Monday, August 31, 2009

Last-Minute Labor Day Outdoor Escapes in California

Are you scrambling to plan a last-minute Labor Day camping trip? California's state parks have some tools to help, and you've still got pretty incredible national park options, too.

First, there's a special California State Parks web page dedicated to updating Labor Day campground availability. As of today, over 40 state parks still have campsites available for reservations. But you've got to act fast. For campground arrivals on Friday, Sept. 4, you must book your site before 5 p.m. (PST) on Wednesday, Sept. 2, either online or by calling (800) 444-7275 .

If you can't get a camping reservation for Labor Day, check out this lengthy list of first-come, first-served California State Park campgrounds, which typically fill very early on holiday weekends (e.g., you'd better get there bright and early on Friday morning, or even late Thursday night). Some of my faves:
California's national parks and monuments also offer some primo campsites, not all of which are booked out in advance, like Yosemite Valley always is! For example, you can try your luck at Yosemite's Tuolumne Meadows, where half the sites are unreserved, or at smaller Yosemite Creek, Tamarack Flat and Porcupine Flat campgrounds, all off Tioga Rd. (Hwy. 120). In Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, most campgrounds are first-come, first-served, including near the end of the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway at Cedar Grove, hidden deep down inside the canyon, where you can splash around and cool off in the Kings River next to your tent.

Photo: Yosemite National Park (Mike Connolly Jr.)

No comments:

Post a Comment