1 Park near Lotus, California
Apr 2015 - $1.00
I stayed at this park on a thousand trails membership, it was actually free.
It is a popular park. There were still several spaces when I arrived.
The first place I stopped had loud music coming from outside the park, that was very evident when I shut the engine off, even with the windows shut. So I selected another spot.
In talking to the very friendly ranger staff, they said the music is from a bar (not visible through the trees) that plays music into the night.
This park is on the river, and it has a gravel bank along much of the length of the park.
I didn't use the restrooms or any of the other facilities, however I did walk much of the park and it was clean and well maintained.
The spaces are adequate, though they are close together.
I would come back to this park. - StormRunner
Aug 2014 - $8.00
Paid a $5 member rate plus $3 for 50 amps. This is a scenic campground right on the American River. The campground is about a mile downriver from Sutter’s Mill – the place where the initial California gold rush find took place. We were happy to find a vacant spot right on the river. These prime spots fill early so no one should come to Ponderosa expecting to have one of them. If you get one, though, you’ll have a great view. There are other nice campsites – some with limited views of the river, many just a short walk from it. However, this is a crowded campground. The sites are generally small and without grass. Some have nice shade but those along the river don’t and can be hot in the afternoon summer sun. Many of the favored spots have seasonal residents who may or may not even be there. The full hookup area isn’t on the river and the RVs are really packed in with hardly room to put an awning out. They are, though, close to the small pool and the activity center. The route into the campground might challenge some. No one recommends arriving via highway 49 from the north. A few hardy souls might be okay driving in on 49 from the south, but it has many twists and turns and fairly steep grades. The best route in is via the highway 50, Shingle Springs, Green Valley Rd., Lotus Rd. route. Even that approach includes a bit over a mile of 10% grade. Then, once you arrive at the park there are some tight turns on narrow roads on steep hills. In addition to watching the rafters we were entertained by paragliders who launched from the mountain just across the river from us and glided on the air currents for nearly an hour and also by fellow campers panning for gold in the cold water. One fellow showed me a small vial with several flecks of gold he had found that day. Others fished for trout and reported some limited success on that front. Satellite TV was reasonably easy to get and my Verizon 4G had a decent 3 bars of signal strength. We enjoyed our relaxing spot on the river and hope to return someday. - nazpaz
Jul 2014 - $41.00
When I made the reservation at this park I was told we had a pull-through with w/e/sewer. When we arrived we were told to drive through the park and pick a sight (a few back-ins were available) and that all sites with sewers were taken. We have a 35' with a tow. The roads were so narrow, filled with huge holes, steep hills and sharp turns that we drove through and left this park. - AK Crume