For 2023, we will be offering Spring forays to find "burn morels" and "Spring kings" in the El Dorado and Tahoe National Forests. Forays usually last about 3-4 hours, and will involve hiking at altitudes between 4000ft and 7000ft in cool conditions. Please dress appropriately, wear good hiking shoes, and don't forget your mushroom basket!
Burn morels occur in the Spring in the Western US pine/cedar forested mountains usually above 3000 feet where a forest fire occurred in the prior few years. They are fairly predictable, and usually abundant. Also you can sometimes find Spring boletes (aka "Spring Kings") in adjacent unburned pine forests as well. The Boletes are usually a couple weeks after the morels, but they sometimes overlap. In California, there have been many forest fires in the last few years, and many places where burn morels will emerge. However, the mushrooms require rain! Therefore, our schedule is dependent on regular rainfall in the Spring. Snow melt will also provide moisture, rain is better!
The Caldor fire (2022) and Mosquito fire (2023) unfortunately burned large areas of the El Dorado and Tahoe National Forests, along with many homes and businesses. Please be respectful, stay off private property, and be careful. Burned areas can be dangerous and unpredictable.
Mushroom Collecting Permits are not needed if you're collecting a small amount for personal use If you wish to collect a lot, or sell/trade mushrooms, you need to pay for an El Dorado Forest Products permit, in the main ranger station in Placerville during business hours.
There is no guarantee we will find morels and boletes. Nature is in control, and we cannot predict exactly when morels and boletes will pop up. But, you will learn how to find them, and what to look for, and where to look.
Camping at Sly Park/Jenkinson Lake - 191 campsites for tents, trailers, RV's, groups, and even equestrians. Many are waterfront sites (see map).
This facility is run by the El Dorado Irrigation District, so they have their own reservation system.
National Forest Camping: Generally, you can camp for free in national forests, but recreational passes are a good idea. El Dorado National forest allows free camping for up to 10 days in undeveloped areas. Fire pit permits are required.
Activities and Hotels: Refer to the Visit El Dorado website
Best Western Stagecoach Inn (~169.00) 5940 Pony Express Trail, Pollock Pines • (530) 644-2029
Quality Inn & Suites Cameron Park (~140.00) 3361 Coach Lane, Cameron Park • (855) 516-1090
Americas Best Value Inn Cameron Park (~96.00) 3444 Coach Lane, Cameron Park • (530) 677-7177
Holiday Inn Express El Dorado Hills (~180.00) 4360 Town Center Blvd, El Dorado Hills • (916) 358-3100
Hampton Inn & Suites Folsom (~240.00) 155 Placerville Rd, Folsom • (916) 235-7744
Here are some extra resources about morels: