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Mokelumne River

Best riverside camping at Mokelumne River. Many miles off Hwy 88 - Mokelumne Campground

Guide to California: El Dorado Forest

El Dorado National Forest

Dirt roads! Caldor Road near Grizzly Flat

dorado map

Designated wildernesswithin the forest:

Wilderness Area Acres
Desolation 63,475
Good camping in forests near rivers and within the historic Gold Mining Country of California. River and creekside campgrounds are plentiful. Free camping, or dispersed camping, is abundant on the lower elevation back roads in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Gold Country Camping Maps
Dogtown Creek Falls
Falls on Dogtown Creek

nearby towns:

Auburn CA
Georgetown CA
Jackson CA
Markleeville CA
Placerville CA
OHV eldorado

El Dorado Backpacking

  • fire permits are required
  • permits are required for overnight back country camping
  • check with the correct ranger district for all back country camping restrictions

El Dorado Ranger Stations:

Forest Headquarters
Amador District
Pioneer, CA
Georgetown District
Georgetown, CA
Pacific District
Pollock Pines
Placerville District
Camino, CA
El Dorado Forest
government web site

Trail head parking spots located at:
 camp  sites  elev.  veg  toilet  water  contact  fee
Upper Hell Hole  15  5200  pines  vault  none Georgetown Distr.
 $ 0
[ upper end of Hell Hole Reservoir, best fishing in area]
Accessible by boat or trail only
Foresthill 36 mi. east via Mosquito Ridge & French Meadows Rd. to south end of French Meadows Reservoir, turn on Forest Service Rd #48, gravel road & go 12 mi. to the campground. Trail is located a mile beyond boat launch.
open May- October


El Dorado Backroads

Foresthill CA: Forest Service Rd #48 = 36 mi. east via Mosquito Ridge & French Meadows Rd. to south end of French Meadows Reservoir, turn on Forest Service Rd #48, gravel road & go 12 mi. to the campground. Plenty of good dirt roads in the area. Some route will require 4x4 vehicle.

el dorado camping El Dorado Campgrounds

el dorado camping El Dorado Primitive Camping

ElDorado boasts the best of both worlds. Awesome, small, lesser-known campgrounds and limitless dispersed camp sites. Find your own private river retreat - well away from the crowds. Two narrow Sierra highways wind thru the mountains - Highway 4 and Highway 88 - pick one and then start to explore. Secluded fishing, RV campgrounds, recreational lakes, creekside free camping.

If you are tired of crowded family campgrounds, then get yourself a free camp fire permit, area map & get out to explore these ElDorado backroads. You will find secluded riverside camps, plenty of tall shady pine trees & maybne even an old mine. But please respect the private property signs, or you may end up with a shotgun blast warning.

California Rivers

El Dorado Lakes

off hwy. 50 off hwy. 88

Jenkinson Lake

3500' elevation
Sly Park Lake, also known as Jenkinson Lake, has a whopping 185 campsites around lake. Summer can be busy. Good trout fishing and water skiing. Horse corrals camps are available. To stay out of the large campground, keep to the nearby backroads. for all kinds of primitive camping options. Just make sure you have your free ranger issued fire permit .

El Dorado Waterfalls

Handicap Lake Camping
Handicap camp sites at Blue Lakes Campground, California

Total Escape California Camping


California Weekends

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