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5 Best Bay Area Camping Spots

5 of the Best Bay Area Camping Spots Less than 75 Miles from San Francisco

San Francisco is world famous for its bustling city and cultural revolutions, but did you know you could be sleeping under the redwoods in a quiet Bay Area camping spot just a short drive from the Lost Campers San Francisco depot? Escape the hectic city for a 3 night (or more!) getaway to one or several of the state parks less than 75 miles away.

Our well equipped low profile campervans can have you enjoying incredible vistas, strolling along ancient coastal redwoods, or enjoying the beauty of Napa Valley in just a few hours or less. These campgrounds are also the perfect starting point for your grand California or west coast adventure in a Lost Campers campervan. Peak seasons for these campgrounds is May through September, so reservations are highly recommended and can be made at http://www.reserveamerica.com/ or by calling 1-800-444-7275.

Be sure to make your Lost Campers campervan reservations (1-888-567-8826) 3 – 4 months in advance during peak season too from May – September, especially on weekends and holidays.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park: Best Bay Area Camping Spots #1

Big Basin Santa Cruz, Best Bay Area Camping Spots #1

Santa Cruz’s finest park and camping. Photo Courtesy Of http://www.parks.ca.gov/

Camp among the ancient coastal redwoods just 65 mile south of the Lost Campers San Francisco depot at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Established in 1902, Big Basin is California’s oldest state park, located in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and home to ancient coast redwoods up to 2,500 years old. The park also offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, lush waterfalls, and a fascinating natural and cultural history. A wide variety of environments and lots of animals and bird life makes this a wonderful park to explore. A Lost Campers camper van can get you there in comfort.

 

 

 

 

Samuel P Taylor State Park; Best Bay Area Camping Spots #2

Marin County Best Bay Area Camping Spots #2, Samuel Taylor State Park

Photo Courtesy Of http://www.parks.ca.gov/

A popular destination since the 1870’s, Samuel P Taylor Park is a historic Bay Area camping spot only 34 miles north (less than 1 hour) of the Lost Campers San Francisco Depot. The Park’s 2,882 acres offer shady strolls through the stately redwoods along Lagunitas Creek as well as exhilarating hikes to the top of Barnabe Peak, one of the best viewpoints in Marin County.

You can camp among redwoods and hike easy-to-moderate trails, from grassy hills to redwood forests Samuel P. Taylor park has a lot to explore. The park is right next door to Point Reyes National Seashore where you can find even more adventure. Both parks are also mountain bike heaven with over 100 miles of trails combined. Explore it all in a well equipped Lost Campers campervan.

 

 

Mount Diablo State Park: Best Bay Area Camping Spots #3

Best Bay area camping spots | Mount Diablo State Park only 90 minutes from San Francisco

Mount Diablo State Park only 90 minutes from San Francisco. Photo Courtesy Of http://www.parks.ca.gov/

Mount Diablo which rises up to 3,849 feet is famous for its remarkable views. On a clear day you can see almost 200 miles from the summit observation deck. It is said that the view is surpassed only by that of 19,000-foot Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. With binoculars, Yosemite’s Half Dome is even visible from Mt. Diablo when conditions are optimal. No other Bay Area camping spot will give you access to such incredible views.

One of the cool things about Mount Diablo camping is that RV’s are limited to 20’ because the roads climbing up are curvy. This means that you will not be sharing your campervan camping experience next to a mega RV.

You can explore rock city where you will find  Wind Caves, Elephant Rock, Sentinel Rock, Artist Point, Fossil Ridge and Native American grinding rocks. You can learn about the history of the mountain in the historic 1930’s stone visitor center. Located only 45 miles east of the Lost Campers San Francisco depot you could be exploring Mount Diablo in your Lost Campers campervan while enjoying the amazing views.

 

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park: Best Bay Area Camping Spots #4

Napa Valley Camping: Best Bay Area Camping Spots

Photo Courtesy Of http://www.parks.ca.gov/

Located in the heart of the beautiful Napa Valley wine country and just 72 miles north of the Lost Campers San Francisco Depot, Bothe-Napa Valley State Park has a lot to offer. Over 10 miles of hiking trails go through stands of coastal redwoods as well as forests of douglas-fir, tanoak, and madrone. You can stroll through Ritchey Canyon on the Redwood Trail to view the delicate ferns and listen to the water splashing down the rocky creek bed. Or you can hike up 1,170 feet to Coyote Peak, where you’ll find lookouts over Napa Valley and Mount Saint Helena.

The Native American Garden next to the visitors center displays some of the plants important to the first people of this area. On hot summer weekends grab a swimsuit and enjoy a dip in the park’s spring fed swimming pool. There are 42 camping places and even pay showers. A Lost Campers Rental van is the perfect way to explore the beauty of Wine Country; Napa and adjacent Sonoma County to the West.

 

Portola Redwoods State Park: Best Bay Area Camping Spots #5

Best Bay Area Camping Spots in Portola Redwoods parks

Portola Redwoods Park, Photo Courtesy Of http://www.parks.ca.gov/

At Portola Redwoods State Park, silence and tranquility rule in this amazing Bay Area camping spot. On its 2,800 acres you can explore 18 miles of trails, follow meandering creaks where moisture loving mammoth Coastal Redwoods stand tall among ferns and huckleberries, and swaying Douglas Firs intermingle with the redwoods. Waterfalls on the Fall and Pescadero creeks tumble down mossy banks over rocks and woody debris. This old growth haven is also home to the endangered Marbled Murrelet. Only 50 miles south from the Lost Campers San Francisco depot you can escape the bustle of the city and be under the redwoods relaxing in your Lost Campers campervan.                                                                                                                                                                                  
The park is open year round for hiking, picnicking, and other day uses. The campground is open April through October with a 55-site campground and a trail camp for backpackers. The visitor center is open on weekends year round and on weekdays as staffing permits.

 

How can I be sure to get into the best Bay Area camping spots?

Best Bay Area camping spots Campervan rentals San Francisco

California Camping Sunset Dreams. Photo courtesy of one of our many “Happy Campers”

It’s true.  From May – September, especially on weekends and holidays, these top San Francisco regional camping spots can be SOLD OUT. Because the weather in Northern California is usually mild to awesome year round, we recommend you go camping in these places October – April and /or from Sunday – Thursday night. You’ll avoid the crowds and often have these Bay area vacation spots, almost to yourself.

Also because Lost Campervans DO NOT have any advertising on the car and nobody knows you are camping, you can camp almost anywhere, not necessarily in a campground…  This gives you 100x more camping and roadtrip adventure options, even during the summer.

But if you are going on a California road trip from our San Francisco or Los Angles depot from May – September, be sure to make your Lost Campers campervan reservations (1-888-567-8826) 3 – 4 months in advance. We hate telling you that we are sold out too.

Valentine Camping Romance | 6 Top Utah & California Spots

 

Add a Little Valentine Camping Romance to Your Life…

 

Valentine’s Day is coming soon, why not try something a little different this year and take your special someone(s) out for a romantic Valentine camping getaway? Lost Campers is here to provide your budget gateway to some of the West’s best Valentine camping spots, all for a reasonable price that won’t leave you with empty pockets. We’ve selected four romantic places to spend your special vacation that are near at least one or more of our three campervan rental depots in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake City.

Mystic Hot Springs is Your Gateway to Relaxation

valentines camping in Mystic Hot Springs, Utah

Mystic Hot Springs, photo courtesy of utahoutdooractivities.com

For a little desert action, consider traveling to Utah for an experience you and your companion(s) won’t forget! Utah has numerous natural hot springs that make for an excellent way to unwind, and being away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life will make it so much easier to connect with whomever you’ve chosen to spend this valuable time away with. Located only two and a half hours away from our Salt Lake City depot, we highly recommend many Mystic Hot Springs visits! Mystic Hot Springs offers plenty of space to camp, so you don’t have to make a drive or hike into the springs if that isn’t your style.

 

Satisfy Your Need for Adventure in Southern Utah

valentine camping in Zion National Park

Zion National Park, photo courtesy of nps.org

For the hikers out there, we propose heading down to Southern Utah to check out Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, or even Natural Bridges National Monument. All three of these locations have amazing scenery during the day, but the night sky is definitely something you don’t want to miss. Natural Bridges was the world’s first dark sky park, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Treat your partner(s) to exhilarating hikes by day, and dazzling star-filled nights at any one of these locations.

Last year one of our campers proposed to his fiance at Zion National Park! Check out the video they submitted below. This is the ultimate valentine camping experience you will both never forget.

 

Let Yosemite Take Your Breath Away

valentine camping in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park, photo courtesy of nps.org

If Utah isn’t your thing, that’s a-okay! Consider starting off at our San Francisco depot and making a short 3 hour drive over to Yosemite National Park. If you prefer to pick up in Los Angeles, Yosemite is only four and a half hours away. This National Park has plenty to offer, you certainly won’t run out of things to do during your stay. The park has a lot of snow over February, but there’s plenty to do! Yosemite has its own outdoor skating rink, and slopes for skiing or snowboarding. You can even go snow tubing! Bundle up and prepare for a fun adventure in one of our budget campervans, they’re perfect for getting you where you want to go.

 

Relax Among the Giant Trees of Sequoia National Park

valentine camping in Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park, photo courtesy of nps.org

For those of you that would rather start off in Los Angeles, we highly recommend chening out Sequoia National Park. It’s a short 4 hour drive away from our depot (only four and a half hours away from San Francisco) and it’s well worth the drive. Sequoia is home to some of the largest trees in the world, some that you can only find in that area. There are plenty of things to do at the park all year round! If hiking is not really your thing- fear not. Not all of Sequoia’s trails are strenuous- they have many paved trails as well for visitors that need more accessibility. Over winter, skiing and snowshoeing are popular activities to participate in. Crystal Caves is another fun destination inside the park- you can pre-order tickets online! Lost Campers campervans can even let you see the many unique drive points inside the park – all without worrying about having to take down your entire campsite to do it. For you stargazers that may prefer California, both Sequoia and Yosemite are known for their breathtaking night skies.

We’re booking up fast for summer! Be sure to snag your reservation soon. Our prices are at their lowest until March 2017, don’t miss out on these excellent deals.

Submitted by Aspen in SLC

National Park Free Entrance

National Park Free Entrance Days 2017

National Park Free Entrance Days 2017

National Park Free Entrance Days 2017 Photo Courtesy of NPS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The National Park free entrance days for 2017 have been announced! The National Park Service offers 413 amazing sites throughout the United States.  There is over 80 million acres of beauty to explore. For 10 special days during 2017 entrance fees will be waived for all park visitors. Let the road trip planning begin!

Mark your calendars!

  • Jan. 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Feb. 20: Presidents Day
  • April 15-16 & April 22-23: National Park Week weekends
  • Aug. 25: National Park Service birthday
  • Sept. 30: National Public Lands Day
  • Nov. 11-12: Veterans Day weekend

 

Camping fees are applicable everyday of the year. We recommend to reserving your campsites ahead of time. Everyone loves the National Parks and campgrounds book up quickly.  For more information about camping visit the National Park website to plan your visit.  We also recommend checking out State Parks along your route. They are definitely worth seeing and often have great campgrounds.

National Park Free Entrance

“P.J.” the van under a blanket of Stars- Courtesy of Happy Camper, Ignacio Rodrigez

 Our camper vans also book up fast! Booking ahead will keep you savvy- check out rates and availability here.  Here is a quick tip for your planning: Off season travel offers the lowest rate of the year. You also deal with less crowd in the parks. Check out January- March and October-December and get more vacation for your money. Be sure to check out our other blog posts for great off season destination tips!

 

 

 

From all of us here at Lost Campers; we wish you all a very Happy New Year. 

See you in 2017 for an adventure of a lifetime! 

National Park Free Entrance

Roof Tent Lights on “Ina”, courtesy of Happy Camper, Melissa Hostrup,

Submitted by Van Fan Launi Haygood in Salt Lake City, Utah