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any recommendations for an easy trail/camping spot?

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Old 01-16-2011, 06:53 PM   #1
aficianado [OP] aficianado is offline
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any recommendations for an easy trail/camping spot?

my wife gave me homework. she wants to do some hiking, and car camping bad. i keep promising, but dropping the ball.

i need to do this.
i need some help. i need to find a spot that is great for camping. campfire friendly. i dont want to be all crammed up next to some other family in another camp spot. so i want some isolation. i figured a great spot you need to mildly wheel into will eliminate alot of the crowd. this place needs to be great for 2 days out. unload a truck, set up a comfy posh camp, and do day hikes into the wilderness.

anything sound familiar? i am in the bay area. 3 hours away would be doable. we can do this late spring when it is still very cool but not freezing.

we need "alone" time. hahahah.
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:09 PM   #2
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Well, you're closer than you think to the cool stuff.

Mt. Madonna County Park has some great sites and is hiking friendly (Santa Clara County), Memorial Park (San Mateo County) offers camping and hiking also. Farther down the coast you've got Piffer Big Sur and any number of campgrounds along the way down Highway 1 (Not to mention Sunset State Beach--in Santa Cruz County).
All of these are places you will be next to someone else but my advice is go there first--just in case the wife decides a hotel or restaurant is in order

None of those has wheeling...but...if you want to head up to the Lost Coast, there's a little there plus there's the isolation your seek. The same can be said for the Eldorado forest--late spring/summer/fall are better for this. If you want, Big Sur has some remote camping too.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
i dont want to be all crammed up next to some other family in another camp spot. so i want some isolation.
OK, you just described national forest or BLM "dispersed" camping.

Stanislaus national forest. In spring, there won't be any campfire restrictions. In fact, you may want to bring your own firewood, kindling, and tinder because everything will be so wet you may have trouble getting a fire going unless you're *really* good at it.

Order a map from the National Forest Service online. Drive in - pick a likely spot, set up camp. Don't camp too close to an OHV parking/staging area or you'll be hearing ATVs and motorcycles.

You need to bring *everything* you'll need, including water, TP, a little shovel for digging catholes, etc... Make sure your wife is OK with the zero-plumbing option though. Girls can be funny about that.

Sorry, I am *not* giving out GPS locations of the good spots I've discovered.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:29 PM   #4
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The other option to get what you want is midweek camping.

All our nearby campgrounds turn into mini-cities on Friday and Saturday night. Camp on Monday and Tuesday night - and you've got the place to yourself.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:30 PM   #5
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A little further away, Death Valley has some great isolated spots for dispersed camping on road that are accessible by a stock 4x4. No campfires allowed outside of established campgrounds there, though.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:48 PM   #6
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A place that I have gone to the last 2 years with friends is Stumpy Meadows Reservoir in the El Dorado National Forrest. It's about a 3.5 hour drive from the East Bay. There's a ton of trails, with a variety of length and difficulty. THe campsites are super quiet and there's a lot of space between them. There's no showers but they updated the vaulted toilets recently.

There are short trails from the campsites to the reservoir or you drive to a ton of different trail heads nearby. There's a 2-3 mile hike to University Falls, manmade waterfall slides. And if you're really up to off roading, there's the Rubicon right there.





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Old 01-31-2011, 02:45 PM   #7
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Got to love icehouse!!! One of my fav spots!!!!!!!
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