30 miles from Auburn Courthouse. Miles of easy trails. MAP
The Spenceville Wildlife Area is near Camp Far West reservoir in Yuba/Nevada counties where the Bear River gets stopped behind a dam. Just north of the reservoir this wildlife area is 12,000 acres of Blue Oak woodland prominent to the lower foothills just above the valley floor. East of Beale Air Force Base, the area has trails and roads for hiking and biking and horseback riding. Dry Creek and Coon Creek flow through the area with three trails to “Fairy Falls” up on Dry Creek. If you like birds, and who doesn’t, The Audubon Society lists 175 species of birds observed here at Spenceville. Erik Peach of Auburn said that he enjoys going to Spenceville in the fall to look for the Lewis’ woodpeckers that migrate down from Oregon. Their name comes from the Lewis and Clark expedition that cataloged their existence.
Directions: Spenceville is not easy to get to, however, but you do have 3 choices. The longest but easiest route is to go towards Grass Valley on Highway 49 and turn west on Highway 20. Drive to the town of Smartville and turn L on Smartville Road to Spenceville. You can also get there from going west on I-80 to Newcastle, exit and take Highway 193 to Lincoln. Just before Lincoln you turn R on McCourtney Road which takes you to Camp Far West, go across the dam and follow Spenceville Road in. And the scenic route back-way from Auburn is to go north on 49 towards Grass Valley. Turn L on Wolf Road, follow to go L on McCourtney, then turn L at the T on Perimeter, follow for 7.4 miles to turn R on White Oak, go one mile then R on McCourtney and follow to Spenceville.
For more information search “friends of Spenceville” online for much more information and trail maps.
The trails are on closed roads throughout the area with 2 horse camps/staging areas. This wildlife area is managed by the California Dept. of Fish and Game. There is no camping or campfires allowed. Beale AFB (home to the famous U2 spy plane) is the west boundary for the area, and private property surrounds the other sides.