Hampshire Rocks Campground is located in the Tahoe National Forest on the banks of the South Yuba River, near the Rainbow/Big Bend exit along Interstate 80. Visitors enjoy the area for its cool temperatures, access to the South Yuba River, fishing, and trail opportunities, as well as its historic significance along the California Emigrant Trail. This facility is operated and maintained by the Tahoe National Forest.
The South Yuba River offers swimming, and rainbow trout fishing. The surrounding area offers hiking, road biking, mountain biking, and off-road vehicle trails. The historic California Emigrant Trail passes through the campground.
The campground offers single-family campsites, a few of which are designated for tent camping only. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and campfire ring. Vault toilets and drinking water are provided.
The campground is situated on the north bank of the upper South Yuba River in a forest of lodgepole pines. Some sites are adjacent to the river, which flows gently through this particular area.
Donner Lake is located 14 miles east of the campground via Historic Route 40/Lincoln Highway, known as the nation's first transcontinental highway. Many points of interest lie along Route 40, including China Wall, Rainbow Bridge, Sugar Bowl, Lake Van Norden and Ice Lakes. Other attractions include Donner Summit PCT, Loch Leven, and Castle Peak Trailheads, Fordyce 4x4 jeep trail, and Grouse Ridge Non-Motorized Area.
ADA Access: N
The sites were fine and the campground was clean and conveniently located if you want to go to Donner Lake, etc. But the noise from 80 is relentless. I would only recommend the spot if you’re passing through.
We reserved our sites many months ago. In June I got an email saying our site was closed. I checked several review places and some claimed the gates were locked. Then later others noted it was now open. I called the rangers and they told be it was logged last year and some had not been cleaned up. A few sites were cleared but many had logs still in them. They said they call back and help me try to find a resolution. They never called back. The site is trying to charge me a $10 reservation cancellation fee even though my site is not available.
We ended up booking Chapman Creek instead. Looks like we made a good choice as every review coming in on other sites says the noise is ridiculous.
It is about 40 yards from the highway 80 offramp, so sound is never quite "nature" :) It is near civilization if you want to "glamp" for a bit. It is right on the water. If you want to know a secret, get camp site #2, and you will be less surrounded by other campers and have more access to the water.
Walk south west from the campsite on the road and you will have some decent day hiking with lovely views, but again, not entirely away from human buildings and wires, and all that.