Folsom Lake Camping: Everything you need to know

Folsom Lake is a great way to enjoy an extended holiday, living out of your RV or camper, next to an iconic lake that extends miles and miles into the horizon. Surrounded by the picturesque foothills of Sierra, Folsom Lake offers enchanting attractions from all kinds of campsite dwellers.

What is Folsom Lake known for?

Folsom Lake is known for boating recreation among visitors from nearby Sacramento as well as from the rest of the state. Folsom Lake has a surface area 18 square mikes and 70+ miles of shoreline. Folsom Lake and the adjoining recreation areas offer great opportunities for camping, water-skiing, boating, hiking, biking, picnicking, horseback riding, and running.

Because of its great expanse of water and also the undulated shoreline, the entire area is hugely popular among tourists, who come in large numbers to the various camping sites near the lake and stay through the spring and fall seasons. Visitors and campers who focus on spending more time on the water, rather than in the forest, enjoy the tourist attractions that abound the Folsom Lake.

For cyclists, there is a famous 51-mile long bicycle path here that connects Folsom Lake with Old Sacramento, meandering through a number of Sacramento parks including Lake Natoma, which is famous for aquatic sports such as kayaking, sailing and crew races.

Folsom Lake also offers great opportunities for fishing, with catfish, trout, and big & smallmouth bass found in large numbers in its water. There is also an out of service Folsom Powerhouse (1885-1952), once famous as the greatest electrical plant on the entire American continent, which draws tourists in large numbers.

What is the best time of year to go to Folsom Lake?

The best time to go for Folsom Lake camping is from mid-April to October-end. If you are looking to tap the dry weather, the months from July to October are the best as there is no significant precipitation during these months. Early January is least likely to witness rain or snow while late February is most likely to have both rain and snow. The Folsom Lake region is somewhat temperate with half of the year feeling cold and another half warm with little rain or snow. Early July is generally the warmest month of the year with minimum and maximum temperatures ranging from to 61.9F (16.6C) to 97.5F (36.4C).

What camp sites are there?

Folsom Lake is located at the picturesque Sierra foothills surrounded by three very popular campgrounds. Two of these campgrounds — Beal’s Point and Peninsula — are located on Folsom Lake while the third — Negro Bar Group – is at Lake Natoma, downstream Folsom Lake. Beal’s Point, and also Negro Bar, are well-developed campgrounds while Peninsula’s location is a little remote. Beal’s Point is open round the year but subject to reservation while Peninsula Campground is subject to road closures and winter.

Beal’s Point: Located to the north of Folsom Dam, this campground has camping sites for 69 families, with provisions for tents, motor homes, and trailers up to 31-feet long. Amenities include full hookups for RVs, sanitation dump, piped drinking water, restroom with showers for wheelchair-bound people are available.

Peninsula Campground: This is a secluded campground which can be reached by boat or by road, about ten miles’ drive from Pilot Hill on Highway 49. It has campsites for 100 families that can accommodate trailers (18-ft) and motor homes (24-ft). Sanitation dump, piped water, and flush toilets are available but hookups are provided.

Negro Bar: There are three group camps, two of which can accommodate 50 people each while the third one can take in 25 people.


Things to Know Before Going

  1. At Peninsula Campground, reservation is necessary only during the season while campsites are available on the first-come-first-served basis during the off-season. At the other two campgrounds, reservation for campsites is necessary round the year. Reservation can be secured in person or by mail to Folsom Lake Sector Office Monday to Friday from 9 am- 4 pm.
  2. At the time of registration, individual campers and their vehicles must be registered and due fees must be paid. After registration, a permit is given to the individuals and the vehicles to keep as proof of registration and payment.
  3. Summers are typically dry and hot. Dress lightly but avoid over-exposure to the sun.
  4. Winters are extremely cold with lengthy periods of fog conditions. Dress in layers to safeguard yourself from the penetrating chill.
  5. Spring and Fall are the best seasons for Folsom Lake camping as days are warm, evenings and nights cool. Dress in layers.
  6. You will need good quality walking shoes to explore the park trails. When you visit the lake’s beaches and boat ramps, you should not forget to wear proper shoes or sandals.
  7. During your Folsom Lake camping, day-use hours are in force everywhere except the following areas:

Should you go camping there?

Folsom Lake Camping is an excellent way to spend an extended holiday. Out of the three campgrounds, two are almost always full of campsite dwellers. The lake itself stretches nearly 50 square kilometers while its shorelines extend more than a hundred kilometers. With so much of nature’s bounty all around, there could never be a dull moment at Folsom Lake Camping.

Living on the lake or next to it, enjoying your time on the boat, going for hiking or excursions, cycling around the vast expanse of undulated land all around – there are simply so many things you will realize how days became weeks and weeks became months. When you are finally leaving the place, the long holiday that you thought it to be will seem coming to a premature end.

There is so much of simple living laced with fun and frolic, excitement and adventure, coping up with the odds, and enjoying what a campsite living can offer that Folsom Lake Camping will remain forever etched in your memory. You would feel like returning to the place again and again.

Going by the attractions it offers and our experience, Folsom Lake camping is a great outdoor stay in your favorite tent, RV or the camper that you must not miss.


Final Thoughts

Folsom Lake camping has gained immense popularity among the camping community in California and there are some compelling reasons for this. The place is so beautiful, the weather is just perfect, and the water body is so awesome, you will enjoy every moment

We’ll see you there!

Article Author
Sean's an avid camper, kayaker, and RVer. He loves spending time finding new trails and campsites to take his family and friends.