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Thread: Camping suggestions on the west coast or western states?

  1. #21

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    Re: Camping suggestions on the west coast or western states?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    IIRC Walmart allows RV'ers to overnight. It might depend on the store manager though. If you have a Costco card, they generally have the best gas prices---Costco has a directory of their stores with pumps.

    I don't know what's open in Reno, but the Santa Fe (next door to Harrah's) serves the best Picon Punches I've ever had
    I noticed you're planning a stop in Santa Fe, NM
    A loop around The Enchanted Circle( Taos, Eagle Lake, Purgatory) will put you smack in the middle of some mighty fine photogenic country if you can allow a full day for it.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  2. #22

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    Re: Camping suggestions on the west coast or western states?

    Thanks for the tips, John!

  3. #23

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    Re: Camping suggestions on the west coast or western states?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron Cornell View Post
    Thanks for the tips, John!
    Keep in mind that some of the less traveled mountain passes aren't kind to motor homes. They should be signed as such and although warnings used to published on road maps, I haven't seen them notated on current maps from the automobile club.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  4. #24

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    Re: Camping suggestions on the west coast or western states?

    John,

    since you seem to have become the unofficial tour guide for CA, I've since revised my plan.

    We'll be meeting an old friend in Bishop, my son wants to see Mammoth/June lake, Owens river, Ancient Bristlecone pineforest and more.

    I'm still thinking we may drive up along the coast, and see if we can find something an hour-ish from Big Sur where we can camp, then go there for a day trip or two. He also wants to see San Francisco, so we may just follow the coast to there, but I've warned him we can't be around other people. Worst case we just drive around and look.

    Then we could cut inland from the Bay Area and make our way back down along the 395 as you've suggested.

    Does this seem realistic?

    Are there any open camping places north or south of Big Sur that are open and may still have space?

  5. #25
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Camping suggestions on the west coast or western states?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    Keep in mind that some of the less traveled mountain passes aren't kind to motor homes. They should be signed as such and although warnings used to published on road maps, I haven't seen them notated on current maps from the automobile club.
    I followed a semi-truck over Sonora Pass -- well, I pulled over and took a nap until I figured he was up and over the Pass.

    Pretty busy up here in Northern CA...tourists coming to an area that recreation can be done keeping good distancing with some discretion. Lot of the State Parks Campgrounds are still closed, so that puts more pressure on private RV campgrounds and such. And a lot of locals rediscovering their home turf. I went backpacking over the 4th of July weekend (Th thru Monday) in Redwood National Park. Saw two groups of 3 people and 4 people on my hike up Redwood Creek, but once past them I saw no one else until two friends joined me (coming from a different direction) halfway through. Actually, this is not much different from the pre-Covid19 days...and easier. Reservations are online instead of having to be at the Visitor Center (closed) at 9am on the day one wants to hike in.

    I am not inclined to travel right now, but I have a VW Camper and tend to camp in odd out-of-the-way places...with a view. Many dirt roads leading off are fine...keeping an eye on the weather and changing road conditions. The Eurovan is not quite the off-roader as the old air-cooled, but does well. I love Hwy 50 thru Nevada for that.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  6. #26

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    Re: Camping suggestions on the west coast or western states?

    Since you have mentioned San Francisco, if you have time (2 hours) to venture north along the coast, I would suggest you check out Salt Point State Park. Not only is there camping (which may be closed) there is parking for RV's. Check out the park website; I think you will enjoy the drive and Salt Point itself.

  7. #27
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Camping suggestions on the west coast or western states?

    There is/was a private campground just south (3 or so miles) of Salt Point on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific. It has been a few years since I camped there (25 to 30). Salt Point is a nice bit of coastline.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  8. #28

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    Re: Camping suggestions on the west coast or western states?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6TLL View Post
    John,

    since you seem to have become the unofficial tour guide for CA, I've since revised my plan.

    We'll be meeting an old friend in Bishop, my son wants to see Mammoth/June lake, Owens river, Ancient Bristlecone pineforest and more.

    I'm still thinking we may drive up along the coast, and see if we can find something an hour-ish from Big Sur where we can camp, then go there for a day trip or two. He also wants to see San Francisco, so we may just follow the coast to there, but I've warned him we can't be around other people. Worst case we just drive around and look.

    Then we could cut inland from the Bay Area and make our way back down along the 395 as you've suggested.

    Does this seem realistic?

    Are there any open camping places north or south of Big Sur that are open and may still have space?
    Sure it's realistic if the State Parks reopen this year. All it takes is time & gas. And the camp grounds have to be open. Most are still closed but who knows what the future holds? As far as camping in Big Sur finding open camp grounds, especially with few people, will be the big issue. There isn't any dispersed camping I know of in Big Sur or anywhere along the central coast however inland a ways at Santa Lucia Memorial Park I think they allow dispersed camping, but it gets really hot there in the summertime! You might be able to find a place at Ponderosa Camp Ground on the Nacimiento-Ferguson Road which is a windy, back way into Big Sur from 101
    Another spot to check might be Oso de Oro State Park, South of Morro Bay. It's a huge camp ground I've never seen full up, on the sand dunes---an easy walk to the beach

    A typically crowded Big Sur camp ground that is incredibly beautiful is Lime Kiln but sometimes spaces open up due to cancellations. If you can find one across the creek at the base of the Highway Bridge the camp sites are spread out pretty far apart though(RV sites 1 & 3, IIRC.)
    Far apart enough for you? Check out the reservations map at the California State Parks website for Lime Kiln to see. Maybe save this one for healthier times.

    The California State Parks have a website where you can check for openings and make reservations
    https://www.parks.ca.gov/ParkIndex
    Type in the name of the campground and click on Brochures for a link to camp ground maps.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  9. #29
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Camping suggestions on the west coast or western states?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    There is/was a private campground just south (3 or so miles) of Salt Point on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific. It has been a few years since I camped there (25 to 30). Salt Point is a nice bit of coastline.
    The campground is Ocean Cove...they are open, but they do not take reservations.

    https://www.oceancove.org/
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  10. #30
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Camping suggestions on the west coast or western states?

    That private campground is ordinary stuffed wall to wall with tents and RV's - not a good situation in this virus climate. It's very popular with abalone divers; but I think the abalone season was cancelled this year. Salt Point itself is the uncrowded alternative to Pt Lobos further south. But it can indeed be salty with a lot of surf spray depending on wind conditions. But if you take a trip to the east side of the Sierra instead and do stop in Mammoth, make sure you drive all the way to the top of the pass to the overlook. Mammoth itself is rather developed, as is June Lake - both are ski resorts. Trying to do Big Sur then SF then over a high pass to 395 is doable, but in a motorhome?
    Hope you don't mind having ketchup bottles and shoes thrown at you. Even though traffic is way way down compared to normal, there's almost no place to park a motorhome in SF, and they're darn slow on either winding sections of Hwy 1 or mountain passes. As usual, I'll just give my predictable advice to spend quality time with fewer areas rather than attempting a bunch of crowded "must see" places, when there are a great many equally impressive places without the herds.

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