Explore the most popular camping trails in El Dorado National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
2 days ago

The trailhead was difficult to find and did not have a sign specifically saying that it was for the One Eye Creek Trail. From what I could tell, there were two different options. Either you could park on the side of the paved road and walk in about a mile and a half to the trailhead, or you could drive on the unpaved road (after May 1) and park at a little random patch right at the trailhead. The only indication that you are at a trailhead is a post in the ground with a symbol featuring hikers.

A good amount of the trail was not maintained, so definitely make sure to wear thick hiking pants. We got pretty scratched up. Also make sure to bring mosquito repellant. We could not figure out how to get to the waterfall, but did enjoy a nice lunch down by the creek.

Not great for hiking as you get further on the trail. It is overrun by poison oak and blackberry bushes. We were not able to complete the hike even though we wanted to. Bummer since we drove all the way from Sacramento.

hiking
3 months ago

A bit of noisy disruption at the beginning of the hike. Tractors tearing down burned trees that are probably a falling risk.. Beautiful hike though, I would say very slightly moderate.. pretty easy hike. The incline on your initial way back to the Trailhead is a little struggle and then pretty easy all the way back!

camping
5 months ago

Hard! 8 miles 1 way. plan on camping at upper hell hole when going here. be prepared for a lot of up and down stretches. we called them stairways to hell. when you reach the campground it becomes heaven. spent a week here. lake was way low but plenty of fun with the river. recommend boating to upper hell hole not hiking

hiking
5 months ago

This is one of those trails which are are more about the journey than the destination. The lake itself is pretty meh. There are some granite cliffs next to the lake which are fascinating and very Yosemite-esque. I went on 11/26/17. There was a snowstorm the week before but the trail was clear. It is very hard to follow and there was swampy land and some water on the trail. So make sure you wear trail boots and socks. The ice ponds along the trail at this time were fascinating.

snowshoeing
6 months ago

Due this trail being so popular and short, I have tried to do this trail in the winter months.
The first time in early 2017 we were unable to complete the trail due to so much snow on the ground and high water.
This time we hit it just right! Headed up right after a storm that dumped snow only above 6000' and maybe 6 to 8" of fresh powder.
I do not suggest attempting this trail when snow is deep. To many areas where avalanches may occur. There is a ton of water on the trail so bring your tall boots.
The scenery was awesome!
Our tracks are a little off due to the snow cover but managed to stay on track better on the back half.

snowshoeing
6 months ago

Very short hike. I did this in the winter and it was nice.
Spring and summer gets packed with people.
We hiked out from Round Top this way and with snow shoes on it was a long slite up hill to Carson Pass.

backpacking
6 months ago

We probably got the last backpack of the season continuing past Grouse Lake to Smith Lake for 1 night (very cold and windy night), as we were hiking over snow from 8000' onwards and it began to get thick past Grouse Lake. Still great for hiking though and is well tread so the trail is easy to follow. All uphill so it's good work getting there, but lovely views and the lakes make it well worth it.

hiking
6 months ago

I would rate this trail as fairly easy - not moderate. Trail is a little difficult to follow in spots. A couple of weeks ago would have been better for fall colors. Very nice hike.

hiking
7 months ago

This was a great little trail. Very secluded.

off road driving
7 months ago

The trail is officially open with trail repairs made at the stream crossings. Such hard work went into this, please stay on the trail and keep the trail open.

We made it through the trail in about 3 or so hours. This trail is not for those with little to no experience and no armor or locking differential. There are a lot of tight spots and to make matters worse, a large rock right in the middle. Busted side mirror on the large tree with the off camber lean.

It was great to run this trail, it had been about 15 years since the last time I ran it.

backpacking
7 months ago

A great trail! Took 4 friends and 3 dogs. We found that there was snow everywhere. Breath taking!! Most of the trail is well marked. The log across the stream was snowed over with ice, a bit of a challenge! Once we got to the granite, many of the ducks had been knocked over. Another challenge, but we found our way to the lake. We all had a fantastic time.

Time is running out if you haven't made this hike; as winter approaches trail will most likely close!

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing day- Clear sky's - Warm- not crowded at all
Definitely wear ankle high hiking boots - lots of climbing up rocks and it is steep downhill on them

off road driving
8 months ago

The trail is back open to off road vehicles!

We completed it on 9/9/2017
This is not a trail for the casual wheel, I would not attempt it with out at least one locker and rock sliders.

But if you have the right rig, I would highly recommend this tail. We completed it in about 5 hours but where going pretty slow with lots of stops along the way.

hiking
8 months ago

Gorgeous hike!! We experienced an awesome thunder storm ⛈!!!

on Lake Margaret Trail

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful trail. Enjoyed how we were in and out of trees and up and down on the trail. Pretty rocky and some maneuvering on the bigger rocks. The trail makers were over all easy to follow until we got to the large tree trunk that kinda looked like a dead end but once we climbed over it we were able to find the trail after some looking around (over the tree trunk follow to your right and you will start seeing markers again). We headed out pretty early so we didn't see too many people on the way in but by the time we were on our way back their was a lot more traffic. Looking forward to going back.

Nice little short hike.

backpacking
8 months ago

Great short trail. Too many people and watch out for skinny dippers.

hiking
8 months ago

Very scenic, fun rock scrambling en route to picturesque lake. Some moving water and smaller ponds along the way provide good birdwatching opportunities as well.

backpacking
8 months ago

it was a good up and down trail is a little harder for beginners trying to stay on the path not a good fishing area but decent swimming and camping also there are occasional nudists if that doesn't bother you beautiful scenery and sunsets

hiking
8 months ago

Splendid hike very close to numerous state and private campgrounds. No significant elevation change so doable for all age ranges. Beautiful creeks and meadows and varying amounts of hiking amongst rocky terrain and tall forests. And if it didn't get any better than that.. lake Margaret at the end which you can swim and jump off rocks into the water with above average views.

backpacking
8 months ago

People, leave your drones at home! Arrived at the lake to find two drones, music playing, people yelling as they jumped into the lake and later howling at the moon at night. More like an MTV real world special than anything I've ever seen in the back country. Beautiful spot, but an "interesting" crowd. Prob won't go back on a weekend.

there was so much poison oak we had to turn around at mile 1.

hiking
8 months ago

I started the trail later in the afternoon and came back to the trailhead to a breathtaking sunset. Such a perfect time to hike. There is plenty of parking at the trailhead. The trail is overall rocky although I saw one guy hiking in flip flops. More power to him but that's not the most appropriate footwear. There are lots of streams along the way and plenty of areas for dogs to take a dip. This is a dog friendly trail and several dogs were out today including my two. I noticed mosquitoes mainly near water so if you're like me and a mosquito attractor than being some bug repellent. Some of the trail is not marked well but folks have placed stacked rocks and it makes it easy to stay on track.

on Lake Margaret Trail

hiking
9 months ago

This is one of the most beautiful place, I have ever hiked to. The hike to the lake is pleasurable and you will enjoy each and every stretch you get to pass through at the end of which is a spectacular vista waiting for you.

on Lake Margaret Trail

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful hike. More like 5 miles if you hike around the lake after arriving. We had heavy thunderstorms which made it all the more exciting! Going to make this trek again soon!

not kept up at all....

This hike was amazing. I love every moment of it. It's the perfect length and difficulty level. It is so beautiful out here and a great place to swim and cool off. Trail is well marked and over all I would absolutely do this again and recommend it to anyone

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