As promised two weeks ago, here are my recommendations for great campgrounds in Central California. With nearly 1,500 campgrounds in the state, I certainly haven’t seen them all, but these are some I have enjoyed the most.
A couple of years ago, I wrote about a boat tour of the wildlife in Monterey Bay’s Elkhorn Slough. In just two hours on the water, we saw about 60 sea otters, hundreds of sea lions and harbor seals and dozens of bird species, including pelicans, herons, grebes and loons. It was a great experience I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who enjoys watching wildlife.
After making a trip over to the eastern slope of the Sierra last weekend, it’s clear there will be beautiful fall colors to enjoy for at least the next two weekends. It’s not one of the better years I’ve seen over there, but it’s not bad and it should be getting better over the next two weeks.
From opening weekend at the end of April through the end of October, the Clark Fork of the Stanislaus River is an easy weekend camping destination. Andrea and I spent last weekend there celebrating a successful start to the new school year. Despite the drought, the river is still flowing and there are plenty of empty campsites.
Every year Yosemite is visited by as many as 4 million people from around the world. Out of that 4 million, however, only about 1% enter the 700,000 acre wilderness that makes up 94% of the park’s land area. Crisscrossed by more than 800 miles of trails, this wilderness area can provide a great deal of solitude – sometimes less than a mile away from the crowds.
Little-known and unforgettably beautiful, the South Warner Wilderness makes a great destination for backpacking and hiking. Located in the far northeastern corner of the state, the Warner Mountains stand on the edge of the Great Basin.
If you’re up for a workout, there are two waterfalls to enjoy – Maple Falls and Five Finger Falls. The waterfalls are best in the wet season, but even during our June 11th visit there was water dropping over the precipice of Maple Falls.
It’s not easy to give a blanket answer about where dogs are permitted, but in general they tend to be welcome in areas managed by the National Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Army Corps of Engineers, and local or regional parks or irrigation districts.