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Old 04-20-2015, 01:00 PM   #1
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benicia , California
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Which Northern CA State Park do you like the most?

I would like to visit some state parks but so many to choose from. Since I have very limited vacation days due to a new job, I want to make sure I maximize use of my days off with our AS. Please let me know which CA State Park you really enjoy with your family. My wife and I have an 8 year old boy and we usually travel with her sister and family who own an SOB. They have a 14 year old boy. Thanks!

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Old 04-20-2015, 02:30 PM   #2
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I have not done much state park camping in CA. But I really liked both the state park at Brookings, Oregon and the city (I think) campground down on the beach at Brookings, Oregon. Not far from CA. There were a couple of nice looking campgrounds in the redwood area, both in the national area and the state parks. We were with a big caravan and stayed at a KOA in Arcata when we were in CA the last time.

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Old 04-20-2015, 03:48 PM   #3
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Our favorite is Wrights Beach (part of the Sonoma State Beach parks). It's about half way between Bodega Bay and Jenner right on the ocean. Reservations are a requirement as there are only 27 sites at this park and some are not suited for trailers. Check for available sites and make reservations through ReserveAmerica. Another benefit of this park for you is it's not too far from where you live. There are no hookups and no dump station. But, there are restrooms with flush toilets and hot/cold water. Also, has water faucets throughout the campground for drinking water. If you stay at Wrights Beach, you are allowed to use the dump station and showers at Bodega Dunes State Park about 5 miles to the south. If you want to drive further, the redwoods national and state parks in the northwest corner of the state are also beautiful.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:59 PM   #4
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On the coast: Doran Beach (Bodega Bay area), Patrick's Point SP. In the mountains: Lassen NP, Fallen Leaf Campground (tahoe area), Wrights Lake Campground. Reservations recommended all locations.
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Old 04-20-2015, 05:08 PM   #5
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I love Mackerricher state park north of Ft Bragg. It is beautiful in its own right, but also is in the middle of the most beautiful part of the California coast, in my opinion. When you get tired of glamping, Mendocino is a great little place to wander around. You didn't mention dogs, but Mackerricher is a bit more dog friendly than most CA state parks. In fact, It didn't even occur to me to worry about dogs in state parks until I started venturing into the ones south of Monterey, where dogs are definitely not welcome.

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Old 04-21-2015, 11:36 AM   #6
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Jedediah Smith - Near Crescent City - on the north coast but in the redwoods & out of the fog.
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Old 04-21-2015, 11:58 AM   #7
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Dogs are welcome at the Southern California State Beach campgrounds. But they must be attended and kept on a leash while outside the camper, of course.
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Old 04-21-2015, 12:21 PM   #8
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What's an SOB. As referred to in original message not in derogatory term. I can hear you guys laughing through the ether.
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Old 04-21-2015, 12:29 PM   #9
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Richardson Grove near Garberville is a nice park. Beautiful Redwoods on the Eel River.
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:40 PM   #10
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Charlene, SOB = Some Other Brand (of RV other than AS)
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:04 PM   #11
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We second Linda's recommendation of Jedediah Smith State Park. This is a state park within The Redwoods National Park and is certainly glorious, sitting right on the Smith River. Being as it is in northern CA not too far from Brookings OR that Bill mentioned, there is water in the river. The campground is absolutely stellar but for the lack of hook-ups, this is boondocking at its finest, but with nice bathrooms and showers. If you depend on solar to recharge your batteries, be careful where you park, some spots, due to the size of the giant redwoods, get little sun. If you can score one of the river front sites, you are "golden" In our many years of camping, likely some of the best sites we've ever found. One final beauty to this spot, you are not too far from Crescent City for the occasional grocery run or dinner out, and a very short drive into Oregon.
If Crescent City is too far north, and you did say northern CA, I also agree with McDave on his opinion of McKerrcher (pronounced Ma-ker-ker) near Fort Bragg. We stopped here on our way south from Jedediah Smith for 4 days. Some of the campsites down near the beach are very secluded, so much so that you can't even see your neighbors although they are camped 50 ft away, the sites are surrounded by berry bushes...again nice (OK) bathrooms and showers, but no hook-ups, at least not that we found.

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Old 04-21-2015, 05:45 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone. We have stayed at Doran Beach and enjoyed it tremendously. We have reservations there again in July. We also have reservations at Wrights Beach but not at an oceanfront spot. That trip is in October.

Question about the campground in Fort Bragg:

Is there another way in/out besides hwy 20?

I remember driving that road many years ago and it was pretty tight and very curvy. How did your AS do on that road?
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Old 04-21-2015, 06:47 PM   #13
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We like "Prairy Creek Redwoods, State Park" very much. The kids will enjoy the hike up the creek into "Fern Gully". This is an awesome spot.
We also like "Mackerricher State Park" nice secluded spots and the beach is a short walk. Mackeeicher is just north of "Glass Beach" (A cool spot for family beach combing) near Ft. Bragg.
Can't for get "Van Damme Stae Park" Very nice spot.
So many choices!!!

Happy Trails,
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Old 04-21-2015, 06:56 PM   #14
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It's either Hwy 20 or up Hwy 1. I didn't find Hwy 20 particularly difficult, but I've had lots of mountain driving experience and have driven that route many times before I took my trailer on it. Just go slow and pull out at turnouts when cars accumulate behind you. Don't get nervous when cars stack up behind you when there's no turnout. They generally understand and won't get edgy unless you sail past a turnout. Gear down to keep your speed under control on the downhill sections.

Hwy 1 is a real treat, of course, but much slower than 101 to Hwy 20.

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