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Finnon Lake is close to so many activities……There are an additional array of activities which are nearby as well. The Eldorado National Forest (check out their camping areas as well); the Marshall gold discovery site / Sutter's Mill in Coloma; ATV trails in Georgetown; White water rafting on the South Fork of the American River; the Rubicon Trail for you Jeep fans; and the town of Placerville also known as "Old Hangtown." The oldest suspension bridge in California is nearby. The oldest, still operating, hardware store west of the Mississippi and oldest, still operating, newspaper west of the Mississippi are in Placerville as well. Come visit us and our neighbors, you'll enjoy the peace and quiet, as well as the activities. Click on the MAPS & ACTIVITIES page to see several additional things you may do while visiting the area.  AND - if you enjoy stargazing on a dark evening bring your telescope, or binoculars. The night sky can be unbelievably clear and dark.

For additional history of the immediate area surrounding the lake click HERE.

Click on any photo to enlarge and scroll through this set. The far left begins the series with a 1946 aerial view.  The lake should hopefully be back to a full level soon, but remember the area has been in a drought for four years.

Aerial photos courtesy USGS, all others courtesy



The 4 larger photos were taken December 18, 2016.  The smaller comparison photos are from 3-15-16 and 12-16-16.  Click on any photo (large or small) to begin a slide show.  Note - as of 1-5-17 lake level is only six feet below the spillway.  More rain on the way so the spillway may actually see its first spill in more than 20 years!  

Comparison Photo

Comparison Photo

Comparison Photo

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Directions from Placerville, CA

You'll have two options to get to the lake. One allows you to drive over the oldest suspension bridge in the State. It's narrow, one car at a time, and the scenic river and canyon below makes it all the worth-while. The other is a bit longer, but necessary if you're towing a trailer, or in a RV.  Click HERE for directions. has had visitors from over 92 different countries.  Whether you’re from Boise or Berlin, San Francisco or Sydney, we wish to thank you for visiting.  Finnon Lake is located in the heart of California’s Motherlode area.  For a list of countries our visitors are from please click HERE.

Make sure to visit our other pages for things to do and a history of the area.

Google Maps™ has created a “street view” map for viewing, and one that will give you a visual experience, on getting to Finnon Lake.  Depending on what route you wish to take to get to Finnon (see this page for additional information) we have created two links to begin your virtual drive.  If you take the Mosquito Bridge route click HERE, your journey begins at the start of Mosquito Road in Placerville, and don’t forget to make that left hand turn about 2 miles up the road to stay on Mosquito Road.  If you will be taking the Rock Creek Road route then click HERE, that drive begins at the junction of State Highway 193 from Highway 49, about one mile north of US Highway 50.

Either way - enjoy your virtual drive, thanks to Google Maps™.  A new browser window will open to view your journey.         

The main purpose of this website has been to provide information on the Finnon Lake dam and lake restoration project. would like to say thanks to the El Dorado County and Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation Districts (RCD)and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) for all their efforts in making the dam restoration possible.  As of summer, 2014, the restoration project has been deemed complete.  The dam was replaced, fish habitats installed, fish restocked, a boat launch area installed, a boat wash station was completed, a new bridge over the dam’s spillway, new safety railing installed on the road over the dam, additional campsites created and a new concessionaire began business.  The only thing left for us to report on is the actual water level of the lake itself.  Presently it is at about 100 acre feet out of the potential 350 acre feet, yet fishing and the use of small boats can now be done.  If things change we’ll post it here.

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While you’re visiting this website please check out our other pages of information. Check out the Maps & Activities pages for an array of things to do in the area and go to the History & Restoring pages for information on Finnon Lake including links to archived restoration information.

There are several additional campgrounds in the neighboring Eldorado National Forest which are quite nice, scenic, with boating and fishing available, and can accommodate everything from backpackers to tents to very large RVs - Some are open year-round, some have cabins for rent, for a listing of these great campgrounds please click  HERE.

(Please note it may take a few moments for the linked page to appear)

Finnon Lake campground is open -   The spillway bridge has been replaced and is large enough to support motor homes.  Fishing is allowed but is catch and release, no live bait, lures only; click HERE for the campsite map, an on-line reservation form, and contact information.  

The area is in it’s 4th year of drought, where ever you travel or camp please be careful! Take advantage of the increased water depths while it lasts before the dry summer months. Water increase thanks to the latest series of storms during the winter of 2015 - 2016.  



Just a few miles from Finnon Lake is Rock Creek.  It received its name from Kit Carson as he explored the area in 1845.  The bridge was a WPA project built by the federal government.  You can’t help but notice the local art on the bridge as well as boulders in the creek.  During the summer months a quiet, natural pool can be found to the right of the smiley face, a perfect place to take a dip on a hot summer day.

Photo above shows December 2016 runoff roaring toward the South Fork of the American River.  Photo to the left is the flow from the south side of the bridge.

Nearby Rock Creek.  Click on any photo to enlarge.

What a great sight, a Haliaeetus leucocephalus, better known as the Bald Eagle.  This proud raptor took flight from the north side of the lake to perch in this pine on the south side, the perfect vantage sight for seeing its prey in the waters below.  Far left photo taken with 100 mm  and close up taken with 1000mm lens, a bit blurry but no tripod was handy and about ¼ mile away.    Other updated photos are below as of Jan 5, 2017.

(Smaller photos taken 1-5-17)

The video to the left is just a quick look at the rain runoff from the weekend of January 7.  Compare the river and creek to other photos you’ll find below and on other pages of this website.  The last portion of the video, the waterfall, does not have any audio.

On 1-5-17 a photo (further below) showed water depth at about 38 feet.  This photo, taken 1-9-17 shows water level at about 40 feet.  Finnon hasn’t had this much water in it since the 1990’s.  With more rain coming soon Finnon may breach its spillway and not too many have seen that.

(Click photo to enlarge)

Finnon Lake Recreation Area’s main attraction is of course the lake.  Drought conditions in California have persisted for the past 5 years - till now!  We just wanted to share some photos of the local area as all the recent winter storms have helped fill Finnon.

The photo to the left was taken January 10, 2017.  It is the South Fork of the American River carrying massive amounts of run-off down the canyon.  For comparison the photo to the right (taken about 4 years ago) shows the normal water flow.  Quite a difference!  Up river is the Slab Creek reservoir and dam which controls flow of the river to a lower dam at Chile Bar.  Although not visible in the left photo there were up-rooted trees and tree trunks seen bobbing in the water.  Photos taken at the Mosquito Road bridge, which is one of two routes to Finnon.

(click either photo to enlarge)

All of the eight photos, above, were taken January 13, 2017.  The areas first full day of sunshine since the new year began.  Click on any to enlarge and read a caption of the scene.  The enlarged photos will also have left and right arrows to scroll through the set of photos.  So far 2017 has been wonderful for Finnon Lake.