El Dorado Camping

Primitive Camping in El Dorado County

Camping Rivers

More & more people are venturing off the beaten touristy path of Gold Country. Getting outta the developed campgrounds to discover the joys of dispersed back woods camping is a new adventure, not to be taken lightly.

With truck or SUV ownership come some great rewards! Order a good map & go find some dirt roads. Waterfalls, dense forests, secluded creekside camp sites & more await you. Obtaining a camp fire permit is mandatory for this style of camping. Campfires are often banned in California, due to extreme wildfire danger. Since the gold mining foothills are usually oak and dry grass, with large steep river canyons, extra caution should be given. Always know the fire conditions before you build a campfire. Caldor Camping

Discover the hidden back roads: like Caldor Road off of Grizzly Flat Rd. – up above Placerville CA

Hey, now this is what we’re talking about. Plenty great dispersed camping down by the Cosumnes River & Consumnes Mine Rd. There are hundreds of miles of small roads to discover back behind this historic mining area. Rivers, waterfalls & decent fishing too. Make sure you clean up some litter. This is the only price you pay for the beauty, serenity, peace & quiet & no neighbor campers next to you.

Out exploring these parts, you may run into a dead end road that peters out at some Private Property, which is usually signed & fenced. Make nice with the old crazy miner dude & turn your ass around politely, everything will be okay as soon as you are not within gun shot of him. Yes, there still are plenty of small time mining experts tucked away back here in the hills.

river camping
Premium and secluded river side camp sites in El Dorado National Forest

Plenty creeks and rivers run throughout this central Sierra region, so you can fish all day – until your hearts desire. River rafting and river kayaking opportunities are also great reasons to get wet.

Several mountain reservoirs around offer camping and boating too. Eldorado lakes are listed below.


  • Caples Lake @ Carson Pass
  • Ice House Reservoir
  • Jenkinson Lake – US Hwy 50
  • Kirkwood Lake
  • Lower Bear River Res. – South Shore Campground
  • Salt Springs Reservoir
  • Silver Lake @ Carson Pass
  • Union Valley Reservoir
  • nearby towns –

    El Dorado Forest Maps –

    Tahoe Lake Map

    Tahoe Maps: trail maps

    lake camp, hike, mountain bike, off-road, ski, snowmobile

    Tahoe Trail Maps / Tahoe National Forest

    tahoe hiking maps

    Numerous State Parks dot the shoreline at Tahoe, while the National Forest lands and Wilderness Areas span most of the peaks above. Camping, backpacking, boating, kayaking, fishing, climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking, snow skiing, snowmobiling are all popular recreation in this Sierra region. US Highway 50 and Interstate 80 are the main western access routes to Lake Tahoe. US Hwy 395 leads to Tahoe, up from the Eastern Sierra and Southern California.

    Wanna find every waterfall or every creek to fish? This is the place that will help you find them. Easily, with good old fashion printed maps. Hard copies, some waterproof & tear resistant, most with topographical data and all roads, trails, campgrounds and parks. Whether or not you water ski or cross country ski, these maps will save your ass – when you are way back there in the boonies.

    Tahoe’s Rubicon Trail connects the historic Gold Country to the alpine lake via granite wilderness sky ways above 7000′ elevation, but a real 4×4 and overnights are required. The back roads and trails are endless in these parts of the Central Sierra Nevada mountains.tahoe maps

    keep tahoe blue

    Nearby attractions surrounding Lake Tahoe –

    Tahoe National Forest
    Tahoe Rim Trail
    Rubicon 4×4 Trail
    Lakes Basin Recreation Area
    Sierra Buttes
    Desolation Wilderness
    Grover Hot Springs
    Blue Lakes
    Hope Valley

    cabin rentals

    Tahoe Camping

    Lake Tahoe Campgrounds

    tahoe camping

    Lake Tahoe California
    Lake Tahoe campgrounds – located right near the lake. Most of which accept campground reservations in advance online. blue links lead to camp reservation services.

    campground elev spots veg toilet water notes
    Bayview Campground 6000′ 10 pines vault Emerald Bay, SLT
    Camp Richardson Tahoe 6500′ 330 pines flush piped South Lake Tahoe
    Campground by the Lake 6000′ 157 pines flush piped South Lake Tahoe
    D.L. Bliss State Park 6000′ 168 pines flush piped Westshore, Lake Tahoe
    Eagle Point Tahoe 6100′ 100 pines flush piped California State Park
    Emerald Bay State Park 6000′ 16 pines flush piped South Lake Tahoe CA
    Fallen Leaf Lake Campground 6737′ 205 pines flush piped South Lake Tahoe CA
    General Creek Campground 6000′ 175 pines flush piped Westshore, Lake Tahoe
    Kaspian Campground 5800′ 20 pines flush piped Westshore, Homewood CA
    Lake Forest Campground 6300′ 21 pines flush piped Northshore, Tahoe Vista CA
    Meeks Bay Campground 6000′ 17 pines flush piped Westshore, Tahoma CA
    Mount Rose Campground 8500′ 24 pines flush piped in Nevada @ Tahoe
    Nevada Beach Campground 6200′ 54 pines flush piped Nevada Lake Tahoe
    Pope Beach Campground 6000′ 49 pines flush piped South Lake Tahoe CA
    Sandy Beach Campground 6300′ 44 pines flush piped Northshore, Tahoe Vista CA
    Silver Creek Campground 5800′ 26 pines vault piped Truckee River fishing
    Sugar Pine Point SP 6200′ 30 pines flush piped Westshore, Tahoma CA
    Tahoe Pines Campground 6000′ 49 pines flush piped Meyers California
    Tahoe Valley Campground 6000′ 413 pines flush piped South Lake Tahoe CA
    Tahoe Campground SRA 6200′ 16 pines flush piped West shore, Tahoe City
    William Kent State Park 6300′ 95 pines flush piped Westshore, Tahoe City
    Zephyr Cove Campground 6200′ 170 pines flush piped boat rentals Tahoe NV

    All Tahoe Campgrounds charge a fee; Many require advanced reservations. Nightly rates vary per park. Most campgrounds are closed during the winter due to snow. Check with the ranger districts listed here.


    camp RV camps NFS hikes fishing mountain biking camps river fishing

    Tahoe National Forest encompasses a large region of the Sierra Nevada mountains surrounding the north portion of Lake Tahoe. American River, Yuba River, Northern Gold Country; Plus many small lakes with excellent forests, including Lakes Basin Recreation Area.

    Below are Tahoe Campgrounds located away from the Lake Tahoe Basin; Most small camps are on a first come, first serve basis. blue links lead to camp reservation services.

    campground elev. spots veg toilet water notes
    Ahart Campground 5300′ 12 pines vault American River
    Alpine Meadows 5900′ 25 pines vault Martis Creek
    Bear Valley Campground 6600 10 pines vault piped OHV trails, Sierraville
    Berger Campground 5900 7 pines vault lake Packer Lake, fishing
    Big Reservoir Campground 4000 18 pines vault piped non motor lake, Foresthill
    Boca Campground 5605′ 26 pines vault boat launch
    Boca Rest Campground 5605′ 25 pines vault piped on Boca Reservoir
    Boca Spring Campground 5800′ 17 pines vault piped horses
    Bowman Lake 5585 7 pines vault lake Donner area
    Boyington Mill Campground 5680′ 12 pines vault Boca Reservoir
    Cal-Ida Campground 2000′ 21 pines vault piped Yuba River, Downieville
    Canyon Creek Campground 6000′ 20 pines vault creek Donner area
    Carlton Flat Campground 2200′ 21 pines vault piped Yuba River, Downieville
    Carr Lake Campground 5900′ 5 pines vault lake Carr Feeley Lake
    Chapman Creek Campground 6000′ 29 pines vault piped Yuba River
    Chute Hill Campground 3400′ 30 pines flush piped Malakoff Diggins SP
    Cold Creek Campground 5800′ 13 pines vault piped Sierraville
    Cottonwood Campground 5600′ 24 pines vault piped Sierraville
    Dark Day Campground 2200′ 16 oaks vault piped Bullards Bar Reservoir
    Diablo Campground 5800′ 20 pines vault  Yuba River
    Donner State Park Campground 5850′ 154 pines flush Donner Lake
    East Meadow Campground 6100′ 46 pines flush piped Jackson Meadows Reservoir
    Fiddle Creek Campground 2200′ 15 oaks vault piped Yuba River, Downieville
    Findley Campground 6100′ 14 pines flush piped Jackson Mdws Res
    Fir Top Campground 6100′ 12 pines vault flush Jackson Mdws Res
    French Meadows Campground 5300′ 75 pines vault flush French Meadows Reservoir
    Garden Point Campground 2000′ 19 variety vault fishing boats
    Giant Gap Campground 3700′ 30 pines vault fishing boats
    Goose Meadow Campground 5800′ 24 pines vault piped fish Donner
    Grouse Ridge Campground 7400′ 9 pines vault Bowman Lake
    Hampshire Rocks Campground 5800′ 31 pines vault piped fishing camp
    Independence Lake Campground 6900′ 20 pines vault piped fishing, Sagehen Forest
    Indian Springs Campground 5600′ 35 pines vault piped fishing, Yuba River OHV
    Indian Valley Campground 2200′ 17 pines vault piped Yuba River, Downieville
    Jackson Creek Campground 5600′ 14 pines vault creek
    Jackson Point Campground 6100′ 8 vault boat access Jackson Mdws Res
    Lakeside Campground 5700′ 41 vault boat ramp Prosser Reservoir
    Lake Spaulding Campground 5000′ 24 vault boat ramp PG&E Campground
    Laiser Meadow Horse Camping 6200′ 11 vault piped High Sierra PCT access
    Lewis Campground 5300′ 40 pines flush piped French Meadows Reservoir
    Lindsey Lake Campground 5900′ 7 vault lake
    Lodgepole Camping 5800′ 18 vault Lake Valley Reservoir
    Loganville Campground 6000′ 29 vault piped Yuba River, Sierra City
    Logger Campground 6000′ 252 pines flush piped Stampede Reservoir
    Long Ravine Campground 2300′ 28 pines flush piped Rollins Reservoir
    Lower Little Truckee 6000′ 15 vault piped Truckee River fishing
    Madrone Cove Campground 2000′ 11 vault Bullards Bar Reservoir
    Meadow Lake Campground 7200′ 15 vault Sierra fishing camp
    Meadow Lake Shoreline 7200′ 10 vault High Sierra Nevada
    Mumford Bar Campground 5300′ 5 vault Foresthill Road
    North Fork Campground 4400′ 17 vault piped American River
    Onion Valley Campground 2300′ 5 oaks vault Sierra fishing camp
    Orchard Springs Campground 2300′ 15 oaks flush piped Rollins Reservoir, Colfax
    Pack Saddle Campground 6000′ 15 pines vault pump Packer Lake
    Parker Flat OHV Camping 3900′ 7 pines vault off roading trails
    Pass Creek Campground 6100′ 30 pines flush piped Jackson Mdws Res
    Peninsula Campground 2300′ 58 pines flush piped Rollins Reservoir
    Pine Aire Campground 2700′ 75 pines flush piped South Yuba River Camp
    Poppy Campground 5300′ 12 pines vault French Meadows Reservoir
    Prosser Campground 5800′ 29 pines vault Prosser Res.
    Ramshorn Campground 2600′ 16 pines vault piped Yuba River, Downieville
    River Rest Campground 2700′ 105 pines flush piped South Yuba River Camp
    Robinson Flat Campground 6800′ 5 pines vault well
    Rocky Rest Campground 2300′ pines vault Yuba River, Downieville
    Rucker Campground 5800′ 10 pines vault Rucker Lake fishing
    Sagenhen Campground 6480′ 10 pines vault
    Salmon Creek Campground 5800′ 32 pines vault fishing Lakes Basin Recr
    Sardine Campground 5800′ 29 pines vault Sardine Lake fishing
    Schoolhouse Campground 2200′ 56 oaks flush piped Bullards Bar Reservoir
    Scott’s Flat Campground 3200′ 86 oaks flush piped Scotts Flat Reservoir
    Shirttail Creek Campground 3700′ 30 pines vault Sugar Pine Reservoir
    Sierra Campground 5600′ 16 pines vault Yuba River, Sierra City
    Silver Creek Campground 5800′ 27 pines vault Truckee River fishing
    Snag Lake Campground 6000′ 12 pines vault Gold Lake California
    South Yuba Campground 2700′ 16 pines vault South Yuba River Camp
    Sterling Lake Campground 6500′ 6 pines vault lake
    Talbot Campground 5600′ 5 pines vault American River
    Union Flat Campground 3400′ 11 pines vault piped Yuba River, Downieville
    Upper Little Truckee Camp 6100′ 26 pines vault Truckee River fishing
    Webber Lake Campground 6800′ 60 pines vault lake Sierra fishing
    White Cloud Campground 4200′ 46 pines flush piped biking, Nevada City
    White Rock Lake Camp 7800′ 8 pines none High Sierra Nevada
    Wild Plum Campground 4400′ 47 pines vault piped waterfalls, Sierra City
    Woodcamp Campground 6100′ 20 pines flush piped
    Woodchuck Campground 6300′ 8 pines vault creek
    Yuba Pass Campground 6700′ 12 pines vault piped Yuba Pass, Hwy 49

    towns surrounding Lake Tahoe

    towns in the Tahoe region

    Tahoe Views

    Tahoe Maps

    Lake Tahoe Maps

    Tahoe Trail Maps / Tahoe National Forest

    tahoe hiking maps

    keep tahoe blue

    towns around Lake Tahoe –

    Hope Valley
    South Lake Tahoe
    Squaw Valley
    Tahoe City
    Tahoe Vista

    hope valley

    Grover Hot Springs

    Grover Drive

    Grover Hot Springs Park

    California State Park
    Sierra Hot Spring Camping Resort
    open all year

    California State Park RV Winter Camping State Park Winter Camping Hot Springs XC Ski Winter Camping Tahoe Ski Camping Tahoe Snow Camping

    Meadow Entrance

    South of Lake Tahoe, hidden in a forest meadow near the small town of Markleeville, sits this super scenic, year-round camping resort in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Popular place for senior travelers, RV campers, families, snow skiers, and tourists.

    No lodging available, no cabins. Only Campground Camping – Reservations are recommended. This is a popular destination for the Eastern Sierra Tahoe region. May thru September are peak season. During mid-winter a portion of the campsites are closed and the remainder may be on a first come, first serve basis. State Park is located 4 miles west of Markleeville, at the end of Hot Springs Road.

    hot springs
    cross country skiing

    RV Camping

    grover springs in the sierra

    Camping and Day Use

    Pool Information

    California State Park
    California State Park

    Piped water, flush toilets, showers, this is luxury camping by State Park standards. Hiking, fishing, stargazing. Quite an ideal spot, especially if you visit during a slow time. Surrounded by mountains that top 10,000′ elevation, expect to see some snow in the winter months.

    SwimSuits Required

    The hot pool resort is open to the public for day soaking w/ a fee. Wheelchair accessible areas. The pool hours tend to fluctuate with the seasons, so be prepared for anything. Even a snow storm!

    Grover Hot Spring Campground

    • Elevation: 5800′
    • Number of Sites: 75
    • Vehicle Access: RV 27′ max
    • Campsites Reservation: Yes
    • Camp Fee: Yes
    • Length of Stay: 10 Days
    • Season: Open all year
    • Trailheads: Carson River

    GROVER HOT SPRINGS SP Winter Camping Hot Springs


    pool hours

    hot pools

    meadow views