Yeh-Gub-Weh-Tuh translates to the Place of Blue Oak, and it's an apt name for this woodland-based campsite set in the breath-taking Californian wilderness. The surrounding area was originally occupied by the Dumna and Kechayi Native Americans, and it has been inhabited for centuries.
The Yeh-Gub-Weh-Tuh campground is located within the San Joaquin River Gorge management area, which consists of 7,000 acres. It is also just a few miles upstream from the Millerton Lake State Recreation Area, another popular BLM wilderness area with lots of things to do. Enjoy first-class hiking and biking trails, get involved with the educational programs or land a big one with nearby angling. Alternatively, if you prefer something a little more adrenalin boosting, the white waters in this location are some of America’s best.
Yeh-Gub-Weh-Tuh runs on a first-come, first-served basis and it has all the basic facilities, including vault toilets, fire pits, and picnic tables. With phenomenal views of the Table Mountains providing an idyllic background to your RV camping adventure, this site will provide you with the opportunity to get back to nature and enjoy a choice selection of outdoor recreational activities in and around the area.
The site is located approximately five miles from Auberry in the San Joaquin River Gorge Management Area, which stretches over the Fresno and Madera County borders. This beautiful location is an excellent choice for a scenic drive, with the Kerckhoff Reservoir and the Sierra National Forest lying on the TMA’s boundaries.
If you are traveling from the CA-168 north, turn left onto Auberry road which is one mile past Prather. Follow the road through Auberry town, where you should pick up any supplies if you need them. Follow Auberry Road for three miles before turning left onto Powerhouse Road and then left again onto Smalley Road. It is important to remember that weather and driving conditions can change quite quickly due to Montana’s unpredictable weather. Always ensure you drive carefully and check the relevant reports. These are updated regularly in the winter but during the summer, regular Montana driving conditions are to be expected. However, in some areas, there is always a need to be extra cautious as there may be a risk of falling rocks.
You will have enough space at your campsite to park your vehicle. There is also a paved parking area at the entrance of the camp, as well as parking lots located throughout the San Joaquin River Gorge Management Area.
There is no public transport that goes directly to this campground.
Camping at Yeh-Gub-Weh-Tuh is on a first come first served basis, with no reservations in advance being accepted. The campground consists of six campsites, each of which is equipped with a picnic table and fire pit and two of these are ADA accessible. There is a maximum of eight people per site, but there are double and triple campsites available.
The campground has no electric hook-ups, but there are vault toilets, trash receptacles and there is a potable water source. Pets are permitted at the site, but they should be on a leash and under control at all times.
This is the BLM- maintained group site in the San Joaquin River Gorge Management Area. It is ideal for a celebration or a recreational event, with two walk-in sites that can accommodate up to 300 people. The parking lot is also perfect for RVs and trailers. There are portable toilets, drinking water, and garbage cans, but there is no electrical hook up here. This campsite also includes a day-use picnic area.
If you would like to camp with your horse, the Squaw Leap Horse Camp is the right ground for you. With primitive camping in beautiful surroundings, the Equestrian Campground could be the perfect base for your saddleback adventure. It has drinking water, garbage and a portable toilet for campers as well as a four-stall corral area for your horse. Plus, it is always a great opportunity to meet like-minded horsey folks.
With more than 22 miles of hiking trails in the area and such breathtakingly beautiful scenery, a trip to Yeh-Gub-Weh-Tuh would not be complete without a hike around the area. The Pa’san Ridge trail on the Madera side is particularly popular and this six-mile loop trail through the uplands is the perfect opportunity to marvel at the abundant flora in the area.
There are often organized nature hikes around the San Joaquin River Gorge Recreation Area, with the chance to experience the untouched wilderness with a local expert.
There are many interpretive programs in the area, with opportunities for children from K-12. The educational programs aim to inspire young people to reconnect with nature. The San Joaquin River Gorge area is also a ‘Hands on the Land’ and a ‘Project Archaeology’ site.
The Nuckahee Learning Centre includes the visitor center, an outdoor classroom, archaeological dig site, a Native American village, a natural pond, springs, and acorn processing. There are also Native American cultural and educational programs, which provide the opportunity to learn about the history of the land and the ancestry of our country.
Just south of Yosemite, near to Skaver Lake, you can find a six mile section of white-water is class III and IV. There are also class 1 rapids near Friant, with heart-stopping drops and tons of excitement. This is certainly not for beginners but there are also several other sections of the river that are popular for rafting and floating. If you are planning on getting out onto the water, check out the necessary safety information and current warnings or restrictions.
The Yeh-Gub-Weh-Tuh and the surrounding San Joaquin River Gorge is the ideal spot for exploring from the saddle. There is a choice of equestrian trails in the area, but these are shared with hikers and cyclists, and they can get busy at the weekend.
There is also an equestrian campground nearby, which is ideal for your horsey vacation. However, the corrals here are popular, and you may wish to phone ahead to check for availability.
If you enjoy bird watching, both bald eagles and golden eagles have been spotted here, as well as California quail, band-tailed pigeons, waterfowl and mourning dove. However, with more than 300 species of plants and animals, the Pipestone Trailhead is a great location for spotting all manner of wildlife around every corner.
With California mule deer, Audubon cottontail rabbits, lots of grey squirrels, cougars, coyotes, and bobcats in the area. As always, do not approach wild animals and be cautious at all times.
Fishing is excellent in the San Joaquin River, with brook, rainbow, golden and brown trout. The higher you go, the better the fishing- so taking your rod on a hike might be a great way to ensure that you land a big one.
The Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River is popular for those who enjoy fly fishing. Alternately, if you are planning fishing at the Millerton Lake, it is best to visit here in the spring and early summer; with the chance to catch lots of catfish and striped bass at this time.