Stanislaus National ForestLeave review
About Stanislaus National Forest
Campgrounds in Stanislaus
As you plan your visit, please check out the official campground webpage on the Forest Service website to find information on seasonal closures,...
Nestled amongst the wooded conifer forest west of Lake Alpine, this campground is your easy access point to a good time. This place is close to all...
Pinecrest campground is in high-demand, and for good reason. Located on scenic Pinecrest Lake, this is known as the Beverley Hills of the Sierras....
Tally-ho, it’s Dimond O Campground, the closest digs to Yosemite National Park and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir (Big Oak entrance). Open to both tent and...
Part public and part private, River Ranch Campground is located on a meadow at the confluence of Basin Creek and the North Fork Tuolumne River....
Two is always better than one! Don’t believe us? We dare ya to prove us wrong on your visit to the Utica/Union Reservoirs Campground. Not only do...
You’ll be smarter than the average bear (or person) if you choose to kick it in the mixed conifer forest at Cherry Valley Campground. Typical sites...
The fresh smell of conifers, dusty roads, and fine mountain views will greet you when you arrive at Herring Creek Campground. Setup your tent close...
This area of the Sierra National Forest is also primed for off-roading fun. If that’s your thing, stay at Niagara OHV Campground. You can scope out...
Just East of Lake Alpine, this campground is close to a lot of recreational fun. There are a plethora of activities to choose from, such as...
Drop some Stanislaus knowledge on us.
Seriously. This place is packed for a reason. I grew up coming here and the only thing that has changed is the water level and amount of people. The beaches might get packed but just a short hike around the lake will have you secluded in no time. They have movies in an outdoor theater for the whole family, pretty clean bathrooms, and a variety of loops to choose from. We usually stay furthest away from the lake—it's a little quieter back there. But really, any site you get is going to be worth the trip.
Herring Creek is very family friendly with a community atmosphere. Road is paved, with peaceful, although close campsites. The creek is serene, and usually slow enough for small kids to play in the area closest to the sites. Farther down are somewhat deeper pools for more of a swim. Altogether a relaxing place to spend some summer nights!
A great place to camp if you like amenities! This is a popular summer vacation spot and fills up fast. Some campsites are a short walk across the street and you're at the sandy shore of Pinecrest Lake. There's a well stocked store, snack shack, boat rentals, art gallery, flush toilets and there's even nightly movies at the amphitheater! The walk around the lake is easy, and a great way to escape the crowd and grab a private spot. You can also hike to Cleo's bath from the lake trail, check out the view, and watch the water rush over the cliff!
This is a pretty cool campground. It's fairly remote without many facilities that seem to keep the crowds away even on weekends.
There's plenty of hiking opportunities although there are no hiking only trails (easy to get lost). I simply followed the creek next to the campground and explored the granite slabs without venturing too far. There are 2 ohv trails leaving the campground that could be used for hiking too as they are not too traveled.
Most of the ohv trails are easy on a dirt bike with an occasional moderate/difficult section allowing beginners to reach most areas.
I was worried about getting a spot there on a Saturday evening but we ended up having the whole campground by ourselves. It's huge! The sites across the little bridge are the best, they are shady, bordered by a creek, and there is an outdoor kitchen area. Just don't forget trash bags as it's a "pack it in, pack it out" campground.
This was a fun campsite. A little tricky finding the road that lead to it but it was a nice gem. There wasn't many people there so it was easy to find a quiet site in the back. We were there in June so the water wasn't to bad. We hikes over the bridge and down to a little sandy area. I had little kids so it was safe enough considering the water is pretty fast. I do remember it being a pretty dirty campsite. Sounds silly but the kids were covered in dust and dirt.
If you’re planning to hang out near some lakes or rivers, have some sturdy water shoes! The rocks are slippery, folks.
Lake Alpine is a great place for kayakers, and you can rent there if you don’t want to lug your own kayak out here.
If you love the stars, bring your telescopes! With no pesky lights from nearby cities, the night skies are dark and clear out here.
FYI if you have any questions about this campground the direct phone number to the Calaveras Ranger station is actually 209-795-1686. The ranger also recommended speaking with the Ebbett's Pass Sports 209-795-1686 about the latest information on fishing. I hear they stock Union Reservoir with rainbow trout :)
On July 28 at 2 PM Rosalyn Sasxenmeier age 71 walked away from her campsite and has not been found I understand that hundreds of people searched and still nothing please if anyone knows anything about this area let us know if there's anything further that can be done to search for her she's not the type of person to just walk away on your own please someone help
So this is an interesting site. The drive is extremely long and windy. It would be a nice view except the whole area went through a fire. We were there in June of 2016, i assume it happened in that year or the year past. We got to the campground to find that there was no water. The faucets were dry. Have 5 kids this was a problem but the camp host was great and brought us jugs of water. We drove down to the lake and were able to get a nice spot before the crown to swim and hang out. Definitely wouldn't go back but, it was an experience.
We've been camping at Dimond O for about 15 years. It's easily accessible, small, fairly quiet, and just an all around great place to get away from it all. It's not far from Yosemite, so day trips are easy. But it's a good place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the valley. The camp host is very helpful and knowledgeable. If there's no reservations available, there are several sites set up for walkups.
History of Stanislaus National Forest
The Stanislaus National Forest, created on February 22, 1897, is among the oldest of the National Forests. It is named for the Stanislaus River whose headwaters rise within Forest boundaries. The Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga named the river "Our Lady of Guadalupe" during an 1806 expedition. Later, the river was renamed in honor of Estanislao, an Indian leader.
The archaeological record indicates that people lived in the Sierra Nevada since 9000 BC. The Central Sierra Me-Wuk were the most recent Native American occupants of this area. They lived in permanent villages and temporary camps, often located near springs or along small creeks.
During the gold rush, the area that would become the Stanislaus National Forest was a busy place, occupied by miners and other immigrants, homesteaders and ranchers, dam builders and loggers. Ditches were built, providing water to the mines. Several railroads were constructed to haul logs out of the woods. Evidence of these activities still exist.