Just out for a one night stay of camping. This CA State Park (as opposed to being a National Park) is an easy drive from the Bay Area or Sacramento. The Giant Sequoia trees are quite a sight to see and made the trip well worth it. A must see for anyone that can't image how big a tree can really be.
This park also has campgrounds...reservations are made online, but we got a site as a walk-up on a Monday. Most have all of the amenities of being at an RV park (running water, toilets, electricity, etc.)...which is far from camping in my book. But they also have "environmental camp sites"...these only have a table, fire pit, and an outhouse style toilet. We opted for the White Fir environmental camp site. You do have to park and carry your stuff to this site...appx 50 yards. A wagon would be handy to have if you select this site. But there is also a creek about 15 yds from your campsite...we could hear it running. This site is 9 miles into the park and one of only two enviro sites at this end of the park (there are 3 other enviro sites in the park but they are by the full service camp sites). At this site, you are definitely away from the crowds. The only other enviro site is appx 25 yds away. You can easily fit several tents if needed. There are no other camp sites at this end of the park except these two sites! Besides being close to the creek, you are also closest to the south grove of giant trees...so no need to drive to it. Now to see the south grove of giant trees, you do have to go on an easy 5 mile hike...but again, it is well worth the hike. The hike has very little altitude change...nothing tough in my book, but then again, I jog regularly. The largest tree (named Agassiz) in this area is on a single out & back trail...keep going to the end of the trail to see it. Full service campsites are $35/night and enviro sites are $25/night. Fire restrictions were in place throughout the area...however, this State Park allows fires in the site fire pit!
We also went on one of the daily guided tours near the park entrance...Jean was our guide and she was extremely knowledgeable...I highly recommend taking the guided tour. We also checked out the Stanislaus River that runs through the middle of the park. I actually got completely into the water. It was definitely cold water, but not so overly cold or unbearable. For me, the only drawback was all the mobile home "camping"...what ever happened to real camping. In my book, if you're sleeping in a vehicle, you're not camping.
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