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We hiked up to Juniper campground from the Clayton side. The sites in the teens have less overhead shade but more privacy than those of higher numbers. The sites closest to the driving road/entrance/overlook will have the potential to be downwind of the bathroom, unfortunately.
The campground is a dry campground - as in no alcohol.
That said, we loved our site #15, and enjoyed the privacy it provided, plus the views (if you stand on the table or are tall). We didn't encounter critters. We had some trouble staking down on the rocky dirt.
This is a good campground to explore the rest of the summit areas, plus Rock City.
We stayed here for a weekend at one of the hike-in sites in the Chamise area. We were the only ones in this area, and had a decent view of the lake. We even managed to make a path down to the water from our site, so we could swim. Lots of good trees around for hammocks.
The hike-in sites were relatively close to the parking area, so not a huge hike, though a little steep. We probably brought too much stuff, so it might have been a little easier if we pared down a little.
Not a whole lot of people when I visited in March— pros and cons to having the campground to myself. A lot of privacy but almost a little to much privacy as a woman. Set up my tent near a couple as I was bike packing down US 1 for some protection. Fire wood available but I was able to find some left over from people’s campsites that went unused.
We camped out for 2 nights in spot 96 in the height of summer and just before all the fires started. New Melones was not a top destination but it was close to a very special place for us, Natural Bridges. Also, at the time of booking it was one of the few campgrounds accepting new reservations in this age of COVID. We selected spot 96 as it was the furthest from any other spot (situated on a bend and the only site on that part of the road for a while). It was something like 107 when we were setting up the tent and most of the day time but on the lake itself, the temperature was perfect. One thing to be aware of, most of the drive in camp sites, including ours, had absolutely no shade (including nowhere to hang a hammock).
- The view was amazing
- The tent spot was level and clear of big rocks
- All the campers abided by quiet time
- It was so dark that I was able to do some great astrophotography
- The location was a great step off point for adventure in Gold Country
- The last campers in our spot left garbage everywhere. We filled up a large garbage bag before we could setup camp.
- Some bathrooms were closed but port-o-potties were there instead (as if somehow that is more clean???)
- The bathrooms that were open were disgusting
- No camp host onsite while we were there
We don’t have a boat but the boat launch was pretty busy all day and the day use spots were packed.
All in all, Tuttletown wouldn’t be our first choice but we would go back - probably later in the season since we aren’t there for boating.
I was debating on 3 or 4 stars. Showing up in 107 heat and wanting to set up a tent but having to clean up that much garbage was a huge turn off and having bathrooms closed with no notice was also a disappointment. I know these things aren’t normal but more notice on facilities and finding ways to get this cleaned up first would be a start.
I am a tent camper and there are some good tent sites here. A bit open so can be windy but pick your site.
Access to the Delta with a boat ramp. Access to fishing all around you. Beyond water sports not a lot to do here but relax. Or go fly a kite.
This is a big campground with everything you need for boating and fishing. They have a big boat launch for easy launching. They closed their boat berths because they were rotting. They have one cabin with electricity. It has a bunk bed And a queen. Bring air mattresses cause they are just wooden frames. Very close to the Sacramento River for a nice cruise.
This site is a nice hidden gem that many won't know even has a campground. While tiny and available only for a small number of campers, if you can get a spot booked well in advance, you'll have the place nearly all to yourself. Located just off of 680, you'll take Bollinger Canyon Road where you'll head just north of Las Trampas Stables before coming to a round-about where there's ample parking for about 30 cars (no worries, overflow parking on the street is allowed).
From the parking lot, there's 3-4 hiking trails to take, but the one to the campsite is the only one heading south from the parking lot. You'll have to hike all your gear in from here, and it's about 150 yards, so not all that bad, but the pathway is a bit choppy in places, so you'll want to carry most of what you've got on your back (or head!). There's just a few simple amenities at the campground, where I could only count 6-8 or so places to park a tent. Once you're all set up, take the hiking trail straight up to Las Trampas hiking ridge (there's only one trail up from your campground, so if you're not panting, then you're heading in the wrong direction). Pass the cows grazing in the meadows to climb clear to the top for a most spectacular view of Eastbay and nearby Mt. Diablo. The other 2-3 trails that you'll find here are all worth taking and all fairly easy-to-medium in difficulty, but anyone heading up to the ridge, will find at many places it is steep and can be difficult hiking (just apply the icy hot after your hike!).
As for the campground itself, it is bare minimum - the ground is relatively flat, but the entire space is encased in a barbed wire fence area playpen to keep the roaming cattle and other wildlife from coming near the area. When we were there we saw deer, cattle, raccoons and many other four legged vermin running around the area. Inside of the pen though, there's 5-6 stone picnic tables, a water fountain, only a single locker to place your food (so first-come, first served!) and a double-mounted grill. All in all, if your aim is to spend 2-3 days scouring Las Trampas ridge, then this is a great place to call home for a few days, but it lacks the amenities and natural serenity that you would normally expect when outbacking here in Cali.
And if you get tired of the campfire food, it's SO easy to just head into nearby San Ramon for a classic In-N-Out burger (it's a staple here in Cali, but I'm not from here, so I don't get what all the fuss is about) or for the best bite around, try out Zachary's Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza (this Chicagoan approves!) and a frosty cold mug of Anchor Steam to wash it down with.
Throughout the Eastbay, you won't find a more instantly recognizable location from such incredible distances as Mount Diablo. While the shoulders of this giant mountain are broad and sloping, don't be fooled, the plethora of hiking trails can be quite difficult and steep in some places. Mount Diablo can best be accessed by getting off of HWY 680 at either the Los Cerros or Diablo Road exits and weaving through Danville's eastern side, meandering through snake-like turns in an incredibly picturesque countryside until you reach the 3-way stop near Athenian School. From here, head north and simply follow the zig zag 2-lane mountain hike up to the summit - but watch out for the constant, ever-streaming cyclists who daily make this mad journey up-hill (or whiz down it at ultra-high speeds after reaching the summit).
Located just 5 minutes past the Park Ranger's entrance, you'll come across the first of 2 campgrounds - Live Oak - which is positioned within walking distance from one of the funnest areas of Mount Diablo - Rock City. Here the kids (OK, the adults too!), can scale and crawl around all sorts of amazing jutting rock formations. Once atop, you'll command sweeping views, in any direction, of the entire Eastbay. The campground itself is somewhat basic and is not that much of a draw, other than being a really convenient respite from the tons of trails and activities that abound on this mountain. There's a community amphitheater, which leads me to believe that perhaps the Park Rangers lead educational seminars, but none have ever been offered while we've been there.
The best bit about Mount Diablo is that for a 20-25 minute drive up to the campground, you really do feel like you are getting away from it all, and the upside is, well, you're on a mountain, so you've got incredibly great views all the way around - you simply need to do a little bit of homework in terms of which trails to target. Scattered throughout Mount Diablo are really great (especially now during C19) isolated picnic areas and benches to avoid any crowds (which you'll definitely come across either at Rock City or up at the Summit). I highly recommending ascending to the Summit for a 360 degree view of the Eastbay, where on a clear day, you can catch a glimpse of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, San Pablo Bay as well as even certain peaks at Yosemite.
And while we all love hot dogs and cooked beans, followed by S'mores, the great thing about this campground is it's proximity to civilization. If you get tired (or run out) of campground fare, check out the few restaurants in nearby Blackhawk (turn left after Athenian School) or a myriad of options in Danville (turn right and head back to and past HWY 680), of which I highly recommend Locanda Ravello for old school Italian (ask for Antonio!), Luna Loca for the best Mexican around (for those that appreciate real heat, try anything 'pica'), farm-to-table Harvest or the outdoor patio with live music at Bridges.
We camped here in late June. The campground was quiet and well maintained. There is camping right on the water. There is not a lot of shade however and it is very hot in the summer and fall. Perfect for a night away or like we used it for, a trial trip with the kids.