Archives Eldorado National Forest National Forest Route 50 Route 80

What is Open for Memorial Day Weekend in Eldorado National Forest?

Written by Charlie Pankey

Short answer… Not Much with weather making everything tricky

Facilities open For Memorial Weekend in the Eldorado National forest…

ICE HOUSE Reservoir Area 
• Silver Creek Group
• Ice House Campground & Boat Launch
• Northwind Campground
• Strawberry Campground

UNION VALLEY Reservoir Area
• Lone Rock Campground
• Jones Fork Campground
• Fashoda Campground
• Big Silver Group
• Wench Creek Campground
• Yellowjacket Campground & Boat Launch

GERLE CREEK Reservoir Area
• Gerle Creek Campground
• Airport Flat Campground

• Stumpy Meadows Campground
• Stumpy Meadows Boat Ramp (4 trailer or RV sites for overnight camping)
• Black Oak Group Campground
• Ponderosa Cove Group Campground

HELL HOLE Reservoir Area
• Hell Hole Campground (no water yet)
• Middle Meadows Group Campground (Reservations needed, no water available due to water system repairs)

• Dru Barner Campground

• Sand Flat Campground
• China Flat Campground
• Pyramid Creek TH parking area
• Lovers Leap Campground is clear of snow, but the gate is currently closed. It still needs to pass its inspection. Will keep you updated.

• Capps Crossing Group
• Pipi Campground

• Carson Pass Information Station

Facilities NOT open For Memorial Weekend…

Not Open
• Loon Lake, Wrights Lake, Highway 88 areas are NOT open due to snow conditions.
• Mormon Emigrant Trail (MET) is NOT open due to snow conditions.
• Sunset, Westpoint, Silver Fork, Big Meadows, Angel Creek Picnic and Bridal Veil are NOT open yet.

Loon Lake Chalet Recreational Area
Loon Lake

DESOLATION WILDERNESS is open but winter conditions persist will through June.

Most trailheads are closed and not accessible due to snow on access roads. Pyramid/Twin Bridges (day use fee is now $8 with the concessionaire operating the facility, The Forest Service annual pass will no longer apply but overnight permit holders will get a parking pass with their permit), Ralston, and Tallac Trailheads are open at last report but trails they access are covered by snow within 1-3 miles of the trailhead.

Lakes are still frozen and trails are covered by several feet of snow. Melting snow can create hazardous conditions. A stream that is easy to cross in the morning may become impassible in the afternoon as snow melts. Only those experienced in backcountry travel in deep snow and spring snowmelt should attempt trips into Desolation Wilderness.

Change in Office Location for Permits

• The Eldorado National Forest has moved the office location for Desolation Wilderness Permits and Information on the Highway 50 corridor. The new location is at 4260 Eight Mile Road in Camino, CA, Exit #54 off Highway 50 just east of Placerville. Phone number is 530-647-5415. All visitor services that were located at the Pacific Ranger District in Pollock Pines have been moved to the location in Camino. Carefully review cancellation information before making early season reservations. Call a Forest Service permit office listed under Contacts to get up to date conditions.

MOKELUMNE WILDERNESS is still under snow.

Bottom line…

Winter is not quite ready to leave so visitors should be prepared for wet weather conditions and pack accordingly. Stay on main roads as much as possible and remember that our dirt roads are saturated and vehicles can become stuck. Driving over snow on roads is not advised and in some areas illegal. Be cautious as rocks or trees may have fallen into roadways and streams are running high.The latest storms added snow instead of melting snow.

Go to our Current Conditions page for road, trail, and campground status at…

About the author

Charlie Pankey

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