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Month long camping trip

Discussion in 'Holidays & Travel' started by Genuine Mathias, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. Genuine Mathias
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    Genuine Mathias Member

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    I plan on taking a month long road trip up the West coast next year. Going to leave TX and drive through NM, AZ, CA, OR, and WA. I will be camping using a roof top tent mounted to the back of my pickup. I'm looking for suggestions on places I should visit. I'm not interested in City life. I like back country camping or primitive camping. I figure one month should allow me to see a good amount of what these beautiful states have to offer.
     
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  2. Veganite
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    If you're going to Washington state, I would highly recommend the Olympic Peninsula. It's a bit off the beaten path, but well worth the visit. The Ho rain forest was amazing! The entire peninsula is amazing.

    I don't know Oregon state that well, but there's no shortage of remote wilderness spots there either. I loved the Oregon coast on my motorcycle. That trip was heavenly! Personally, in Oregon state I would rather camp close to the ocean, as apposed to back country (a lot less mosquitoes). If you camp near a beach, the sounds of the waves at night will be the best sleeping pill you ever had.

    If you do decide on the Olympic Peninsula, it might be worth taking the ferry over to Vancouver Island, BC from there, if at all possible. There's a plethora of logging roads leading to some really remote back country places all over Vancouver Island. It's perfect if you have a 4x4. I have a friend in Seattle that goes to the island every Spring for remote wilderness camping. He loves it over there. I love it over there too. It's a beautiful island, with much to offer.

    By the way, this is no small island. If you look at the size of a country like Israel, Vancouver island would be about the same size. Well, even if you don't make it to Canada, it sounds like an amazing adventure.



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  3. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    When you get to California you will have to make up your mind. Inland or coastal. I suppose you could do one on the way and one on the way back. Or if you do a half and half I would recommend coastal to start off with in the south and then hit inland in the north. or maybe the other way around. shoot. oh, maybe let the weather decide. Let me know what you decide and I can make some more suggestions.

    Big Sur is a MUST. Some Sequoias are a must. And some Redwoods. The Sequoias have a limited range. but the Redwoods are all along the coast starting below SF and going all the way up into Oregon.

    If you like caves, most of the good caves are inland, east and south of Sacremento. Oregon has some great caving too. I would put the Lava beds on my ToDo list. Lava tubes are not as pretty as limestone formations. but they are lots of fun.

    There are waterfalls everywhere. one of the best in CA is the Burney Falls. Which is a nice campground, too. In Oregon its Multnomah. But its a bit of a tourist trap. but really nice.

    For primitive camping, Trinity County is outstanding. Especially heading north from Weaverville to Yreka. If you go that way you can stop at the lava beds and Crater Lake.

    From Crater Lake head east on 138. The Umqua NF has some great primitive camping. There is a great secret hot spings up there (well there used to be - haven't been there in years). And I would keep heading east till I got to Bandon. You gotta see Bandon.
     
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  4. Genuine Mathias
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    Genuine Mathias Member

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    I love caves, love trees, love water. I may have to extend this vacation to two months to really get as much time in each state as possible.
     
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  5. Genuine Mathias
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    Genuine Mathias Member

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    I wish I had a job that allowed me travel. :(
     
  6. Forest Nymph
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    In Southern California if you're not interested in the cities you can check out Joshua Tree if you like the desert, or go to the area in and surrounding Ojai if you'd like a more subtle Mediterranean experience.

    Skip Big Bear, skip Yosemite, because they are nice places but will probably be too overrun with tourists for you.

    I second Big Sur, Big Sur is one of my favorite places in the world. That whole area is rather nice, if you go up Highway 1 exploring the Central Coast.

    Also The Lost Coast, in Northern California, you can just speed right on past San Francisco if you aren't interested, so into wine country then the redwoods. Anywhere on the Lost Coast is a great place to backpack or camp. You can also make sure you see Humboldt county before you drive on to Oregon. In Oregon check out the Oregon Caves if you get a chance, it's a National Park.

    Trinity County is beautiful in the milder months, but the Alps are hellishly hot in the summer and are snow-covered in the winter, so be warned on that if you're planning on exploring the intensely rural area there. Also beware of the State of Jefferson lol.
     
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  7. Genuine Mathias
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    Genuine Mathias Member

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    So I wiki’d State of Jefferson and couldn’t find anything to be cautious of.
     
  8. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    I think she was being humorous. sort of. I don't know if it made the National News but it was a big deal here when the Bundy Brothers took over a Federal Vistors Center.
     
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  9. Genuine Mathias
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    Genuine Mathias Member

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    Oh. I usually miss humor in text. It was good info, though.
     
  10. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    I endorse Joshua Tree. Very cool place.
    You can skip Big Bear.

    but i'm not so sure about Yosemite. If it's in the summer the tourists are in full force. but offseason, its something to see. You can park the truck outside the park and take a bus tour. Maybe have lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel. Hike up to Yosemite falls. Take pictures. If you can set a date, try to reserve a tent cabin.
     
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  11. Genuine Mathias
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    Genuine Mathias Member

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    Lots of great info! Any input on New Mexico? Nevada?
     
  12. Sax
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    Sax Active Member

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    Red Rocks just west of Las Vegas is really cool. There's a campground right near the entrance. It's a climbing destination but if you're passing through Vegas it's a great place to just gawk at the huge sandstone cliffs...Calico Basin has some especially cool features you can wander around. Heading west from there is a short drive to Death Valley and the southern Sierra.

    Bend, OR is a cool town. Great breweries and some vegan restaurants, plenty of hiking opportunities around Smith Rock and Three Sisters. There are lots of hot springs on the west side of the Cascades. The Oregon Coast is stunning, and Hwy 101 stays right alongside it for the most part.

    The Olympics are my old stomping ground, I grew up backpacking and climbing all over them. The rainforest on the western slope should be on your list...the Bogachiel River would make a more remote alternative to the Hoh. I'd suggest driving up Hurricane Ridge out of Port Angeles...from there 8mi of gravel road takes you to Obstruction Point, the highest elevation you can drive to in the Olympics, with incredible views from the car. Port Townsend in on the NE of the peninsula and you can ferry from there to Whidbey Island. Deception Pass is awesome, then you can drive into the North Cascades or head south towards Seattle. Rainier National Park is pretty incredible, especially during the alpine flower season.
     
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  13. Genuine Mathias
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    Genuine Mathias Member

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    Thanks Sax! That's some great info!
     
  14. Veganite
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    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with Sax on Hurricane Ridge. Unfortunately, every time I've gone up there visibility was terrible, as was Obstruction Point. Lets just say if you get there and the skies are blue, I would definitely go for it. I didn't have such luck.

    My suggestion was really to see the entire peninsula. I rode around the peninsula on my motorcycle, and loved it. The Hoh rain forest is spectacular, but it was a bit of a touristy sort of place, in my humble opinion. For me, it was the beautiful ride around the peninsula, and some of the amazing beaches I stumbled on. I met so many really nice people on that trip I would definitely do it again.


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  15. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Thanks I was trying to be helpful, I love California and while I haven't seen everything here, I do like to share the good spots I've enjoyed.

    There was definitely humor in the State of Jefferson warning, I do understand the roots of it, why it was proposed all the way back in the 1940s, updated again in the 60's after the Trinity Dam was put in place and Trinity Center was under water, but other parts of it are comical to me, especially having spent time in Trinity county.
     
  16. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    I'm not a huge fan of Nevada, I find the desert sort of ...beige. I think the desert is much prettier in Arizona and California, but if you do pass through Reno and Las Vegas I recommend the old historic parts, the saloon sort of cowboy stuff is fun but the rest of it is just garbage to me, I'm not a gambler and Las Vegas is the biggest waste of water that has possibly ever existed in the history of the entire earth.

    One nice place in Nevada is Mt. Charleston.
     
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  17. Genuine Mathias
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    Genuine Mathias Member

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    Lol, I would probably think the same thing.
     
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  18. Sax
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    Sax Active Member

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    Since you're planning this so far in advance I'll recommend making reservations early! I'm putting together a semi-last minute trip to the Sierra...things would be a lot easier if I'd applied for wilderness permits and campground reservations months ago!

    Sequoia and Kings NP
    "Campground reservations for 2018 are available beginning December 1, 2017, up to six months in advance of your stay."

    Inyo National Forest
    "Standard campsites can be reserved up to six months in advance."

    Yosemite NP
    "Campground reservations are available in blocks of one month at a time, up to five months in advance, on the 15th of each month at 7 am Pacific time. Be aware that nearly all reservations for the months of May through September and for some other weekends are filled the first day they become available, usually within seconds or minutes after 7 am!"
    (guess where I'm going)

    Stanislaus NF

    "The Stanislaus National Forest has 47 campgrounds which provide 1,514 campsites for visitors to enjoy! Most of these campgrounds on a first come - first served basis, some are avaialble on reseervation such as Spicer Group Campground, Big Meadow Group Campground, Pinecrest Campground, Pioneer Group Campground, Dimond O Campground, and Pines Group Campground. Check the individual campground pages for information on how to make reservations."

    Redwood National and State Parks
    "Reservations for the four campgrounds can be made through Reserve California, the California State Park reservation system. Reservations must be made at least 48-hours in advance and no sooner than 6-months before your anticipated camping date(s)."

    Planning trips seemed a lot easier in WA, and I was always able to find first-come first-serve sites in OR, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's changing as the region grows. Wilderness permits for the Olympics are easy to secure w/o reservations and solitude is easy to find on the trails, but at the same time it's one of the most visited national parks in the country so the drive in campgrounds are probably booked thru peak season (I never car-camped the Olys so not speaking from experience).

    Bah. Wish me luck getting my wilderness permit and finding a campground, looks like I'll need it!
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  19. Genuine Mathias
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    Genuine Mathias Member

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    I've never heard of a "wilderness" permit. Why would I need a permit to experience the very essence of why I exist in the first place? Experiencing nature isn't a privilege.
    However, I appreciate your insight.
    The thing is, I will decide how long I'll stay in a region based on how I feel about that region.
    All good suggestions, though.
    There is a possibility I won’t come back to Texas too. As I have very little and I don’t like to be static.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  20. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    I'm sorry. You waited too long. You should have come to visit last year. California, Oregon, and Washington are all burned up now.
     

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