Fresno Building Healthy Communities supports access to clean, safe parks and outdoor green space and recreational opportunities for everyone! However, for most Fresnans, access to quality outdoor space is few and far between.


That’s why it’s important to protect our most precious assets including places like the San Joaquin River Gorge and other public lands that the community is known to enjoy.

Nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of Fresno lies the beautiful San Joaquin River Gorge.


This scenic treasure connects with the 330-mile San Joaquin River, the second longest river in California. The Gorge is full of remarkable cultural, recreational, and natural wonders. This outstanding low-elevation Sierra Nevada river system offers a unique experience for nearby residents and visitors from surrounding areas.

The Gorge provides critical access to healthy regional recreational opportunities and fuels America’s outdoor recreation-based economy while promoting public health. The San Joaquin River Gorge is a rare jewel.


In 2014, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recommended this river segment for addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.


More than 85,000 people visit the San Joaquin River Gorge each year to enjoy its outstanding scenery, use its extensive trail system, paddle the river’s class III-V rapids, and camp in public campgrounds.  

Hiking & Biking

The San Joaquin River Gorge includes several trails for individuals and groups to enjoy a scenic and fun hiking experience including the six-mile loop Pa’san (pine nut) Ridge Trail, and the four-mile Wuh-ki’o Trail. 

Whitewater Rafting and Floating

The San Joaquin River includes class III and IV sections for whitewater rafting like the Redinger Dam to Kerckhoff Reservoir. The river also has plenty of places perfect for floating and paddling.


No doubt you’ll find plenty of trout if you’re fishing in the San Joaquin River. There are plenty of great spots to hook a brook, rainbow, or brown trout. 


The Gorge has something for everyone to enjoy including walk-in campgrounds like the Aholul Group, Yeh-Gub Weh-Tuh Trailhead, Horse Camp and Smalley Cove along with the San Joaquin River Gorge Nuckahee Learning Center.

  • Public lands help drive the economy and create jobs! National parks and other public lands and waters drive billions in economic output and create thousands of jobs annually.

  • Outdoor recreation drives consumer spending and increases federal, state and local tax revenue.

  • Property values near parks and protected areas are 20% higher than properties elsewhere.

  • Parks and public lands provide children and families the opportunity to live healthy and active lives through physical activities like hiking, biking, fishing and more.

  • Talk to your friends and neighbors about the need to protect public lands. Encourage friends to take a trip to the outdoors and enjoy a hike to see it for themselves.

  • Contact your Congressmember and tell them why public lands are essential for your community and ask them to support conservation programs. Find your congressmember at:

  • Spread the word through social media using hashtags like #ProtectTheGorge and #Parks4All

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Fresno Building Healthy Communities is a coalition of community and faith-based organizations, residents and young people working to create #OneHealthyFresno, where all children and families can live healthy, safe, and productive lives. 

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© 2020 by Fresno Building Healthy Communities