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Recreation Information - Emergency closures & what's open

The Eldorado National Forest re-opened many recreation opportunities on the forest as of Saturday, September 19, when the Regional Emergency Forest Closure Order 20-13 was rescinded for nine forests, including the Eldorado. Each forest is implementing forest specific Forest Order(s) to address continuing fire danger and recreation concerns. The Eldorado is limiting camping to developed campgrounds.  In addition, there is an emergency fire closure area for the Fork Fire, which includes facilities within the Crystal Basin Recreation Area. 

9/24/20 - See recreation update news release for details.

Other key points forest visitors should know:

Emergency Fire Prohibition –  Regional Order 20-16  - All fires, campfires, stove fires, gas fire pits, smoking, and any other ignition are prohibited. **No fires are allowed of any kind including all wood, charcoal, gas, or pressurized liquid fuel fires.**   

Emergency Camping Prohibition Forest Order 03-20-15

No Overnight Camping in dispersed areas, including wilderness areas - Forest Order 03-20-15 prohibits camping forest-wide except for designated developed campgrounds. This includes both the Desolation and Mokelumne Wilderness areas.

Developed Camping Only – Camping in designated developed open campgrounds is allowed. At this time of year, many campgrounds are beginning to close for the season. Campgrounds located within the Fork Fire closure area are closed. Check the Campground Status page on the forest website determine which facilities are open.

Regional Fire Restrictions in California: The prohibition of the use of any ignition source on all National Forest System lands (campfires, gas stoves, etc.) throughout California remains in place.

Forest Access – Forest System lands, roads and trails are open, except for those included within the Fork Fire closure area.

Fork Fire Closure Forest Order 03-20-19 (closure area reduced in size as of 9/25).

Day Use – Day Use facilities, such as picnic areas and trailheads, are open except for those facilities that are co-located with a campground that is closed for the season or located within the Fork Fire closure area. Day hiking in the Desolation and Mokelumne Wilderness areas is allowed.

Recreation Residences and Resorts – Open.

Fork Fire Information

The fire is located off Wentworth Springs Road. north of Gerle Creek Reservoir.

Know Before You Go

  • OFFICES - Our virtual offices are staffed to provide visitor information. The phone #s and hours are on the left side of this page.
  • CHECK CURRENT CONDITIONS/STATUS - Check out our Current Conditions web page for the status of campgrounds, roads, facilities, weather, fire, forest closure orders and other regulations.

Popular Recreation Activities

Hiking Camping OHV Riding Fishing Scenic Driving

We have more information about recreation opportunities across the forest!

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COVID19 Information and Links

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Continuing our service to you while doing our part to address the COVID-19 Pandemic is very important. This page contains the links to related documents and websites for the Eldorado NF, federal, state and local governments that pertain to this forest.


Fire Prevention – Be Outdoor Safe

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The Eldorado National Forest has brought in a fire prevention team to address the increased risk of human-caused wildfires during this dryer than normal fire season.

Caples Ecological Restoration Project

The Forest Service is conducting prescribed burning, aspen enhancement, and meadow restoration activities within the Caples Creek Watershed on the Placerville and Amador Ranger Districts.


Facility Construction Activities 2020

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Anyone planning a trip to the forest this summer is urged to check the status of recreation facilities and know what areas will be closed before entering the forest. 

What are our Nature's Benefits?

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The natural forest infrastructure provides multiple Nature's Benefits to people, plants, animals, and habitat. Find out how the Eldorado positively impacts your daily life!

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