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big sur camping

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big sur camping

Postby sparky » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:16 pm

I want to plan a weekend in the general Big Sur area, and not sure where the best campsites are. We would like to camp amung the redwoods.

Anyone have any suggestions? Feel free to PM for privacy
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
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Re: big sur camping

Postby LMBSGV » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:02 pm

I love Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The campground is in the redwoods with the river running through the campground with many sites close the river. Since it's an older campground, most of the sites are pretty distant from one's neighbors. When I've gone this time of year, I've never had a reservation and always found a great site with no neighbors since the campground doesn't have many people camping. Due to the fire, there's a partial closure of certain areas of the park. If you're in the area, don't miss Pt. Lobos. You'll discover why it's one of the most photographed places in the world--Edward Weston and Ansel Adams were enthralled by it.

Here's the link to Pfeiifer:

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=570
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Re: big sur camping

Postby markskor » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:21 am

Spent many a trip in the Big Sur area, but not recently. Be aware that Poison Oak is plentiful - everywhere...nuff said on that account.

As for camping, (sigh), as no overnight parking is allowed on most roads and near the many interesting arch bridges, your options are limited as to where you can legally enter wilderness for overnight camping.
Agree Pfeiffer Campgrounds are pretty sweet, with a nice waterfall nearby.

On of my favorite day haunts is the area at Salmon Creek - another waterfall, (a sign/ a turnout) and is visible from the road - maybe a 1/4 mile short walk. Additionally, atop Salmon Creek Fall, instead of walking down to the base of the falls which is cool, instead, from the road, take the high trail on the right side (facing falls) and work your way to the top. There is a cave at the top - large cave - where you can go around and behind the big cap-rock on the top, and on the backside, there is a triangle hole that allows entrance down into the cave below - easy! From this cave the waterfall comes over the top, below you, and from the side. You are inside a 100+ foot waterfall - quite memorable still!
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: big sur camping

Postby sparky » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:58 pm

WOW awesome suggestions guys! I do appreciate it.

We want to go to Yosemite, Big Sur is our backup plan if weather changes, as I don't have chains.

Another question....even if good weather is predicted, is it a bad idea to go to the valley without chains in winter?
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
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Re: big sur camping

Postby LMBSGV » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:26 pm

By the "rules" having chains is required, but no one checks you at the entrance when you go in or out. My wife and I have been going to the Valley almost every winter since 1983 (either late January or early-mid February - we time our visit to the full moon). By highway 140, chains have been required one time in those years and that was in a blizzard. By highway 120, it's more frequent since it's higher elevation. We now call the Yosemite highway number when we go over Altamont Pass to find out whether to go in by 120 or 140 since any time saved taking 120 is lost by having to put on chains at Big Oak Flat (as well as the bother factor of putting them on and then taking them off again 20 minutes or so later). We've only seen chains required in the Valley twice and both of those were in blizzards.

If you're camping, you do need the proper equipment. As WD pointed out in another post, the bathrooms in the campgrounds are heated. Since we like to get warm and dry our boots and clothes, we stay either in Yosemite Lodge or Curry Village, depending on what's open when we're going - we prefer Curry since it's more quiet. If staying at the Lodge, ask for a room on the upper floor in Tamarack or Dogwood since they're the furthest from the tourist commotion. We bring our own food since the mid-week food places now open are either awful (Lodge foot court) or expensive and slow (Mountain Room and Awahnee). (Before DNC took over, Degnan's had burgers, pizza, and salads during the day, but now it's just bad cold deli sandwiches.) However, the Awahnee for breakfast can be great and a lot of fun if you want to take the time.

Yosemite Valley in winter is truly magical. Mid-week there aren't that many people so you can hike and find solitude. A couple of years ago we did the Valley Loop Trail from the Yosemite Falls junction to El Capitan Bridge and back the other side with a picnic lunch at Cathedral Beach and saw a total of 3 people, two of them employees clearing out debris on the trail. One year, we hiked up to Nevada Falls and saw no one after the Vernal Fall Bridge. When I get up at dawn to take photos, I usually see only a couple of employees going to work.

We haven't been in Yosemite Valley in summer since 1980 due to the crowds. As far as we're concerned, winter is the only time to go and truly appreciate it.
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Re: big sur camping

Postby maverick » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:54 pm

PM sent
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: big sur camping

Postby The hermit » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:01 pm

Agreed winter is the time to see YNP. Full moon!view coming out of wawona tunnel is beyond description! Then go to yosemite falls for the lunar rainbow.big sur is great this time of year.you can't go wrong.
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