Summer season begins this weekend - Check current conditions and enjoy the forest!

Release Date: May 25, 2018   Placervillle, CA

Contact(s): Jennifer Chapman, 530 957-9660

Memorial Weekend kicks off the busy summer recreation season at the Eldorado National Forest and throughout California. Crews have been busy getting recreation sites prepared for the public to enjoy. Visitors are reminded to check the status of their favorite campgrounds as not all facilities are typically open at the beginning of the season depending on their elevation. Repairs are also still in progress due to major storm damage the last two seasons. The mountain environment is very dynamic so take time to prepare before you arrive. Here are a few things that are good to do before any forest visit:

  • Check the weather forecast. Snow is expected this weekend above 8,000 feet. Thunderstorms may occur throughout the summer.
  • Check the forest website for current conditions. Some roads, trails, and campgrounds are closed due to storm damage, repairs or renovations. Always check the status of the area you plan to visit. The forest website has information on roads, trails, closures, campgrounds, special uses and
  • Bring water. Some water systems are not back up yet and some areas of the forest don't have water systems.

The Eldorado National Forest website has a huge amount of information to help you plan your visit. Here are a few important updates for each ranger district: 


  • Open 7 Days a week - The Pacific Ranger Station will be open every day during the summer season from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, including Memorial Day and other holidays.
  • Crystal Basin renovations in progress - Sunset Campground will be closed for renovation 2018-2019, but Sunset Boat Launch will be open through Labor Day Weekend. Temporary closures will occur at other sites in Crystal Basin throughout the summer due to a major recreation facilities upgrade being completed by Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). 


  • Dru Barner Campground - There will be a Horse Enduro special event on Sunday, May 27, 2018. This campground will be crowded with equestrians during Memorial Day Weekend.
  • Eleven Pines Road is still closed due to major storm damage repairs.Completion is expected later this year. Access to Hell Hole Reservoir is through Forest Hill.


  • Mormon Emigrant Trail (Iron Mountain Road) is open.


  • Carson Pass Information Station opens Saturday, May 26 and will be open 9:00 am to 4:00 pm daily throughout the summer.
  • Ellis Road is open temporarily until about mid-June when road repair will begins. It will re-open later in the summer when the construction is completed.
  • Tiger Creek Road (Salt Springs) is closed due to winter storm damage.
  • Panther Creek Road is closed due to winter storm damage.

For recreation updates visit our Current Conditions web page at Reservations for many of our campgrounds, rental cabins, and overnight wilderness camping can be made at Motor Vehicle Use Maps are available free of charge from any of our Ranger Stations or downloaded from our forest website.

Visitors need to exercise caution as they enjoy the outdoors. Rivers and streams are running high, swift, and cold due to melting snow which can result in suddenly hazardous conditions. River and stream levels fluctuate rapidly so do not cross them as you may not be able to return. Swimming is not advised as the cold water can result in hypothermia very quickly. Visitors are also urged to be aware of hazardous conditions around the forest due to tree mortality from 6 years of drought and insect damage.

Outside of hosted campgrounds, visitors must have a California Campfire Permit to have a campfire, or use a charcoal barbecue, gas stove or gas lantern. The permit is your agreement to follow the campfire restrictions and regulations in effect. Remember that regulations governing campfires can change with weather conditions and the seasons. To protect yourself and the forest, before each visit, check with the Forest Service for current campfire restrictions. Smoking outside of an enclosed vehicle may be completely prohibited during times of high fire danger. Your campfire permit is valid from the date issued until the end of the calendar year; it may be used in any National Forest in California. California Campfire permits are available free of charge at our Ranger Stations and online at

Forest offices are open 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The Forest Supervisor's office and the Placerville, Georgetown and Amador Ranger District offices are open Monday to Friday. The Pacific Ranger District office is open 7 days a week. Carson Pass and Crystal Information Stations will be open on weekend days. Please visit our website at for maps and visitor information.

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