Lakeside camping near Placerville with fishing

A historic gold rush town in the Sierra Nevada foothills with access to year-round outdoor adventures.

96% (4452 reviews)
96% (4452 reviews)

Popular camping styles for Placerville

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Value Prop

Lakeside camping near Placerville with fishing guide


Between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe in California, and at the junction of highways 49 and 50, Placerville offers plenty of reasons for visitors to linger. With the South Fork of the American River, the Eldorado National Forest, and numerous lakes, reservoirs, and trails nearby, the historic mining town is well placed for outdoor adventures, particularly on the water and in the forest. Plenty of riverside, lakeside, and forest service campsites let you stay close to the water and woods for both tent camping and RV camping.

Where to go

Placerville and El Dorado National Forest

Placerville camping options include RV parks near town, plus more than 50 campsites in the Eldorado National Forest. For river rafting and camping, head to the American River and Coloma, where gold was first discovered in California, or try the Sly Park Recreation Area, a hub for family fishing and water recreation thanks to group campsites. Other lakeside and riverside options include Valley Reservoir, Ice House Reservoir, Bear River Reservoir, Loon Lake, Cosumnes River, and the Rubicon River. Or head into the Desolation Wilderness for solitude, adventure, and backcountry camping. 

Lake Tahoe and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

Just over an hour northeast of Placerville, several scenic campgrounds can be found around South Lake Tahoe, at Emerald Bay State Park, D.L. Bliss State Park, and Fallen Leaf Lake. Head to the north and western lakeshores to camp in the Tahoe State Recreation Area, William Kent Campground, Kaspian Campground, and Lake Forest Campground. South of Lake Tahoe, several scenic campgrounds sit near Hope Valley and around the Kirkwood area. 

Sacramento and Jackson Region

Near Sacramento, campers can stay by the water at Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma, or further south near the Sacramento River at Sandy Beach Regional Park and Brannan Island State Recreation Area. Near Jackson, Lake Amador and Pardee Recreation Area offer camping and fishing, while Camanche Lake and New Hogan Lake are known for camping and watersports. Several RV parks can be found nearby, while the Auburn State Recreation Area is a good spot for primitive camping.

When to go

Summer is the most popular time for outdoor adventures and camping around Placerville, especially at the many area rivers and lakes. The fishing season runs from April to November, with trout fishing best in spring, and bass in summer. Look for spring wildflowers, or visit Placerville and nearby Apple Hill in fall for leaf peeping and apple picking. Winter snow and weather can affect access and availability of activities.

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