Camped at Pioneer Camp in August, 2017. Nice campground under the pine trees even though it was full and a little crowded at that time. Some sites are close so music from neighboring site(s) can be heard. A picnic table, a fire ring and a little storage box are available at each site. Restrooms and showers were nice and clean. Since a store is so close, it is very convenient if you forget anything or just want to get food quick and easy. The falls itself is also so close to the campground so you could just hike/walk to explore. We stayed there only one night, but would love to go back and explore more around this place.
We camped there in April so it was not the hottest time for Death Valley. It is a pretty big campground, but our site was more on the edge under some trees so it was perfect shady spot. Clean and nicely spaced sites. Nice and quiet most of the time. Our site was close to restrooms and a big washing/sink area so it was very noisy in the morning. It may depend on the crowd who were camping at that time as there were big groups of tourists speaking loudly early in the morning. It was a little crowded for my taste, but it was a nice campground in the middle of the desert. Visitor Center, gas station and a general store are nearby so it is convenient location and a great resting camp location after exploring the hot desert. There is so much to see at Death Valley, but make sure to check out cool places like Rhyolite ghost town.
Camped here in April, 2015. It was already very warm, but our sites were under shaded area so it was great to be outside. We were also at the end of the campground so it was more private than those in the loop. Restrooms were nearby and water was available. Picnic tables were at each site. We had a big brave raccoon lurking around our site all evening and it was annoying. It was brave enough to get on the picnic table when we were not looking. It was all over the table and around the campsite at night that we saw paw prints all over. Our friends who were sleeping on cots had a problem where the raccoon dragged a backpack in the middle of the night. So make sure to keep food in secure containers and put away at night. Other than that, it was a pleasant experience. Weather was quite warm so we hiked early to beat the heat. Trails are very exposed so you need to make sure to bring a hat, sunscreen and lots of water to hike especially in summer months. We ran into a snake and a horned toad lizard on the trails. Look out for condors too.
Nice, clean group campground with three sites. If all three sites are reserved together, it can accommodate a large group. If planning to sleep in car instead of tenting, make sure to bring levelers as ground is not leveled. Clean restrooms with water, picnic tables with shelters are available. Firewood can be purchased from camp host located in a non-group campground.
We camped here in April, 2017 on our way to Mecca Hills. It is located right by Interstate 10, right behind General Patton Museum. It is meant for transit camping so just a good break for a long trip. First come first serve so you may not get a spot. It was interesting to explore the museum and its tanks right next to the campground. There is no amenities, but there is a nice Chiriaco Summit Restaurant/Coffee Shop close by so it is a perfect stop to enjoy a nice meal, use their restroom and go back to camp. There is a gas station nearby to fill up before heading out the next morning. Nice desert views from the campground. There is a slight highway noise since it is so close, but it is not unbearable.
Camped at Indian Cove Campground in April of 2017. Close to Highway 62, it is located in the north part of Joshua Tree National Park. Surrounded by big rocks, our site was right by the boulders. Though we are not climbers, we had fun climbing up those rocks to catch the sunset from above. Pit toilet and picnic table available. Would be nice for large groups if you book consecutive sites.
Camped at North Pines in October of 2015. It is right between Merced River and Tenaya Creek and it is one of the popular valley campgrounds so it was full. It was nice and conveniently located right in the valley, but it comes with crowd issues such as generator noise. Close distance to walk to the store or to trails. Having flush toilets is nice. Usual amenities such as a picnic table, a fire ring and a bear box are available at each site. Since it is hard to reserve a site in Yosemite, I still like it even though I am not a fan of crowded campgrounds.
Camped there in October of 2015. Water level in the New Melones Lake was quite low at that time and it is kind of an off-season time to visit this recreation area so campground was not crowded at all. Each site is well spaced in between. Roads within the recreation area were very good and facilities including toilets and showers were very nice and clean. Water was available at campground. We could not see the lake that clearly because of the trees around the campground, but overall it was a good experience at this place.
Camped there in summer of 2016. Campground is nestled in pine woods where you have to drive quite far in through dirt road to get there. Pretty secluded, but accommodate our large group. Spacious for several cars. Its location is in high elevation over seven thousand feet and pine woods were dense. It was actually quite breezy at the time of our visit and could hear the pine trees in the breeze. It was interesting to learn that Pacific Crest Trail passed through this campground. There is no water available so bring your own. Site has pit toilets and picnic tables. There is a fire ring but fire restrictions were in place during our visit. There are not many amenities, but it is a good site for private gatherings or large family camping.
Just recently camped at Kirk Creek Campground in Big Sur. Site #17. We were lucky that weather was perfect as fog is usual. Site #17 is on grassy spot, but ground is not so even. Sites are small so you can hear neighbors' conversation a bit. There is no shade at this site so if you are going to be there on a hot day, be sure to take shelter of some kind to hang out. Unobstructed view of the ocean and the coast towards the West and the sunset is awesome if there is no fog. There is no water on site so bring your own water. Campfire is still allowed at this point and firewood can be purchased from the camp host. It's about $12 a bundle so probably cheaper to bring in your own. Read reviews about raccoons, but did not see any. Rabbits and squirrels are around. Important - poison oak is everywhere around camp sites and along the trail down to the beach. They are overgrown along the trail so we did not even hike down. Overall, we enjoyed this campground a lot as our first time here had been blessed with perfect weather, quiet camp neighbors, etc.
It is a BLM campground in the Rainbow Basin right above Barstow, CA. Have to drive through washboard road for about five miles to get to the campground. Nice site with a trail head to Owl Canyon right by the campground. First come first serve site, but $6 per night. Each site has a picnic table with a shelter and a fire ring. Was very windy when we were there and had to put up tarp as wind shelter. Most pit toilets were clean, but it was an Easter weekend so very crowded with college field trips. No water (taps were not working) so bring your own water. There are some interesting playground structures at the campground towards the trail head. It was a full moon day so it was pretty bright that night and could not do stargazing. The view from our sites (first night #??, second night #22) were great. You can even see San Bernardino Mountains. A great place to camp if you are into geology. You can hike into Owl Canyon or drive a short distance to see colorful geological formations at Rainbow Basin. It was hot even in April so be prepared for the heat if you are not used to it.
A small remote site on a BLM land, so it is free but it is a first come first serve site. Not many facilities or gas stations nearby so it may be a good idea to bring extra gas if you plan to explore Carrizo Plains. It is right off of Soda Lake Road, about half a mile from the road at a shady little grove. Went on a windy weekend, but campground was nestled under eucalyptus trees so it helped. There are owls in those trees, so they were hooting loud into the night. Some may like it, but it was pretty loud. There are two restrooms (vault toilets - no water), fire pits and picnic tables. Bring your own water. No trash service so pack in and pack out. Views are nice especially if you get sites facing the open plains. Went in June so it was already fire season so no camp fire was allowed. It was a non-busy weekend, but campers arrived late throughout the evening and it was almost full. Weekdays may be pretty deserted out there. Weather can get very hot so make sure to check weather forecast before heading out.
A nice small campground nestled in the eastern side of Santa Cruz Mountains, west of Morgan Hill, easily accessible off of Highway 101. Short hikes along the Uvas Creek and Swanson creek are right next to the campground. Trails are narrow and steep at some places but mostly shaded. Small waterfalls are the highlights of the trail, but kids will enjoy playing in the water on hot days. The 25-site campground is relatively small, so camp sites are not big. That means this may not be for campers who like more privacy or quietness. Reservations are required. Very family friendly so expect it to be crowded on weekends and a level of noise and foot traffic by your site as well. Saw mostly tent campers and some pop-up trailers. Not sure if it can handle longer recreational vehicles and the road leading to the campground itself is quite narrow. If you plan to sleep in your car, you may want to take leveling blocks as I found the car parking spot to be not leveled at all. Well maintained/clean facilities. Restrooms and showers were clean, and some even have baby changing stations. Park ranger and County Maintenance's presence was there periodically to pick up trash and to clean facilities, etc. A little buggy in the afternoon and found some mosquitoes so take bug spray. Lots of birds. Good to be disconnected, but if needed, Verizon cell service worked at the campground. As of June 30th, camp fire is still allowed in the pits. As a fan of quiet camping, I would recommend this campground for a week day get away where you can enjoy more quiet surroundings and its nature sounds.