the dyrt
Jill F.
Oakland, CA
Joined August 2018
Windy!

It is always windy and therefore cold on the beach. That is why there are such big sand dunes.

Regardless, a beautiful place to visit and camp. There are also equestrian trails, so you can book a horseback ride from a local ranch as well!!

Right by Johnson’s Beach

Right by the Russian River and Johnson’s Beach. Take advantage and go kayaking or canoeing in the river. Cheap rentals at Johnson’s Beach.

Definitely not secluded. The town of Guerneville is right there, but that means you can go get a nice bite to eat. Look up Oprah’s favorite biscuits at the Big Bottom Deli or the Guerneville taco truck in the Safeway parking lot is legit too.

Basecamp

Great basecamp for hiking and climbing. The sky at night is breathtaking - so many stars!! Kids can have fun climbing on nearby boulders. Pit toilets and no water. Be sure to bring plenty of water!

Chill and scenic

Short walk to the beach. You can walk for miles on the beach or on the bluff trails. Everyone is laidback which makes for a peaceful experience. Great sunsets!!

Tenting camping and RVs. Limited electrical hookups.

Gold panning!

If you ever want to experience the thrill of gold panning, and California history go here!

You will not strike it rich, but with a couple hours of effort you can get a nice little bottle of gold flakes to take home with you.

Campground “resort” caters to the cabin and RV crowd. Very pleasant, with a cool old bridge to cross the river. If it’s hot outside, you need to be in the river!

Salton Sea looks bleak these days

There are a few long-term campers here that aren’t very friendly. They have tent sites and hookups.

Major plus is birding at the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge.

Tucked away

This campground is about a 0.75 mile hike from the Tennessee Valley trail head. Very limited number of sites, so you’ll definitely need a reservation. No fires. Bring your own water and a camp stove.

There are owls perched in eucalyptus trees next to the campsite, and coyotes. Came across one on the way back from a sunset hike to the beach.

Beautiful in the fall

Went at the end of October with some snow! The lake is gorgeous when you can see the snow. Highly recommended for a late season trip. Bundle up though!!

Road noise

Have used the group camping site.

Pros: Beautiful beach. RVs seem to have a better time here.

Cons: Doesn’t really feel like camping, since you can hear the sound of the freeway and trains. Trash from people living in the reeds by the river.

RV camping

My one and only RV camping experience. Not great (sites are pretty close together and they have a rowdy boating crowd), but not bad (boating on the lake is super fun).

Hike to Muir Woods

Basic camping sites. Very popular during the summer, so get there early to get a spot or you will have to go to another campground along the road. Also bring cash for camping/parking fees.

The real draw here is to hike down to Muir Woods. And I mean down to Muir Woods. Save your energy for the hike back up. Absolutely worth it, though, for the gorgeous views.

Beach camping (almost)

Fire Island is a great spot in the summer, but can be busy. Camping gets you away from the bustle. It is a little less than a half mile walk from the ferry dock and located behind the dunes which offer some protection. Take a quick walk down to the beach.

Two-night minimum on weekends, and no fires. You can bring charcoal to cook on the grills provided or camp stoves, though.

Tame camping

Cabins are fun and shelter you from the occasional strong gusty winds.

Tent camping in the rain is also do-able here due to the temperate climate. There are a couple playgrounds, so a very kid-friendly environment as well.

Gateway to Mount Whitney

BLM land, so you can camp anywhere. Have to pack-in and pack-out. No fees, but you do need a campfire permit.

Stunning views and wide open spaces. Great bouldering and day use as well.

Solid Campground

Camped one night here before heading up to Mammoth. Popular spot for nearby off-roading.

Great views of rock formations, and large group-friendly campsites. Can hike along the floodplain.

Be sure to bring a warm sleeping bag for fall nights. I used a cheap sleeping bag from target and I have never been so cold in my life.

Been camping here for 20 years

Cold Springs campground is a must for camping in Mineral King. Remote, but not too remote and great for kids. Closed in winter due to snow. Usually open late May through October.

Getting to this campground takes a little patience. It is about 45 min drive from SR-198 on Mineral King Rd (partially paved/dirt), but with a couple small pull offs with water falls and Sequoias along the way. You can also stop at Silver City, a small cabin resort that offers a hot meal, some supplies, and paid showers, that is located about 15 minutes down the road from the campground.

To access the campground, you drive across a bridge and locate the camp site that you want (first-come, first-served). Tent camping only. There is a drop box for camping fees and the ranger does a walk-around daily.

The campground road is a loop. There are sites located along the East Fork of the Kaweah River from which you can climb down into the River. In spring, some river sites have some flooding because of rain and runoff. Note that the water is COLD, even in summer.

Vault toilets and potable water are provided. No cell service, but they do have a pay phone you can use. Be sure to bring all the supplies you need. Firewood is a must, and each site has its own fire ring. Keep food in bear boxes. I have seen bears there, but not every time. Also be wary of marmots.

Great access to many different hiking trails of varying difficulty. 100% Recommend.