Saturday, December 29, 2007

Back before the years end

Well I was gonna blog on blogger tonight, but then I remembered it was Saturday night & I should watch my movie. My one Netflix per week allotment. I worked most of the holiday week anyway... on my "other" site.

In the last 2 months I have posted 450 new articles on California - over here :

My latest should help you get to the Sierra Nevada destination of your choice, if it is even reachable, that is. Check it out -

This winter I am redoing all my California National Forest pages too. Below are the most popular, the ones I have started on .....

SEQUOIA National Forest

INYO National Forest

SAN BERDU National Forest

Los Padres is still in the works!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A break......

Hey, what can I say! Everyone needs a break every now & then,
even Miss Mite.

December 07 was my month to upgrade Total Escape & not blog here.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Yes, I've been moonlighting. Been away from this blogging & been creating my very own WordPress blog, over on Total Escape - where it was badly needed. Still getting used to it, so it's gonna look a lil messy for a while.

I started rebuilding the decade old California Fairs, Festivals & Events page & I am up to 300 jamborees so far. Got everything from Marathons to Lobster Fests, mountain bike races, wine tasting competitions, street fairs, jazz festivals. County fairs, Ren faires, brewfests, 4x4 races, all kinds of annual events around California. The ones you wont wanna miss, - or maybe the towns your need to avoid, on festival weekends. At Total Escape, you can choose your weekend solitude, or your wild local entertainment.

Inputting these huge lists by hand is so time consuming & carpel tunnel may be setting in soon, but it is fun to read about all the culture & diversity on our California back roads. Rodeos & all.

I gotta go see the greasy pig contest soon!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Beautiful Banners

Let's hear it for the graphic designers. After years of looking at smiley face blinking banners, we now have photo rich quality advertising on the web. If Total Escape is gonna run banner advertising, it must be NICE LOOKING.

This incredibly pretty ad to the left is for Hawaiian Airlines & what else would you expect. They are selling their beauty, their island, that destination. The mere name Hawaii alone sells their brand.

California of course has it's own beauty, as the Total Escape site can show you. Can we get the California local businesses to provide us with quality ads as well? Only time will tell. No shortage of resorts, or vacation oriented businesses in California.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happy Birthday to Total Escape

Eleven years online! Total Escape hits 11 today. That seems like eternity on these cyber channels, but we are just getting started. Really! The new database is forming fast. 3000 pages on California content, 20,000 photos, 2000 independent lodges, 1000 destinations. See what we've been up to -

ALL road trip PHOTOS


Thursday, September 27, 2007

King of ...Littering?

And the winner is Budweiser, King of Beers!

It's not a surprise that the majority of the trash we pick up on forest lands is beer cans & bottles. Of those, Budweiser, Miller (MGD) & Mickey's Big Mouth consumers are the top people who litter. Rarely do we see Sierra Nevada bottles disposed of improperly. More Pepsi drinkers throw trash outside than Coke; by far McDonald's wrappers are more common than any other fast food trash; cheap tequila bottles, soiled baby diapers, & bullet casings are also a problem. Cigarette smokers usually litter too (ciggi butts, cellophane wrappers, their boxes).

Inconsiderate target shooters are notorious for leaving broken glass, targets, computer monitors, & old propane cylinders shot full of holes outside, on a vacant hillside. And it takes responsible 4x4 clubs to clean this stuff up, along with other trail crews like Total Escape.

The reason for this topic is for the "stop the abuse" blogging campaign. Trashing nature is a huge problem across America. There seems to be no respect & little is being done about it. Do we really need to make more laws & enforce stiff fines for people to stop this neglect? I really wanna bring this to your attention today to change the way people think about littering - especially on YOUR public forests lands.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Many times over the years of Total Escape, I get letters such as this one below, which makes me realize just how important it is to take your kids out traveling & camping.

My name is Wendy and when I was a toddler, we used to camp at Lundy Lake. It was pure wilderness then and my dad used to make whistles for us out of the birch trees I think. I just wanted to share my memories with someone that might love to hear what it was like then.

I haven't been there since I was about 8 or 9, but we took our summer vacation every single year to the High Sierras & Virginia Lakes from years 1952-1971.

What sweet memories! We went to Green Creek when no one hardly knew it was there. My dad and mom were fishaholics and we lived in Santa Barbara CA and we love the high Sierras. 

how to find these sacred spaces -

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lavatube, Mojave National Preserve

I knew it. There had to be cool underground features like these lava tubes & caves out there. Jesse & I searched but did not find. Been out to Mojave Preserve six times. We'll hafta keep looking.

Vast spans of Mojave desert encompass historic mines, buildings, railroads, mountain peaks, boulders, joshua trees, pinyon pine forests, caverns and caves, lava tubes, sands dunes, dirt roads and a new, totally restored Kelso train depot - out in the huge triangle of land, east of Barstow. Near Interstate 40, Interstate 15 & the Nevada state line. Way out there in the middle of freakin nowhere near Kelso, Cima & Kelbaker Rd.

For best results arrive in day light hours when first visiting this unfamiliar desert region. It's easy to get lost without light or without a GPS. Maps are only as good as the ones you brought and how bright your dome light is in the car. Don't rely on cell phone coverage in this rural locale. Many dirt roads become rutted, so know your vehicle clearance in advance. No towing companies for many miles. Amboy, on National Trails Highway south of I-40, isn't always open. They close early and they may not always have gasoline.

Kelso Depot is a great side trip in route to Las Vegas. Mojave scenery and serenity offers a easily a week of total relaxation in a rugged terrain - camping, mountain biking and hiking. Backpacking high desert. Off road routes and trails nearby. Car camping on secluded back roads, or in developed campgrounds. RV campers and equestrian folks love this area.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Klamath River

View from Grandma's
Originally uploaded by prentz
This photo is near the small town of Orleans California, deep in the Klamath River Gorge in NorCal. Pam takes such nice shots of this area. The images from this region keep calling me. A serious Northern California road trip is needed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Autumn in California

The Big Catch
Originally uploaded by danamight
Autumn on the June Lake Loop starts momentarily. Cooler temps mean leaves are turning tonight. The Eastern Sierra is heavenly at this time of year, from Onion Valley to Hope Valley.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

DanaMite's California Lakes

Testing out the new Google's Picasa slide show feature on what else but some beautiful California lake photos. Some of which I could barely locate on Google Maps. There is a cool "location" tag so the photographer can pinpoint exactly where the shot was taken. What is funny to me is often the lake, nor the dirt road to access it, is even on the interactive maps. Just goes to show you MapQuest, Yahoo & Google Maps are not always accurate.

Best to buy a real map from Total Escape, if you really wanna get there!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Worth 1000 Words

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words & I truly believe that people are visual beings - that love to look at photos. Since Total Escape has been traveling & documenting California for well over a decade & my lil Nikon Coolpix just died, after much use & abuse, I decided to organize my thousands images online for your sheer enjoyment & education.

Over the next few months, I will be uploading tons of awesome California camping destinations, featuring Total Escape Adventures guided trips & some of the research road trips too. Look for the links in the descriptions to lead you back to Total Escape, where you can locate these hidden spots & buy the maps to get your asses out there.

And Flickr is such a great online application, so you should get your own free account too. Check out the backroads of California thru cyberspace.

Monday, September 3, 2007

California OHV Maps

Off road recreation is a huge sport on California. Just look at any given freeway on a late Sunday afternoon/eve & you can see these big boys toys being towed home. The diesel trucks pulling trailers, most anointed with colorful graphics & stickers, are referred to as toy boxes. In-N-Out burger here we come.

No matter if you are a hard core back packer, an avid back road camper or serious desert off roader, you can find maps for your California adventure on Total Escape. Just remember that most people do procrastinate: ill planning on your part does not mean an emergency on mine.

HINT: Do not wait until the last minute (a week before your departure) to place your map order, because holiday or summer rushes on outdoor recreation means we often run outta stock on the most popular titles.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lunar Eclipse

My drummer pal from San Diego, Bill Ray took this awesome shot of the recent lunar eclipse on Monday night & neighbor Lynn forwarded it to me Tuesday morning. Way to go! Wish I would have gone outside to see it, but I was distracted with a movie. Duh...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fly Fishing Northern California

Fly fishing California is best in the Northern half of the state. With the minimal rains and minimal lakes inside Southern Cal, you best be driving north to find your perfect fishing hole -  way north.

All areas around Mount Shasta & Mount Lassen are excellent for fishing. Feather River, Hat Creek, Trinity River, Klamath River, Northern Gold Country's Yuba River near Downieville & even the Sacramento River are all excellent spots for casting your line. Most of the Eastern Sierra is decent for fly fishing too. Rock Creek near Tom's Place; behind Mammoth Lakes is Minaret Creek & Boundary Creek; Hot Creek is across the highway from Mammoth. Golden aspens are always awesome in autumn near June Lake with Rush Creek; Green Creek is near Bridgeport CA & the Walker River is just north of that.

You can find professional fly fishing guides to help you get started. Online fishing reports are updated by anglers, who also run extensive web sites on the sport are great resources for finding the perfect place to vacation. We have an extensive list of all fishing lodges in California. Plan your fishing trip with Total Escape & make your weekend unforgettable.

Monday, August 13, 2007

California Meteor Showers

Firstly, meteors showers can be seen from anywhere, not just California. Although the darker the skies the better, so you will have to escape the city lights & climb in elevation. Coastal hills have too much moisture in the air & the unexpected fog can easily roll in. The Sierra Nevada Mountains are the perfect choice for stargazing & most of NorCal.

Meteor showers in general do not fit in to the normal daily routine or time frame for most people. Neither do the majority of heavenly displays. The best show starts well after midnight & that is too late for our American society - who manage to squeeze in 10+ hours of television per week. Hit the hay before the pumpkin hour & you're missing out dude.

Tonight is the peak of the Perseids. Get your ass outside for an hour.
The air beds, lounge chairs, hats, jackets & caffeine will help us enjoy it longer.

Meteorites entering earth atmosphere burn into a ball of light & evaporate in the edges of our earths air. Grazer are bigger particles that skim across & cause a long tail to follow, sometimes with hints of color. Fire balls are the big comet-like shows that light up the sky all around. Night owls can enjoy a series of shooting stars, right up until day break.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

California Camping

This is the term, the key phrase, the #1 thing campers & RVers type into search engines to find the Total Escape web site, the independent travel site of the back roads and California Wilderness. We used to be the very first listing on Google for the phrase "California Camping", ahead of the State Park system, the National Forests, the KOA's. Why ? Because I was here first, DanaMite on the world wide web, with Total Escape way back in 1996... pre-Y2K, pre-9/11.

With modern web marketing, SEO and search algorithms changing we have slipped off this tip top mountain peak, but we still have a big following of outdoor enthusiasts.

The web industry calls it 'organic searches' or 'grandfathered into the system'. Yippee! I have the content to prove it, now let's get this mega California A to Z database rollin' baby!

Total Escape was here before digital cameras, before hi-speed, before YouTube, before social media, before the GPS, and before blogging. Way back, well before the government agencies even think they needed a forest web site.

California Camping
Camp Clueless
Camp Potty
Campfire Permits
Campground Camping

Backroads Camping
Creek Camping
Desert Camping
Lake Camping
Wilderness Camping

Thursday, July 26, 2007

the survey

Howdy all you fun lovin' Escapers! I know many of you have been out camping with Total Escape Adventures in the last decade & plenty more were planning to. Now, in the midst of summer - we are offering NO TRIPS? What, why?

Let's just say we needed a break. We are restructuring the company & in the future all the guided trips will be lead by BajaLory. Now we need to hear from you, the newbies & the regulars, on what kinda trips you want us to lead. Please click the link above to take our very short survey, so we can get a better idea of what you wanna see, where you wanna go & what kinda recreation you want us to provide.

Exploring caves in the Sierra Nevada, Baja Kayaking & Off-Roading, or Houseboats on Lake Shasta....

we will let you determine the direction.

Monday, July 16, 2007

California Hot Springs

The 3 words together make you dream of secluded natural beauty, star gilled skies, candle light & real naked hot people. "California Hot Springs" is one of the most widely searched terms for entry into the site, Total Escape. California has numerous hot springs (like over 300) - from luxury resorts near the Palm Springs desert to primitive rock tubs overlooking the lower Kern River, each unique to it's own surroundings. Many are capped for geothermal use & others are hike-in only in the Wilderness. High Sierra hike-in tubs to remote bed & breakfasts, to palm canyon desert oasis, clothing optional is the norm. Hey now, we are in California. Live a little.

If you're uncomfortable with public nudity, too bad! You are the one missing out.
Grover Hot Springs is more of a family friendly (clothing required) kinda park.

The facilities at each location vary greatly depending on terrain, land ownership & the flow of the hot water. Some hot springs are no more than a trickle into one solo tub, while others have green lawns & RV parks built around them. California's geothermal wonders draw visitors from all over the world. Hot mineral baths are known to be a place of healing & many consider them sacred spaces.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Hillbilly Off-Roaders

This term above is actually a mental state, not a geographic location. Although you are more likely to find these guys on the back roads in rural regions. CB radios & all.

Exactly one week ago, at sundown I was calmly working online & watering flowers. Then HE called. The sexy boy, who I cannot say no to. "Where's my car?" I asked. "It's fine, it's in my driveway at home". Your stuck, stranded, wheeling where? Off Miller, shit! After I pinpointed their location on my Los Padres topo atlas, I am now in the process of rescuing some local off-roader pals - in my AWD Saab?

How many rednecks in town can you get to do this right now?
(Can't you call some male friends to help?)

Hint: These are not the same 4x4 dudes that showed for the Quatal Canyon CleanUp.

NO, go pick up the Amigo in Frazier & here's the long list of supplies. Since I haven't been on a 4WD rescue in 3 years, I jump at the chance to see the Sespe at night in the summer. Okay, break into his house in the back door. Open garage, find keys. Load 35" tires into the back of my lil SUV (w/ the help of the neighbor), the high lift jack, tools, saws, lights, tarps & oh yeah, a pizza & gasoline. This is the kinda adventure I live for. Six hours & one full moon later I am second guessing even knowing these dudes.

These idiots were stranded on OHV Trail Yellow Jacket, on the single track 'motorcycles only' section. Where the bikes & maybe quads can go. No knowledge of that canyon, no backup plan. No maps, no GPS, no clue of what that trail was like, and late in the day. Wheelin alone. The entry sign was burnt toast vinyl from the recent Los Padres Day Fire, so they proceeded onward. The narrow paths & whoopty-woos should have been a good sign, but they proceeded, new tires & rims. No problem. Two tire blow outs later & they're on the ridges with their cell phones to anyone who can help. A call to DanaMite was obvious. I've heard this Taurian song before.

When I arrived in my Amigo full of gear on forest road #7N03, it was dark. They hiked to meet me 4 miles - at the main dirt road intersection, not near the campground. A large animal was making breathy moans from the dark, as we ate the pizza at the roadside. The boys had a rough hike out, a lot of uphill & difficult terrain. But the stranded the vehicle is not coming out that way. Too hairy. We had to reach the newer white Ford 4x4 pickup (with popped tires, new rims, & nice sound system), from the opposite end of the trail. Way back to Lockwood Road & around. May as well go back to town then & grab a more capable 4WD vehicle, the big steel tank. An International Harvester. "We race farm equipment" is a slogan. A major gas guzler V8, weighs maybe 4 tons - with bald crusty tires. Unsafe to transport small children up steep paved roads or drive across the hot desert, but stout enough to wheel the hairiest 4x4 trail in SoCal, at night. This should do the trick for the Miller Jeep Trail run at midnight. Alone. At least we have maps, cell phones & my CB.

Goodness knows my 2WD Isuzu would NOT get past Lockwood Creek. I followed them to the trail head in the new freshly washed Saabaru... within hiking distance - was my main concern. Being outside in the middle of nowhere with these freaks, with that eerie burnt pinyon pine forest surrounding us, the big blue moon light, was something outta a Tim Burton movie. While the tattooed boys argued & cursed behind me, I gaze over the valley lights below. Lockwood Valley at night is a sight. Major side wall damage, cheap new tires, sharp rocks & some small trees. They should have turned back a mile before. But I wasn't driving that sunny afternoon; neither was the owner of the truck. He was just along for the ride, trusting his dare devil new buddy. Until all hell breaks loose & then somebody's gonna loose an eye.

We punctured the other 2 new tires on the way back to pavement. The fact that we got outta there at night surprised me. Barely got to bed before dawn on Tuesday, exhausted, but well loved.

RULE #1 - ALWAYS BRING A MAP .... a real hard copy map, paper, plastic, polypropylene, printed, waterproof, tear proof. A back-up map to your digital one.

If the trail is a single track, motorcycles only, no Jeeps or full sized vehicles should pass. There are reasons for the ratings. If you are cutting across meadows marked with a Wilderness marker, you are not on a trail, nor are you making a new bypass.

What about the high clearance? Locker may be needed in some spots. Are your tires sufficient? Body damage is okay!? Do you really wanna break something today?

Solo Joe will have to hike it & hope for the best. Wheeling alone? Tell someone when & where, at bare minimum. Driving dirt roads maybe, but no serious shit. No rock crawling at night, no sorta maybe decisions, no unfamiliar trails at sundown. Nope, save all that for a 4x4 club run.

Join a 4x4 off-road club. Learn something, meet friends, clean the forest, volunteer, become a responsible human being & have fun, all at the same time.

Standing in the gentle wind enjoying the fresh carbon air at 6000'. The meadows were incredibly gorgeous in the bright moon beams, although we had to drive thru small portions of them. Mountain meadows should be protected. The phrase "Hey look, there are tracks thru here already. Other people are doing it. It must be fine for me". Or the other "I don't believe in boundaries crap". Sure, let's just off-road the hell outta all of the West-freaking-Coast. OHV unite. Quads for everyone! Let all the blue frogs die from our Lucas Oil & exhaust. Bold colors, logos, & caffeine drinks rule. Look cool, have great stuff & go out to break it, so you can fix it. Drink lotsa & losta beer. And litter. Over & over.

This isn't my mentality on wheelin' or eco-friendly preaching, it's just a story I am telling. It's just what I am seeing & hearing in my SoCal mountain town. Although the local Hummers & Jeep Cherokees rarely touch dirt, the uneducated red necks with their beaters is the crowd I am referring to. The Sierra Club chapter is mostly senior citizens, the off-roaders are clueless, the shooters trash the forest & the local party kids just wanna place to hang.

If I break it, I'll fix it dude, I swear!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Lake Almanor Camping & Boating

Northern Plumas, where the forests meets the Feather River & Lassen peaks; near Chester California is recreation mecca Lake Almanor, another popular lake of Northern Sierra. Pine trees line the lakeshores & a real grocery store is nearby. There is plenty developed RV campground along the shorelines. Fish, bike, hike, kayak, float in a tube, lay in a hammock, reading all day. Boat rentals, jet skis, family camping, marinas all around.

Monday, July 2, 2007

California: Map of Mountains

The beauty of the California mountains has called people to the west coast for centuries. From the Gold Rush of the 1800's to the mountaineering routes of the tallest peak Mount Whitney, the golden state offers so much abundance of high elevation. Ancient Bristlecone Pines, recreation lakes of Northern California & the granite peaks of the High Sierra. Total Escape specializes in the back roads of California & the majority of those roads are located around the Sierra & Shasta region. If you are looking for that special place far away from the crowds, we have you covered. From swimming holes to fishing spots, waterfalls to river tubing, we have all the National Forest maps of California, all 20 of them, plus the Tom Harrison waterproof plastic hiking maps. A few California forests now offer the 7 minute topo maps in a spiral bound atlas book. When it comes to California Maps & mountains - you can count on Total Escape to help chose your perfect destination. Find that creekside campsite, the best swimming hole, the waterfall, or a prime fishing spot that you won't wanna leave for a week. We carry all USDA National Forest Maps for ALL of California with priority shipping & under $20.

California National Forests, visit them before they burn down, or get closed off.

Sierra Nevada Topo Map
Pacific Crest Trail - PCT Topo Map
Angeles National Forest
Cleveland National Forest
El Dorado National Forest
Inyo National Forest
Klamath National Forest
Lassen National Forest
Los Padres National Forest
Mendocino National Forest
Modoc National Forest
Plumas National Forest
San Bernardino National Forest
Sequoia National Forest
Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Sierra National Forest
Six Rivers National Forest
Stanislaus National Forest
Tahoe National Forest
Toiyabe National Forest

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Orleans California

This is the Klamath River, running parallel to the coast inland and behind the redwood forests of Northern California. Impressive views from every ridge line, riverside fishing resorts, deep canyon, small town wilderness charm. They call Highway 96 the Bigfoot Scenic Byway & for great reason, the wildlife is abundant all over this region. Salmon & steelhead fishing are excellent. Marble Mountains Wilderness is closeby. Horseback, bike, hike, camp, fish, raft, kayak. Relax for a full week & really let go of the grind!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Silver Strand State Beach

In San Diego it's known as the Silver Strand, a coastal bike path between San Diego Bay & the Pacific Ocean. It's a sliver of sandbar that connect Imperial Beach to Coronado Island, which I guess isn't an island after all, it's a peninsula! There is rumored to be a sunk ship that you can see during extremely low tides. The campground is right on the beach and popular among the RV crowd. The Hotel del Coronado is just down the street, downtown San Diego is close by & the laid back beach community of IB is a few miles south, bordering Tijuana Mexico. This is only real beach camping in San Diego downtown area, so camping reservations are highly recommended for Silver Strand Campground.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Where are the Redwood Forests?

California has many redwood forests - big, old, super tall trees. From the North Coast to the Southern Sierra Nevada 's these are the tallest & largest living things on earth. Not to be confused with the oldest living things on the planet, which are called Ancient Bristlecone Pines, also located in California, along the Eastern borders in the White Mountains, north of the Inyo mountains. Plentiful camping all around these groves too. Mountain Home State Forest is a hidden park in the southern Sierra Nevada. Yosemite has several ancient groves. Bass Lake region has a small stand of Sequoias called Nelder Grove. Giant Sequoia National Monument near Ponderosa even has some ob the dirt back roads, If you wanna discover all of California's big trees, check out our list of California Redwood Groves.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gualala Kayak

The Gualala River meets the Pacific Ocean on the North Coast of California. This is an excellent area for kayaking & camping. There are plenty small hotels for those wishing not to rough it. Redwood forests, coastal cafes, village shops, makes Gualala California a tourists destination along Highway 1. Hendy Woods State Park, Manchester State Park & Salt Point State Park are all close by. The County Park at Gualala Point is dog friendly & has camping too.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

California Beach Camping

California has the best beaches on the west coast & they draw millions of tourists here each year. From RV camping on the beaches of San Diego to Northern California's rural Lost Coast, we have a variety of public & private Campgrounds along the coastline for every style of camping. The best coast camping is along the scenic Central Coast of California, also known as Big Sur CA. A 100 mile stretch of natural beauty that spans from Carmel to Cayucos.

Partington Cove is a great day hike with redwood forest & rocky coves; just north of Julia Pfeiffer State Park. At the southern end of the Big Sur coast, Sand Dollar Beach is a great dog friendly beach w/ Plaskett Creek Campground is directly across the street. There are camp sites in: oak canyons, on dirt roads, on ridges, on rocky bluffs, or inside dense redwood groves. Primitive camping on ridges via forest dirt roads. Walk in camps at Andrew Molera, drive in RV camps at Big Sur State Park & backpacking in the Ventana Wilderness with awesome views of the coastline.

Whether you seek a primitive, free camp site or a luxurious RV resort with all the amenities, Total Escape has all camping options listed on each destination page.

California Coastal Camping
listed from south to north -

Southern California Beaches

Central Coast California

Northern California Coast

California Coastal Maps: 
NatGeo Baja Sur Map
NatGeo Baja Norte Map
Santa Monica Mountains Map
Topanga State Park Map
Malibu Creek Map
Zuma Canyon Map
Los Padres National Forest North
NatGeo Los Padres Santa Barbara
NatGeo Los Padres SLO
Ventana Wilderness Map 
NatGeo Big Sur Map
Point Reyes Hiking Map
Mount Tam Map
Mendocino National Forest Map
Lost Coast Map
Redwood Park Map
Six River National Forest Map

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Dillon Beach California

This is a coastal paradise. Wide beaches, cliffs, views of the northern tip of Point Reyes. This coast can get foggy several months out of the year. One of those town names that sometimes gets misspelled (as Dillion Beach), has a big tourist following with surfers & RVers. Private vacation homes, some for rent over look the Pacific Ocean & small resort down at the beach. The beach is scenic, wide & often secluded for long walks. Dillon Beach California could be your next weekend get-away.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Twin Lakes California

Eastern Sierra Camping: Twin Lakes, near Bridgeport California has some of the best fishing & camping in the Eastern Sierra region. The area gets buried in snow sometimes, but by late Spring the RVs start rolling in. Campground reservations are recommended for mid-summer. Robinson Creek, Honeymoon Flat & Paha. Buckeye Hot Springs, Hoover Wilderness trailheads, historic Bodie ghost town.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Pacific Crest Trail Maps

The PCT is the 2650 mile national scenic hiking trail that stretches from Mexico to Canada & thousands of backpackers use it every year. The Pacific Crest trail starts near Tecate & Campo California, heads north thru SoCal mountains & desert terrain, then up to Big Bear Lake. Eventually it'll end up in the High Sierra, the most majestic & desirable part of the journey. The newest waterproof maps are available for the whole stretch of the long journey. The PCT#1 covers SoCal & the PCT#2 map focuses on the area south of Tehachapi. The #3 deals with the Southern Sierra and so on, all the way north to Washington State and the Canadian border.

If you're planning on hiking the whole thing, take more than a year off of work, get physically conditioned way ahead of time & start your research here

Lake Edison in the High Sierra, California

South Lake near Bishop, CA

Hiking trails in Lakes Basin Recreation Area near Gold Lake, CA

Monday, May 28, 2007

River Recreation Northern California

Plenty folks asking about "where to go rafting or river tubing" in Southern California. HINT: You need water! (lack of rain means SoCal is nearly a desert region)

While SoCal has ocean access with hundreds of miles of shoreline; the fresh, clean, clear big water only flows from the mountains. Better yet from the Sierra Nevada or Northern California. Southern California has a few rivers & most seasonal streams dry up before mid-summer. You're lucky to see a trickle, yet a waterfall, inland.

HEAD NORTH: The biggest river driving distance to Los Angeles is the infamous Kern River. The western side of the Sierras has many main tributaries flowing west from granite alpine of the high country. Kings River, the longest river in the Sierra Nevada, flows from where else - Kings Canyon National Park, San Joaquin River tucked way back near Mono Hot Springs in Sierra National Forest & the Merced, which flows through Yosemite National Park.

The real river recreation, kayaking & rafting starts well above Sacramento, where there is a body of water in every county. Much of which feeds the world, with agricultural irrigation of the Central Valley. The Yuba River flows past the Sierra Buttes & through Northern Gold Country. The Pit River & Feather River surrounding Lassen Peak are perfect for fishing & camping. The Russian River leads from Sonoma Wine Country to the coast of Mendocino. The Klamath, in the far north portion of California, is the river for rafting.

Happy Camp California is located deep in the Klamath National Forest, along the river & highway 96. But beware, once you are there, you wont wanna leave.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Pinecrest Lake

One of the easiest alpine lakes to drive to in the western Sierra's is located on Highway 108, the Sonora Pass. Stanislaus National Forest region is home to Dodge Ridge ski area & excellent forest camping. Fishing, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking w/ mountain peaks, big rivers and creeks.

Campground camping, backpacking, primitive camping, 4x4 camping. RV camping is very popular on this High Sierra route, but lake side camp sites do book up months in advance for prime summer months. There are numerous Campgrounds in the Sierra Sonora region are plentiful, so you can check more lists for camping nearby.

More rugged characters can grab a map to explore trails, trailheads and camp for free on the back roads!

Pinecrest California has number of accommodations, such as chalets & cabins available for rent. The main lake is within walking distance of the village, which has a general store, ranger station & post office. Bike rentals are also a nice attraction for recreation lovers. All this alpine splendor is open year round but you should always expect snow in winter.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Whiskeytown Lake NRA

The one great thing about Redding California is it proximity to awesome the NorCal Wilderness. Shasta Lake is die north & beyond that lies Mount Shasta. To the east is Lassen National Park & all it's volcanic glory. To the west of Redding is the Trinity Alps, the Trinity River & Trinity Lake. The first place you see along Hwy 299 after the historic Shasta town is Whiskeytown Lake.

The whole Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is surrounded by forests, rivers, creeks, fishing, and the majestic Shasta Trinity National Forest.

Take the first left into the first parking lot & check out the view of all the pines, the massive size of this reservoir & the afternoon suns glare off the water. This is a popular lake for boating, fishing & camping. Oak Bottom Campground is along the highway & has plenty sites. If you take the back road across the dam & follow the Clear Creek up to the waterfalls, you can find a secluded camp - way back where the locals like to hang. RV's & trailers are not recommended for this last stretch.

Friday, May 4, 2007

South Carlsbad Beach camp sites

San Diego California has a hundred miles of great beaches & coastal access, although there are only a handful of campgrounds along the coast. You can camp in the downtown area, like RV only Silver Strand State Beach, or perhaps with the masses at Mission Bay.

SD's North County coastline has a much more rural feel, less development & plenty great surfing, shoreline & seaweed. San Diego's 2 large beach campgrounds with ocean view & cliff side access are: San Elijo Beach Campground near Cardiff & South Carlsbad State Beach. We suggest making reservations, as these do tend to be popular alternatives to the San Diego city camping options.