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Old 03-01-2013, 09:37 AM   #1
O'Hooligan OP
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Ideas Please?

So the missus has informed me that she has 27 March - 1 April off work and would like to camp somewhere. We have a camper van so are pretty much self sufficient. We take a DR350 with us , so are looking for places that are somewhat warm that offers places to ride/hike and doesn't have me driving forever to get there. We are based in Sacramento.

Any ideas?
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:21 AM   #2
Lost Again
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Hot Springs

Wilbur Hot Springs,a place of near monastic quiet, where clothing is optional in the baths but mandatory elsewhere.

Harbin Hot Springs in Middleton, where clothing also is said to be optional but is nearly uniform in its absence poolside, and a place of sociability more than solitude.

Indian Springs in Calistoga, home of the volcanic ash mud bath and decidedly swimsuit-required at its Olympic-sized mineral pool.

Vichy Hot Springs in Ukiah, one of only three spots in the world with carbonated mineral water in its sulfur-tinged, 150-year-old, swimsuit-required tubs.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:15 PM   #3
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I'm not familiar with the others, but I don't think Indian Springs in Calistoga is a campground. Is is a pricey resort. No dirt trails to speak of either. Calistoga is nice, however.

True dirt trails are hard to come by where its warm this time of year. There are some OHV areas such as Carnegie and Hollister Hills, but they won't be quiet, and aren't good for hiking. The National Forest campgrounds along the western Sierra will be cold, and probably still be mostly closed trails. No sense going there.

Do you and your wife like beer? There is a KOA campground in North Petaluma that is just across the highway (walking distance) from Lagunitas Brewing Company. Lagunitas has live music, and some of the best brews in California. Be sure to take the tour. The KOA is pretty developed, so we aren't talking forest here. During the day, you can take a leisurely ride over to Pt. Reyes National Sea Shore. There are a bunch of hiking trails through the wetlands and along the coast. The trail starting near Bolinas, CA leads to a waterfall. There are places to get fresh oysters around there too. The State is trying to evict Drake's Bay Oyster Company, so time is limited to taste their incredible oysters.

Another suggestion would be Butano State Park on the coast south of Half Moon Bay. It is pretty much rain forest, and very quiet. Banana Slugs and Geckos can be seen along the hiking trails. They are very environmentally minded, so they might hassle you about the DR. You should be able to convince them you won't be tearing through their ecosystem, though, and leisurely rides along Hwy 1 would be really nice. Bring your own firewood.
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies so far, we are not really into hot springs that much, may look into the coastal camping a bit more.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:22 PM   #5
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It's a bit far, but Organ Pipe Cactus in S. Arizona should be warm. It was in the 80s during the day and upper 30s at night in December when I went about a year ago.

This is from Ajo Mountain drive.


This is from bull pasture trail (strenuous hike):



Desert flora is a little different than California:


I don't know much about the back roads around there, but I'm sure that someone on this forum does. Also I should mention that there is a lot of Border patrol activity around there, ie helicopters flying around all night.

Closer in California, there's Red Rock Canyon state park with lots of trails to ride in the area. Get a map from the Jawbone BLM station. The volunteers there are really helpful.

There is also Joshua Tree, Anza-Borrego, and Mojave Preserve. Mojave preserve and maybe Joshua tree might be a bit cold at night but they should be good during the day unless a storm comes in.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:53 PM   #6
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Organ pipe looks great, but you are right its a bit far for a short trip, thanks for the ideas so far, still undecided.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:59 PM   #7
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Well I think we decided on Joshua Tree NP, will try and get there Wednesday, hope there is still space as it is a "first come first served" deal
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O'Hooligan View Post
Well I think we decided on Joshua Tree NP, will try and get there Wednesday, hope there is still space as it is a "first come first served" deal
FYI. There's only one camp ground with water in Joshua Tree. It's at the south end. Cottonwood, I think. Might be more enjoyable camping at Glamis North. Used to be a KOA. Not sure if it still is. Cool oases and canyons nearby to check out. Good riding. Not that far from the camping with water in Joshua tree. Hot showers. Restaurant. Hot springs soaking. All in the campground.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:04 PM   #9
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Wally, thanks for the suggestion, just did a quick check on their website, call me Mr Cheap Bastard camping sites start at about $50 a night...yikes!

I ride two up and don't really like riding in sand. Too much of a workout for me!

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Old 03-03-2013, 09:51 PM   #10
WallyWhirled
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Originally Posted by O'Hooligan View Post
Wally, thanks for the suggestion, just did a quick check on their website, call me Mr Cheap Bastard camping sites start at about $50 a night...yikes!

I ride two up and don't really like riding in sand. Too much or a workout for me!
Not sure what you did to get that rate. I just clicked on 5th wheel with full hookups for 27 March to 1 April and got $178.10. Joshua tree at Cottonwood for 5 days is $75.

Regarding sand. It is the desert. Kind of hard to avoid sand. But some of us know where to go and can tell you... It just occurred to me that you might be confusing the Glamis sand dunes with the Glamis North campground. Not the same at all. The Glamis North campground is about equidistant between Joshua Tree NP and the Glamis sand dunes. The trails from Glamis North campground can be sandy or not so sandy depending on where you go but definitely nothing like the sand dunes of Glamis.

Sites 113d and 95a are currently coming up at $178.10 for check-in March 27, check out April 1. These are "buddy sites" designed for 2 units. If nobody books the other half you are responsible for paying for both sites. These sites show the other half as already being rented so you only have to pay for your half. Look for sites on the row next to Desert Golf Course that are half grey and half green. Click on the green site to get this rate.

For me it would be worth the $100 extra for a week to have a soak in the hot springs every day. Not to mention full hookups, the restaurant and hot showers.
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