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Established Camping

Northwind Campground


National Forest

Eldorado National Forest

Location: 23 miles east of Placerville on Highway 50 and 11 miles north on Ice House Road (Forest Road 3),then east (right) on Forest Road 32.Northwind Campground Recreation Opportunity Guide (ROG) - This guide contains information, maps, and directions to assist you in enjoying your trip to the Eldorado National Forest.__

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Northwind Campground is located in California

Detail location of campground


38.831454 N
120.34855 W

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out of 5

1 Review

Olla S.
Reviewed Aug. 5, 2017


Dear Northwind Campground,

My husband and I have visited you twice this year and we’ve found our outdoor home in you. Your very low number of smaller campsites (less than 20) gives us the security that there won’t be too many bright headlights in the middle of the night, no city slicker that plays their music so loud that I could feel it in my bones and no large parties taking over the whole dang place.

In fact, because of this, the daunting trek up the mountain, your proximity to other larger and more popular campsites off of highway 50 and limited facilities, I get to be in the company of more seasoned campers: the family across from us that wants to jam with Stephen on guitar, the couple next to us with a fancy tent that pops up on top of their car, the little boys next door with braided long hair and walkie talkies and the teenagers who escape on their bikes to the reservoir to do cannonballs. This is the company I like to keep.

Yesterday, I was daydreaming while taking a sun nap on the soft ground and about a dozen cars passed by with envious passengers who didn’t get a spot with you. Luckily, there are other grounds but once you’ve gone Northwind, everything else is just dirt and a fire pit.

Your beauty is outstanding, awesome and breathtaking. Every site looks like it was created by an exterior decorator: boulders strategically placed, framing the flat ground, large trees providing the coolest shade ever and shrubbery that seems as though it was planted there on purpose in lieu of nature just taking its course.

Northwind, since you’re right up against the Icehouse reservoir, I get to take a kayak trip during the day to take a dip in the cool water. We might paddle across the water to an uncharted area of California for a picnic of wine and soppressatta. Or just float in the middle and talk about vintage cars and shooting stars. But my favorite thing is to paddle at sunset, when the sky is rose and blue and the water is black and violet, the breeze tickling my hair and sun is saying goodnight. It’s the best make out spot, for sure.

Speaking of city slicking, can I tell you how thankful I am that I get perfectly great mobile service out here? I’m literally blogging right the eff now. While being offline is cleansing, it’s no surprise how ridiculously convenient it is for us to be able to do some work in the middle of the day… or just fire up some Netflix by the campfire.

Your price per night is jaw-dropping. Only $10? For all of this? While it does take some amenities away (no camp host, dumpster or plumbing), it really is worth it. I don’t mind having to use a kerchief on my face when using the ladies room or remembering to bring water and firewood. It’s a small price to pay for a place so pretty that it might as well be a joke.

Thank you Northwind. For your smells, your beauty and the memories. We’ll be back as much as we can.



Month of VisitSeptember
  • My husband jumping into Icehouse Reservoir.
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  • Review photo of Northwind Campground by Olla S., August 5, 2017