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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Loon Lake or Gerle Creek, CA CGs?

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maria_bettina

Auburn, CA

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Posted: 12/15/11 07:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We're getting ready to start making reservations for Summer 2012. I was set on taking our 18' Terry TT to Loon Lake CG (near Ice House Res off of CA-50) in late June, but then I saw the Gerle Creek CG. Gerle Creek, according to descriptions, seems more private and remote. I was wondering if anyone had any opinions or reviews for these two campgrounds.

We are looking for low-key, as private and quiet as can be, with hiking nearby, ideally without driving and within a walk from the campground.

One thing I am concerned about is the noise from the Rubicon Trail from off-roaders. Would I hear that from the Loon Lake CG?

And are the trails near Loon Lake safe to hike on, even the ones that allow 4WDs?

Are there hiking trails near the Gerle Creek CG, or would be have to drive to the trailhead?

And would anyone recommend kayaking (Class 1-2 kayaks, sit-on-top) in Loon Lake and/or Gerle Creek?

Any info is appreciated, esp. the condition of the CGs regarding leveling trailers

We'll have a 4-year old with us, so having a paved campground (I think Loon Lake is and Gerle Creek is not?) is good for kids' biking around... but that's not our only consideration obviously.

Thanks!

knparker

Vacaville,CA

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Posted: 12/15/11 07:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've never been to Gerle Creek but Loon Lake, many times. I always take the kayak to Loon and have paddled it often, nice paddle, never had any wind but power boats are allowed.

There are plenty of hiking trails right from the CG, in fact you can hike right into Desolation Wilderness. The 4WD staging area for the Rubicon trail is on the opposite side of the lake from the CG so that shouldn't be a problem however the campground on that side I wouldn't recommend. Usually a bunch of rowdy off road enthusiasts there. The last time we were able to hear music from across the lake one night, it's not a regular occurrence but does happen... children in adult bodies

As far as leveling, the sites are fairly flat and everything is paved but bring pads for your jacks as some of the asphalt is kind of thin, a friends hydraulic jacks punched through last time. The sites near the lake are nice but beware, the mosquitos can be brutal in the evening so come prepared. It's not as bad away from the water


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exgman

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Posted: 12/16/11 07:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

knparker has it right. If you are looking for quiet don't camp in the eastside campground. Also, the westside campground didn't open until mid July last year due to snow. I'm not sure if Gerle gets plowed, but I doubt it. The Crystal Basin area is very busy during the summer, especially on the weekends. Camping during the week would be recommended. By the way Dennis, Forest Service, State Parks, and the El Dorado SO have LEO's on the Rubicon Trail during the summer now. Families are starting to come back


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Posted: 12/15/11 09:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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Posted: 12/16/11 01:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You will absolutely LOVE the road in and out....I think they forgot the guardrails.......my vote goes for Loon Lake, but pick your stay dates carefully. Lots of activity on the Rubicon and mostly not appropriate for those under 18.....Dennis


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maria_bettina

Auburn, CA

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Posted: 12/15/11 08:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

knparker wrote:

I've never been to Gerle Creek but Loon Lake, many times. I always take the kayak to Loon and have paddled it often, nice paddle, never had any wind but power boats are allowed.

There are plenty of hiking trails right from the CG, in fact you can hike right into Desolation Wilderness. The 4WD staging area for the Rubicon trail is on the opposite side of the lake from the CG so that shouldn't be a problem however the campground on that side I wouldn't recommend. Usually a bunch of rowdy off road enthusiasts there. The last time we were able to hear music from across the lake one night, it's not a regular occurrence but does happen... children in adult bodies

As far as leveling, the sites are fairly flat and everything is paved but bring pads for your jacks as some of the asphalt is kind of thin, a friends hydraulic jacks punched through last time. The sites near the lake are nice but beware, the mosquitos can be brutal in the evening so come prepared. It's not as bad away from the water


Thank you so much for all that info. I really appreciate it. Loon Lake sounds great

maria_bettina

Auburn, CA

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Posted: 08/18/12 05:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just got back from Loon Lake, and visited Gerle Creek while there. All I can say is Wow. Loon Lake has its advantages, but Gerle Creek is the place for me. It is beautiful, quiet, and there are sites right on the water, so I won't have to drive the kayak to the ramp like at Loon Lake. Heaven.

PS the mosquitoes are not bad right now. Yellow jackets on the other hand are.

brian.hill4

Castro Valley, CA

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Posted: 07/14/12 12:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have been tent camping at Gerle Creek for 40+ years. This is the first year we are going to take our TT instead of a tent. Gerle Creek was closed and renovated last season (We camped at Ice House) so we don't know what we will get this year. There are no hookups so prepare to boondock. Water spigots are provided but you have to haul it to your site. In our past experience, the campground is generally very quiet, there are plenty of trails to hike, power boats are not allowed on the lake, the water is very cold but refreshing on hot summer days. Fishing is usually much better at Loon Lake. I hope this helps.


Brian Hill and Beautiful Bride Mary Jane

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