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blakeck2
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:24 am    Post subject: So Cal Camping Reply with quote

I want to take my girlfriend camping for her birthday, ever since I got my Vanagon all she mentions is camping.

Where is a nice place that allows dogs and doesnt need reservations?

Thankyou
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r39o
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to narrow your search. Beach, mountains, dessert? Facilities or not? Etc..

If in a pinch go to the AAA (we all need one of those cards anyways.)

LET HER DECIDE FIRST. (I am sure you can figure out a way to not spill the beans.)

Then work with that.

Reservations are not that evil a thing. Many times if you are a week ahead it is fine. It depends on where you want to go.
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blakeck2
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

r39o wrote:
You need to narrow your search. Beach, mountains, dessert? Facilities or not? Etc..

If in a pinch go to the AAA (we all need one of those cards anyways.)

LET HER DECIDE FIRST. (I am sure you can figure out a way to not spill the beans.)

Then work with that.

Reservations are not that evil a thing. Many times if you are a week ahead it is fine. It depends on where you want to go.


anything but the desert; facilities like a running water bathroom are a plus and a possible shower is good too

She cant know since its a surprise and I suck at being cryptic Razz
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r39o
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go to a place SHE likes.

So Cal is a BIG place.

You can go local usually or go far.

Heck, we have a city mini camp ground just over the hill from us. (Mission Gorge Regional Park.) This is our proving grounds which provide most of the stuff we need to get ready for car camping and Boy Scouting.

There are SOOOO many choices of places to go.

State beaches are fun. Local mountains are OK.

You gotta choose and plan and execute.

Not sure how you would do all that on the quiet.

Good luck.....
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Hallvalla
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just bought this book:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1598800965/ref=ox_ya_oh_product

Might be worth buying if you have the time.
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blakeck2
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

r39o wrote:
Go to a place SHE likes.

So Cal is a BIG place.

You can go local usually or go far.

Heck, we have a city mini camp ground just over the hill from us. (Mission Gorge Regional Park.) This is our proving grounds which provide most of the stuff we need to get ready for car camping and Boy Scouting.

There are SOOOO many choices of places to go.

State beaches are fun. Local mountains are OK.

You gotta choose and plan and execute.

Not sure how you would do all that on the quiet.

Good luck.....


Shes never been before
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the oceanside usually never fails with them. They never get tired of looking at the water. Plus you usually have some more urban options near the waterfront in case her first camping experience doesn't go that well.
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Hallvalla
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

where are you coming from? North?

north to south (coast)

big sur
central coast
santa barbara
ventura
malibu
san clemente
oceanside
del mar
san diego
baja - some nice beach camping between TJ and Ensenada, and of course further south
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Hallvalla
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

btw - I think you can camp right on the beach at Pismo Beach. Just be prepared for the loud ATV crowd.

But it works in a pinch. Drive up to Montana de Oro Park and check it out too.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hallvalla wrote:
where are you coming from? North?

north to south (coast)

big sur
central coast
santa barbara
ventura
malibu
san clemente
oceanside
del mar
san diego
baja - some nice beach camping between TJ and Ensenada, and of course further south


Im in ventura so south
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Start here,
http://www.parks.ca.gov/parkindex
Start with an overnighter at a park close to you and expand from there.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember camping at Leo Carillo State Beach a lot when I was a kid. Super nice camping there. Carpenteria has some campgrounds. Also used to go to Lake Piru in the mountains outside Ojai off 126. There's a LOT of camping within 1.5 hours of you. I'd head up the coast from where you are and explore. The Los Padres Forest is full of camping.

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=616

It was probably a lot different in the 70's when I was going there though. Smile
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Sheesh
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reserve a campsite at Benton Hot Springs. Cheap and you have your own hot tub.

http://www.historicbentonhotsprings.com/
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blakeck2
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sheesh wrote:
Reserve a campsite at Benton Hot Springs. Cheap and you have your own hot tub.

http://www.historicbentonhotsprings.com/


Sounds cool, how does it work and whats a good campsite #?
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Sheesh
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You give them a call and ask if any are available. $35 / night for two The campground is relatively small in a willow/tamarsik area that provides privacy between sites.

I've been there a couple of times, but can't remember how the sites are numbered. The people that run it are former US Forest Service folks and are friendly. Just tell them your intent Smile

You can also check out the Mono and June Lake areas while on your trip.
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bitingspider
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Benton is really cool, and the scenery real nice after Mojave, but that's a big drive.

A bit closer, but decent in summer are:
Balch Park / Mountain Home State Forest
http://www.visitvisalia.org/Balch-Park

Sequoia National Forest, we like upper Peppermint, but it's a pit toilet and if you need water, you'll have to filter it from the stream. Great swimming holes downstream though. Quaking Aspen has flush toilets (I think) and is just up the road. Both are very Westy friendly. The adventurous would head down Needlerock Road and find the campsite that looks at the Needles. It's awesome, but quite a bit above water.

Plaskett or Kirk Creek in Big Sur have first come first served sites, but you'd better arrive Thursday 1 or 2ish to get one during the summer.
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0to60in6min
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.reserveamerica.com/camping/Caspers_Wild...kId=590426

http://www.theortegahighway.com/Fun/camping.html
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whynotvw
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go to reserveamerica every night and check to see if there are any openings. Sometimes people cancel and you can get lucky and snag very hard to get camping spots. I got two camping spots this way. These camping spots are rated top choices for So Cal.

1. Refugio

2. San Eiijo, CarlsBad

3. Leo Carillo

4. Pt. mugu ( sycamore)

5. El Capitan, Carpinteria

6. Doheny ( the beach side)

I'm sure there are more out there but these campsites are primo by the beach.
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70coupyel
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3 year old post?
I have camped at San Elijo State Beach and there are a few choice camps along the top of the cliff.
You can make a surf check from your bed after waking up in the morning. Only a handful of places in So. Calif this can happen.
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two campsites reserved for 7 nights at El Capitan, north of Santa Barbara. Dates are August 19 to 25 (Sunday to Saturday). Family changed plans so let me know if you want to take over my reservation. Otherwise I will cancel for a refund. I can post site numbers later.
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