Spacious sites, seriously special scenery, and proximity to recreation options -- if you and your doggo are looking for a place to pitch your tent in Eldorado National Forest, you’d have to be barking mad not to at least consider Gerle Creek Campground! The campground sits on the banks of the creek of the same name, just a little bit upstream from Gerle Reservoir.
Facilities at Gerle Creek are a little primitive, but the location may be well worth sacrificing showers and RV hookups for! There is a pet fee, but $1 per night per dog is hardly extortion. The site is at an elevation of 5,300 feet and well-shaded by gorgeous, mature hardwoods, so you and your pooch can stay cool even in the California summer sun. The place is understandably pawpular with pups and people from all over, so it’s best to make your reservation early, particularly if you need to stay at one of Gerle Creek’s accessible sites.
Gerle Reservoir is a great spot for a swim, but while non-furry family members are free to take a dip, your four-pawed pal will have to stay on dry land. Never mind that, though -- Gerle Creek is also close to some fantastically Fido-friendly hiking trails! The Harvest Trail, a short interpretive nature trail, has an entrance very near the campground, and its flat, paved surface can accommodate even a wheelchair or a stroller. The campground itself is home to the Gerle Creek Campground Trail, a two-mile tree-lined route that takes in the lakeshore, and you’ll find some more challenging hikes in the nearby Desolation Wilderness Area.
Gerle Creek doesn’t have any wifi, and cellular coverage ranges from spotty to non-existent, so this is not the best camping choice for those who need to stay in constant contact. Fires are permitted, but only within campfire rings and grills. Drinking water is provided on-site, so fill up those bottles before you head out for the day. Remember to bring waste bags for your pup, and enjoy your outdoor adventure!