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part ofEldorado National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Closed through Thu Jun 11 2015   Season Dates


The Bear River Group Campground offers four separate group campsites on a site above the south side of the Lower Bear River Reservoir. The proximity to water and the mixed pine setting in the fresh Sierra Nevada air, makes this campground an excellent group retreat destination.

Upriver from the campground is the Upper Bear River Reservoir. This lake is smaller and spans 166 surface acres with 2.5 miles of shoreline.

Natural Features:

Bear Group Campground is situated an elevation of 6,000 feet, just a short distance (approximately one mile drive) from the reservoir.

It is part of the Eldorado National Forest located in the central Sierra Nevada. A Mediterranean climate extends over most of the forest with warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters.


Lake activities include fishing, swimming, boating, canoeing and picnicking on the shores. Rainbow trout is found in abundance throughout the season, in addition to smaller populations of brown and mackinaw trout as well.

A short distance past the Upper Bear River Reservoir is the Pardoe Trail, which borders the Mokelumne Wilderness. The trail runs up the top of Squaw Ridge to an elevation of over 9,000 feet, providing excellent views of the surrounding area.


The campground is designed for tent camping only. One campsite fits 50 people while the other three sites accommodate 25. Piped drinking water, vault toilets, picnic tables, campfire rings and a group cooking area are among the amenities. The largest campsite is a walk-in site.

Nearby Attractions:

Restaurants, boat rentals and a general store are within a few miles of the campground.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Campfire Circles
  • Food Storage Locker
  • Grills
  • Group Cooking Facilities
  • Picnic Area
  • Vault Toilets
Within 10 Miles
  • Bait Shop
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • General Store
  • Hiking
  • Lake Access
  • Mountain Biking
  • Pay Phone
  • Swimming
Know Before You Go
  • Bears frequent the area; all food must be kept in approved containers
  • This facility has first-come, first-served sites
  • Motorized boats are not allowed on lake
  • For more information on Eldorado National Forest, click here
  • Don't Move Firewood: Protect California's forests from tree-killing pests by buying your firewood locally and burning it on-site. For more information visit firewood.ca.gov.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
38.53389, -120.21889
38°32'2"N, 120°13'8"W

From Jackson, California, travel east on State Route 88 for 39 miles and turn right (south) on Bear River Road. Travel 2 miles to Y intersection and stay to the right side, going across the dam. Drive .5 miles past South Shore Campground to Bear Group Campground, which will be located on left side of road.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

PIONEER  CA  95666

Phone Number:

Information:  (209)295-4251
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