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I've been to this campground twice now, and had very different experiences.
The first time was memorial day in 2019, and we had a great spot right on the water. We took our canoe and were able to launch from our site. So ideal. It was relatively quiet, and nobody immediately near us. Amazing sunsets.
The second time we went was June 2020. This time we stayed on the other side of the lake. The water was super low, so our view was completely dried up. Also, it was pretty noisy with sites cramming several tents onto their sites.
Either way, on both occasions we the site relatively last minute, maybe a week or two in advance. Any Californian will know it isnt always easy to book last minute campsites, so I appreciate that! There are 100+ campsites there, so it seems like always something available. Plus, not too far from the bay area.
Arrived early Friday afternoon in August and there were only 3-4 spots occupied. We got our pick of spots without a reservation. Most spots offer plenty of shade and space between neighbors. Bugs were moderate, bring bug spray. Pit toilets were clean. All camps have a fire ring and picnic table and a few have brick ovens. This is close to the lake, but no direct lake access. Weather was pretty hot and humid until a few hours after dark. Of all the campgrounds on Lake Pillsbury, this one seems the most secluded with privacy and distance from neighbors. The road to get here is mostly dirt and pretty windy, 4WD recommended. This is a popular area for hunting and off roading, so be prepared for a lot of OHV noise and gunshots echoing through the valley. In the evening it sounded like there was a gun range on the other side of the lake, 100 gunshots per minute until after dark. I would give 5 stars except for the OHV and gunfire noise. But the best part, in the right season the elk herds come through the dry riverbed next to the camp. We saw a herd of 30+ elk and listened to them calling all evening and in the morning.
After a last minute decision to leave Lake Berryessa in search of more solitude, found this gem of a spot. Lonely, picturesque, peaceful, and most importantly… open!
Totally recommend it. It’s a short 45 minute drive from Nice, CA adjacent to Clear Lake.
Note: there are fire restrictions- bring your propane stove / gas fire pit.
This Campground is barren The temperature in June is over 105 degrees. Very little shade. The reservoir was more like a mud puddle then a lake as it was drained early to support Rice Farmers in the central valley.
The only saving grace was a creek we found several miles toward Stonyford. Look for first bridge and you will see turn out.
I have great cell service with T-Mobile, but not all cell carriers have such luxury. The owners of this campground are a bit older and not very friendly when youngsters like myself come to stay here, so customer service is bad but the WiFi is exceptional and you can’t beat the view coming down to the R.V Park or the little creek it has here.