Notes for reserving campgrounds with links to reservation sites…
National Sites open up 6 months early, at midnight? Each day opens one at a time, not in a whole block.
Recreation.gov (state parks)
State parks open up (according to a blog) on the first of the month at 8am for 7 months out.
Everything is now on Reserve California
You can now book 6 months out from the current day.
Car camping locally:
- Mount Tamalpais State Park
- Steep Ravine (S Rav) Fills up really fast
- Samuel Taylor State Park
- China Camp State Park. Lots of sites available anytime, mostly “hike-in”
Short hike locally:
Point Reyes Sky camp: 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
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.
Camping in Sierra:
Article for how to get a good spot:
(And what campgrounds often don’t fill up)
Automated reserve America checker:
- 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.
- Lakes Basin: 7/25/2018, Stayed in site #11 for 2 nights which was nicely shady. #10 ok also. Reservable sites. Decent swimming hole just across from site #11. 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.
- 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.