Author Topic: Backcountry Camping in CA  (Read 6558 times)

Offline ursus

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Backcountry Camping in CA
« on: April 08, 2010, 04:15:28 PM »
Hey guys,

I didn't see this topic yet, so if it already has a thread somewhere please let me know.

I live in California; Southern CA most of the year and Northern CA for brief times of the year.

Does anyone know any good back country camping locations in these areas?  Especially anything within a few hours of Los Angeles.  Most of the State Parks have very limited back country camping, mostly just car campgrounds, like most parks.  Car camping = no interest to me.

If you have any cool back country spots please share them.

I have been out to Joshua Tree National Park, which has a back country camping option which is pretty cool.  You can basically go on any trail in the park and camp anywhere as long as you go a specified distance off trail (200 feet I think?).  The Rangers can fill you in on the regulations when you enter the park and buy the required permit.  They do NOT allow open fires in the back country, but they do allow stoves.  I highly suggest it in the fall, winter, or spring.  I spent two days and one night out there with a buddy and we didn't see a single soul the whole trip.  A great escape.

Anybody else have any cool locations?

Best,

-ursus-

Offline sdcharger

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Re: Backcountry Camping in CA
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2010, 08:56:21 PM »
Go east past Joshua Tree to the BLM land that used to be part of the Desert Training Center.  This area is ripe with dirt roads and the camping is very open in BLM areas.  Stock 4x4 recommended.

Also research the Mojave Road.  2-3 days of dirt road and open camping depending on what you check out.  Stock 4x4 recommended.

My favorite is Anza Borrego.  A seldom visited gem is in the SW part of the park called Indian Valley.  There is a fork in the road but both valleys offer nice camping choices.  Bring your own off the ground fire pit and wood if you plan on having a fire.  One of the best places to spot Desert Bighorn Sheep I know of.  Also great for wildflowers this time of year.  It's west of county road S2.  Stock 4x4 recommended.

There is a site called expeditionportal.com where you can find some great information on remote camping.  Good luck.

Offline ursus

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Re: Backcountry Camping in CA
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2010, 11:10:13 AM »
Go east past Joshua Tree to the BLM land that used to be part of the Desert Training Center.  This area is ripe with dirt roads and the camping is very open in BLM areas.  Stock 4x4 recommended.

Also research the Mojave Road.  2-3 days of dirt road and open camping depending on what you check out.  Stock 4x4 recommended.

My favorite is Anza Borrego.  A seldom visited gem is in the SW part of the park called Indian Valley.  There is a fork in the road but both valleys offer nice camping choices.  Bring your own off the ground fire pit and wood if you plan on having a fire.  One of the best places to spot Desert Bighorn Sheep I know of.  Also great for wildflowers this time of year.  It's west of county road S2.  Stock 4x4 recommended.

There is a site called expeditionportal.com where you can find some great information on remote camping.  Good luck.

Thanks for the suggestions.  I've been all over those BLM properties for day trips, but never camped them before.  I recently shot a film on the El Mirage Lake property.  Scheduling forced us to shoot in the middle of last summer.  Temperatures were hovering a few degrees below 120F.

Another cool location, that not many people have heard of, is called The devil's Punchbowl in the San Gabriel Mountains near Palmdale.  It has a really unique (and huge) geological formation of "V" shaped stratta.  Very cool.  Tons of hiking and some camping.  It's nice because it's usually ten, or more, degrees cooler than the surrounding valley desert areas.

Desert backcountry camping is rough stuff.  Any suggestions for locations on the coast or further North (read: "cooler")?

-ursus-

Offline Greywolf27

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Re: Backcountry Camping in CA
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2010, 11:14:59 AM »
I believe there are some back country trails up near Idyllwild / San Jacinto.  I remember my father and brother talking about Boy Scout hikes up San Jacinto.  I plan on heading that was soon myself.

Offline sdcharger

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Re: Backcountry Camping in CA
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2010, 09:56:16 PM »
Lost track of this thread, sorry.

There is great camping along the central coast and in San Luis Obispo County.  Inland can be quite warm during the summer but the coast is usually quite nice.  Head into the Coast Range to get away from the crowds and still enjoy the cooler weather.

I'll try to give you some more specific ideas next time I'm home.  I don't have my reference materials handy.