EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif — Eldorado National Forest is starting to open up more campgrounds throughout the forest on June 12, as El Dorado County moves further into the stages of reopening.
In a statement, officials with the Eldorado National Forest says they "will continue to phase in opening of facilities and services as federal, state and county policies and facility preparations and conditions on the ground allow."
The 23 campgrounds that are reopening are all developed campgrounds, which are for individual campsites that allow small groups to get together to camp. They typically have access to fire pits, bathrooms and trash facilities. Those are also sites you have to reserve in order to camp there.
Dispersed camping, which is free to do, is considered "back country camping" according to officials.
"There will not be restrooms, trash cans, foot storage lockers, campfire rings, grills, picnic tables, potable water, or a campground host," explains Jennifer Chapman, Public Affairs Officer with the Eldorado National Forest, in a statement.
Dispersed camping is not allowed at Echo Lake, Caples Lake, Gerle Creek Reservoir, Ice House Reservoir, Kirkwood Lake, Silver Lake, Stumpy Meadows Reservoir, Woods Lake and Wrights Lake due to the popularity and heavy visitor traffic.
Wood and charcoal fires are also not allowed when dispersed camping, but you can use a stove, lantern and gas fire pits with a permit.
They still recommend that all campers continue to maintain six feet of social distancing, do not gather in groups and take everything you bring with you out of the campsite when you leave.
Visitors should plan ahead for their trips and make sure they bring everything they might need as some changes occur in order to follow social distancing guidelines.
Eldorado National Forest officials ask campers to "bring all necessary cleaning and sanitization supplies, such as hand sanitizer or soap and a plastic table cloths for picnic tables that can be disposed of or taken back home for washing."
Changes will be implemented as the situation with coronavirus changes.
Group campgrounds will stay closed for now and more campgrounds in the Eldorado National Forest will open in the coming weeks as officials get the sites ready for visitors.
The Stanislaus National Forest is also opening 19 developed campgrounds for overnight camping on June 12. This is in addition to the day-use sites already open.
To make a reservation for a campsite go to www.recreation.gov
List of Eldorado National Forest campgrounds opening up on June 12:
Highway 88 Corridor
- PiPi CG
- Capps Crossing CG
- Middle Fork Cosumnes CG
- Pardoes Point CG
- Sugar Pine Point CG
- White Azalea CG
- Mokelumne River CG
Highway 50 Corridor
- Gray Rock Dispersed Camping Area
- Sand Flat CG
- China Flat CG
- Silver Fork CG
- Lovers Leap CG
Crystal Basin Recreation Area
- Icehouse CG
- Fashoda CG
- Gerle Creek CG
- Wench Creek CG
- West Point CG
- Yellowjacket CG
- Wolf Creek CG
- Loon Lake CG
- Loon Lake Equestrian
- Sunset CG
Georgetown Vicinity & North
- Long Canyon Camping Area
For more resources before heading to the Eldorado National Forest, check out these helpful links:
- Official ENF Website
- Motor Vehicle Use Maps (shows where you can legally camp outside of developed campgrounds, along FS roads)
- California Campfire Permit (you need this to use your gas stove if you camp outside of a developed campground)
- Dispersed Camping Guide (how to camp outside developed campgrounds)
- Fire Restrictions & other Forest Orders
- Campground Status
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