camping/hiking in northern california

I am new to the bay area and wanted to do some camping and hiking within about a 1-2 hour drive from oakland. Any suggestions for a moderate hike with some good scenery and good camping?

Samuel P. Taylor

some links, ignore the 707 area codes, most are more than two hours away.

And a big welcome to you, both to the SDMB, and to the Bay Area. And remember, Oakland will never be San Francisco, and don;t you fergit it. :wink:

Welcome to the area!

For day hiking the Berkeley Hills have some fantastic trails - Tilden Park is pretty extensive.

You can drive east past Walnut Creek to Mount Diablo state park. Something like 28,000 acres and the views from the top are incredible on a clear day. I haven’t gone camping there so can’t speak to it but check it out. Contact numbers I have are 510-837-2525 and 415-330-6300.

Head over to the Marin Headlands - Point Reyes, Muir Woods, Mount Tamalpais, the Dipsea trail…there’s incredible hikes, views and several nice places to camp. I have done the Coast Camp and Sky Camp over at Point Reyes (Bear Valley trailhead), they are very nice. You can reach the park headquarters at 415-663-1092.

That’s a good start, for further ideas pick up a copy of Tom Stienstra’s books “California Hiking” and “California Camping” which have literally thousands of trips all over the state.

Have fun!

If you’re willing to drive down to Morgan Hill, Henry Coe State Park would certainly be worth the trip.

Thanks for the great ideas!

Northern California? Do you know Derek Highet?

You’ll get more ideas still over in IMHO – I’ll throw the thread over there for you.

Thanks again. I actually just moved from Manhattan…

Nuh uh. Trust me, I used to live in the 707 area code, and I was only about a 40 minute drive from Oakland. I was in the very southern tip of the area code, but I checked out that link, and most of those places are pretty manageable from the East Bay.

Anyway, I also recommend Samuel P. Taylor, it’s a beautiful area.

Think about taking the time to go up to the “real Northern California”–the places north of Ukiah. A three day weekend in Mendocino is well worth it-the beaches are beautiful in that area and there’s plenty of hiking. An even more beautiful coastal area–the most beautiful in the State–in in Humboldt County, the area around Trinidad. Or if you like the river, try the area around Garberville (Women’s Grove is especially pretty, and camping at Richardson’s Grove, although not as good as it used to be, is still nice–redwoods all around. Eureka is a good 5 to 6 hour drive from San Francisco, but it’s worth it, and a couple of more hours will take you to Lady Bird Grove–a fantastic redwood grove–or all the way to Jedidiah State park–a must for camping in the redwoods. And don’t miss the largest herd of Roosevelt elk at Prairie Creek–just don’t stop in the middle of the highway! Know that northern California gets its best weather in August and September, but fog is likely anytime of the year.

Really, the only reason to go south of San Francisco is Monterey, Pt. Lobos and Big Sur. Head north, my friend, head north.