Project Description | History | Environment | Recreation | Maps | Information Sheets


The Project Maps

Hydroelectric Projects in the Upper Basin of the American River Map (PDF 1.2mg)

The Step by Step Project Map (PDF 120k)

  1. Rubicon Main DamThe project starts high in the Sierra Nevada, in the Rubicon River drainage, at an elevation of about 6,500 feet. Water is diverted from the Rubicon River into Rubicon Reservoir, then transferred via tunnel to Rockbound Lake. Rockbound Lake naturally flows into Buck Island Reservoir, from which it is released, via tunnel, into Loon Lake Reservoir. Loon Lake water travels 1,200 feet straight down to the underground Loon Lake Powerhouse (82 MW).

  2. Penstock Water discharged from Loon Lake Powerhouse is conveyed via a 3.8-mile-long tunnel to Gerle Creek Reservoir. Water is diverted from Gerle Creek Reservoir, via Gerle Canal, to Robbs Peak Reservoir, located on the South Fork Rubicon River.

  3. From Robbs Peak Reservoir, water is conveyed to Robbs Peak Powerhouse (29 MW), located on the Union Valley Reservoir shoreline. From Robbs Peak Powerhouse, water enters Union Valley Reservoir, located on Silver Creek. Ice House Reservoir diverts water from the South Fork Silver Creek to Jones Fork Powerhouse (11.5 MW), also located on the Union Valley Reservoir shoreline.

  4. Camino Dam Water is released from Union Valley Reservoir through Union Valley Powerhouse (46.7 MW) into Junction Reservoir. From Junction Reservoir, water travels through the Jaybird Tunnel to the Jaybird Powerhouse (144 MW). Water then enters the Camino Reservoir, and is diverted to the Camino Powerhouse, with supplemental water added to the conveyance tunnel from Brush Creek Reservoir.

  5. Water exiting the Camino Powerhouse (150 MW) is discharged into the South Fork American River, just upstream of Slab Creek Reservoir. At the base of Slab Creek Dam is a small generator used to produce power (0.4 MW) from the water released for minimum instream flows. 

    White Rock Substation Water diverted from Slab Creek Reservoir is conveyed to the final and largest powerhouse – White Rock (224 MW). At about 1,000 feet in elevation, the White Rock Powerhouse discharges into the South Fork American River just upstream of Chili Bar Reservoir, part of the Chili Bar Hydroelectric Project, owned and operated by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

The Crystal Basin Recreational Area 

The Crystal Basin Recreational Area Map (PDF 80k)

USFS Dispersed Recreation Zones (PDF 4.8mg)

Crystal Basin Information CenterThe Eldorado National Forest Crystal Basin Recreation Area spans 85,000 acres of pine and fir forests along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. Capped by the majestic, granite peaks of the Crystal Range and traversed by lakes, reservoirs and streams, the Crystal Basin’s four seasons and varied terrain offer a diverse range of outdoor adventure.

The three UARP storage reservoirs – Union Valley, Ice House and Loon Lake – and their associated recreation facilities serve as a focal point for the recreation area. These recreation facilities help meet the regional public demand for high quality outdoor experiences and have been planned and located in a manner to protect the long-term integrity of the forest’s natural resources.Loon Lake Chalet in Winter

Facilities include more than 700 campsites (including group, boat or hike-in, and equestrian), fishing piers, paved bicycle trails, sanitation stations for recreational vehicles, a cross-country ski chalet, and two information stations. As part of a cooperative venture with the Forest Service, SMUD built most of these facilities and contributes funds annually to the Forest Service for facility operation and maintenance. In addition to the cooperative venture between SMUD and the Forest Service, other agencies and community-based organizations have made significant contributions.

Detailed Maps of the Upper American River Project

The following maps are topographical maps that include detailed legends of SMUD water conveyance facilities, SMUD project boundaries, land ownership, and roads.

  • Upper American River Project Northeast Area (PDF 2.3mg)

  • Upper American River Project Southeast Area (PDF 2.8mg) 

  • Upper American River Project Southwest Area (PDF 2.8mg)

  • Upper American River Project Combined Areas (PDF 7.2mg)

  • Upper American River Project All Maps  (PDF 15mg)

  • UARP Northeast Area UARP Southeast Area UARP Southwest Area Upper American River Project Combined Area Map

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