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Woodward is our family go to place to camp in the summer heat. Lots of campsites with room for tents or RVs. Fire pits and picnic tables at each site. Plenty of bathrooms, some with showers. Usually somewhat clean. Water feels good when it's 100+ degrees outside. Good prices. And you can bring your dogs.
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 have come here many times. It’s a neat little area. The kids can ride their bikes, play in the park, they have a volley ball net and have had outdoor movies. The lake is great, we have even rented boats and gone out. The kids loved the fishing pond. Wind can be strong at times. Deer do like to come through. I don’t recommend the middle of summer as it can be really hot.
Wicked August heat, BUT there’s the lake!
5 Stars — were it not for the SLOBS who preceded us!!🤔😡 We were a party of six, in 2 adjacent sites nearest the lake, spent the first 30+ minutes policing up ALL manner of trash; some of it appeared to have been there for YEARS, “literally” — no pun intended…
NOTE 1: We were there Tues-Thurs, only 3 - 4 other parties in the WHOLE place. It totally fills up on weekends, so our experience could be mitigated by crowds, partying!
NOTE 2: There is NO overflow parking. So if you have more than 2 vehicles you have to pay for an additional site. We all could have fit in one site but had to buy 2 sites since we had 3 vehicles and a boat/trailer.
Some sites have plenty of shade, some none, which would be killer in the heat! Great, QUIET time. When the lake is down (like now) it’s a bit of a haul to the water — cart/wagon recommended, as well as a shade pop-up AT water’s edge. Great for just floating around, having a beer or 3. Fishing attempted, no prizes….
STUNNING, ever-changing sunsets — pics don’t do justice!
Large sites, picnic table, and substantial fire ring with primitive grill. Ample water stations, only porta-potties. There are group (double) sites, [not currently available with Covid-19 restrictions]. Some sites are reasonably isolated from “neighbors,” some not. Those closest to the water are preferable. About ½ mile walk to the store, longer when the lake-level is higher.
We will DEFINITELY be back, with friends!!! Our party’s booker reports their website was a bit tricky.
My family and I do a big camping trip here every year, for the past 6 years. We love it. We’ve been there during drought years and when the water is back at normal levels. Typically when we go is summer, late July to early August, and majority of the grass is dead and it’s HOT, but the water makes up for it. The water isn’t freezing, it’s usually pretty warm. The lake isn’t huge, but makes for great boating. The only downsides are: tends to be a lot of trash/bottle caps/etc and not even trash can space, the shores in certain areas are filled with big rocks and don’t make it very fun for trying to swim in the water, and shade can be limited depending on where you’re staying. Weekends are filled up and busy, but during the week days it’s nice and quiet.
I have stayed here many times when we just need to camp and don’t have time to get away. It is super close in town, easy walk to the water from the campground, lots of paved trails for biking and walks. It is also a major draw for people who are just camping to be loud and drink heavily. To each their own for sure, but don’t count on it being the quietest place you’ll ever stay. Bathrooms and showers, potable water. Gets HOT so come prepared.
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.