Sep 21, 2013 at 5:22 pm #1307887
We're looking to take advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday by taking a 2-3 night backpacking trip. We recently relocated to the San Francisco bay area (Oakland) and ideally would like to drive no more than two or three hours (but we're pretty flexible and would go farther for something really worthwhile). We'd be looking to do probably around 8-12 miles a day, though we're pretty flexible on that point as well. Not equipped to deal with snow, and solitude is key. Definitely looking to avoid crowds.
Seems like a pretty tall order, I know, but I thought I'd have my best chance for good suggestions here. All ideas are welcome!Sep 21, 2013 at 5:25 pm #2026798
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and WashingtonSep 22, 2013 at 8:50 am #2026927
@balzaccomLocale: Wine Country
That's the other option, south of San Jose
The Sierra, by thanksgiving, is going to have a good load of snow on it, with any luck at atll.Sep 22, 2013 at 9:00 am #2026930
Ventana Wilderness (plenty of poison oak and ticks, though) – check out Jeffrey Schaffer's "Hiking the Big Sur Country")
Point Reyes, but it will be more crowded
Cache Creek? I'm not sure of driving time there
Skyline to the Sea in Big Basin
The Lost coast is a lot more than 3 hours away from Oakland, I think. Lassen is a little over 3 hours as I recall; it should be relatively uncrowded at that time in the backcountry. Desolation wilderness is probably the same distance.Sep 22, 2013 at 9:03 am #2026931
@hillhikerzLocale: Monterey Bay
I would think Pt. Reyes would be nice rain or shine… I like to enter from the south near Bolinas… If you are new to the area there is a lot to see and do from the GG to Mt. Tam & north of the point…Sep 22, 2013 at 11:29 pm #2027213
@rushfanLocale: Northern California
Another vote for Big Basin. The Santa Cruz mountains are really nice. Lassen is great but you risk snow. We have reservations for Point Reyes the weekend before thanksgiving so fingers crossed for no rain.
Cache Creek is just up the road from the cache creek casino, so use that for travel calculations. I've hiked there but not stayed overnight. Coastal hills area that is decent in the fall and winter. Yolohiker.org has trail and route descriptions. Will be less crowded than Point Reyes or Big Basin.
A little farther afield is Snow Mountain in the Mendocino NF. I've not been there but hope to go in the next 6 months. Kevin's hiking page has a description.Sep 24, 2013 at 8:50 am #2027679
These are all great ideas — thanks so much to everyone who contributed.
I keep hearing about Henry Coe, though I've not been. What is it that makes it so popular among backpackers? Maybe we'll give that a try.
We made the mistake of going to Big Basin during the fourth of July holiday weekend and it was mobbed. Wouldn't mind seeing it again a little less overrun.
Anyway, these are all excellent suggestions! Thanks again, all.Sep 30, 2013 at 10:17 pm #2029791
Welcome to Oakland!
(I have no suggestions to add, bases have been covered.)Sep 30, 2013 at 10:59 pm #2029798
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Craig, Point Reyes is 1.5 hours from Oakland and Coast Camp or Glen Camp are about 6 miles from Bear Valley Visitor Center. If you had permits for each, you could have days of about 6, 4, and 6 miles plus however many day trips and side trips you wanted to take.
I'd expect that unless you head out to the lighthouse (that's sightseeing, not backpacking), any of the backpacking camps ought to be pretty calm as everyone else will be home eating turkey.
We'll be hiking around there that weekend, having flown from Alaska to Oakland and staying with the in-laws in Inverness.
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