Winter Camping in California

Winter Camping in California

Can’t resist the decision of the wild? Does summer season appear too far-off to attend to hit the nice outdoor? Many individuals solely consider tenting as a summertime exercise, however for many people we merely cannot wait round half the yr earlier than getting again out in open. Luckily California has many wonderful locations the place you possibly can camp through the winter months. Winter tenting is often cheaper and fewer crowded than tenting in the summer season and additionally, you will get to expertise California in an entire totally different method.

California has blessed us outside lovers with a wide range of totally different landscapes and climates to expertise. And whereas the excessive sierras are coated in snow, the Mojave Desert and Pacific Coast beckon campers to come back and expertise their winter magnificence. The seaside is often the very best place to go to flee the chilly inland winters due to the reasonable temperatures skilled yr spherical. Of course for true journey seekers there are additionally alternatives for snow tenting in the upper elevations, so why not pair a ski journey with a tenting journey? Regardless of the place you select, these locations are downright stunning, but few individuals have skilled this magnificence in the wintertime. They are calling so that you can come go to!

Angel Island – Northern California / San Francisco Bay Area

As a Bay Area resident I’m very keen on Angel Island… when it is not overflowing with individuals. It is a fast journey to anybody in the Bay Area of Sacramento areas, and it has completely spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, together with the San Francisco Skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge and views of Tiburon and Sausalito. Rain and thick fog are frequent for Bay Area winters however relative to the remainder of Northern California the temperatures are pleasantly reasonable. The previous 5 years have seen very dry winters in the Bay due to the horrible drought we have expertise, however this yr’s El Nino has already poured rain throughout the state, so expect moist climate for those who select to go to Angel Island this winter. From December by means of March daytime excessive temperatures common 56-61 levels fahrenheit and nighttime lows common 41-45 levels fahrenheit, so there actually is not an excessive amount of distinction between night time and day. The japanese facet of the island is best sheltered from the ocean breezes however the western facet offers a entrance row view of fantastic sunsets underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. East Bay Sites and Sunrise Sites are situated on the japanese facet of the island close to Fort McDowell. Ridge Sites and Kayak Camp are situated on the western facet of the island close to Camp Reynolds. For extra info on the campsites try the brochure and park map from the park’s web site. Note that among the info is outdated however most remains to be related.

Getting to Angel Island is half the enjoyable of the journey. Public ferries run from Tiburon through the Angel Island Ferry and from Pier 41 and the Ferry Building in San Francisco through the Blue and Gold Fleet. Adult tickets value $15 from Tiburon and $9 from San Francisco. These fares embody the park entrance payment as nicely. Note that through the winter months these ferries solely run on weekends, so the earliest you may get to the island is Saturday morning and the newest you possibly can keep is Sunday late afternoon until you intend to remain the entire week. But there are different choices! You can use your personal non-public boat or borrow a pals. Or for those who’re like me and do not personal a ship you possibly can constitution a personal boat or take Tideline Water Taxi. Tideline is a superb possibility, it’s fairly costly however it’s nonetheless cheaper than chartering a ship and gives probably the most personalised schedule and repair, so you will not be restricted by the ferry schedules.

Big Sur – Central Coast

Big Sur on the California Central Coast is an absolute gem. It epitomizes all the wonder California’s rugged Pacific Coast has to supply. From hundred foot redwoods, backwoods trails and miles of seashores, Big Sur has all of it. And due to its proximity to the ocean it stays comparatively reasonable in the winter time, with common excessive temperatures from December by means of March starting from 60-63 levels fahrenheit and common low temperatures round 43 levels fahrenheit. As at all times, in the winter you should be ready for rain, heavy fog and ocean winds. Big Sur may be very busy through the summer season months, however through the winter the crowds have dispersed, leaving you with miles of empty trails and seashores to discover.

Perhaps probably the most wonderful half about winter tenting in Big Sur is the possibility to look at the majestic Gray Whales migrate between Alaska and Baja California. December by means of early February you possibly can see the whales migrating south, and starting in February you possibly can see them migrate north with their new child calves. It is actually a as soon as in a lifetime alternative to see these stunning creatures in their pure habitat.

Big Sur has many campgrounds which may be discovered right here. For these of you searching for slightly extra heat and luxury I might recommend one of many campgrounds with cabins, reminiscent of Big Sur Campgrounds and Cabins or Riverside Campground. Both of those campgrounds additionally provide many tent and RV websites in addition to their cabin lodging. Another advice for tent and RV tenting is Kirk Creek Campground. Kirk Creek is a wonderful campground situated on an enormous bluff overlooking the ocean. Due to its open location it’s prone to sturdy winds and moisture so put together your self for that for those who select to remain there.

Lake Tahoe – Northern California / Sierra Nevada Mountains

For these wanting to actually expertise the winter, then snow tenting on the shores of Lake Tahoe is best for you. During the summer season months Lake Tahoe is among the hottest tenting locations in the world. During the winter months it is among the hottest snowboarding locations in the world. Basically Lake Tahoe is superior and everybody needs to go there no matter what month it’s.

Sugar Pine Point State Park on the western shore of Lake Tahoe presents the very best of each worlds. The camp is among the solely campgrounds in the area open through the winter months for snow tenting, and it conveniently situated solely minutes from among the world’s biggest alpine ski resorts. Homewood Resort (eight minutes), Squaw Valley Resort and Alpine Meadows (32 minutes), Heavenly Mountain Resort (45 minutes) and Northstar California Resort (50 minutes) are all situated inside an hour drive of the campground. Sugar Pine campground can also be an amazing alternative for any first time snow campers because it is not far off the overwhelmed path, so any companies are accessible close by.

Sugar Pine Point State Park additionally presents among the greatest cross nation snowboarding and snowshoeing trails the Lake Tahoe area has to supply, all with quick access from the campground. In reality it was these trails which had been used for the biathlon and cross-country snowboarding occasions in the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympic Winter Games.

And for those who nonetheless aren’t as much as tent tenting in the snow you at all times have the choice to seek out some wonderful native cabins to remain in. Airbnb is your greatest wager for reserving one in every of these.

Mt. San Jacinto State Park – Southern California / San Jacinto Mountains

Snow tenting can also be readily accessible in Southern California in the gorgeous Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Idyllwild Park presents yr spherical tenting. Tent tenting and RVs are welcome on a first-come/first-serve foundation November by means of March. The campground is situated lower than three hours from each Los Angeles and San Diego, making it an amazing possibility for these searching for a weekend escape from town life. Snowshoeing and sledding are highly regarded actions on the park through the winter months.

There is lots to do in and across the State Park. Including visiting totally different elements of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument or mountaineering a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. You may even spend a day driving the world well-known Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which takes you from Chino Canyon close to Palm springs up practically 6,000 toes to the Mountain Station.

Death Valley National Park – Southern California / Mojave Desert

Death Valley is sort of wonderful. On July 12, 2012 Furnace Creek in Death Valley National Park broke a warmth report when the low temperature was 103 levels fahrenheit, tying the world report for highest low temperature in a day. Then on July 10, 2013 Furnace Creek broke one other warmth report with a excessive temperature of 134 levels fahrenheit (!!!), breaking the US report beforehand set in 1913. Needless to say you will not be coping with these hellish temperatures through the winter months, in reality Death Valley is downright nice through the winter. Average excessive temps from December by means of March vary from 67 to 81 levels fahrenheit with common lows starting from 38 to 53 levels fahrenheit.

Since Death Valley is in the center of the desert it’s prone to massive swings in temperatures, with nighttime lows dropping under freezing. This is the place winter desert tenting principally differs from winter seaside tenting. In the desert the temperatures can swing dramatically from day to nighttime whereas close to the ocean the temperatures stay comparatively secure.

Tent and RV tenting is offered at Furnace Creek RV Park and Fiddler’s Campground for $18/night time or at Mesquite Spring for $12 an evening. Both campgrounds have RV dump stations and flush bogs. For tent campers you possibly can keep at Emigrant or Wildrose Campgrounds. (notice: Wildrose accepts any automobiles underneath 25 toes, Emigrant is tent tenting solely)

Joshua Tree National Park – Southern California / Mojave Desert

Another nice desert tenting vacation spot in Southern California is Joshua Tree National Park. The park is straightforward to entry, situated solely about 2.5 to three.5 hrs from Los Angeles (relying on visitors after all). Like Death Valley, Joshua Tree is situated in the center of the desert, so whereas it may be blistering scorching through the summer season months, it is vitally nice through the winter. With common excessive temperatures from January by means of March starting from 60-70 levels fahrenheit and common low temperatures starting from 35 to 42 levels fahrenheit. For an inventory of all of the campgrounds in Joshua Tree National Park try right here. For a campground in the northern portion of the park I recommend Jumbo Rocks Campground, which prices $15/night time and is first-come/first-serve. There isn’t any water and solely pit bogs at Jumbo Rocks Campground so make certain you come ready. For these searching for a campground in the southern portion of the park I recommend Cottonwood Campground for $20/night time, which has a dump station, water and flush bogs.

By now you perceive that tenting in California is each a summertime and wintertime exercise. There are many wonderful locations to flee to in the winter, even when there may be snow on the bottom. Take benefit of the cheaper charges, shorter reservation instances, and uncrowded campgrounds whilst you can earlier than winter ends. Camping in California by no means takes a break for the seasons!

Now it is time to get on the market and expertise what winter tenting in California has to supply! Stay heat, keep protected and keep tenting in California!

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