Log In
Join Now

Camping at Madrone Cove Boat-in Campground

Scan for Cancellations
All campsites booked in Madrone Cove Boat-in Campground? Create a scan and we’ll notify you when somebody cancels.
Scan for Cancellations

Location and Access

Madrone Cove Boat-in Campground is a unique camping destination located within California's Tahoe National Forest. As the name suggests, access to this campground is primarily by boat, providing a secluded camping experience on the shores of Bullards Bar Reservoir. This campground is situated in the northern Sierra Nevada, within Yuba County.

Campsites and Facilities


  • Dispersed camping spots are available along the reservoir.
  • Each site generally includes a flat area for tents, although amenities can be very basic compared to other campgrounds.


  • Due to its remote nature, facilities at Madrone Cove are minimal.
  • Visitors should not expect running water or trash removal services, which means they must pack out everything they pack in.
  • Typically, there are no restrooms, so visitors should be prepared to practice proper waste disposal techniques, following Leave No Trace principles.


  • Boating: Since the campground is boat-access only, boating is a principal activity. Bullards Bar Reservoir is known for its excellent boating conditions.
  • Fishing: Anglers can enjoy fishing in the reservoir, which is home to various fish species including kokanee salmon and various types of bass.
  • Swimming: The reservoir waters offer a refreshing swim on hot summer days.
  • Hiking: There are trails in the vicinity for those who wish to explore the surrounding forest.
  • Wildlife Viewing: The Tahoe National Forest is rich with wildlife, offering chances to see various birds, deer, and other forest creatures.

Reservations and Regulations

  • Reservations: Madrone Cove does not typically support advanced reservations due to its primitive and dispersed nature. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Regulations: Since it's in a national forest, all Tahoe National Forest regulations apply. This includes fire restrictions, which can be stringent, especially during dry conditions. Always check current regulations before your trip.
  • Campfire Permits: Depending on current fire danger levels, campfire permits may be required for using camp stoves, lanterns, and campfires anywhere outside of a designated campground.
  • Pets: Pets are usually allowed but must be managed according to forest guidelines, which often means keeping them on a leash and cleaning up after them.


The campground and the reservoir are generally most accessible in the late spring, summer, and early fall. Access during winter can be challenging due to snow and road conditions, so it's crucial to check the forecast and any travel advisories before planning a winter trip.


  • Water Access: With no potable water available, visitors must bring sufficient water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.
  • Trash: Pack out all your trash to maintain the pristine nature of the environment.
  • Safety: Always wear life jackets when on the water and be aware of changing weather conditions.
  • Bears and Wildlife: Be mindful of bears and other wildlife; store your food and scented items securely.
  • Navigation: Bring maps and possibly a GPS device, as cell service can be unreliable.
  • Preparation: Fully prepare for a self-sufficient camping experience due to the lack of services and facilities.

By adhering to these guidelines and being well-prepared, visitors can enjoy a peaceful and rustic experience at Madrone Cove Boat-in Campground in the Tahoe National Forest.

Location of Madrone Cove Boat-in Campground
Scan for Cancellations
All campsites booked in Madrone Cove Boat-in Campground? Create a scan and we’ll notify you when somebody cancels.
Scan for Cancellations
National Parks Badges

Get The Campsite Reservations You Want

Create a scan to get notified once a reservation opens at a campground you're interested in.