My kids loved it.
Biggest issue for mid Aug camping at New Melones?! Tarantulas. Everywhere. . It was pretty disgusting!
We just spent the memorial weekend in this campground. We were expecting a low water level of the lake but not like we found. There was no water at all in most of the lake. We were desapointed. The picture of the camp site we booked on line showed a very beautiful view of the lake but in reality there was no water. The swimming area was closed for the same reason. So sad! Beside that, the campground is beautiful and well maintained. The staff was very nice and helpful. The bathrooms and showers were clean. You might need to look for some activities to make you busy during the day. I believe that this campgroud used to be a paradise when there was more water in the lake. Overall we had fun and we enjoyed hiking in the area . I recommend to hike in the natural bridges. It is really beautiful.
However, the campground was infested by earwigs! We brought a lot of earwigs with us from this camping trip :-(!
We camped at glory hole walk to site 80 and 81. Previously I’d booked standard site 46 and 48 but there we no to very less trees. The standard sites have very few trees, so if you are planning to sleep in tents its gonna be hot!! The walk to sites are good with lot of trees. The bathrooms are clean, well maintained. The lake is kinda good but not awesome.As mentioned by Joyce W in her year old review, there are lot of earwigs and ants too. You just have to take an extra precaution. We also saw the snake near the walk to parking. A white banded California king snake, though not harmful to humans but it was scary us.given we has small children with us.
One of the nicest and cleanest campground and recreation areas in California is stuck with the most unfortunate name.
I happened upon this place accidentally as the afternoon was drawing to a close and I was eager to find something quickly. I stopped at the registration booth and commented to the park attendant how new everything looked. Well, it ain’t: he said it’s just very well maintained. That’s an understatement.
Fortunately, the weekend prior to Memorial Day didn’t produce many visitors so I had an entire campground section to myself. A surly gang of turkeys came by to complain about my presence on their turf — they nest in the nearby trees — but they soon relented after a staring contest and a hefty bribe that permitted me a good night’s sleep.
I wish I had the time to explore the lake the next morning but time was limited. By my next visit, I hope the local authorities have had the good sense to change the name. Let me suggest one: Angels Paradise. That’s how it seemed to me.
I reserved site #85 at the Iron Horse loop. It was a walk-in site. In the picture it showed plenty of shade, in reality, the shade didn’t show up until mid-afternoon. Site #83 would’ve been much better, it was shaded throughout the day. In fact, every other walk-in site seemed to have more shade.
The walk-in sites worked well because you weren’t right next to other campers and you had plenty of space. Plus no “Gangsta” wannabe, douche bag, white kids in their Volvo station wagons with the subwoofers playing explicit rap lyrics can park near the walk-in sites. They’re at New Malones and if you want peace and quiet, walk-in sites are the way to go.
The bathrooms were clean & showers looked nice (the showers take quarters). The bathrooms were within an easy walk of the camp site.
I grew up next to Yosemite, doing real camping in the actual mountains, Glory Hole Recreation Area is none of that. There are not vast forests of pine trees and the lake is not even close to the campsites (unless you’re camping in May). I was originally going to camp near Yosemite but a forest fire cancelled my camping reservation at the last minute, which is why I ended up at New Malones.
There are hiking trails but when it’s 95 degrees every day with no trees shading you, why would you go hiking unless you wanted heat stroke or sun stroke?
There was an outdoor amphitheater with some type of “interpretive” program, but there was no interpretive program while we were there. There wasn’t even a camp host, that space was empty.
This lake is for people with boats or for people that want to rent boats.
Luckily, the 1st day we were there, we had some friends there with a boat. We had a great time on the lake.
The second day, we tried hiking the quarter mile down to the lake shore. It was a hot, horrible hike. You couldn’t really swim in the lake because you’d get stuck knee deep in mud just trying to wade out far enough.
The “Swimming Area” located on the map they gave us at entry, was actually closed due to there being no water. The water was so low that it was just brown weeds where the water had once been.
Bottom line: If you have a boat, you’ll like this lake. That’s it.
I probably won’t come back unless I have a boat or plan to rent one.
Our Boy Scouts Troop camped out at New Melones, Glory Hole Rec Area.
We were at Big Oak campground, site 103,104,105,106
The sites were spacious, offering hot water and showers.
It was Oct, before the rains arrived so the lake level was quite low.
A few boys fished on Sunday morning but caught nothing
The weather was perfect. There was no wind, no bugs, not cold, not hot.
With the lake view, it does not get better than this, except maybe higher water level and catching some fishes.
Huge waste of my time. My fiance and I drove for a couple of hours to find a place to swim. This spot is for boats only. It is also mostly empty, due to the draught. The scenery is less than attractive, and there are drunk college kids everywhere.
This place is overall Awesome! But taking the boat to the dock was depressing to see how immensely the draught has affected this place.
I have been camping here every year for the past 3 years. We just went camping for Memorial Day weekend and it was horrible. Our campsite #82 was infested with earwigs- it was AWFUL!!! We ended up throwing away our tent because there were so many earwigs hiding in between the tent sticks and the tent! The earwigs were also hiding in our food bags, gaps in our chairs… Sadly, we won’t be coming back.
Love this lake, the area, campsites are wonderful, lots of shade. Nice clean shower/restrooms.
Went family camping here for the weekend 6/22/2012 and stayed in the Big Oak area, campsite #124. We had easy access to the bathrooms and the wash station. It had a nice view of the lake, hills and trees. There were lots of friendly campers nearby. All the campsites were equipped with a picnic table and fire ring with a grill on top. The general store was only 10 min away and had everything we needed from charcoal to firewood, ice, paper towels and fishing bait.
My only complaint was that we really couldn’t enjoy the water in the swimming area. The sand area is really small; the rest of it is full of dirt, mud and geese poop. To enjoy New Melones, I believe you really need to get a boat. Like another reviewer stated, they book fast. We are going back and although their website says they offer an hourly rate, you cannot reserve at the hourly rate, only on the daily rate. Still, I think it is worth the $250 since the campsites are so cheap anyway. It’s a beautiful area, but we couldn’t enjoy it without a boat. Also, campsite #124 was on a hill which was annoying to go up and down for middle-of-the-night bathroom trips or to go wash dishes. I noticed that it might be nice to get #131 AND #132 if you’re going with a big group because it’s more secluded from the other sites, flatter, and has a nice court if you’d like to play frisbee or catch.
We didn’t get to enjoy the trails, but I hope to when we return and will update this review then.
Last tip: Don’t miss stopping by the nearby town of Murphy’s. They have such a cute downtown area with nice restaurants, wine and even a Cupcake Wars contestant, Lila & Sage (although we forgot to try it because we got sidetracked by ice cream). If you have kids, there is an amazing park area with a huge shaded play structure and a somewhat Disney-fied river running through that you can actually wade and swim in.
Glory Hole is an awesome place for mountain biking. It has several trails, ranging for easy to hard (Tower Climb). The trails and entire area are well maintained and clean. Beautiful views from the trails. This is a hidden gem. I am a bit reluctant to write this review as not many people know about this place and it is so nice having the trails to myself.
I really wanted to love this place. We went last weekend. The name hooked me and my 12-year-old-self’s humor. But what I experienced, unfortunately, did not.
I wanted to give this place only 1 star, but well part of me feels like that might be a little harsh, and I DID enjoy the bird watching and wildlife I got to see.
We originally chose site #59 in the iron horse loop. When we arrived to tent camp we realized there was zero flat ground or shade at that site and since we had our pup with us (and it was about 90+ degrees out) we were concerned. They were nice enough to let use choose an open spot we liked and switch. We chose #68 because of the flat ground, shaded areas, and the fact that no one else was camping within 4 sites of us. We could not see any other campers from our new spot.
What we did NOT realize until we set up camp was that there was ZERO access to the lake unless you had a boat. I had read that the water level was lower in recent years, but did not anticipate that a huge portion of the lake was GONE! We went to the only designated swimming area in hopes of cooling off our pup (and ourselves) only to find a dried up lake, with a boat launch sitting in the dirt. BUMMED! It was torture to be able to see the lake, but not be able to jump IN the lake. Like a cruel mirage.
The straw that broke the camels back was when the camp host threatened to kill our dog. THIS PLACE IS NOT DOG FRIENDLY!! (despite saying so)
We did have him off leash, which is against the rules…so we were in the wrong there. BUT, again, there was no one within at least 4 sites of us, we could not see any other campers AT ALL, and our dog was staying within our camp…never out of our site or voice control. The camp host came up on his motorized cart, got out and aggressively pointed his finger while shouting “He needs to be on a leash!” so of course, our dog barked to alert us that “hey, this angry man is shouting and coming at us” then he yells “IF HE COMES AT ME, HE WILL DIE!!!!”
Now, I know we were not following the rules. I will not contest that. I also understand their need to enforce the rules. What I do not understand is why anyone would charge at a dog, yelling and wagging a finger…then SCREAM even more when the dog barks…and go so far as to threaten to kill the dog.
Totally killed our glory hole adventure and we will not be returning. BUT if you have a boat, and don’t have a dog… I bet you’d love it! 😉
Best fake camping spot ever! When I say fake, I only mean that there aren’t any animals, no mosquitoes, and there ARE showers! I mean it’s like living at home. This is definitely a nice place and go camping when a group of friends.
There’s also a lake within the camp side so that also super nice. It often gets pretty hot so a day on the lake a great. But the boats always get taken up super fast. Reserve a boat at least a day in advance. You won’t have much options the day of.
The only thing I dont like about this camp site is that there are A LOT of flies during the day. get a netted canopy and thatll solve the problem.
Other than that I love this camp site. Been camping here for years.
This is a great place to go camping if you have a boat, but without a boat or other watercraft, it’s not very appealing. Overall the campground is clean and well-cared for, and each campground has a host and regular patrols by the ranger, flushing toilets (and rumor has it, showers, but we didn’t see them), but that’s the best there is to say. It didn’t seem like a very tent-friendly campground as many of the sites are sloped and don’t really have flat spots for a tent, or if there is a flat spot, it’s the only one and there is no room for more than one tent. The picnic tables are deteriorating because of sun exposure (i.e., not a lot of shade for a lot of the day in an area that gets hot). There are a few hiking trailheads, but they are far enough away from the campgrounds that you will probably want to drive to them.
The water level was really high in 2011 when we went, which unfortunately brought out rattlesnakes and tarantulas who went to higher ground, i.e., the campgrounds, to avoid drowning. We didn’t see any tarantulas, and only saw a dead rattler on the road, but the ranger saw fit to warn me when I checked in so I assumed it meant they were pretty visible and present. We saw two deer, a lot of hawks, and had a beautiful but loud and persistent woodpecker near us. There weren’t a ton of mosquitoes as far as I could tell (we use products to keep them away) but there are a TON of gnats buzzing around.
The location is great. It’s just a few minutes from Angels Camp and Murphys, and in a short drive you can go caving at Moaning Cavern or Mercer Cavern.