Rubicon Trail - Sunset Campground is CLOSED for the 2018 season

by Placerville Newswire / May 13, 2018 / comments


The US Forest Service has sent out a News Release regarding SMUD's Crystal Basin recreation improvements scheduled for 2018.  

The Crystal Basin Recreation Area in the Eldorado National Forest is undergoing major upgrades which will greatly enhance the visitor experience in the future, but may make other destinations a better choice this year.  

Attention: Due to upgrades and construction activity around Union Valley Reservoir, boat ramps around the lake will be closing the day after Labor Day (September 4, 2018). This includes Yellowjacket, Sunset, and West Pont Boat Ramps.

Attention: Due to renovations by Sacramento Municipal Utility District, SUNSET-UNION VALLEY will be undergoing construction and will be closed for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. See you in 2020!


Sunset Campground is situated on the shores of Union Valley Reservoir, among the towering cedar and ponderosa pines of Eldorado National Forest. Aptly named, the campground is a fantastic destination for colorful sunset views over the lake. All water activities are popular here, but it's also fun to bring a bike and explore the neighboring bike trail. 

Eldorado includes the famed gold mining territory of the 1800s. Remnants of the days of the California Gold Rush can be found all around the region.

Natural Features:

Sunset Campground sits in the Crystal Basin at an elevation of 5,000 feet. Some sites are fully shaded while others sit in a meadow. The climate is similar to that of the Mediterranean with warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters.


On the water, sailing, boating and swimming are very popular. For hikers and bikers, the Union Valley Bike Trail and Bassi Falls Hiking Trail are great for exploring. Fishing in the lake includes rainbow, brown, mackinaw trout and kokanee salmon. 

The bike trail connects with the campground, near the boat ramp, and stretches for 4.8 miles along the eastern shores of the lake.


The large campground has 131 single-unit sites including 30 tent-only spots. Amenities include a boat ramp with an accessible boarding dock, a paved parking area, dump station, vault toilets and drinking water. A swimming beach is also located onsite.