Gerle Creek Campground

Eldorado National Forest


Gerle Creek Reservoir


Gerle Creek Campground, Crystal Basin, Eldorado National Forest, CA

Gerle Creek Campground

Eldorado National Forest Attractions

Visitors to Gerle Creek Campground at Gerle Creek Divide Reservoir in the Eldorado National Forest find some wonderful outdoor adventures nearby.

  • Enjoy swimming and non-motorized boating in Gerle Creek Divide Reservoir.
  • Take advantage of the accessible fishing platform at the reservoir.
  • Try mountain biking along the network of logging roads.
  • Take advantage of the bike trail around Union Valley Reservoir.
  • Try fishing in all the lakes and streams in the Crystal Basin.
  • Enjoy boating and water skiing on Crystal Basin lakes.
  • Travel along the wheelchair accessible Harvest Trail.
  • Take in the scenery of waterfalls, snow-capped peaks, and rushing mountain streams.

Places to Visit

  • Explore the Crystal Basin, including stunningly beautiful Wrights Lake.
  • Drive up Highway 50 to Strawberry and Lovers' Leap rock.
  • Visit ski resorts and snow play areas along with cross country ski trails
  • Spend the day high on Echo Summit at Echo Lakes.
  • Visit historic Placerville and tour Gold Rush era buildings.

Key Gerle Creek Campground Regulations

  1. To avoid problems with bears. please store all foods, soap, and garbage in bear boxes.
  2. Keep dogs on leash and attended at all times.
  3. Fires are only permitted in provided fire rings.

Gerle Creek Campground

Gerle Creek Campground is on the bank of its namesake creek in the Crystal Basin area of the Eldorado National Forest. The campground is apart from the main lakes of the Crystal Basin, having instead quiet Gerle Creek Divide Reservoir for recreation. The small reservoir is within walking distance of Gerle Creek Campground . The reservoir is open to non-motorized boats, swimming, and fishing, making it a wonderful place for families with children. An accessible fishing dock is located nearby.

Gerle Creek Campground has 50 sites. Of those, 31 are tent-only sites, while the remainder can accommodate RVs, trailers and tents. Some sites are large enough for 50-foot vehicles. A great number of sites are listed as ADA accessible, but there does not appear to be any limitation on others using those sites.

Reach the campground by driving 24 miles north on Ice House Road from Highway 50. Then on Forest Road 33 go 3 miles to Gerle Creek Campground .

Gerle Creek Campground Basics
Gerle Creek Campground Location: South shore of Wrights Lake, 22 miles from Highway 50 via Ice House Road and Wrights Lake Tie Road
Elevation: 5,300 feet
Miles/Driving time: Sacramento - 91 miles, 2:06
Campground Open: late-May through mid-October
Number of Sites: 50
Max. People per Site: 6 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 1 ($7 for extra vehicle)
Pets: On leash, always attended
Pacific Ranger District: (530) 647-5415

Reservations for Gerle Creek Campground
Reservations accepted Late-May through Labor Day, then first come, first served
Booking Window: Reservations taken from 4 days up to 6 months in advance of arrival.
Maximum Vehicle Length: 50 feet
Accessible Sites: Many sites are listed as accessible
(See Accessible Sites above)
Favorite Campsites: #10, 28, 29, 32, 39, 40, 44
Fees: $28 ($50 for double sites)
Reservations: Gerle Creek Campground Reservations
Check-in, check-out: 2:00 PM, 1:00 PM

Gerle Creek Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, fire ring, bear-proof food storage boxes
Campground: Vault toilets, piped water, amphitheater
Showers: No
Dump Station: On Loon Lake Rd.
Campground Map: Gerle Creek Campground Map
Attractions near Gerle Creek Campground: Stoll along Gerle Creek. Fish from the accessible fishing dock at Gerle Creek Divide Reservoir. Enjoy non-motorized boating. Take the Harvest Trail (a wheelchair accessible interpretive trail.) Visit Loon Lake or Union Valley Reservoir for boating, water skiing, fishing and swimming.

General Camping Information

When making reservations be sure that your vehicle will fit in the space indicated on the reservations website.
Information is available at the Crystal Information Station east of Union Valley Reservoir on Ice House Road during the summer.
Horses and motor vehicles are not permitted on the bike trails at Union Valley Reservoir. Horses are permitted on the Ice House Reservoir bike trail.
For campground purposes, a vehicle is any equipment that is required to be licensed/registered. This includes RVs, trailers, cars/trucks, boat/car trailer, motorcycle/atv, etc. Vehicles parked in a truck or on a trailer are not counted separately.

Accessible Sites

Many campsites at Gerle Creek Campground are listed as accessible to persons with disabilities. Most campgrounds will not allow any party without a person with a disability to camp in designated sites. At Gerle Creek if you do not have a disability, they ask that you consider choosing a different, non-accessible site; but if no other sites are available, you may reserve a site labeled for persons with disabilities.

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