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Camping in Placer County

In the nation’s top 20 National Forests for recreation, the Tahoe Forest provides outdoor activities year round.

During spring, summer, or fall, both the National Forest and the California State Parks offer hiking, camping, picnicking, boating, horseback-riding, hunting, fishing or sightseeing. In the winter months, the High Sierra terrain accommodates many alpine and Nordic skiers, along with snowmobile and snow play enthusiasts.

Camping & picnicking opportunities in a variety of settings are abundant – from high country backpacking to lake or riverside campgrounds, picnic areas, & RV parks. Camping backpacker-style with no constructed facilities, as in the Granite Chief Wilderness area, allows one to really “get away from it all” and explore the varieties of flora and fauna in our National Forest. For those who need to stay a little closer to home, camping in one of the designated campgrounds with assorted facilities such as bathrooms, running water, fire pits, picnic tables and bear-resistant storage lockers is a great option.

There are also boat-in campgrounds, such as Lake Clementine Boat-In Campground in the Auburn State Recreation Area. Some are equipped as developed campgrounds, and others in the wilderness style. Some undeveloped areas accommodate overnight equestrian use, and all campgrounds welcome pets that are kept quiet and under control. Most developed campgrounds are now equipped for wheelchair accessibility. All sites are appropriate for tent camping and a good number can also accommodate RV’s. The Tahoe National Forest is in the process of installing bear-resistant lockers at all the most popular campsites.

Day use areas, often adjacent to campgrounds, offer picnic sites, and in some locations, interpretive and nature trails or historical sites.

For more detailed information on specific camping sites, or on camping in general, please visit our Campgrounds listed below: (for specific RV parks, check under "Places to Stay.")

Auburn Area

Auburn Gold Country RV Park

3550 KOA Way
Auburn, CA
530 885-0990

  • Hwy 49 North, Rt turn on Rock Creek Rd
  • Elevation: 1,250'
  • 15 camp sites, 64 RV/trailer sites
  • Amenities: potable water, electricity, tables, benches, stoves/BBQ; restrooms, refuse containers; dump station; showers; swimming pool
  • Open all year, fees charged. Reservations accepted.

Auburn State Recreation Area

Lake Clementine Boat-In- Camp

Lake Clementine Road
Auburn, CA
530 885-4527
Reservations: 1-800-444-7275

  • From Auburn take Foresthill Rd to Lake Clementine Rd (left) to the Lake
  • 20 primitive boat-in campsites with pit toilets; no drinking water is available
  • Pack-It-In – Pack-It-Out. No dogs. Reservations Required.

Ruck-A-Chucky Bar Campground

Off Drivers Flat Road
Auburn, CA
530 885-4527

  • From Auburn, take Foresthill Rd to Drivers Flat Rd (right) to American River.
  • 5 designated primitive sites on the Placer County side of the Middle Fork of the American River.
  • Pack-It-In – Pack-It-Out. Chemical toilets, no drinking water available, no reservations.

Mineral Bar Campground

Iowa Hill Road
Colfax, CA
530 885-4527

  • From I-80 take Canyon Way at Placer Hills exit then take the Iowa Hill Rd to the North Fork of the American River.
  • 17 designated sites
  • Pack-It-In – Pack-It-Out. Tables, firepits, toilets, no drinking water is available. No reservations.

American River Permit Camping

530 885-4527

  • Permit Required
  • Permits must be obtained from Auburn State Recreation Area Office on Hwy 49 (El Dorado St) in the American River Canyon.
  • Hike in only. Pack-It-In – Pack-It- Out.

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

Beals Point Campground

Folsom-Auburn Road
Granite Bay, CA
916 988-0205

  • Located just north of Folsom Dam
  • 69 family campsites that will accommodate trailers and motor homes up to 31 feet long
  • Hookups not provided in individual campsites, but there is a trailer dump station; Piped drinking water and wheelchair accessible rest rooms with showers are available

Peninsula Campground

Rattlesnake Bar Road
Pilot Hill, CA
916 988-0205 

  • This secluded campground is located near the end of the peninsula between the north and south forks of the American River, on Folsom Lake. You can reach the area by boat or you can drive in ten miles from Pilot Hill on Highway 49 to Rattlesnake Bar Road.
  • 100 family campsites that will accommodate trailers up to 18 feet in length and motor homes up to 24 feet
  • Hookups are not provided at the individual campsites, but there is a sanitary dump station. Flush toilets and piped drinking water are available. Tables/benches, stoves/BBQs.
  • 2 launch ramps and a day-use area near the campground. You can also camp ashore with your boat at Peninsula campground in a designated campsite
  • You will be required to beach the bow of your boat and anchor off the stern. A secure tie-up is essential as the wind often rises during the night.

Lincoln & Wheatland Area

Camp Far West - South Shore

9300 McCourtney Road
Lincoln, CA
916 408-5037

Camp Far West - North Shore

8176 Camp Far West Road
Wheatland, CA
530 633-0803
  • Camp Far West Lake is a 2,002 surface-acre lake with 29 miles of shoreline, rolling hills and many oak trees.
  • The South Shore in Lincoln is open mid-May til September; the North Shore in Wheatland is open year- round.
  • Facilities include 2 launch ramps, 2 mini marts, and campsites with picnic tables, barbecues and full hook-ups along with a lot of open area campsites.
  • Piped drinking water and wheelchair accessible restrooms and some vault toilets.
  • Activities include swimming, fishing, boating, water skiing, jetskiing, trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding.

Rollins Lake - Colfax

Orchard Springs Resort Campground

Orchard Springs Road
Chicago Park, CA
530 346-2212

  • Off I-80, at Colfax, Take Highway 174 to Chicago Park and Orchard Springs Rd.
  • Full service campground with 91 sites. RV & tent sites; general store, marina, boat launch; fees charged.
  • Reservations advised.

Long Ravine Resort

26909 Rollins Lake Road
Colfax, CA
530 346-6166

  • Elevation: 2,100'
  • From I-80 take Colfax exit to Highway 174; then to Rollins Lake Rd.
  • 102 sites including some RV/trailer sites with water and power.  Store, boat launch, marina, restaurant, showers, dump station.
  • Fees charged.  Reservations advised.

Greenhorn Park Campground

Greenhorn Road
Grass Valley, CA
530 272-6100

  • Take Highway 174 to Chicago Park and Orchard Springs Rd.
  • Full service campground with 91 sites.
  • General store, marina, boat launch.
  • Fees charged. Reservations advised.

Peninsula Camping & Boating Resort

21597 You Bet Road
Grass Valley, CA
530 477-9413

  • Highway 174 to You Bet Road exit, travel 8 miles to camp.
  • 78 campsites;
  • Dump station, store, marina, and boat rentals; camping cabins available, day use areas and family activities.
  • Open mid-April thru mid Sept (call first).

Camping Near Colfax

Bear River Park Campground

2500 Campground Road
Colfax, CA
530 886-4901

  • Take I-80 to Canyon Way (exit 133); left at Canyon Way, left toward & onto S. Auburn St, take 1st rt onto Placer Hills Rd, 3rd rt onto Plumtree Rd, stay left.
  • 25 sites, no hookups, no drinking water, tenting, vault toilets;
  • Activities include river swimming, hiking, fishing; pets allowed;
  • No reservations.

Sons of Norway (Camp Norge) Campground

250 Canyon Mine Road
Alta, CA
530 389-2508

  • Tent Camping; Cabins; RVs; Dormitory-Style Rooms; Meeting House; 2 Commercial Kitchens (Placer County Health Dept Licensed & Certified;
  • Campground for groups and/or individuals;
  • Need not be member of the organization;
  • Open year 'round. 

Camping Further Up into the Sierra Nevada

Cisco Grove Campground & RV Park

48415 Hampshire Rocks Road (Cisco Grove Exit off Hwy 80)
Cisco Grove, CA
530 426-1600

  • 406 Campsites;can accommodate any sized group; Club/Meeting Room; Family Pavilion;
  • Convenience Store; Laundry; Other Lodging; Internet Access; Propane; River; Sewer Hookups; other amenities.
  • Bring your OHV or snow mobiles, depending on the season, and ride in the Tahoe Forest.

PG&E-Operated Camping, Picnic, Recreation Areas in the Sierra Nevada

Lodgepole Campground

Six Mile Valley Road
Yuba Gap, CA
916 386-5164

  • Elevation: 5,800 ft.
  • Yuba Gap exit off I-80, 0.4 mi.turn rt toward Lake Valley Reservoir & go 2.7 mi. to camp.
  • 35 camp units,handicapped accessible sites
  • fishing, boating w/ 15mph speed limit, boat ramp.

Kidd Lake

  • Elevation 6,650 ft.
  • Directions: Take Soda Springs exit off I-80, go east 0.3 mile. Turn south on Soda Springs Road for 0.8 mile to Pahatsi Road. Turn west to end of pavement 0.3 mile. Continue approx 2 miles, (unpaved), turn left to camp.
  • Group campground accommodates up to 100 persons (fee).
  • Call PG&E at 916-386-5164 for reservations.
  • Fishing, swimming, boating 10 mph speed limit, no boat launch facility.

Emigrant Gap

North Fork Campground

Texas Hill Road
Emigrant Gap, CA
877 444-6777

  • Elevation 4,400 ft
  • From Hwy 80 going West, Exit 158B Laing Rd; from Hwy 80 going East, Exit 158, Emigrant Gap Rd. Turn South on Emigrant Gap Rd for 7/10ths of a mile. At that point, Emigrant Gap Road turns into Texas Hill Road, follow the road for approximately 6 miles.
  • The campground is bordered by the North Fork of the American River. Shaded by cedar, pine, and fir tees, the site is a pleasant escape from urban life. There's a great swimming hole at the end of the campground.
  • Activities include fishing, hunting, OHV travel, hiking, and wood cutting.

Tunnel Mills Group Campground

Texas Hill Road
Emigrant Cap, CA
877 444-6777

  • Elevation 4,300 ft
  • 2 group sites, max. 30 persons per site; piped water; vault toilets; reservations required.

Big Reservoir

Morningstar Lake Resort Campground

5801 Pond Drive
Foresthill, CA
530 367-2129

  • Elevation 4,000 ft
  • Big Reservoir/Morning Star is privately operated. This smaller reservoir features a family campground of 100 sites, piped water & vault toilets, group area, small store, paddle-boat rentals, pay phone, and private (fee charged) fishing access.
  • On-site managers may be contacted at 530 367- 2129. Opens Memorial Day Weekend in May; closes for the winter in late October.

Sugar Pine Reservoir

  • Elevation 3,500 ft
  • Located about 15 miles northeast of Forestall off Sugar Pine Road, Sugar Pine Reservoir features two family campgrounds, one group campground, boat ramp, day use and swim area, and a trail around the reservoir for hikers and non-motorized vehicles.
  • There is a 10 mph speed limit on the reservoir.
  • Fishing is generally pretty good for warm water species; There is not direct access to the Foresthill OHV trail system. OHVs must be trailered to the staging areas.

Forbes Creek Group Campground

Sugar Pine Road
Foresthill, CA
877 444-6777

  • Southeast side of Sugar Pine Reservoir;
  • Two 50-person group sites; campfire circle, piped water, vault toilets, central parking lot to accommodate recreational vehicles;
  • Reservations required.

Shirttail Creek Campground

Sugar Pine Road
Foresthill, CA
877 444-6777

  • Located on north shore of Sugar Pine Reservoir.
  • 29 campsites, RV/trailer & tent spaces; tables & grills; vault toilets; swimming;
  • reservations urged.

Giant Gap Campground

Sugar Pine Road
Foresthill, CA
877 444-6777

  • Located on the north shore of the reservoir;
  • 29 campsites; piped water; vault toilets; fire rings;fishing; swimming; boat ramp; some RV spaces.

Foresthill Area

Robinson Flat Campground

Foresthill Road
Foresthill, CA
530 367-2224

  • Elevation 6,700 ft.
  • Approximately 27 miles east of Foresthill on Foresthill Rd;
  • 2-section campground -- family and equestrian; 11 sites; trailers not recommended; vault toilets; potable water;
  • No charge but a 14-day limit.

French Meadows Reservoir Area

  • Located 36 miles east of Foresthill by way of Mosquito Ridge Road 96.
  • This Recreation Area is under concession, with 5 campgrounds, 2 group campgrounds, and 2 day-use picnic sites operated by a private company.
  • Activities include fishing, swimming, boating, camping, group camping, picnicking, hiking, and viewing scenery.
  • The entire area is within a State Game Refuge and no firearms are permitted.
  • Overnight camping and fires are allowed only in developed sites.
  • Supplies are available in Foresthill.
  • Normal use season in June through October.

Ahart Campground

Mosquito Ridge Road 96
Foresthill, CA

  • Elevation: 5,300'.
  • Located on the Middle Fork of the American River, one mile above French Meadows Reservoir on mosquito Ridge Road 96.
  • 12 Campsites; Vault Toilets;
  • River water source (PURIFY BEFORE DRINKING)

Lewis Campground

Mosquito Ridge Road 96
Foresthill, CA
877 444-6777

  • Elevation 5,300 ft.
  • Located on the north shore of French Meadows Reservoir.
  • 40 campsites; piped water; flush toilets; concrete boat launching ramp nearby.

Poppy Boat/Hike-In Campground

Walk-in and Boat-in
Mosquito Ridge Road 96
Foresthill, CA

  • Elevation 5,300 ft.
  • Located on the northwest shore of French Meadows Reservoir. Accessible by boat or trail only. Approximately one mile walking distance from McGuire parking lot.
  • 12 campsites; vault toilets; reservoir water source (PURIFY BEFORE DRINKING);
  • Pack-in/pack-out (no garbage receptacle).

Gates Group Campground

Mosquito Ridge Road 96
Foresthill, CA
Available by Reservation Only: 877 444-6777 or www.reserveUSA.com

  • Located on the east side of French Meadows Reservoir.
  • Elevation 5,300 ft.
  • Two 25-person campsites; One 75-person site; Campfire circle;
  • Piped water; Vault toilets; Central parking area.

Coyote Group Campground

Mosquito Ridge Road 96
Foresthill, CA
Available by Reservation Only: 877 444-6777 or www.reserveUSA.com

  • Located on the northeast shore of French Meadows Reservoir.
  • Elev. 5,300'.
  • Three 25-person campsites; One 50-person site; Campfire circle; Piped water; Vault & flush toilets; Central parking area.

French Meadows Campground

Mosquito Ridge Road 96
Foresthill, CA
877 444-6777

  • Located on the south shore of French Meadows Reservoir.
  • Elev. 5,300'.
  • 75 campsites; Piped water; Flush toilets; Concrete boat launching ramp nearby.

Talbot Campground

Mosquito Ridge Road 96
Foresthill, CA
530 367-2224

  • Elevation 5,600 ft.
  • Located on the Middle Fork of the American River, 5 miles above French Meadows Reservoir.
  • 5 campsites; Vault toilets;
  • River water (PURIFY BEFORE DRINKING);
  • Near trailhead to the Granite chief area.

Georgetown & Hell Hole & Upper Hell Hole Reservoir Areas

Big Meadows Campground

Wentworth Springs Road
Georgetown, CA
530 333-4312

  • Located 46 miles northeast of Foresthill on Eleven Pines Rd;
  • Elevation 5,300 ft.
  • 54 campsites; no trailer sites; potable water; tables/benches; stoves/BBQ; 2 flush & vault toilets;
  • hunting; fishing; OHV trails.
  • Call El Dorado Ranger District 530 333-4312 for more information.

Dru Barner Campground

Forest Road 13N58
Georgetown, CA
530 333-4312

  • In Georgetown, take Main Street east 5.9 miles, turn left at sign onto single lane road and go 1.3 miles to campground.
  • El. 3200'.
  • 46 sites; tent sites; equestrian camping; tables/benches; vault toilets; ADA accessible bathroom; potable water; fees charged.

Hell Hole Campground

Eleven Pines Road
Georgetown, CA
530 333-4312

  • 22 miles east of Georgetown on Wentworth Springs Road, and 29 miles northeast on Forest Highway 2 (Eleven Pines Road) to just before Hell Hole Reservoir.
  • El. 5200';
  • 10 campsites; no rv/trailers; vault toilets; piped water; picnic tables & fire rings, no grills;
  • no refuse containers PACK-IT-IN, PACK-IT- OUT.

Upper Hell Hole Walk/Boat-In Campground

Eleven Pines Road
Georgetown, CA
530 333-4312

  • Located on the southeast shore of Hell Hole Reservoir, 25 miles east of Foresthill;
  • El. 4,600';
  • 15 boat/hike-in campsites; no trailer sites; tables/benches; stoves/BBQ; restrooms;
  • Boating; swimming; hiking; fishing; OHV trails.
  • Call El Dorado Ranger Dist. (530.333.4312) for more information.

Donner Summit/Lake Tahoe Areas

Alpine Meadows (Martis Creek) Campground

Hwy 267
Truckee, CA
530 587-8113

  • Nestled in the Sierra Nevada near Lake Tahoe, the campground was created upon the completion of Martis Creek Dam in 1972. The dam, 113 feet high and 2,670 feet long, holds back a lake with a capacity of 20,400 acre feet of water. When full, its surface covers 770 acres. The lake is normally maintained at minimum pool covering 70 acres. The dam and lake provide flood protection. The lake, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, also provides a focal point for a host of recreation activities.
  • The scenic campground has 25 quiet, shaded, well spaced campsites and is close to the large variety of activities offered by the Lake Tahoe-Truckee area during the summer;
  • Water, restrooms, catch & release fishing, close in - but obscure.

Donner Memorial State Park Campground

Hwy-80/Donner Lake
Truckee, CA
530 582-7892

  • Located at Donner Memorial State Park is a campground of 154 sites and a day-use area along the lake with picnic tables, restrooms, a beach, fishing, and a lakeside interpretive trail that has 18 panels which discuss the natural and cultural resources in the area.
  • The park has over three miles of frontage on Donner Lake and Donner Creek. Although the fishing is not usually spectacular, the lake has some native kokanee and planted trout. A fishing license is required. (Many fishermen prefer to use the park as a base to visit nearby lakes).
  • While the park has no boat launching ramp, a public ramp operated by the Truckee Donner Recreation & Parks District is available in the northwest corner of Donner Lake. There is a fee charged for boat launching.
  • For information call (530) 582-7720. The lake is open to both power and sail boats.

Kaspian Recreation Campground

Hwy 89
Tahoe City, CA
877 444-6777

  • Located on the west shore of beautiful Lake Tahoe, near Tahoe City; offers easy access to the Lake for kayaking and swimming;
  • usually open from mid-May thru mid- October;
  • 9 accessible campsites, reservations required; paved parking; 20' limitation;
  • campfires allowed; Sand Play, Day Hiking, Viewing Scenery, Viewing Plants, Picnicking, Group Picnicking, Boating -Non-Motorized, Swimming, Windsurfing among other activities.

Sandy Beach Resort Campground

6873 North Lake Boulevard
Tahoe Vista, CA
530 546-7682

  • Privately Operated; No. of sites: 44 - RVs to 40'; full hook-ups, dump station, restrooms, showers, swimming.

William Kent Campground

1995 West Lake Boulevard                   Closed for Summer 2014
Tahoe City, CA 96145
530 583-3642

  • 55 tent sites & 40 RV sites
  • located near Highway 89 on the Western shore corridor of Lake Tahoe.
  • Open May - October.
  • Fishing, Picnicking, Boating (Motorized), Water Sports, Camping, Drinking Water, Restrooms, Boat Ramp.
  • Notes: Maximum RV length is 57 ft.

Lake Forest Boat Ramp & Campground

2390 Lake Forest Road
Tahoe City, CA
800 444-7275

  • Located 1.5 miles east of Tahoe City, off Highway 28 on Lake Forest Road;
  • 20 campsites available on a FIRST-COME, FIRST- SERVED basis.
  • $15 per night fee. For current Lake Forest Boat Ramp Launch Pass pricing and information, call 530 583-3440, ext. 10. Passes are available for purchase at the Rideout Community Center and at the boat ramp.

Tahoe State Recreation Campground

Hwy 28
Tahoe City, CA
800 444-7275 (Reservations Required)

  • The SRA is in Tahoe City, next to the Safeway store, near shopping malls and restaurants.
  • Views of Ponderosa and Jeffrey pine groves from park. Metal bear-resistant food lockers are provided in each campsite.
  • 24 campsites, tent & RV use; accommodate RVs up to 24'; no full hookups; piped water; showers, flush toilets;
  • Dogs must be on leash & attended at all times.
  • All food, beverages, and toiletries are required by law to be stored in provided food lockers.