El Dorado County, California

Looking for the best camping in El Dorado County? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around El Dorado County. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Camping Spots in and near El Dorado County

  • Pollock Pines, California

    Jenkinson Lake Loop Trail at Sly Park

    4.0
    8.19 mi / 640 ft gain
    The Jenkinson Lake Loop Trail runs along Jenkinson Lake, making for an easy, shaded, and well-marked hike that the entire family can enjoy. The full loop is over eight miles, but can be easily modified into a shorter trip, as well. Along the way, you will see a variety of activities along the la...
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  • El Dorado County, California

    Camp at Ice House Reservoir

    4.0
    1 mi / 1 ft gain
    Desolation Wilderness is just west of Lake Tahoe, a part of Eldorado National Forest. It's a very popular backpacking destination as the PCT and Tahoe Rim Trail both run through the area. There are what seems to be endless amounts of mountain lakes, creeks, and rivers that run through this area w...
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  • Foresthill, California

    Explore Sugar Pine Reservoir

    4.3
    Just a few miles north of Foresthill, Sugar Pine is a lesser known reservoir found in Placer County that is surprisingly unpopulated for how much the park provides. A swim suit, some friends, and some good music can be all it takes to have a good time.There is a boat-launching station that is eas...
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  • Kyburz, California

    Hike Pyramid Peak

    5.0
    Although it stands only slightly higher than its neighbors, Pyramid Peak nonetheless dominates the Crystal Range atop which it sits. Great views from the summit make this a must-do.The Route: The route is fairly straightforward to Lake Sylvia (see map). Simply follow the well-defined Lyons Cr...
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  • Kyburz, California

    Desolation's Primitive Western Edge through Rockbound Pass Loop

    4.4
    26.28 mi / 5151 ft gain
    This 26 mile loop meanders through some of the most primitive trails in Desolation Wilderness. Starting from Wrights Lake, the route proceeds over Rockbound Pass, loops around several lakes, and returns to Wrights Lake. Not many hikers venture past the steep and rocky Rockbound Pass to enter this...
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  • Kyburz, California

    Twin and Island Lakes

    5.0
    6.26 mi / 1237 ft gain
    The Twin Lakes trail starts winding through a pine forest, with a couple of bridge crossings over crystal clear trout-filled streams.  The marsh-like water is very slow-moving, and even though it is indeed beautiful, it is also a prime location for pesky mosquitoes in the summertime.  Be sure to ...
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  • Kyburz, California

    Grouse, Hemlock, and Smith Lake

    5.0
    5.6 mi / 1785 ft gain
    Starting from the Wright's Lake parking area, walk past the service gate to find the loop trail. Follow the loop trail to the signed trail for Twin, Grouse, Island, and Hemlock Lakes heading toward the right. You will begin an approximate 150 foot ascend before coming to a saddle. Another 150 foo...
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  • Twin Bridges, California

    Hike Pyramid Peak via Rocky Canyon

    5.0
    7.4 mi / 4100 ft gain
    Pyramid Peak is the tallest peak in the Crystal Range and the Desolation Wilderness, just west of Lake Tahoe. On a clear day it can be seen from the Bay Area over 150 miles away. Named for its distinct shape, Pyramid a massive heap of glaciated granite slabs and talus, and the Rocky Canyon route ...
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  • Pioneer, California

    The Potholes ("The Pots")

    4.2
    1.53 mi / 121 ft gain
    This fantastic camping or chilling spot has beautiful granite pools and slides of all sizes. The area consists of a river flowing over a granite slab creating pools some of which are over ten feet deep. The water cascades down the granite in small water falls. The area is located next to Silver L...
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  • Twin Bridges, California

    Ropi Lake via Pyramid Creek

    4.7
    4.87 mi / 1581 ft gain
    The trailhead to begin this hike is located at: 38.8117 N, 120.1237 W. From Hwy 50 just south of Lake Tahoe, take Hwy 50 southwest for almost 11 miles, where you'll turn into the parking lot after crossing Pyramid Creek. There is a $5 day-use fee to park in the trailhead parking lot. The hike i...
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  • Twin Bridges, California

    Hiking to Ralston Peak

    4.0
    7 mi / 2375 ft gain
    Starting at the lower lot it's less than a mile to access the trail. The hike starts off in shade through a lot of red fir forest and continues at a steady upward route. Approximately 45 mins into the hike you'll come across a sign that says you are entering desolation wilderness. The forest will...
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  • Arnold, California

    Hike the North Grove Trail in Calaveras Big Trees SP

    5.0
    1.7 mi / 40 ft gain
    When thinking of the iconic Sequoias of the Sierra Nevada, one usually thinks of Yosemite and Sequoia National Park. However, there is a often forgotten area of Giant Sierra Redwoods that gets far less traffic than the more popular groves. The North Grove Trail takes you through a grove of over 1...
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  • Tahoma, California

    Hike to Half Moon Lake in Desolation Wilderness

    5.0
    11 mi / 1600 ft gain
    This hike starts at the Glen Alpine Trailhead near Fallen Leaf Lake. Because Desolation is a wilderness area, you are required to fill out a day-use permit which can be found at the trailhead. If you are backpacking make sure to obtain an overnight permit either online or at the Taylor Creek Visi...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Gilmore Lake in Desolation Wilderness

    8.66 mi / 1919 ft gain
    The easiest way to get to Gilmore Lake is to start at the Glen Alpine trailhead. The trail head is southwest of Fallen Leaf Lake. There is a decently sized parking lot at the trailhead, but parking is also available on the road up. Because desolation is a wilderness area, you must fill out a perm...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Middle Velma Lake via Eagle Falls Trailhead

    4.5
    9.18 mi / 2251 ft gain
    Hiking or backpacking to the Velma Lakes area is a must do if you want to explore and escape the summer crowds of South Tahoe. There are 3 lakes, Upper, Middle, and Lower Velma Lake. The trek out to Middle Velma is 9+ miles roundtrip, but you can add to it depending on how many other lakes you wa...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Backpack to Eagle Lake and Dick's Lake

    4.5
    13 mi / 1500 ft gain
    Get ready to get your lake on! This backpacking trip will take you 13+ miles through awesome scenery to several alpine lakes.Starting at the Bayview Campground, off of HWY 89, this hike follows the Granite Lake Trail along a difficult climb. Don't let the climb discourage you! As you climb, the v...
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