Kathleen L.
Los Angeles, CA
Joined September 2016
good for climbing trip

Nice place to stay for climbing - there is mostly bouldering in the area, with some trad stuff. Plenty of sites!

lovely!

I stayed here for 1 night during a 3-night backpacking trip. Although this is one of the more popular campgrounds, there are all and you can't go wrong with any of them. So if this one fills up fast, don't fret! Any camping in this area is just lovely.

spacious!

I stayed here with a small group for one night and it was very lovely. The sites are nestled among the rocks so it actually feels like you're in nature. You can really spread out and have tents all over the place. It is not super clear where one site ends and another begins - but this is not a problem. In fact I think there was a couple who stayed on "our land" but they were behind some rocks so it was totally fine. We were only able to snag this site for our first night - wish we could have stayed the whole weekend!

great group campsites!

Red rocks does NOT have a lot of camping options. It's basically here, or something illegal, or something 45 minutes away (Lovell Canyon). Staying on the strip, or an airbnb in summerlin are also good options. But I usually come here for short climbing trips and do enjoy the camping experience.

I think both times I was able to snag a reservation, I had to book a group site, as they are usually the last ones left. The minimum is 10 people. However I only had a group of 8. This wasn't a problem for us, but I don't know how strict they could be if they wanted.

I love how they have plenty of tables, and benches around the fire pit! BUT "fire season" is from May-October and they prohibit fires of any kind.

first camping trip

I will never forget staying here for my first camping trip 4+ years ago! It was very welcoming for a complete noob. Easy to find. Lots of families yet still quiet and peaceful.

Downside: kind of cold and dark since it is surrounded by tall trees. This was nice in summer, but less desirable in the winter.

Also we were awakened in the night by the sound of some animals -- woke up the next morning to find our trash bags destroyed by raccoons!! use the food lockers!!

walk-in or backpack here

I stayed at this campground for 1 night during a 3-night backpacking loop in Point Reyes. Our campsite itself didn't have a great view (I've heard #10 and #11 are the best views, can see the ocean), but from other parts of the campground we could still see the ocean. After setting up our camp we aimed to do a short hike up to the top of Mt. Wittenberg, "the highest point in Pt. Reyes," but it think it is really just a hill because we were stumped trying to find an actual "summit."

Although I didn't do this, it's only a 1.5 mile hike in from the parking lots so it's great for beginners or kids.

At least it's in the park...

First-come, first-served campground. My friend and I stayed outside the park on a Friday night, then got up early Saturday morning to come stalk these campsites at 6am. We circled around for a bit, accidentally drove over a large rock, sat there looking defeated, then some nice woman came up to our car and told us they were leaving soon. We were so thrilled to get a site! Set up our stuff, then went to hike Cloud's rest.

The evening however was pretty annoying. Like the reviewer before me, we were next to some large family get-together, around 15 people, playing music and making a racket. there is definitely NO ONE enforcing quiet hours. I always being ear plus so I was able to fall asleep…but it was definitely the opposite of a peaceful night in nature.

So…just bring ear plugs. And watch the rocks if you're driving a low-clearance vehicle.

Beautiful and convenient

Beautiful ocean views, right off the highway, probably one of my favorite campsites ever. However you have to plan ahead to make a reservation.

It's a great starting point for a backpacking trip. I did the following: Day 1: Hike up the Vicente Flat trail from the trailhead on Hwy 1 (across from Kirk Creek Campground). Hike up to Vicente Flat Camp. Day 2: make the long round trip dayhike to Cone Peak Day 3: hike back to the trailhead

party time!

Ok so this isn't exactly "wilderness" camping. It is probably the farthest you could get from a peaceful camping experience. I stayed at this campground as part of a HUGE group of classmates (over 100 peeps). Tons of space, lots of tables. You're basically free to drink/dance/rave all night long - the whole place is yours!

Good starting point for Mineral King backpacking trip

Stayed here the night before a 2-night backpacking trip into Mineral King. Great for acclimating to the elevation. I don't think I would drive here just to stay here though. The crazy drive up isn't worth it! It's a long and windy dirt road, with steep drop offs. We made it up okay in the middle of the night in my honda civic, just would not like to re-live that experience.

Expensive

Great basic campground, but super expensive - base price $21 per night (for 1 car), add $5 for second car, and $2 if it's a weekend. So our total for one night came out to be $28…Much more than I'm used to paying for a basic campsite.

We went for a climbing trip so we could have just camped for free at the parking lot near the crag. However it was nice to be able to have a fire pit, which we wouldn't have had if we just camped at the parking area.

Perfect for climbing trips

Once you go BLM, you never go back(?) Ok that's not how the saying goes but it's true! Seems like every time my friends and I want to go to J-tree for climbing, the campgrounds are allll full. It's such a pain to drive around looking for an empty site, especially if you want to meet friends and there's NO CELL SERVICE in the park. One time a ranger handed us a paper with instructions to get to this place called "BLM land"..the first time we went we were quite unsure, but it ended up being the best thing ever!! Plenty of space for a large group to get loud, get drunk, have fun without worrying about having families with children nearby.

Cons:

  • have to drive outside of the park.
  • not the prettiest place, especially compared to waking up amongst the rocks inside the actual park
  • just land. no bathrooms, water, etc.
  • technically no fires allowed, but we have always found a fire pit made of rocks from previous guests, and used that.
Lovely island camping

My friends and I took the cruise to Santa Cruz Island for a simple 1-night backpacking trip. It's only 4-miles from harbor to campsite, but it's mostly uphill. My friends were beginner backpackers so it was a bit tiring, but it was over quick and I still think it's a great trip for beginners. We arrived at the campsite and pitched two 2-person tents on the sand pit. When we woke up everything was damp from the seaside fog. But the fog made the views quite lovely. Saw lots of island foxes - so cute!

Note that there are gear restrictions for the cruise (check the website). Also you have to PACK YOUR OWN WATER. And use the food storage boxes to protect your food from the foxes (or bears??? JK).

Good enough for visiting Yosemite

I booked this campsite because it was the closest I could get to the valley. At least it's within the park! The campsite itself has everything you need - all the basics. However there is little stuff between you and the family next to you. My friend and I were next to a large noisy family and that was kind of annoying, but with earplugs I slept just fine.

If you can book ahead enough, really try to get a site in the valley. The traffic in the park is horrendous. Entering and leaving the valley area is such a nightmare. It would have been splendid if we could've just stayed there.