Bryan Galyardt

Free Camping

Days are getting longer and starting to get nice and warm as summer approaches. This means camping for me and Shannon, as we love to get outdoors, even for just a weekend. These days, camp sites can be expensive and sometimes hard to reserve a space if you don’t plan a couple months ahead. The best plan is to always check out some free camping options to avoid those steep prices. I have listed a few of my favorite sites not too far from SlideBelts HQ in El Dorado Hills, California.


  1. My favorite spot has to be Camino Cove, located around Union Valley Reservoir. This site is about halfway between El Dorado Hills and Lake Tahoe, off Ice House Road. It can be a little difficult to find as you must drive some very windy, one-lane roads to get to the north side of the reservoir. This site is my favorite because each site has beach and lake access. They are also pretty big, and you can camp for a total of 14 days.


  1. My second favorite is Loon Lake Dispersed Campground (I know, very creative name). Now these sites are cool because they are both close to Loon Lake, and to the Rubicon trail. These are also open sites, but last time I was there they didn’t have bathrooms too close. About a mile down the paved road is some public bathrooms that are somewhat clean.


  1. My last choice has to be these cool free sites located around a small lake called Bear Lake. Now these camp sites do require a bit of off-road travel so a 4x4 would be required, or at least highly recommended. This cool spot is off highway 89, close to Homewood ski resort. These sites are a bit smaller than both other sites, but they are way more private and secluded.


Camping season is here, people! So get out and enjoy what Nor-Cal has to offer. Always be safe and make sure to have the proper permits, like fire and fishing. Stay cool and have an adventurous summer!


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