Union Valley Reservoir Camping and Recreation

union reservoir crystal basin eldorado
Written by sierrarecmagazine

The hub of family outdoor lifestyle in the Crystal Basin and Eldorado National Forest

Union Valley Reservoir is among the most popular destinations in the Crystal Basin. Nearly a dozen campgrounds are situated among the trees around the shores of the 277,000-acre lake. At an elevation of 4,900 feet it is high enough to offer relief during summer heat yet low enough for mild nights for camping. The lake is a favorite with boaters, water skiers, anglers, and swimmers.

Recreation

The Union Valley Bike Trail spans 4.8 miles with an easy climb of 300 feet. The trail connects campgrounds on the east side of the lake, from Jones Fork Campground to Wench Creek, and is open to hikers and bikers. The Bassi Falls Hiking Trail is also worth exploring. Anglers seek rainbow, brown and mackinaw trout or kokanee salmon. The reservoir also offers opportunities for swimming, water skiing and boating. A boat ramp and boat trailer parking are provided at this campground.

Camping

Union Valley Reservoir campgrounds are at about 4,900 feet in elevation and are usually open from Memorial Day weekend through late September. Single sites are limited to 1 vehicle and 6 people. An extra vehicle is allowed for an additional fee if parking space permits. Trailers are counted as vehicles.

Union Valley Reservoir is about 15 miles north of Highway 50 on Ice House Road. All types of boating are allowed in the lake, including jet skiing and waterskiing. The Union Valley Bike Trail connects many of the campgrounds.

Azalea Cove Campground

This is a walk-in, bike-in or boat-in campground. Located on the east shore of Union Valley Reservoir. Accessible by bike, foot, or boat only. The campsites are nicely spaced out and are only set back a short distance from the lake. No Reservations. Sites are available on a first-come,first-served basis.

Campground Amenities

  • 10 campsites, vault toilets, no piped water
  • Picnic tables, grills, fire rings, bear boxes
  • Bike trail passes between the campsites and the lake

Reservations: None
Fees: None

Big Silver Group Campground

Located on a peninsula on the east shore of Union Valley Reservoir.

23 miles east of Placerville on Highway 50 and 16 miles
north on Ice House Road (Forest Road 3) on the east side of
Union Valley Reservoir.

Campground Amenities

Piped Water No. Bring water.
Toilet Type Vault
Accessible Toilets Yes
Showers Fashoda campground
Tables Yes
Grills Yes. Group size
Fire Rings Yes
Bear Boxes No
Hook‐Ups No

Activities/Facilities Within 5 Miles
 Swimming, Fishing, Waterskiing
 Picnic area at Fashoda Tent campground
 Boat ramp at Sunset and Yellowjacket campgrounds
 Bassi Falls Hiking Trail
 Union Valley Bike Trail ‐ paved (no motor vehicles or
motorized bicycles allowed)

Reservations: (877) 444-6777 or Recreation.gov – Big Silver Group Campground
Fees: $45

Camino Cove Campground

Located on the northwest shore of Union Valley Reservoir. Access is via a long, narrow dirt road. High clearance vehicles recommended. RVs and trailers not recommended. The road can be muddy in the spring. Views from the campsites are among the best around the lake. – 2021 under construction

ElevaƟon 4,875′. 32 units. Vault toilets, fire
rings. No water, grills or tables. No Fee. Check
ahead ‐ campfires may not be allowed during
fire restricƟons.

Campground Amenities

  • 32 campsites, vault toilets, no piped water
  • Picnic tables, fire rings, grills
  • Fishing, swimming

Reservations: None
Fees: None

Fashoda Campground

Elevation 4,900′. 30 walk‐in units (service road available for unloading equipment). Piped water, vault toilets,
tables, fire rings, grills; one site and one toilet accessible. 5 picnic units (one accessible). Showers are available at
the Fashoda Tent parking lot.
Located on the Sunset peninsula near the beach area at the reservoir 13 miles north of Highway 50 via Ice House Road (Primary Forest Route 3). Easy access to beach areas.
RESERVABLE

Campground Amenities

  • 30 campsites, vault toilets, piped water, showers, dump station
  • Picnic tables, fire rings, grills
  • Boat launch ramp nearby, bike trail, swimming beach

Reservations: (877) 444-6777 or Recreation.gov – Fashoda Campground
Fees: $28

Jones Fork Campground

Located on the east shore of Union Valley Reservoir. Elevation 4,900′. 10 units. Accessible vault toilet, tables, bear boxes, fire rings. Located 13.5 miles from Highway 50 off Ice House Road, on the east shore of the reservoir, at the southern end of the Union Valley Bike Trail. Parking is available for the bike trail.
FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED

Campground Amenities

  • 10 campsites for RVs, trailers, or tents
  • Vault toilets, no piped water
  • Picnic tables, fire rings, grills, bear boxes
  • Bike trail

Reservations: None
Fees: $10

Lone Rock Campground

Elevation 4,800′. 5 units. No fee. Vault toilets, tables, fire rings, bear boxes, bike rack. No garbage service. Pack it
In, Pack it Out. Check ahead ‐ campfires may not be allowed during fire restrictions.
Located along the Union Valley Bike Trail on the east shore of the reservoir, 12 miles from Highway 50 on the
Ice House Road (Primary Forest Road 3). Accessed by bike, trail, or boat from Sunset Boat Ramp or Jones Fo
parking area.
FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED

Campground Amenities

  • 5 campsites, vault toilets, no piped water
  • Picnic tables, fire rings, bear boxes
  • Bike trail

Reservations: None
Fees: None

Sunset Campground

Elevation 4,900′. 131 units. Piped water, vault toilets, tables, grills, fire rings. and bike trail access. Picnic area,
swimming beach nearby, boat ramp/boarding dock and dump station nearby.
Located on the Sunset peninsula at the reservoir, 14 miles north of Highway 50 via Ice House Road (Primary
Forest Route 3). Showers available at new shower building across from Sunset Group site.

RESERVABLE: Single units 9, 15, 19-21, 23-26, 28-34, 36,
40, 52-55, 57, 58, 60, 62, 65-70, 73-80, 100-106, 108-11,
122; double units 4, 22, 27, 35, 51, 59, 61, 63, 64, 72, 77,
99, 107; and triple unit 71.

Campground Amenities

  • 131 campsites, vault toilets, piped water, showers at nearby Fashoda Campground
  • Picnic tables, fire rings, grills
  • Boat launch ramp, bike trail, swimming beach

Reservations: (877) 444-6777 or Recreation.gov – Sunset Campground
Fees: $28

Wench Creek Campground

Located on the north shore of Union Valley Reservoir. Elevation 4,900′. 2 group units (50 persons each). Piped water, flush toilets, tables, grills, fire rings. Bike trail
access.
RESERVATION REQUIRED

Campground Amenities

  • 100 campsites, vault and flush toilets, piped water
  • 2 group campsites for up to 50 campers, one site is tents only
  • Picnic tables, fire rings, grills
  • Bike trail

Reservations: For group sites only 444-6777 or
Recreation.gov – Wench Creek Group Campsites
Fees: $25 per night for family sites, $160 for group sites

Westpoint Campground

Located on the west shore of Union Valley Reservoir.

Campground Amenities

  • 8 campsites, vault toilets, no piped water
  • Picnic tables, fire rings, grills
  • Boat launch ramp, bike trail, swimming

Reservations: None
Fees: None

Wolf Creek Campground

Wolf Creek Campground is a modern facility on the north shore of Union Valley Reservoir. 

Campground Amenities

  • 42 campsites for tents and RVs
  • Vault toilets, piped water
  • Picnic tables, fire rings, grills, bear boxes

Reservations: (877) 444-6777 or Recreation.gov – Wolf Creek Campground
Fees: $28

Wolf Creek Group Campground

Located on the north shore of Union Valley Reservoir.

Campground Amenities

  • 3 Group sites: #1 holds 1-25 people (walk-in, tents), #2 holds 2-50 people (tents and RVs), #3 holds 3 – 25 people (tents and RVs)
  • Vault toilets, piped water
  • Picnic tables, kitchen area, fire rings, grills, bear boxes

Reservations: (877) 444-6777 or Recreation.gov – Wolf Creek Campground
Fees: Site #1 $140, Site #2 $160, and site #3 $140

Yellowjacket Campground

Yellowjacket Campground provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun on Union Valley Reservoir. The surrounding cedar and ponderosa pine forest is a lovely setting for hiking and biking.

Campground Amenities

  • 19 campsites for tents and RVs
  • Vault and flush toilets, piped water
  • Picnic tables, fire rings, grills
  • Boat launch ramp, dump station

Reservations: (877) 444-6777 or Recreation.gov – Yellowjacket Campground
Fees: $28


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