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Old 08-01-2020, 10:47 AM   #1
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Seattle to Yosemite No. CA Coast Boondocking recommendations please

Good morning. We have a 3 night camping reservation in Yosemite (This mo). My preference is to drive South along 101 and Boondock (cooler temps). My friend wants to travel more interiorly (Lava beds Natl Mnmt and Lassen Ntl Pk). I have a 22’ 2WD ‘06 Sprinter. It can handle some gnarly roads but I dont Really want to jeopardize losing the original Norcold 7CF fridge (It’s not in the budget to replace....i will be taking the yetti cooler just in case though).
Any boondocking recommendations for the No CA portion of the trip would be appreciated.
Thanks all and stay healthy and safe!
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:29 PM   #2
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Be aware that as you get closer to CA, staying anywhere along the coast other than an established campground becomes increasingly more difficult with lots of “you can’t stay overnight here” restrictions.

Which entrance/exit to Yosemite are you planning to use? Are you planning to be anywhere along 395 on the east side of the park?
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:12 PM   #3
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I believe Oregon Highway rest areas allow overnight parking if you get in a pinch.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:34 PM   #4
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I believe Oregon Highway rest areas allow overnight parking if you get in a pinch.

IIRC, the Oregon rest stops have hot water too. A rest stop rarity in my experience, and very welcome on cold Winter days.


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Old 08-01-2020, 07:59 PM   #5
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I’ve also seen plenty of overnight (or even long term) parkers at the north end of Santa Cruz, as well as off Hwy 1 north of Monterey near Seaside.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:45 PM   #6
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I’ve also seen plenty of overnight (or even long term) parkers at the north end of Santa Cruz, as well as off Hwy 1 north of Monterey near Seaside.
I would definitely advise avoiding any of the 'long term' spots at the north end of santa cruz. Those have become pretty transient and sketchy. Well north of santa cruz, say 5+ miles and you can find lots of turnouts, however. Van friendly with great views. I'd recommend staying north of Davenport. Turnouts are right next to the highway so they'll be pretty loud. Some turnouts are bigger than others.

North of Davenport near Pigeon Point lighthouse is a road that closely parallel's the highway just north of the lighthouse and essentially dead ends into the driveway of the lighthouse as you head south. If you head there you'll find it. The driveway of the lighthouse takes you back out to the hwy. It's a good spot to stay overnight and hides the vehicles from the highway well. Sidenote: Some large parties may or *may not* have been thrown there over the years. It provides excellent beach access with the lighthouse on the tip of pigeon point just a few hundred yards to your immediate south. It's an active lighthouse so if you don't have solid curtains that will be a problem.

Costanoa KOA and seeing those grounds is also worthwhile and accepts vans. Ano nuevo elephant seal colony is right there. That's worth a visit. In general, there's great coastal hiking and beach exploring all around the lighthouse down to ano nuevo and beyond down to waddell creek. Highly recommended.

Another close option is the dirt road just south of the Costanoa entrance on your left as your heading south. It's across from the lighthouse a bit south and on the mountain side of the highway. It takes you up to the chalk mountain trailhead a few miles up. THat's a great hike if you're into it. Provides some incredible views. Otherwise the road just up from the hwy on the way to the trailhead is a good spot to stash camp. It'll get you away from the highway where it's a bit quieter.

It's my home turf so fun to share! The stretch between San Francisco and Santa Cruz is a great section of the California coast. Each of the California sections are all quite unique. Wherever you land, enjoy!
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Old 08-06-2020, 10:29 AM   #7
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Either there or back search this forum for 395....E and north of Yosemite there are tremendous camping opportunities, esp in E Sierras and S Oregon...
You asked for N Cal, but...

On the way down S oregon coast there are a number of places...look at community forests, N of Florence Dry Lake Horse Camp, and S of Port Orford Elk River and Humbug (busier)...

Have fun!
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Old 08-06-2020, 12:24 PM   #8
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I was in this area last year, and there are *very* few places to boondock along the coast of NorCal. The exception to this is (or was, before Covid-19) the Indian Casinos here and there. Most of them have an area specifically for overnight parking. Not exactly the best, but it allows you to stay in the area and be back on the road quickly in the morning.

I use Campendium.com to find boondocking spots, and find it to be quite helpful. It even shows gas stations that will let you park there overnight, if there are not too many trucks aready there...
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Old 08-06-2020, 04:31 PM   #9
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We just drove from northern Ca up the Oregon amd Washington coast. Lots of RVs parked right on Hwy 1. Cali will be a challenge tho. We ended up going to county amd NF campgrounds since highways are so noisy.
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Old 08-08-2020, 08:38 AM   #10
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Angry So Sad. Our reservations were cancelled by the Park Service

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
Be aware that as you get closer to CA, staying anywhere along the coast other than an established campground becomes increasingly more difficult with lots of “you can’t stay overnight here” restrictions.

Which entrance/exit to Yosemite are you planning to use? Are you planning to be anywhere along 395 on the east side of the park?


Thank you for the info. We were planning on entering the park via the West Entrance but now our reservations have been cancelled by the National Park Svc. We're so disappointed but not entirely surprised.
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