What we're about

Norcal Campers will appeal to adults who like to vehicle-camp and see the value in having company some of the time. We will visit “civilized” places like national and state parks, but also remote campgrounds with little to offer in the way of amenities but a vault toilet. Some will sleep in tents, others in a vehicle. Vehicles will range from SUV’s and truck campers to RV’s and trailers of various sizes. Some trips will be appropriate for anyone; others will be self-limiting to jeeps, pick-ups and SUV’s. All members will be self-sufficient campers. Everyone will have their own campsite, shared with others if mutually agreeable. Our focus will be on camping in northern California, but not exclusively. Fishing is a valued option; easy access to lakes and rivers has value, even if you don’t fish. Generally, you will be responsible for making your own reservations and payments; we may utilize group sites if appropriate. This is an adult group, but we may well make trips appropriate for kids from time to time. We welcome people of all ages; diversity is a good thing. But if you like to drink and party all night, please join another group. Pets are welcome. The benefits of company include: (1) the ability to socialize, or not, based on personal preference. (2) the “buddy” system sometimes has virtues, particularly when traveling in remote areas. (3) things like boats can be shared, if the owner is amenable. (4) you can meet some nice people and enjoy their company. (5) some folks are good campfire cooks and like to share. Bravo! Lastly, we value folks who want to organize a particular trip; nobody has an exclusive on good camping ideas. It’s suggested that you pass ideas by me, the Master Organizer, only so things don’t get out of hand with conflicting dates and the like. So let’s hit the road together and have some fun. We have a dedicated facebook page at: facebook.com/groups/1645476912418551.

Upcoming events (5)

Pinnacles Nat’l Park – May 16 to 21

5000 CA-146

Find us in New Site # 100
Nearest GPS address: 5000 CA-146, Paicines, CA 95043

We do this trip every year or two. It’s a nice spring or fall season spot as it's desert-like; too hot in the summer. In May it should be chilly at night but very pleasant during the day; ideal hiking weather. The park is located near Hollister, very convenient for most Nor Cal area folks.

Attractions: 30 miles of hiking trails that include two very unique caves, formed by huge boulders piled on top of each other forming caves. These are the result of volcanic activity from eons ago. The park is also a release point for bred-in-captivity CA condors and they are a common sight here, as are raptors. Almost everyone gets obsessed with condor sightings and carrying binoculars is almost a requirement.

Website: Information, park and campground maps: https://www.nps.gov/pinn/index.htm

Facilities: The campground offers tent and group camping, along with RV sites. Each tent and group site has a picnic table and fire ring. Most RV sites have electrical hookups (30 amps) and share community tables and barbecue pits. Restrooms and water is located throughout the campground. Oak trees provide shade many campsites. Coin-operated showers and a dump station are available. The swimming pool is typically open from middle of April through the end of September, depending on the weather trend. A small on-site store handles the basics. Dogs are okay in the campground but not on trails

Directions: There are two entrances but only the East entrance leads to the campground so be certain to use the East entrance; from Hollister take Hwy. 25 south 32 miles to Hwy. 146 which ends at the park 2.5 miles later.

Reservations at www.recreation.gov or[masked]. I suggest reserving early and select either an RV site with hook-ups or a tent site without. Federal Senior Pass provide 50% camping discount.

Each family is responsible for their own reservations, equipment and meals. We will gather around the campfire each evening after dinner to share stories. Bring your own chair and beverage. I plan to hike every day, and lunch will often be on the trail.

After you make your reservation please email me which site you are in, your arrive and departure dates. Email [masked]

Morro Bay State Park- May 21 to 25, 2021

10 State Park Rd

Find us in campsite # 97
Nearest GPS address: 10 State Park Rd. Morro Bay, 93442

Please join Linda and me at cozy Morro Bay State Park, which features lagoon and natural bay habitat. The bay's most prominent landmark is Morro Rock. The park has opportunities for sailing, fishing, hiking, and bird watching. The park museum has exhibits that cover natural features and cultural history, Native American life, geology, and oceanography. The park also has a colorful marina and an 18-hole public golf course. On the bay's northeast edge is a pristine saltwater marsh that supports a thriving bird population.

Website: Information, park and campground maps: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=594

Max. Trailer: 35 Feet. Camper/Motorhome: 35 Feet. Check in time is 2 PM; check out time is 12 PM. Each site has picnic table and fire ring. Flush toilets and water near each site.

Make your reservations at: https://www.reservecalifornia.com, or phone[masked].
This is a very popular destination, so make your reservations early to ensure your site. The 6 months booking window is open now.

A visit to the Central Coast of California is not complete without a stop at the Museum of Natural History in Morro Bay State Park. The museum offers activities for all ages: nature walks, exhibits, lectures, puppet shows, videos, docent led tours and special events.

Visit the Chumash garden along the side of the museum and learn how the Chumash used native plants of this area in their daily lives.

The Museum of Natural History is within minutes of the Heron Rookery, Morro Bay State Park, Montana de Oro State Park, the El Moro Elfin Forest and Audubon's Sweet Springs Nature Preserve. The museum overlooks Morro Bay which is both a State and National Estuary.

Each family is responsible for their own reservations, equipment and meals. We will gather around the campfire each evening after dinner to share stories. Bring your own chair and beverage. I plan to hike and/or paddle every day. Lunch will often be on the trail or beach.

After you make your reservation please email me which site you are in, your arrive and departure dates. Email [masked]

Icehouse Reservoir June 21 to 28

9199 Ice House Rd

Join Linda and me for a relaxing vacation in the beautiful High Sierra’s, Crystal Basin Recreation Area. You can fish, hike, paddle, swim, or relax and read a book next to the lake.

Our base camp is at Icehouse Reservoir Upper campground, located just 12 miles off Hwy 50 in the Sierra Nevada, elevation about 5400'.

Campsite # 80 in the Icehouse Upper Campground
Nearest GPS location is at Icehouse Resort: 9199 Icehouse Rd, Pollock Pines, CA 95726, which is about 2 miles from the campground.

Information and Campground maps available at : https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/eldorado/recarea/?recid=71013

Camping: This campground fills up every day during the summer. I suggest making reservations ASAP. Make your own reservations 6 months FROM YOUR ARRIVAL DATE at www.recreation.gov. There are single sites, $28/night ($14 with senior pass) that can hold 2 vehicles and up to 6 people, or call [masked]) to make reservations by phone.

Facilities: The campground has 84 sites, and many can accommodate large RV's. There are no electrical hookups, each site has a picnic table, fire grills and drinking water nearby. Vault toilets are the norm. Coin-operated showers are available at Union Valley Reservoir about 15 minutes away. Firewood can be purchased from the camp host, about $10 per bundle. Icehouse Resort (2 miles) offers a restaurant, gas, and limited groceries

Activities: There are many trailheads into the Desolation Wilderness within 20 minutes driving from here. There are dozens of hikes ranging from easy to strenuous. Bring map, compass, GPS, and whatever you like to take hiking. There are 5 lakes within 15 miles of Icehouse. Bring your kayaks and canoes! You can paddle a different lake each day.

Artist: Linda will be sketching, painting, nature journaling, and you are welcome to join her and do your own art work or just hang out with her.

Temperatures: In June, the daytime temps will be 68 to 80 degrees; night temp in the mountains can be 45 to 62 degrees. Come prepared for warm temps during the day and cool temps in the evening.

Cabins: cabins available at Ice House Resort (General store and restaurant). Reservations[masked], rooms for about $100 per night.

Motels in Pollock Pines, about 25 minutes from Icehouse Lake:
Best Western[masked] from $125
Westhaven Inn[masked] from $91

Fishing: The trout fishing here is always good. The trout are about 12", some up to 18". Use can fish with eggs, night crawler worms, power bait, lures, whatever you like. Please supply your own fishing gear, tackle, and you will need a fishing license. Many people fish from shore, others use canoes, float tubes, kayaks or power boats.

The store at Icehouse Resort is about 1 1/2 miles from the campground and has limited supplies of food, bait, and other fishing items.

Directions: Take high way 50 east from Sacramento, continue through Placerville, then through Pollock Pines. Continue east on Hwy 50, 8.3 miles to the Crystal Basin Recreation Area sign. Turn left at sign onto Icehouse Road and go 10.8 miles to the Ice House Campground directional sign. Turn right at the sign onto Forest Route 32, then go 1.1 miles to an intersection with a campground/boat ramp sign. The nearest address for your GPS is Icehouse Lake Resort, 9199 Ice House Rd, Pollock Pines, CA 95726.

After you make your reservation please email me which site you are in, your arrive and departure dates. Email [masked]

Silver Lake EAST Campground- near Kit Carson, CA, Hwy 88

Kit Carson Lodge

Silver Lake EAST Campground- Eldorado Nat’l Forest – July 11 to 25

Find us: Campsite: # 26 7/11 to 7/18, then we are relocating to site #21 on 7/18 to 7/25

GPS Address at the Resort near the campground:
32161 Kit Carson Rd., Kit Carson, CA 95644

Linda and I hope you can join us for another High Sierra get-away at beautiful Silver Lake EAST campground. The campground with 41 sites is situated at the base of Thunder Mountain at an elevation of 7,200 feet, on the north-EAST end of beautiful Silver Lake. Silver Lake covers 200 acres in a large granite basin surrounded by a forest of mixed conifers. The lake's mirror-like waters are known to reflect the colors of the sky above, attracting both hikers and photographers to its scenic shores. The Silver Lake area blooms with bright wildflowers in the summer months, delighting visitors with their presence around the lakes and high in the mountain meadows.

Website: Information and campground map: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/eldorado/recarea/?recid=78522

Facilities: Vault toilets, drinking water, campfire rings and picnic tables are provided. Single units are limited to a maximum of 2 vehicles and 6 people. A pay phone, restaurant, boat rentals and boat ramp are located at a nearby lodge.

Each family is responsible for their own reservations, equipment, and meals. We will gather around the campfire each evening after dinner to share stories. Bring your own chair and beverage. I plan to hike and/or paddle every day. Lunch will often be on the trail or beach.

Reservations can be made 6 months FROM YOUR ARRIVAL DATE at: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232263
Or by phone:[masked].

The campground fills up in the summer. I recommend reserving your site ASAP. You should reserve early to ensure getting a site at Silver Lake EAST campground, $24/night and accepts Senior passes for 50% discount.

Recreation: Hiking is popular, allowing access to high alpine lakes and other destinations through spectacular hikes. Anglers will be happy to know that Silver Lake boasts stocked populations of Rainbow, German Brown, and Mackinaw trout. Kayak rentals available at Kit Carson Lodge, which also has a wonderful restaurant, café, and small store. I plan to hike or paddle every day.

Artists: Linda will be sketching, painting, nature journaling, and you are
welcome to join her, doing your own art work or just hang out with her.

Directions: Silver Lake East is located 52 miles east of Jackson, California via CA-88. From the town of Pioneer continue on State Route 88 east 36.6 miles to campground on right (East side).

Nearby Campgrounds: Silver Lake WEST Campground, and Ferguson Campground. Caples Lake Campground. Silver Lake WEST campground on the west side of Highway 88, is operated by the Local Water District, so Senior Pass do not apply at that campground.

Past events (65)

Ruby Mountains Getaway


Photos (773)