Camping & Whitewater Rafting on the Tuolumne River
Camping is one of the most popular recreational activities in Stanislaus National Forest. There are 12 riverside campsites available for whitewater rafters, and 4 additional campsites designated for commercial whitewater rafting companies. There are also 3 National Forest campgrounds. All campgrounds and riverside campsites are on a first come - first serve basis.
Camping Along Cherry Creek
"Don't try to carry camping gear down Cherry Creek. Camp at Lumsden Bridge Campground (right bank, just downstream from the bridge) or at other sites near the road. Get an early start. If darkness catches you on the river, tie up the boats, climb up the right bank to Lumsden road and finish the run in the morning."
Excerpted from California Whitewater by Jim Cassady & Fryar Calhoun
Undeveloped Riverside Campsites
There are 12 campsites which can be utilized by whitewater rafters within the Wild and Scenic Tuolumne river canyon. Check with the Groveland Ranger District for more information about these campsites. Note: All mileage's are taken from Meral's Pool River Access.
- Tin Can Cabin: mile 3.5
- Powerhouse: mile 7.6
- Grapevine: mile 8.0
- Baseline: mile 8.9
- Driftwood Paradise: mile 11.4
- Cabin: mile 12.8
- Big Creek: mile 13
- Mohican: mile 14.1
The following four campsites are reserved for commercial rafting trips on a first-come, first-serve basis. However these campsites can be used by non-commercial rafters if they are not need by commercial rafting companies. Check with commercial trips at Meral's Pool put-in to see which commercial sites might be available. Note: All mileage's are taken from Meral's Pool River Access.
- Clavey Camp (upstream, left): mile 5.5
- Indian Creek: mile 8.3
- Wheelbarrow: mile 8.8
- North Fork (downstream): mile 15
Developed Campgrounds in the Tuolumne River Canyon
The Wild and Scenic Tuolumne River has three developed campgrounds which are managed by the USFS Groveland District. All campsites have vault toilets, picnic tables and grills.
- Lumsden Campground: located just upstream of Meral's Pool
- Lumsden Bridge Campground: 3 miles upstream of Lumsden Campground
- South Fork Campground: 1 mile upstream of Lumsden Campground
The Above Forest Service campgrounds are FREE to use on a first come - first serve basis. Motorhomes and vehicles with trailers are not recommended in some campgrounds; the access roads are steep and rutted. Electric and sewer hookups are not available. Maximum number of people per campsite is 6 and the maximum stay is 14 days. Lumsden and Lumsden Bridge Camps are open year round, and South Fork Camp is open from April 15 - October 15.
Photos courtesy of All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting