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01-17-2021 road in was muddy, but a capable 4x4 can handle it easily. Sites are dispersed, vault toilet, no trash. Trickling creek with frogs in the evening. It was windy over night and the road back out was blocked by a tree. There is another way out, but it's a Jeep trail and definitely requires 4lo. Our '03 4runner handled it fairly eaaily.
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.
The camping area is first come first serve. Very peaceful. There are platforms that are right on the creek where you can pitch your tent. We have an 8×8 tent and it was a little tight, so if your tent is bigger than that, you might want to call to get exact dimensions. Otherwise, there is a large open field for camping too.
Lots of shade and decent space between platforms. Close to the parking area, though the creek is between the parking and the camping platforms, so you can't drive directly up to your site. Very clean showers and restrooms nearby. No picnic tables at the individual sites.
One downfall (though very understandable) is not being able to have campfires or camp stoves, even in the winter. You cant really cook any food, BUT the cafe onsite had very tasty food if you want a hot meal or coffee.
The camping fee includes use of the hot springs too, which are amazing. Clothing optional, and I would say not that many people had clothes. The trail to the hot springs is right by the camping area, and a nice little hike.
Easy to reach, great in beauty backpacking trip. Wildflowers are plentiful in the spring.
Hike into campsites right on Cache Creek. If flow allows you can continue on after fording the creek into the Cache Creek WIlderness are where there is a resident herd of elk.
No services. Water can be obtined from the creek but needs filtering. Campsites are delineated and many have rock fire rings. I have not fished here but have seen many others coming in to do just that. Have seen eagles in the canyon everytime I have hiked in.
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.