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Car Camping Recommendations

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Car Camping Recommendations

Postby hikehigh » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:32 pm

Any one have any recommendation for a car camping spot on the west side, no further north than Yosemite? I am looking for something not in the National Parks, kid friendly, above 6000', and a lake or river would be nice.

Any suggestions??



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Re: Car Camping Recommendations

Postby windknot » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:03 pm

Courtright, Wishon, Edison, and Florence are all accessible via Hwy 168/Kaiser Pass Road and all fit your criteria (reservoirs above 6000ft on the west side south of Yosemite). The downside is that they are all rather large reservoirs, but they're fun places to visit and I know that I had fun when I would car camp there as a kid. Florence is also close to the campground in Jackass Meadow, with the SF San Joaquin handy for fishing or a swim. There are numerous creeks in each area, as well as trailheads for ventures into the backcountry.

For a more intimate setting, try Ward Lake directly on Kaiser Pass Road before the turnoff to Edison. It's much smaller and still provides some fishing; lots of cars pass through though.

Hume Lake off Hwy 180 is probably the most kid-friendly destination in the area. It's a nice little lake, with opportunities for fishing, swimming, hiking, and biking. The Christian camp up there also runs a general store with amenities. There are numerous campsites on Tenmile Creek upstream of the lake. The downside to this area is that, as you might expect, it gets really crowded during the summer.

Matt
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: Car Camping Recommendations

Postby ericZ » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:49 am

i took a side trip last year off of 41 just north of oakhurst along sky ranch road, the western end of the sierra scenic bypass road to soquel campground. it was a very nice area with a small river/large stream (willow creek) running through it that i hear is planted with trout. the campground is at 5,400ft i think but if you continued on the road in a clockwise manner, you'd probably gain some elevation quickly. i know i took the scenic bypass route counterclockwise one time out of oneals/north fork and stopped at the granite creek campground. very nice area for car camping as well. granite creek campground in the sierra natl forest is at 7,000ft. both i thought would be great car camping destinations in the summer.

here is soquel:

Image

eric
fresno, ca.
Last edited by ERIC on Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: replaced [Img] tags with [rimg] tags so photo wasn't cut off.
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Re: Car Camping Recommendations

Postby Strider » Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:51 am

One of my favorites is Gagg's, on Central Camp Road out of Bass Lake. Nice river and meadow, secluded spots, and you can hike to the top of Little Shuteye with astounding views of the Sierra National Forest.
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Re: Car Camping Recommendations

Postby hikehigh » Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:39 am

Thanks for the info! So many choices. I like the looks of Ward Lake or Granite Creek so far.
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Re: Car Camping Recommendations

Postby KC JED » Wed May 13, 2009 11:10 am

I saw a 2007 you tube video that shoped Lake Thomas Edison down to barely anything. Does anybody know about the situation up there?????
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Re: Car Camping Recommendations

Postby BSquared » Wed May 13, 2009 7:01 pm

Everything you could ever want to know about Edison is here: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/stationInfo?station_id=TAE. Looks it's at about half of its average May storage volume right now, which I think is getting to be typical (Sierra snowpack is about 60% of normal this year, isn't it?).
—B²
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Re: Car Camping Recommendations

Postby ericZ » Wed May 13, 2009 7:30 pm

central sierra water content in the snow pack is 80.8 percent of normal, as told to me by a PG&E hydrologist back on april 2 of this year as he demonstrated how they measure snow content in the snow pack a few miles east of wishon reservoir. "normal" being from measurements started "more than 60 years ago."
http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow/info/HistSnowSurvey.html

hikehigh, i'm not sure if your comment about granite creek was based on the photos i posted but if it was, keep in mind the photos show soquel creek campground, not granite, though both are equally nice.

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Re: Car Camping Recommendations

Postby ERIC » Thu May 14, 2009 1:12 pm

It's best to know the numbers for a particular watershed. State-wide can be a little deceiving when trying to gauge conditions of a particular location. Edison Lake is in the San Joaquin basin. Percent normal runoff for the San Joaquin is 73% of normal. DWR will be updating that estimate sometime today. The Kings River basin (SEKI) is 75% of normal.
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