Northwind Campground

Eldorado National Forest

Ice House Reservoir

Campsite at Northwind Campground beside Ice House Reservoir, CA

Northwind Campground

Eldorado National Forest Attractions

Campers at Northwind Campground at Ice House Reservoir in the Eldorado National Forest find plenty of exciting outdoor adventures nearby.

  • Launch your boat into Ice House Reservoir for great fishing.
  • 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.
  • Set out on a hike into the Desolation Wilderness.
  • 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 Northwind Campground Regulations

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

Northwind Campground

Northwind Campground is on the north shore of Ice House Reservoir in the Crystal Basin area of Eldorado National Forest. The small campground is set back a short distance from the lake's edge. Reach the campground by traveling 11 miles on Ice House Road off Highway 50 and then 2 miles on Forest Road 32.

All 9 sites at Northwind Campground can accommodate RVs, trailer, or tents. One is a double site. The campsites offer more privacy than at some of the other nearby campgrounds. However, there is no potable water. All sites are first come, first served.

Northwind Campground Basics
Northwind Campground Location: North shore of Ice House Reservoir, 11 miles north on Ice House Road off Highway 50, then 2 miles on Forest Road 32
Elevation: 5,500 feet
Miles/Driving time: Sacramento - 80 miles, 1:40
Campground Open: Late-May through mid-October
Number of Sites: 9
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

No Reservations first come, first served
Maximum Vehicle Length: 40 feet
Wheelchair accessible Sites: None designated
Fees: $10 per night
Check-in, check-out: 2:00 PM,, 1:00 PM

Northwind Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, fire ring
Campground: Vault toilets, no potable water
Showers: No
Dump Station: Available at nearby Ice House Campground
Campground Map: Northwind Campground Map
Attractions near Northwind Campground: Take advantage of the 3.1-mile Ice House Bike Trail. Head out boating, water skiing, fishing, or swimming in Ice House Reservoir. Find good hiking such as the trail to summit of Two Peaks with great view of Union Valley. Take the Bassi Falls Hiking Trail. Visit Union Valley Reservoir and Loon Lake.

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.

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