Notes for reserving campgrounds.

Book State campgrounds tomorrow at 8am for [insert_php]

echo date(‘D M d Y’, strtotime(“+6 months 1 day”));



La Scuola holidays 2022:

  • Feb 21-25:  Presidents week
  • March 25: Friday off:  Samuel Taylor Site 20 reservation Friday & Saturday nights
  • April 8 Friday: professional development
  • April 11-15: Spring break
  • May 30: Memorial Day
  • June 3 Friday: Summer Break starts
  • June 29-July 31: La Scoula summer camp? (2020 dates)
  • Aug 3-14:  need camps for max!  
  • August 18 2021?:  School starts
  • Sept 6: Labor day

Reservations (Federal parks)

Reserve California (State parks)

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  • About CA State Park Reservations
  • You can now book 6 months out from the current day
  • Book tomorrow at 8am for[insert_php]echo ‘ ‘;echo date(‘D M d Y’, strtotime(“+6 months 1 day”));[/insert_php]


Car camping locally, roughly by distance:

  • Kirby Cove (just N of Golden Gate Bridge).  Firepits, short hike < 1 mile. Extremely popular & always full.  Photos.  Map.
    • Reservations:
    • Open: March 8 – Nov 2
    • Sites open 3 months / 90 days early @ time=?
  • China Camp State Park.   (North Bay) Photos.  Map
    • Nice campground, good bathrooms, and some showers (bring 4 quarters per shower!).  All sites are hike-in, about 100-200′, they have rolling trash cans to cart your stuff. Campground is in a shady Bay tree forest. Wood available for campfires.
    • Best spots in lower campground area: 7, 9, 13a, 14, 15 (far).  2nd best: 13b.  Best spots in upper campground loop: 17 (small), 21, 25.  2nd Best in upper campground: 16, 22, 23, 26.
    • Reservations: Sites open up 6 months in advance.
    • Lots of sites available when reserving in January
    • Dogs allowed on leash in campground and on beach, but not trails.
  • Mount Tamalpais State Park (Marin)
    • Reservations on, Sites open up 6 months in advance at 8am.
    • Steep Ravine (S Rav) Fills up right at 8am for 6 months out.  Photos.  Map.
    • Pantol: First come, first served.
    • Bootjack:  First come, first served.
  • Samuel Taylor State Park (Marin). Photos.  Map.
    • Reservations on, Sites open up 6 months in advance. Usually available if you book 6 months out.
    • Map
  • Mt. Diablo State Park (East Bay) Photos.  Map.
    • Reservations on, Sites open up 6 months in advance.
    • Juniper Campground seems better than Live Oak?

Santa Rosa or Farther North:

Penninsula or farther south:

  • Butano State Park campground
  • Portola Redwoods State Park.  Photos. Map.
  • Big Sur?

Short hike backpacking locally:

Haypress Campground  & Hawk Campground (Golden Gate Rec Area / Marin)

    • Reservations on or by phone: (415) 331-1540 from 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
    • Reservations allowed only 3 months beforehand
    • No pets in campground
    • Reviews seem good for backpacking:  Hawk is more remote and fewer sites.

Point Reyes Campgrounds

  • Point Reyes Sky camp:  Photos.  Map.
    • 1.5 mile hike. Lots of poison oak and not much to do once there.  Spots 5, 6, and 12 are wooded and really nice without much poison oak.  1 is exposed, but near some nice big trees that you could camp at.  10 & 11 never stay at.  The rest are just ok, with mixed blackberry and poison oak hedges around them.
  • Point Reyes Coast camp:   Photos.  Map.

Bay Area first-come, first served:

  • Castle Rock State Park in the Santa Cruz mountains.  Hike-in camps at 0.1 and 2 miles from road at different locations.
  • Mt. Tam. Pantol: First come, first served.
  • Mt. Tam. Bootjack:  First come, first served.

Camping in Western Sierra:

Camping in Eastern Sierra:

Lakes Basin Area: (S to N)

This whole area would be great to go back to-  any of the other campsites in the vicinity.  Gas and Groceries 20 minutes away in GraeEagle. We have a topo/hiking map now. Hike up to Sierra Butes is nice, but steep. Upper Salmon lake is great for swimming- we hiked up to Horse lake and nobody was there, it’s a great little hike from Upper Salmon Lake.

Our Campground Notes:

  • Tioga Lake:  7/21/2018,  Nice location with only a few spots.  All first come, first served.  Get there early (10am?) to get a spot if it’s available. Beautiful lake.
  • Robinson Creek South: 7/22/2018,  Nice campground with lots of good spots along the large creek, good enough for getting wet and cooling down.  We stayed in site #4 and it was great.  Good general store and big lakes just 2 minutes upstream!
  • Indian Creek Recreation Area: 7/23/2018, Spacious sites, decent campground with free warm showers! Reservoir isn’t that pretty or swimmable.  No need to go back here, though.
  • Lassen Summit Lake: 7/26/2018, Tight spaces and busy campground with lots of weekenders who may not be as nice as all the other places we’ve visited. Lake is ok to swim in, but silty squishy bottom.  Grassy lake edge was nice with some trees nearby for shade.
  • Lassen Juniper Lake: 7/27/2018, Small campground but REALLY nice lake.  Perfectly clear water and nice clean rocky bottom.  Sites are close, but so what?  Everyone there was really nice. Reservable group camp on the lake would be fun to try someday. No water, but pit toilets and trash/recycling.
    • Nearby Benner Creek campground (on road in to Juniper lake). Decommissioned campground, no water, but has a toilet and maybe a creek. Stay there the night before to get to Juniper lake early?
    • Use slightly farther away Warner Valley campground as a backup? Good reviews. PCT trailhead.


National Sites open up 6 months early, at midnight?  Each day opens one at a time, not in a whole block.  Looks like they only have private and regional campgrounds now.