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Old 08-29-2010, 05:02 PM   #1
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Sonoma / Napa Suggestions

We are going to be heading up to the Northern California area at the end of September for a week of camping and kayaking. Unfortunately, it appears like all the camping is at least relatively developed on all of the lakes. Oh well, it still should be worth it.

We were hoping to check out the Sonoma wine scene (or Napa if that would be better) and I was wondering if there is any good camping opportunities nearby. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:23 PM   #2
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Re: Sonoma / Napa Suggestions

We've stayed at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park a couple of times. Quiet when we were there but more of just a place to spend the night...
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:19 PM   #3
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Re: Sonoma / Napa Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwindansea
We were hoping to check out the Sonoma wine scene (or Napa if that would be better) and I was wondering if there is any good camping opportunities nearby.
Oh come on, those people over in that other Valley (Napa) are too snooty.

Well if you want boondocking, Sonoma County is not the place to come to. There isn't any, but there are some nice campgrounds. You will find winery's everywhere.

Here are some links

http://www.sonoma-county.org/parks/camping/
http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=453
http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=451
Point reyes has a boat-in campground if you bring your kayaks. http://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm
http://www.reserveamerica.com/camping/L ... rkId=73251

The last link is for camping at Lake Sonoma. Nothing spectacular, but it is the closest to the Alexander Valley. You can hit the best that Sonoma AND Napa has to offer by starting at Lake Sonoma and driving to Healdsburg, over to Hwy 128, then on into Napa County hitting Calistoga where Bothe-Napa SP is located. But I warned you, those people are snooty. But don't taste and drive. We had a fatality recently and its a little ugly right now. The designated driver decided to partake.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:12 AM   #4
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Re: Sonoma / Napa Suggestions

Its not Sonoma or Napa Co., but for some remote camping on a lake, check out lake Pillsbury or Letts lake in the Mendocino National Forrest.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:21 AM   #5
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Re: Sonoma / Napa Suggestions

If youíre going to Napa, Clear Lake isnít too far away. The State Park there is OK depending on the time of year. I like to go bass fishing towards the end of October and early November and the place is basically vacant. It does make a good one night stop but itís best to avoid the hot season. I have seen it over 100 during September
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=473

East of Clear Lake is Indian Valley Reservoir and itís pretty nice place that is also vacant this time of year. You might get hunters after the season opens. The drive in there is really cool.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/ukiah/indianvalley.html

Hendy Woods looks nice but never been there:

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt ... CBoQ9QEwAg

But I prefer the coastal areas like Charlie is showing some links to.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:58 PM   #6
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Re: Sonoma / Napa Suggestions

Not Sonoma, but Utica Reservoir has some of the most beautiful kayaking / canoeing scenery around (IMHO). The crowds should be thin by end of September and nil @ mid-week. If you are interested, PM me and I can guide you in to a good spot or two. Generally speaking, this is south of Hwy 4 before you get to Bear Valley.

It use to be that hardly anyone would be around us when we would go. Unfortunately, over the last 20 years it has become a bit popular (especially in the summer months). We've camped and kayaked there into late-October with a good chill at night and beautiful in the daytime.

Have fun!

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Old 08-31-2010, 10:08 AM   #7
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Re: Sonoma / Napa Suggestions

Thanks for all of the suggestions and help everyone, it is greatly appreciated. I need to work on our "itinerary" now. I'll post it once I've figured it out.
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