Outdoor Activities in Sacramento, California

At the foundation of Sacramento’s sports identity are ideal settings and establishments for various recreational activities. Welcome to Sacramento, where made-to-order weather, an active community and all levels of competition combine for an amazing recreational environment!

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Water & Land Activities

Sacramento sits at the confluence of two major rivers, which provide a natural playground for jet skis, ski boats, patio boats, and houseboats. The conditions on the Sacramento River are glassy and safe for perfect wake boarding or water-skiing, and the unique Delta region turns ordinary house boating into an opportunity for exploration. At Folsom Lake, fishing is perhaps the most popular activity. Catches include trout, catfish, large and small mouth bass, perch and kokanee. Bottom fishermen have even been known to catch sturgeon.

Up the American River you’ll find some of the top white-water rafting conditions imaginable. Varying levels of difficulty are available, starting with the North Fork where giant boulders and a steep, narrow riverbed create four miles of intense Class IV+ rapids. The Middle Fork is a deep and rugged canyon with numerous Class III and some technical Class IV rapids perfect for eager first-timers and active athletic individuals to conquer. The South Fork has something for everyone. It is the most popular introductory whitewater river in the western United States, yet it also satisfies experienced rafters with numerous Class III rapids.

Make a camping trip out of your adventure at one of the many campgrounds or RV parks.

Golfers know that the place to really get your heart racing is at a challenging course! The Sacramento area experienced a growth spurt of thirty new golf courses in the past ten years, bringing the regional total to over 100 courses. The selection is impressive, from Ancil Hoffman being listed as one of Golf Digest’s 75 Top Public Courses to The Ridge as designed by legendary Robert Trent Jones II. Whether you favor “links-style” courses with gently rolling, driver-friendly fairways or challenging obstacle like lakes and oak trees, you’ll find the perfect course for a fun day in Sacramento.

Track and Field, Youth Sports & Various Events

Sacramento is quickly becoming the nation’s track and field capital. In 2010 Sacramento hosted the USA Track & Field Jr. Olympics and in 2011 we hosted the World Masters Track & Field Championships which brought 5,000 international athletes to Sacramento. In 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007 the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Track & Field Championships were in Sacramento to enjoy the great crowds, track facility and weather. Having these events in Sacramento can be attributed to the highly successful 2000 and 2004 Olympic Track and Field Team Trials with record-breaking attendance, one world record, five U.S. records and 10 meet records. Sacramento’s reputation as a top destination for facilities and fans is pure gold. In 2005 Sacramento’s Raley Field was host site of the 18th annual Triple-A All-Star Game, a result that can directly be attributed to the success of the Sacramento River Cats organization.

Sacramento has also earned a reputation as a capital for women and youth sports. In 2007 Sacramento hosted the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Volleyball Championships and each year in youth basketball, the NorCal Division I finals come to Sacramento on their way to the CIF State Basketball Championships. Various sporting events also call Sacramento home. Speed is of the essence at the California International Marathon held each December. Watch some of the best runners in the world conquer this very fast course from Folsom to the State Capitol. In 2008 the 13th International Va’a Outrigger Canoe World Championships took place on Lake Natoma. Lake Natoma was also the site for the 2010 and 2011 NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships as it was in 2004, 2005 and 2008. Sacramento is also the “Fourth Best American City for Runners” with the 32-mile American River Parkway spanning 5000-acres of “oak trees, whitewater rapids, massive boulders, shaded bridges, and abundant wildlife.”(Runner’s World Magazine) Hit the ground running and see for yourself what Sacramentans have loved for years.

Sacramento was also the start city for the 2009 Amgen Tour of California that lured Lance Armstrong out of retirement. Thousands of cycle enthusiasts lined the route to witness this historic event. Sacramento was a Stage 2 finish in the 2011 Amgen Tour.

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