Gerle Creek Reservoir is located about 2 hrs east of Sacramento up Hwy 50 off of Ice House Road. It is a great place for campers of all sorts. The lake is small and no motors are allowed on it. The water is clear and cold. Most people had canoes and kayaks and those brave enough to swim in the 58 degree water had a lovely swim.
Total Score: 21
Driving distance from Sacramento: (Rating 3) It took about 2.5 hrs from Sacramento in an RV. A lot of it is uphill and pulling a trailer or driving a RV makes it slow going.
Weather: (Rating 4) In August the weather was very pleasant in the mid to upper 80’s around the campground and about 10 degrees cooler at the lake with the breeze. The evenings were cool enough to still wear shorts and a light sweater.
Peacefulness: (Rating 5) The campground is far away from any roads so all you hear is the wind in the trees. The campsites are also a ways away from each other so you don’t hear your neighbors very much either (unless there is a screaming child throwing a temper tantrum).
Walking Trails: (Rating 5) There were two walking trails although I only took one of them. The lakeside trail takes you half way around the lake to the dam. It hugs the shoreline so you can stop and cool off whenever you want. Along the trail there are markers with historical information about the area and how the indians used it. I was able to let Roxie off leash to run and investigate and swim. Technically, I don’t think she was supposed to be off leash but no one else was walking and most people even in the picnic area had their dogs off leash so I dont think anyone would have minded.
Water Access: (Rating 4) The lake was a short walk from our campsite and had plenty of spots to plunk your stuff down and relax near the water and swim if you wanted to brave the cold temerature. The sheer beauty of the lake was enough to just sit and enjoy. The only thing that would have made this any better was if our campsite was waterfront. They DID have waterfront sites, but we weren’t in them. We will be next time though!
Water & Power: (Rating 0) This campground had no power and water spiggots were sporatic and not really near the campsites.
WiFi: (Rating 0) No service of any kind, not even cell service for at least a few miles up the road.
Reservation information: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado/documents/rogs/rog_pac_gerle.pdf
History of Gerle Creek: http://www.gerlecreek.com/documents/gerlecreek.htm