Go Solo

Traveling Alone
Camping Solo

Sierra Hiking Path

it’s the way to go… slow & solo

enjoying quality time alone is not weird, wrong, or unnatural, no matter how many strange looks you get from friends & envious co-workers

Solo Outdoor Trips

Stop waiting for someone to do things with. Quit thinking that your best friend or partner will one day magically suggest an outdoorsy road trip, or day hike, or mountain bike ride. YOU are the one who craves the wildness of the earth, the unexplored, the secluded. The time is now for you to start living the life you want, outdoors, in California – today!

If you’ve just about had it with the pressures of everyday stresses, the wifi city life and the busy pace of civilized society is starting to get to you. Get a clue fast – before you loose your marbles. It’s time for much needed rest and relaxation. Nature is the best place to relax and reconnect with yourself and mother nature.

A change in scenery. A fresh perspective. A real break from the norm. No shopping, no errands, no phones, no television, no computers, nobody around. No one, except you.

and they might call you anti-social…

Travel Solo

alone, by yourself

away, distant, solely, detached, free, independent, unique, individually

The Call of the Wild


Unplug yourself from the hectic rat race and go exploring. Give yourself time to fully unwind: time to think, time to enjoy the outdoors and really find that special place of peace that comes only from earth. Yes, all by yourself.

VISION QUEST

Call it an annual primal ritual, or a first time experiment, traveling solo can be a blessing in disguise. Learning to be alone outdoors, become more aware of the physical world and enjoying yourself is an important key to a balanced life. Whether you seek a quick refresher course for the weekend or a full blown month long road trip, seeking a new comfortable destination and the art of basic relaxing is the main focus for this trip.

Camping Alone

slow going

When you travel alone, it’s easy to take your own sweet time. Going slow is something we don’t usually do in our busy city lives. Time is so precious, so you may as well stretch that vacation out as long as possible. Savor the moments.

Take as long as you like for – photography, picnicking, hiking, stretching, yoga, cooking and stargazing. Firewood collection becomes the biggest chore of the day, and it could take hours. Walking from camp, every direction will lead to a new adventure. Driving back roads at 20 mph is luxurious. No one to be your back seat driver. Sleep in every day if you want. No pressures, no schedules, no big worries. Sunlight, food, heat, weather, cooking and cleaning. Sit back and learn to really relax. Enjoy a secluded camp site for a full week, and get to know the wildlife on a first name basis.

Boy Camping

Follow the back roads to seclusion, or reserve several days at a unique campground. Imagine night after night of peaceful rest, with the sounds of nature surrounding you & the stars of the heavens dancing across the darkest skies.

Explore new terrain every day & move to a new camp every night. Or make it a “stay put” week-long meditation, in one spot. Whatever fits your needs. Either way, you’ll enjoy the solitude & the healing powers of nature. Answering to no one but yourself, you may feel guilty or kinda selfish the first few days, but this will fade as you learn to embrace the solo journey.

And it doesn’t hafta be all about roughin it either. While backpacking into the almighty wilds of the true wilderness has its good points – along with life threatening dangers possible every day, a simple quick weekend trip to a nearby small inn, fishing lodge,  or a bed & breakfast could work for the pampered types. Choose something different and unique, yet know your own limitations (on comfort & on a physical level). Make sure your destination choice is surrounded by some nature and preferably wilderness. You won’t miss the television one bit!

  • FARM STAYS & GUEST RANCHES
  • BED & BREAKFAST INNS
  • NFS FIRE LOOKOUTS & CABINS
  • TENT CABINS & YURTS
  • CA LAKES & RESERVOIRS
  • WILDERNESS AREAS
  • SMALL TOWNS IN CALIFORNIA
  • Spend One Full Day a Week Outside in Nature

    Good California Maps are a must have! Don’t rely on digital cell service or count on online maps being readily available. The hard-copy versions are always the best back up plan. Old paper maps are the very best, cuz they can often show more hidden waterfalls, trails and old mines than the newer maps.

    National Forest maps are best for getting and staying away from the tourist crowds. Visit Destinations to decide what kinda place you wanna explore this season.

    California has it all – A to Z

    which is why the golden state population always seems to be increasing, right? Helping you get away from your normal routine and the masses is what we do best here at Total Escape. Discover the thousands of pages, photos and links on this site to create your very own unique retreat.

    The mountains, deserts, coastal, rolling oak countryside & even urban escape inside city villages, are perfect starting points for planning your little escape. Desert Retreats California

    Desert camping in autumn, winter and springtime months is perfect timing for any kinda soul searching, catching up on a good book, or just gazing out at the vast vistas. Meteor showers fall within the latter part of the year, so stargazing and camping is excellent with the new moon. Temps start to drop come September, so be warned. Mountain cabins drop to their off season rates after summer, but be prepared for chilly temps and get proper outdoor gear.

    camping destinations
    lakes in calif
    California State Parks
    hiking trails
    BLM camping
    back roads
    usda nfs
    mountains of California
    California National Parks
    stargazer
    desert in cali

    Desert Sunsets in Winter

    SAFETY TIPS: Give your schedule to someone. Any bit of info is helpful. A map or written itinerary given to a neighbor or close friend will help ensure your safety and timely return. Bring your cell phone, plenty maps, bear mace and emergency supplies for additional security.

    All Lake Campgrounds

    davisatsunset

    California Lakes A-Z

    alphabetically listed; cross reference by lake or campground name. blue links lead to camp reservation services.

    All Reservable Lake Campgrounds inside California

    lake campgrounds

    CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

    lakes mountains foothills camp  boating fishing hiking State Parks NFS

    ACORN CAMPGROUND
    New Hogan Lake, Valley Springs, Stockton CA

    ALMANOR CAMPGROUND
    Lake Almanor, Westwood, Chester, California

    ANTELOPE LAKE – Plumas NF, Indian Valley, Greenville, CA

    Anthony Chabot Park
    Lake Chabot Campground

    East Bay San Francisco, Oakland, Alameda, CA

    ANTLERS CAMPGROUND
    Lake Shasta, Lakehead, O’Brien CA, Interstate 5

    ASPEN GROUP CAMP
    Jackson Meadow Reservoir, Tahoe NF, Truckee, California

    ASPEN GROVE CAMPGROUND NFS
    Eagle Lake, Lassen NF, Susanville, California

    ASPEN HOLLOW GROUP CAMP NFS
    Sequoia, Kings Canyon National Park, Hume Lake

    AUBURN SRA BOAT-IN CAMPING State Park
    Auburn State Recreation Area, Gold Country, Folsom Lake, American Arm, Auburn, CA

    lakes

    BAILEY COVE CAMPGROUND
    Lake Shasta, California

    BASS LAKE – Sierra National Forest, South of Yosemite NP NFS

    BEAR RIVER GROUP CAMP
    Lower Bear Reservoir, Eldorado National Forest

    BENBOW LAKE STATE RECREATION AREA State Park
    Mendocino Benbow Lake, NorCal Redwoods US 101

    BERGER CAMPGROUND NFS
    Packer Lake @ Lakes Basin Recreation Area, Yuba River, North Gold Country California; Sierra City, Downieville CA

    BIG COVE CAMPGROUND
    Frenchman Lake, Feather River, Plumas NF, Portola CA

    BIG SILVER GROUP CAMP
    Union Valley Reservoir, US Hwy 50, Placerville, Gold Country

    BLACK BUTTE LAKE – Sacramento Valley, NorCal

    • BUCKHORN CAMPGROUND

    BLACK OAK CAMPGROUND (closed due to fire 2016)
    Stumpy Meadows Reservoir, Eldorado NF

    BOCA RESERVOIR – Tahoe NF, Truckee, California NFS

    BOULDER GULCH CAMPGROUND NFS
    Kern Canyon, Lake Isabella, California

    BRANNAN ISLAND STATE RECREATION AREA State Park
    Sacramento River @ California Delta, Lodi CA

    BUCKHORN CAMPGROUND
    Black Butte Lake, Sacramento Valley, Orland, CA

    Indian Rock Beach, Bucks Lake California

    BUCKS LAKE – North Sierra, Plumas National Forest

    BURNEY FALLS STATE PARK CAMPGROUND State Park
    Lake Britton SRA, Burney, California

    BU-SHAY CAMPGROUND
    Lake Mendocino, California

    coolsprings

    BUTT VALLEY Reservoir – PG&E Campgrounds
    West of Lake Almanor

    BUTTE LAKE – Lassen Volcanic National Park NPS

    lakes

    Castaic Lake RV Park
    North Los Angeles County, Castiac, CA Interstate 5

    CHEKAKA CAMPGROUND
    Lake Mendocino, Wine Country California, US Hwy 101

    CHILCOOT CAMPGROUND
    Frenchman Lake, Plumas National Forest, Feather River, Portola CA

    Chowchilla Recreation Area
    Eastman Lake, Central Valley, Fresno CA

    CHRISTIE CAMPGROUND
    Eagle Lake, south shore; Plumas NF, Susanville, California

    CLEAR LAKE SP – Wine Country, California State Park

    CODORNIZ RECREATION AREA
    Eastman Lake, San Joaquin Valley, Central Valley

    COLLEGE CAMPGROUND
    Huntington Lake, Western Sierra Nevada

    CONVICT LAKE CAMPGROUND
    Eastern Sierra, US Hwy 395, Mammoth Lakes

    COTTONWOOD CAMPGROUND
    Frenchman Lake, Feather River

    CRYSTAL LAKE (no longer taking reservations)
    Angeles National Forest, Azusa, CA

    lakes

    D.L. BLISS SP State Park
    DL BLISS CAMPGROUND
    DL Bliss State Park, Lake Tahoe, California

    DIMOND O CAMPGROUND
    June Lake Loop, Hwy 158, Eastern Sierra

    DINKEY CREEK
    Dinkey Creek CA; Sierra NF, south of Shaver Lake CA

    lakes

    EAGLE LAKE – Plumas National Forest, Susanville, California

    EASTMAN LAKE – California Central Valley, Fresno CA

    CAMP EDISON @ SHAVER
    EDISON CAMPGROUND
    California Edison Campground
    @ Shaver Lake, CA, Western Sierra

    ELLERY CREEK
    McCloud Arm of Shasta Lake, California

    EMERALD BAY SP State Park
    South Lake Tahoe California

    lakes

    FALLEN LEAF CAMPGROUND 
    South Lake Tahoe California

    FASHODA CAMPGROUND NFS
    Union Valley Reservoir, ElDorado NF

    FAUCHERIE GROUP CAMP NFS
    Faucherie Lake, Donner Pass Area, Tahoe NF,  Truckee, California

    FAWN CAMPGROUND
    Trinity Highway 3, Trinity Lake CA

    FIR COVE CAMPGROUND NFS
    Ruth Lake, Mad River CA Hwy 36, Six River NF

    FISH LAKE CAMPGROUND
    Hwy 96, Six River National Forest, Orleans CA

    FOLSOM LAKE SRA State Park
    Folsom State Recreation Area, Sacramento CA

    FORKS CAMPGROUND
    Bass Lake, Sierra NF, South Yosemite

    FREMONT CAMPGROUND
    Lake Cachuma, Santa Barbara Camping

    FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR – American River

    FRENCHMAN LAKE – Plumas NF, Feather River, Portola CA

    lakes

    GLORY HOLE RECREATION AREA
    GLORY HOLE CAMPGROUND

    New Melones Reservoir
    Angels Camp, California Gold Country

    GREEN VALLEY CAMPGROUND NFS
    Green Valley Lake, Big Bear Lake Area, San Bernardino NF

    GRIZZLY CAMPGROUND
    Lake Davis, Plumas National Forest, Portola CA

    lakes

    HAYWARD FLAT
    Trinity Lake, NorCal Highway 3, Weaverville CA

    HORSE CREEK
    Lake Kaweah, South Sequoia National Park, Three Rivers CA

    HUME LAKE – Kings Canyon & Sequoia NP, Hume Lake

    HUNGRY GULCH NFS
    Lake Isabella, Kern River, Kernville CA

    HUNTINGTON LAKE – Western Sierra Nevada NFS

    HUTCHINS CAMPGROUND
    Bucks Lake, CA, Plumas National Forest

    Bucks Lake Campgrounds

    lakes

    ICE HOUSE CAMPGROUND
    Ice House Reservoir, US Hwy 50, El Dorado NF

    ISLAND PARK
    Pine Flat Reservoir, Kings River, Sierra NF

    JACKSON FLAT GROUP CAMP
    Jackson Lake, Angeles NF, Wrightwood CA

    JACKSON MEADOWS Reservoir – Tahoe National Forest, Truckee, CA

    JUANITA LAKE GROUP CAMP
    near Butte Valley Wildlife Area, Klamath NF, Weed CA

    JUNE LAKE CAMPGROUND NFS
    June Lake Loop, Hwy 158, June Lake, CA Eastern Sierra

    JUNIPER LAKE – Lassen Volcanic NP NPS

    Lassen Lakes

    KASPIAN CAMPGROUND
    hiking trail to Barker Peak @ Lake Tahoe CA

    lakes

    LAKE ALMANOR – Northern Sierra Nevada

    LAKE BERRYESSA – Wine Country California

    LAKE BRITTON –  Burney Falls Park State Park

    LAKE CACHUMA – Santa Barbara Mountains

    LAKE DAVIS – Plumas National Forest

    LAKE EDISON – Sierra National Forest

    LAKE ISABELLA – Kern River, South Sierra NFS

    LAKE MENDOCINO – Wine Country California, US Hwy 101

    LAKE OROVILLE SRA State Park
    Oroville Lake State Recreation Area
    Loafer Creek, Equestrian Camp, Feather River Oroville CA

    LAKE PERRIS SRA State Park
    Inland Empire, Southern California

    LAKE PILLSBURY, Trout Creek Campground (currently closed)

    LAKE SONOMA – Wine Country California, Geyserville

    LAKE SPAULDING, PG&E Campground, Interstate 80

    tahoe emerald bay

    The Gem of the Sierra Nevada – Lake Tahoe

    LAKE TAHOE – Sierra Nevada Mountains State Park NFS

    LAKES BASIN CAMPGROUND NFS
    Lakes Basin Recreation Area, North Gold Country

    LAKESHORE EAST
    Shasta Lake, Northern California

    LAKESIDE CAMPGROUND NFS
    Prosser Reservoir, OHV Camping, Truckee, California

    LEWIS CAMPGROUND
    French Meadows Reservoir, American River, W of Lake Tahoe

    LIBERTY GLEN CAMPGROUND
    Lake Sonoma, Wine Country California

    Lake Davis Trails

    Lake Davis Trails – hike, bike, horseback

    LIGHTNING TREE CAMPGROUND NFS
    Lake Davis, Plumas National Forest, Susanville, California

    LOGGER CAMPGROUND
    Hume Lake, Sequoia Kings National Parks

    LONE ROCK NFS
    Antelope Lake, Plumas NF, Indian Valley, Greenville, CA

    LONG POINT NFS
    Antelope Lake, Plumas NF, Indian Valley, Greenville, CA

    LOON LAKE CAMPGROUND NFS
    ElDorado NF High Country, Georgetown, CA

    LOON LAKE CHALET NFS
    ElDorado NF High Country, Georgetown, CA

    LOS ALAMOS CAMPGROUND
    Pyramid Lake, North Los Angeles, Interstate 5

    LOWER TWIN LAKES NFS
    Twin Lakes CA, BRIDGEPORT, Eastern Sierra

    LUPINE
    Bass Lake, Sierra NF, South Yosemite

    lakes

    MAMMOTH POOL – Sierra NF, South of Yosemite NP

    MANZANITA LAKE – Lassen Volcanic NP NPS

    MARY SMITH CAMPGROUND
    Lewsiton Lake, Trinity River, Lewiston CA

    MEEKS BAY
    Lake Tahoe California, west shore

    LAKE MENDOCINO
    Lake Campground Mendocino, Ukiah CA, US Hwy 101

    MERRILL CAMPGROUND
    Eagle Lake, Susanville CA

    MESA CAMPGROUND
    Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area, Cajon Pass L.A.

    MILLERTON LAKE SRA State Park
    Millerton Lake Campground, Fresno CA

    MODESTO RESERVOIR REGIONAL PARK
    Western Sierra Foothills, Modesto, Merced, Central Valley

    lakes

    NELSON POINT
    Shasta Lake, Northern California

    NEVADA BEACH CAMPGROUND
    Lake Tahoe, south shore @ Nevada state line, US Hwy 50

    NEW HOGAN LAKE – Valley Springs, Gold Country

    NEW MELONES Reservoir – Angels Camp, Gold Country

    NORTH FORK CAMPGROUND
    Bass Lake, Sierra National Forest, Yosemite South

    NORTH SHORE
    Lake Arrowhead, San Bernardino National Forest

    lakes

    OAK KNOLL CAMPGROUND
    New Hogan Reservoir, San Andreas, Gold Country

    OAK SHORES
    Lake Berryessa, RV Camping in Wine Country

    OH RIDGE
    June Lake, California, Eastern Sierra

    June Lake Loop, Eastern Sierra

    June Lake Loop, Eastern Sierra

    lakes

    PAHA CAMPGROUND
    Twin Lakes, Bridgeport CA, Eastern Sierra

    PARADISE COVE
    Lake Isabella, Kern River California

    PINECREST LAKE
    Sonora Pass, Hwy 108, Stanislaus National Forest

    PINE FLAT Reservoir – Kings River, Sierra NF

    PINE POINT
    Shasta Lake, Shasta National Forest

    PINES GROUP SITE
    Stony Gorge Reservoir, Sacramento Valley, NorCal

    PIONEER POINT
    Lake Isabella, Kern River, South Sierra

    PROSSER Reservoir – Truckee OHV Camping

    PYRAMID LAKE – North Los Angeles, Interstate 5
    (no campground on lakeshore)

    RUTH LAKE –  Mad River, Six River NF NFS

    lakes

    SAGE HILL
    Lake Cachuma, Santa Barbara Mountains

    SALTON SEA SRA State Park
    Salton Sea State Recreation Area, Imperial Valley Desert

    SAN LUIS RESERVOIR SRA State Park
    Central California, Interstate 5 @ Hwy 152

    SARDINE LAKE
    Lakes Basin Recreation Area, North Gold Country

    SHASTA LAKE – Northern California NFS

    SILVER LAKE CAMPGROUND NFS
    June Lake Loop, Hwy 158, Eastern Sierra

    SILVER LAKE EAST
    El Dorado National Forest, Markleeville CA

    SILVERWOOD LAKE SRA State Park
    Cajon Pass, San Bernardino NF, Southern California

    SOUTH SHORE CAMPGROUND
    Lower Bear Reservoir, El Dorado National Forest

    STONY GORGE Reservoir – Sacramento Valley, NorCal

    SUGAR PINE POINT SP State Park
    Lake Tahoe California, west shore

    SUGARLOAF RIDGE SP State Park
    Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Santa Rosa, Wine Country

    SUMMIT LAKE – Lassen Volcanic National Park NPS

    SUNSET CAMPGROUND NFS
    Union Valley Reservoir, El Dorado NF, US Hwy 50

    SWEETWATER CAMPGROUND NFS
    Mammoth Pool Reservoir, Sierra NF, North Fork CA

    Mammoth Pool Reservoir

    lakes

    TAHOE SRA Campground State Park
    Tahoe State Recreation Area, Lake Tahoe California

    Tahoe Valley Campground
    large private campground, South Lake Tahoe, CA

    TANNERY GULCH NFS
    Trinity Lake, Shasta Trinity NF

    TRIMMER CAMPGROUND NFS
    Pine Flat Reservoir, Kings River, Sierra National Forest

    Trinity KOA Kampground
    Trinity Lake, Hwy 3, Northern California

    TRINITY LAKE – Shasta Trinity NF, Weaverville CA NFS

    TROUT CREEK CAMPGROUND (currently closed)
    Lake Pillsbury, Mendocino National Forest

    TRUMBULL LAKE
    Virginia Lakes, US Hwy 395, Eastern Sierra

    TURLOCK LAKE SRA State Park
    Turlock Lake State Recreation Area, Central Valley

    TUTTLETOWN RECREATION AREA
    New Melones Reservoir, Angels Camp, Gold Country

    TWIN LAKES – Eastern Sierra, Bridgeport CA NFS

    Twin Lakes, Eastern Sierra

    Twin Lakes, Eastern Sierra

    lakes

    Union Valley Reservoir – El Dorado National Forest NFS

    UPPER STONY CREEK NFS
    Hume Lake, Sequoia NF, Sequoia Kings Canyon NP

    VERMILLION NFS
    Lake Edison @ John Muir Wilderness,
    Sierra National Forest, beyond Huntington Lake CA

    lakes

    WARM SPRINGS PICNIC & RECREATION AREA
    Lake Sonoma, Wine Country, Geyserville CA

    WENCH CREEK NFS
    Union Valley Reservoir, Desolation Wilderness;
    ElDorado NF. Placerville, Gold Country

    WEST EAGLE CAMPGROUND
    Eagle Lake Recreation Area, Susanville CA

    Oak Bottom Campground

    Oak Bottom Campground, Whiskeytown

    Whiskeytown NRA
    Whiskey Creek Group Area, Oak Bottom Campground
    Whiskeytown Lake, Redding, Old Shasta

    WHITEHORSE CAMPGROUND NFS
    Bucks Lake, Plumas National Forest

    Wilderness Lakes RV Resort
    Inland Empire, Temecula, Menifee, Southern California

    WILLIAM KENT CAMPGROUND
    Lake Tahoe CA, west shore @ Tahoe City CA

    WISHON @ BASS LAKE NFS
    Bass Lake Campground, Sierra National Forest, South Yosemite

    WOLF CREEK
    Union Valley Reservoir, Eldorado NF, Placerville CA

    WOODCAMP NFS
    Jackson Meadow Reservoir, Tahoe NF, Truckee, California

    WOODWARD RESERVOIR REGIONAL PARK
    Stanislaus County Park, Modesto, Stockton

    WRIGHTS LAKE NFS
    near Ice House Reservoir, Eldorado NF

    WRIGHTS LAKE EQUESTRIAN CAMP
    near Ice House Reservoir, Eldorado NF

    WYANDOTTE CAMPGROUND
    LGVR, Little Grass Valley Reservoir, La Porte Road

    Little Grass Valley Reservoir

    Tioga

    Tioga Lake Tent Camping, E Yosemite

    lake campgrounds

    CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

    Camp Fires Correctly

    desert bonfires

    Deserts & beaches are the only places for bonfires.

    kill your television

    Camp Fires
    The heat source, the light source, the cook source, the sock drier, the night supplier, the outdoor LIVING ROOM. The campfire is the center stage for all entertainment, true tales and ghost stories alike.

    Since the beginning of time humans have gathered around the campfire at dark. This nightly ritual is built into us on the deepest level. We miss this today. We miss the real conversations, the community, the bonding, the stories, the soul searching. We miss the connection with nature, the fresh air and the great outdoors. The night sky filled with stars and maybe a meteor shower, a hot drink and the glow of the campfire coals. Enjoying the wilderness requires certain skills. FIRE is only ONE skill – for survival, for cooking, for warmth, for safety.

    Total Escape is dedicated to those who yearn to camp, often.

    In Certain Circles

    photo – Charlie Sweeney 2010

    Some folks cannot imagine camping without a campfire, but we better get used to it here on the West Coast. Weather patterns swing from years of super-dry drought to deluge and drenching – as we’ve seen of recent in California. Dry conditions means high wildfire dangers, tight camp stove and strict campfire restrictions.

    Each California region, National Forests and State Parks have their own fire restrictions, so call ahead to rangers for current fire conditions on the place you wish to visit. Certain mountain locations will ban fires in the back country, fires on the back roads and sometimes in extreme conditions, no fires allowed even inside a developed campground.

    Campfire Basics

    Campfire Restrictions

    fire

    California is well known for its unforgiving drought conditions and its seasonal wildfire danger. Always know the fire conditions in the area you plan to camp. Most Southern California regions have banned ‘open campfires’ in forested areas, due to wildfire threat and population density. Call ahead to get an update on road closures and current campfire restrictions. Find California BLM offices & NFS ranger stations

    Campfire Permits

    If you plan on camping outside of a developed campground, you will need to get a free “camp fire permit”, which can be obtained at the local rangers office.

    Find more on FREE camp fire permits

    DSCN3700

    California Camp Fires

    • RULE # 1 – Never leave a campfire unattended
    • Build campfires in designated rings. Always try to use an existing ring when possible. If you must build a new rock fire ring, follow the guide on FireSafe
    • You will need water source & bucket, plus a decent shovel for building, maintaining and controlling a campfire. BRING enough water & tools with you to control a fire.
    • A ten foot clearance – all around, down to the bare dirt is the best practice. No brush close to the ring, no bushes, no leaves or pine needles. No dry over-hanging tree branches.
    • You might need to clean trash out of the fire pit, so bring heavy duty trash bags, or a spare old box. Shovel comes in handy here.
    • Kindling is key to getting a good fire going fast, so gather more of the small stuff. Wood gathering away from camp is usually better pickens.
    • Use environmentally friendly fire starters (with damp wood, if you must); not the BBQ lighter fluid or gasoline
    • Building fires up against a big boulder scars them w/ black soot, and although it can reflect heat back to you, it is seldom worth the unsightly damage
    • Bring chainsaws or hand saws for cutting your own campfire wood in the forest
    • Gathering wood for fuel — use only dead and down wood
    • A ranger issued “wood cutting permit” is required if you plan on cutting a full cord
    • Firewood page – buying locally, in California
    • Never burn plastics, batteries or other toxic materials in campfires
    • Tossing beer bottle caps into a campfire only litters site for future campers
    • While glass bottle smelting is a real treat among boys at night, which one is actually gonna get their hands dirty & clean up broken glass out of the campfire the following morning?
    • Do not leave any hot coals during the day (if you are away from camp). Winds could pick up.
    • Always douse campfire with water completely when breaking camp. Stir it, feel for heat, and drown it more if you hear sizzling or see bubbling.
    • Read more wild fire / campfire info on our FireSafe page

    Drown Fires

    Last Final Step

    The Final Step of Breaking Camp

     

    Campfire Pits & Fire Containers

    Campfire Pits & Fire Containers

    Stormproof LIghters

    Stormproof Lighters

    Yellow Post Campsites

    yellowpost

    Yellow Post Camping


    Yellow Stake Camp Sites / Back Roads Camping NFS
    near Cajon Pass, Big Bear & Idyllwild CA

    YELLOW POST CAMPS are dispersed camping sites on the back roads in Southern California, where fire danger is greatest. Forest authorities have designated certain spots as ‘fire safe’ for remote, open camping options around Big Bear Lake, Fawnskin and the Idyllwild mountain area.

    If you prefer to stay out of the developed campgrounds, you will be the minority. But you must know how to read a map well to reach these beauties.

    Map Big Bear

    SoCal camping doesn’t have to mean crowded campgrounds. Seek your seclusion on the dirt back roads, where there are no fees, minimal noises & a private site waiting just for you. These are usually on a first come, first serve basis. A high clearance vehicle (SUV, truck or 4×4) may be needed to reach some of the premium camp spots, but there are also sites accessible by passenger cars. And, of course, a fire permit is required.

    HeartBar14

    In the San Bernardino National Forest there are several back woods ‘fire safe’ camping spots, that are noted with a single yellow post & some may require reservations in busy summer months. You can find out more on reserving from the Big Bear Discovery Center, 909-382-2790

    campfires bannedExtra caution should be used when winds are high, camp fires are often banned due to wildfire danger. Check with local rangers for up to date conditions and always get your campfire permit.

    No restrooms, no water, no facilities. Just a dirt road, a fire ring & a single picnic table. Hopefully your table will not be shot up, by the local rednecks who ‘get off’ doing stupid stuff like this. Pick up any litter & leave the place better than your found it.

    Yellow Post Camps

    These backroad camps are perfect for the 4×4 group, stressed out social club, church group w/ rugged van, or the city SUVer who wants to get away from the crowds. The most sought after camp spots are nearest to the lake or a site accessible by RVs and horse trailers, but there are many more excellent camp sites to be discovered. USDA Forest Service Map is highly advised to reach these remote areas. There are rugged dirt roads that lead to some of these spots. A passenger car is sometimes not suitable for all dirt roads. Wet weather changes everything on dirt roads. Often routes close for winter w/ locked gates.

    Big Bear Back Roads Camping

    download PDF maps
    on Big Bear Yellow Post Sites

    Campsite7

    Big Lots

    Cajon Pass Camping near I-15

    Idyllwild Dispersed Camping

    thomas camp
    Topo maps, Wilderness hiking maps, Equestrian trails, OHV maps –

    Dispersed Camping Sequoia

    bone creek

    Sequoia maps

    Open Camping in Sequoia National Forest – Forest Road Camping

    Seeking secluded campsites? This is one of the best areas to camp in pine forest w/ privacy, relatively close to Southern California. Plenty of primitive car camping on the dirt roads throughout this whole Sequoia & Kern River area.

    nfs primitive back roads mountain biking hiking mountains

    No facilities. No picnic tables, no toilet, no fees. Just a rock campfire ring & a clearing. Previously used sites have already been established usually near streams. Try to use these first, if at all possible. It takes a bit of exploring but you will find the perfect spot. Don’t even attempt to try to find these kinds of camp spots at night. They are often buried deep in the forest with no visible markers what-so-ever. But in trade, you will be lulled to sleep by your own private mini waterfall & no RV generators. Many of these back roads are closed & gated during winter months due to snow & rock slides.

    No amenities are available in this neck of the woods, but plenty of seclusion & wilderness. Check official Wilderness rules for proper knowledge of the area restrictions. You must get a free camp fire permit from the ranger station in order to build a fire outside of a developed campground. A large shovel, plus bucket w/ water are a bare minimum for the privilege of camping like this. Certain dry seasons (summers into autumn) have very strict camp fire restrictions. Check with the ranger to see the latest on building campfires on the back roads. camping

    A Sequoia Forest Service Map is highly advised for this area. There are so many dirt roads for dispersed primitive camping on the back roads. Due to weather & erosion, some roads may require 4×4 or high clearance, so come prepared with a plan B.

    Camping Checklist to make sure you’ll have what you need. The drive up from the Los Angeles area averages 3-4 hours and is well worth the trip. Once you’ve found that perfect spot, take detailed note of it, for the next time you visit the area. Then, you will be able to get there easily in the middle of the night, if need be.

    Backroad Camping Sequoia: Follow the forest road numbers with your Sequoia map to discover amazing back road camping options. Your own private stream or meadow. Secluded campsites with your own mini waterfall.

    overview

    see also –
    Sequoia Campground Camping

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