Andy H.
Wildomar, CA
Joined October 2018
CA
Cool experience, sites not ideal for tent camping

This is a really fun place to stay and has a bunch of awesome amenities. Right behind the campground is the Pioneertown Main Street, featuring replica buildings from the old west. They have stores, gun fights, and a restaurant nearby. The campground itself has a communal fire pit and bbq area that all campers can use. Each site has a table and fire pit. The layout of the sites is a little cramped and there is no privacy. It is designed mostly for equestrian camping and has horse stalls you can rent along with your site. The restaurant (Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace) is somewhat of a local icon, and has amazing food and is known for their live music.

Gorgeous Views and beach access

Another great Northern Coastal Redwoods campground! This awesome site is located on bluffs right above Agate Beach which is accessed via a steep walking trail. Once on the beach you can enjoy searching for agates, shells, and other cool ocean finds, along with frequent wildlife viewing. We even saw a whale not 15 ft from the shore! The weather can of course be hit or miss on the coast, but despite it the Beauty of this coastal area still shines through. 

The campground is pleasant with large sites that include fire pits, picnic tables, and plenty of forested privacy. We had a blast cruising around the campground on our bikes.

Beautiful campground near the redwoods

This campground is an excellent stopping point along the 101 Highway and the South for of the Eel River. It has great access to the River for swimming/fishing, and the camp sites are well spaced and many are very privately tucked down in the trees. There is a bunch of wildlife including river otters which we saw while here, and some bald eagles! Nearby are some great hiking trails, some of which travel through groves of redwoods. Sadly while we were at this location the opposite bank of the river which usually houses a whole other section of campground and is much closer to the River was closed for renovation/construction purposes. However we still enjoyed this beautiful location.

Nice, Quiet,Local

If you need to escape the hustle and bustle of the greater Temecula area then this little gem of a campground should be on your radar. The sites are cute and back up to old Oak growth and chaparral forest, and there are not very many but there always seems to be one or two available especially during the week. Their is not usually a creek (only in the really rainy years) but you can hike up the main trail at the back of the campground and down the dry creek bed. During the summer the trail can be quite hot and is best to do in the early morning. The location is also excellent if you wanted to camp and also your the local wineries of theTemecula valley.

Beautiful Redwoods, Very Cramped Camp Sites

If you find yourself traveling through the redwoods while driving the Avenue of the Giants this is a really nice little campground to stop in and spend the night. They have first come, first serve for any unreserved spots, and during the week there are typically a few available. However, they can only be used for one night at a time. 

The campground has access to the South Fork of the Eel River right across the street for swimming and fishing, and hiking trails nearby. Much of the campground is surrounded by huge redwoods and the stumps left from fallen or logged trees, which are in themselves enormous, and so much fun for kids to play on! There is also a nearby town, Myers Flat which has a store and the awesome Drive Thru Tree! The only downside to this campground is the size of the sites, which are crammed together and don’t have much privacy.

First to Review
Hot Springs, but not great camping

Deep Creek is one of the iconic “clothing optional” hot springs of Southern California. Not a place for those who don't want to see naked people in hot springs. 

The springs are great though, and there 5 main pools of varying temperature degree ranging from really hot to mild. Many locals maintain the pools and they are modified and can be drained and scrubbed free of algae. 

Camping in the area is ok as it is part of the national forest, but typical backcountry rules apply, like camping at least 100 yds from water and leave-no-trace ethics.  However many people do not follow these rules, and there is much trash and disruption of the natural environment due to over use and lack of rule following.

To get to the springs, you must go 1 of 3 ways. First drive through Apple valley area and come in the back side, pay to park on someone’s land, and hike the 2 miles down hill the whole way to the springs. Second you can park at the Mojave River Forks area, where the PCT comes through the San Bernardino National Forest, hike 6+ miles mostly uphill and across various stream crossings. Last you can drive in the back way again on service roads (4x4 required) and then hike the short distance from there.

All in all the camping in this remote hike-in area is sub par, but it is worth it for the hot springs.

Most Rustic/Posh Outdoor Experience Ever!

Backing up to the John Muir Trail all the way into the back country of the high Sierra is this Gem of a ranch. It has amazing amenities, such as cabins, tent cabins, developed hot springs, all meals included, toilets and running water, horses back tours/packing, backpacker resupply, and store. 

Getting there however is quite a feat. First you have to traverse a one lane road nearly 30 miles back into Florence Lake. Then you have to take a boat ride to the other side of the lake, and finally you have to hike 5+ miles to the ranch. It is all worth it for the sunning views, great food, amazing fishing, hiking, and all around experience.

Small secluded campground in the heart of the Sierras

This campground is so remote that you can only access it on a single lane road that winds precariously along cliffs and through the Sierra Nevada mountains. It boarders Florence Lake, which has a small store and fishing. The dock at the lake has a ferry that you can pay for and they will take you across the lake to drop you off at the other side. This is great if you are heading out on a backpack trip and want an easy ride. The campground had tent sites with fire pits and picnic tables. Vault toilets were available.

Great local campground with Fun Amenities

 This campground is great! It is right next to the lake which has a swimming area, bike path, climbing area, Hiking trails, along with a camp store which has boat rentals and much more!  There is also a museum off the entrance road to the lake. The Perris Auto Speedway is also very close to the campground. They have full hookup, partial hookup, and tent camping sites. Many of the sites have shade trees but some are exposed and can get hot during the summer.

Hot Springs and Dispersed Camping

Arguably the most popular hot springs in the Mammoth and Lake Crowley area, this BLM managed area sees a lot of traffic, but is well worth a visit! It has a nice maintained gravel road that ends in a large parking lot. Just before the parking lot is a pull out area with fire pits and space for multiple tents. If this is full there is another road that goes past the parking area and a little further on there is another pull out for a tent or two. There are two large hot springs pools that are natural and mostly undeveloped. To get to them you must walk down a wooden walkway and gravel path about 500 yds to the pools from the parking lot.

Close to city, wineries, good amenities

This is a great family campground right around the corner from Temecula, Murrietta, and Menifee. It has tent, partial, and full hookup sites along with a camp store, fishing, biking, bathrooms, and day use areas. The lake is beautiful and boating is also an option. The fishing costs an extra fee per day on top of your California State License, so it’s a bit pricy. There are also nice hiking trails near the campground.

Good if you didn’t have a camping reservation in Sequoia...

Nice open spaces with tree cover near Hume Lake off the 180. This is a dispersed camping and OHV staging area that is first come first served for camping. Great for those who are backpacking and need a free place to camp before heading off into the Sierras! Most Parks have “backpacker camps” which allow you to camp 1 night before or after a backpacking trip, but Sequoia does not. This dispersed camping area is perfect for staging your next big hike, or simply camping for free in one of the most popular National Parks.

The best Military beach retreat ever!

This campground is so picturesque! It has a camp store, cabin rentals, and camping spots 10 feet from the sand. There are tent only, partial hookup, and full hookup sites available. Other amenities include playground, bathrooms and showers, a baseball field, and even a large gathering hall! The only downside to this location is that it is for military only, but this keeps the crowds down. The ocean wildlife is so cool, and at low tide you can see octopus, starfish, and all kinds of small fish/crabs. The views are spectacular!

Ranger Review: Banner and Oak Hats at The Eyrie Farm

Campground Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt I sometimes receive compensation for reviews like this one. Having never camped on someone’s private land before I was somewhat apprehensive when we arrived at the Eyrie Farm.

Anna the owner responds quickly to email and I had contacted her previously to let her know we were coming. The farm has an organic garden, fruit trees, chickens, ducks, a watch dog who was very friendly, and a very large turkey named Castor. I had reserved their camp site which was entitled “The Party Tree.” It turns out that the Party Tree is a large pepper tree right in front of the owners house. It has a fire pit and picnic table nearby. Sadly the grass was very overgrown and could have used a trimming, and there was a good amount of bird excrement all around the campsite, which made choosing a place for your tent or using the table a bit tricky. There was not much privacy, but there are available areas in the back field which would give a more private setting. There was a hose right next to the tree which was convenient for putting out the fire and cleaning up pots and pans. Anna was very nice and put the front gate remote by the gate so we could come and go as we pleased.

The listing states that you need to sign a waiver in order to camp there, but one was never offered or provided. There were many liabilities however, such as the grass being overgrown and dead right next to the fire pit, the wood that was offered being scrap lumber, the broken/discarded objects that were strewn about the property, and the multiple holes that were around the campsite that provided tripping hazards. There was a portapotty available that was surprisingly clean for bathrooming needs. At night the campsite was quite peaceful. Around 5 AM the next day however, there were so many bird noises (roosters, turkeys, doves, etc) that it was impossible to sleep, along with large trucks passing by on the road which was about 100 yards away. The listing also offers a breakfast of eggs, pancakes, and coffee to go with your stay for a mere 5$, but we did not request this based on the state of the property.

The city of Ramona on the other hand was delightful! There are multiple eateries, wineries, and antique shops along the aptly named “Main Street” and in the surrounding area. The people were very nice and it had a small town feel to it. All in all, I would recommend the Eyrie Farm if you were out of all other options for camping in the Ramona area, as the location was about the only thing that was nice about the Farm, being only a few minutes drive outside of town and around 25-30 minutes from the Safari Park. It has potential, but needs a bit of maintenance and cleaning.

Product Review:

As a Dyrt Ranger, I receive products to test and review, and this time I had the opportunity to test the Switchback Khaki Hat from Banner and Oak.

I spend about 80% of my day in hats, so I was so excited to receive one from Banner and Oak! I loved their logo and the outdoorsy feel of their patch designs. The Switchback is really well made from 100% cotton twill, and is adjustable utilizing a snapback design. What drew me to the hat the most was the color and the really cool patch adorning the front of the hat (cactus at sunset). I spend a lot of time in the desert camping, and a hat that represents that environment just seemed so cool! It also sports a nice nylon stay inside the front panels that will help to keep its shape.

I wore the hat around camp and during the day while out and about. It was comfortable and despite the hot weather and my sweaty scalp, the hat never had any discoloration from sweat or dirt/dust. The material is so supple and soft that I also had no scalp irritation or rubbing, which frequently happens with new hats in my experience.

Sadly, when purchasing the hat, I didn’t realize that it was a 5 panel unstructured style hat (my own fault as I should have looked more closely at the pics and read all the info). This type of hat does not fit my style or my noggin all that well. It kind of sits up off the top of my head and looks a bit poofy and is just not the style I am into. However, I am definitely going to purchase a different style hat from Banner and Oak as their product quality is top notch and their designs are so cool!

Amazing access to the High Sierra!

Awesome spot! Great campground right on a creek, access to high Sierra hiking trails that put you right up at high lakes, and friendly park rangers/station.

Beautiful scenery, easy to get to

This camp ground is a great place to stay on your way to or from an adventure in the eastern Sierra. It’s easy to get to, has a small store, bathrooms/showers, and storage for your recreational vehicle if you want to leave it in a beautiful place during the off season :)

Crowded and lots of Bear activity

This campground is great if you would like crowds and lots of bear activity. The views are gorgeous, the campgrounds are fairly clean and have access to many amenities such as small stores restaurants and call the touristy stuff that Yosemite Valley has to offer. This would be a great place to take your family if you are not big on roughing it. It is good for younger children and a good first exposure to the outdoors. Also, if you eat at the Hotel restaurant the squirrels get inside and run around :-).

Excellent first resupply on southbound JMT

This is a great campground to use as a stopping point on the JMT. If you were hiking the traditional route, it is a nice point to meet family or friends, have a hamburger, and get geared up for the next leg of the trip.

Great if you are hiking Whitney as a base camp!

this is a great campground to use as a base camp before you summit Whitney. The staff is friendly and helpful and the portal is just a few minutes away with the store and small restaurant. Lone Pine is close about a 10 minute drive away.

Best Secluded Campground for new campers!

This is a great campsite to go to if you are car camping folk. They have a small camp store right outside the park, Hot Springs, the swimming pool on making great hiking in the area!