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laptop camping California's vast beauty graces us daily. This is a glorious state that has been attracting people worldwide for centuries. And now we are all starting to see the changes. Big time! The hords of people, the traffic nightmares, the shopping centers everywhere & the overdevelopment of suburbia. This crowdedness doesn't stop at the city limits either. Visit any National Park on the wrong weekend & you will be totally turned off to the whole 'camping experience'.

This is where Total Escape comes in! We can show you how to enjoy the hidden California, learn to respect the lands, find the amazingly beautiful not-so-popular spots & discover a new kinda peace.

Wildlife is best viewed when you are slow, quiet, aware & sitting still, and preferrably not when tossing over snack foods.

wild fattyThe first place to start is with yourself! Learn to slow down, plan to relax (for days, not minutes) & give yourself all the time you need to enjoy nature & your thoughts. Discover the earth again: peaceful lakes, lush wildflower fields and deep canyons. It's all out there - for you to cherish. And yes, you can go alone.

There are plenty places to explore on the weekends, but finding your own private waterfall or secluded picnic meadow will be easier with the proper maps. Turn off the television & get back to 'yourself'. Your real self. You, without all the advertisements bombarding your brain. You, without the need to watch the nightly news. You, without the daily worry of all the negative crap. Go outside! Take a drive, do a hike, pack a picnic, enjoy life...more.

your 'life journey' begins today. start exploring

enjoying lifeAhhhhh.....
A day well spent in the Sierra National Forest. National Forest Corral Camps California
"For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don't enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are that you're not going to be very happy. If someone bases his happiness or unhappiness on major events like a great new job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn't going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness." - Andy Rooney

Springtime San Luis Obispo

Happy Camp River Homes

California Back Roads, Vacation Outdoors Boondock Dirt Roads


against the wind

Total Escape is California, off the beaten path

California Back Roads, Vacation Outdoors, Boondock Camps California is Vast and it has more variety, culture, terrain, and micro-climates than most vacation options. August is the month of heat and shooting stars, grazer gazing and seeking the darkest night skies, away from the masses.

Escape the city and head to high altitude. Mountain locations, over 7000 feet elevation are best for crisp nights and better viewing. Thinner atmosphere, clearer stars, and less light pollution from the nearby metro region.

SUPERMOON Full Moon will disrupt the show on the peak. Astronomers predict a better time to view this year will be a couple of nights before the peak: August 9 (Tuesday morning, 4 to 5 am) "On this night, the moon will set about an hour before dawn, leaving a very dark sky at the end of the night, when the radiant of the meteor shower will be at its highest in the sky"

Do some serious research (with real topo maps); Budget for high gasoline price, and always have a plan B and C for any adventurous road tripping. Campfires are banned on the back roads, which is typical every summer, so find a developed campground if you must have a fire.

Wildflowers are also still blooming in late summer, at higher elevations. The higher the altitude, the later the blooms. DanaMite has also been documenting recent fires on out public lands. See the areas affected by wildfires.

California Escapes


Rural California Directory: Now that you've found this independent California resource, you can discover more local destinations online. Find your own rural place, a home way up in the hills, or just a good camp spot for the night. Discover that perfect desert spot for winter camping, petroglyphs, or the best small town museums. We list it here, all outdoors, all local. Travel the back roads of the west, on the cheap. Camp year round, without the fees, from Baja to Shasta. Find secluded spots. Historic, independent inns to remote yurt resorts, yoga weekends to primitive hot springs, RV resorts, or dispersed camp sites. Hiking trails, kayaking lakes, fishing streams, gold mines and ghost towns, and all the topographic maps to go with.

California Hiking Maps

all local: updated monthly

ancient: 25 years online!

We're still here, thousands of pages and decades later. Way outside the city limits, beyond the county line. No wifi, no smart meters, no gaming addictions, no traffic lights, no city noise. Rural living in California still exist. Hike on the weekends, bike to work, boating mid-week, we have you covered for destinations. Find a new boulder garden, a big waterfall, trailhead or an ancient lava cave. Total Escape - Two whole decades online. Not quite obsolete.

Craving the Wild? Before the tweets, the constant memes and paralysis of our current culture, DanaMite started this travel web site way back in 1996. Catchy phrases like, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) did not yet exist.

Total Escape features abundant real photos of real places. Secluded destinations, camping and lodging, examining the best back roads, side routes, the topo maps (to get you out there). Locals-only travel tips, gear reviews, festivals and events. This unique travel site is updated every month, for the past 25 years!

Juicy content specific only to California. Focusing on outdoor destinations, small towns and budget-minded travel since 1996, we've recreated the weekend getaway - without the crowds. Escape the matrix, the city life, the traffic jams and learn how to avoid the tourist traps. Drive on past the factory outlet malls and the water slides, we've got much more to show you. Way out there, on the back roads, and in the backcountry.

Wilderness in California - more nature, less people.

hike. bike. camp. picnic.

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