OH RIDGE (JUNE LAKE)

Campsite:  OH RIDGE

Geographic Location: JUNE LAKE, CA (INYO NATIONAL FOREST)

Type of Campground: US FOREST SERVICE

Experience Level: GOOD FOR BEGINNERS AND FAMILIES

 

(All ratings are based on a 1-5 system. 1=Horrible 5=Amazing)

Pet Friendly:(5) YUP– PETS ARE VERY WELCOME.WE HAD A LABRADOODLE WITH US! AND WE HAD NO ISSUES WITH THEM ON THE LAKES EITHER.

Family Friendly:(4) IT’S A GREAT OUTDOORS SPOT TO HANG OUT, GO FISHING, SWIMMING, HIKING, OFF-ROADING OR JUST ABOUT ANY FUN FAMILY ACTIVITY.

Cleanliness: (5) IT WAS VERY CLEAN. CLEAN FIRE PITS, CLEAN TABLES, CLEAN CAMPSITES. CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING WE HAD “DIRTY” ISSUES WITH.

Noise Level: (3) THIS IS A VERY POPULAR PLACE, AND A VERY BIG CAMPGROUND, SO THERE WILL BE PEOPLE NOISE AND PET NOISE. ASIDE FROM OTHER CAMPERS, THE NOISE LEVEL WAS PRETTY MINIMAL SINCE THE CAMPGROUND IS SET IN FAR ENOUGH FROM THE MAIN ROAD.

Restrooms: (4) THE RESTROOMS WERE CLEAN AND THEY HAVE FLUSH TOILETS AND SINKS INSIDE. THERE WERE ALSO BIG TROUGH LIKE SINKS RIGHT OUTSIDE THE RESTROOMS FOR WASHING DISHES OR HANDS. FOR AN AREA WITH BEARS – THIS WAS A VERY NICE AMENITY.

Campsite Space: (3) THIS IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE “BIGGEST” DOWNSIDES -A LOT OF THE SITE SPACES ARE NOT VERY LARGE. WE BARELY HAD ROOM ENOUGH FOR TWO 4-PERSON TENTS. IF YOU NEED SPACE, PICK A SITE ON THE INNER LOOPS – FACING INWARD.

Shade/Sun: (3.5) THERE ARE A LOT OF TREES, BUT THEY DON’T GIVE AS MUCH SPOT SHADE AS EXPECTED. WE BROUGHT AN EZ-UP FOR SHADE AND PROTECTION FROM THE RAIN.

Ground: (4) DIRT – PRETTY FLAT – WITH TREE DEBRIS. NO ISSUE FINDING GOOD FLAT GROUND FOR TENTS.

Bugs/Critters/Wildlife: (4) BEWARE OF BEARS! AND DEER! THIS AREA IS KNOWN FOR LOTS OF WILDLIFE – SOME DANGEROUS, LIKE BEARS (USE YOUR BEAR LOCKERS AND KNOW BEAR SAFETY!) YOU GET TO SEE LOTS OF DEER THOUGH WHICH IS  A BONUS, AS THEY’RE NOT USUALLY DANGEROUS. BUGS IN THIS AREA WERE VERY MINIMAL EXCEPT FOR SMALL WOODSY BUGS (ANTS, MITES, SPIDERS, ETC). SEE THE COOL RED MITE WE FOUND BELOW!

Amenities:

  • FLUSH TOILETS
  • FIRE PITS WITH GRILL
  • WOOD PICNIC TABLES
  • WATER SPIGOTS AND SINKS
  • BEAR LOCKERS
  • MOST GORGEOUS MOUNTAIN VIEWS!
  • FISHING & SWIMMING NEARBY

Comments from the “Chix”

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If you don’t mind the drive (at least for those coming in from the LA area) – this is one of our favorite areas in California to camp! You are right outside Yosemite, right next to more lakes than we can count (including June Lake), there is often snow late in the season nearby, and the views are just amazing. You can’t go wrong, no matter what direction you go in from the campground. OH RIDGE is one of the first campgrounds you come to when you enter into the June Lake area – but there are plenty more if this one is booked. There also great RV Only places very close by that are privately owned – with full hook ups!
We highly recommend to take the short drive into Yosemite National Park, as well as visiting some of the nearby lakes. You can fish with a permit, or just enjoy the view and walk in the streams. Check out Crowley Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake, Grant Lake, Tioga Pass (waterfall photo below) and of course, June Lake!
 Pros: If you’re a camper who can just fall in love with gorgeous mountain views, serene lakes and driving/walking through Yosemite – then this is your place. Everywhere you go just makes you want to go “oooohh… aahhhh.” There is no bad view. There is no direction you can head in that won’t make you never want to leave. On top of that, you get snow in cold weather and clear water creeks, lakes, streams and beaches for when it’s warm. You can’t go wrong here!
 Cons: Bears & rain. You have to be very careful in these woodsy areas in the mountains, because wildlife really is a threat. This is why they give you bear lockers and warn you about not keeping food or anything with a human scent in your tent (besides yourself obviously). Only other con is that it’s known to suddenly rain – all times of year – but usually only for brief amounts of time.  If you follow these rules and stay prepared, there really aren’t many cons to anywhere in the June Lake area.
Tips: Be careful of bears! (Can’t stress this one enough… don’t want our fellow campers to be eaten). Use the bear lockers. Use designated sinks and wash areas. In May it was still cold and rainy – and there was still snow in Yosemite – so check the temp before you come! You’ll either need to bring your cold weather / waterproof gear or your summer gear. And bring your fishing equipment if you’re into that!
Nearby attractions to check out:
– ALL the lakes!
– Yosemite!
– Off Roading areas if you own ATVs!

 More fun photos from this trip!
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Solar [Lantern] Light Party!

Product review time! 

Product – “Luci Inflatable Solar Light” made by MPOWERD

My thoughts: AWESOME!

I have 2 actually – one of the “Luci Lux”and one of the “Luci Color” lanterns. They are really quite a simple yet ingenious idea. They have so many uses! Although mine were purchased with the intention of using them when camping, I have already found myself using the color one at home for a fun, low light accent when I’m feeling like I want to have a 1 man party! Or when I just want that sexy ambiance… (wink).

The lanterns flatten down to the size of thick, hearty pancake for storage – and inflate with one good blow. They take a couple hours to charge via a solar panel on the bottom of the lantern – which is super easy especially if you’re camping! The light lasts about six hours, which so far has been plenty of time when I’ve needed it. I keep one in my home and one with the camping gear. They are excellent sources of emergency light! AND you don’t have to worry about pesky batteries, which always seem to be missing or dead when you need them! Like when your printer runs out of ink the night before your paper is due… [Murphy’s Law!]

luci lightThis is what the solar panel on the bottom looks like..The whole product is ridiculously easy to use! And it’s just plain fun!

Would I recommend this item? ABSOLUTELY!

Thanks for making an awesome product you peeps over at MPOWERD! You rock!

 

– Campin’ Chix [W]

 

Los Prietos Campground – Mountains Near Santa Barbara

Campsite:  LOS PRIETOS CAMPGROUND

Geographic Location:  SANTA BARBARA MOUNTAINS

Type of Campground: US FOREST SERVICE

Experience Level: GOOD FOR BEGINNERS AND FAMILIES

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(All ratings are based on a 1-5 system. 1=Horrible 5=Amazing)

Pet Friendly:(4) SURE – PETS ARE WELCOME AND THERE WERE LOTS OF DOGS WHILE WE STAYED HERE. THERE ARE NEARBY POOLS IN THE RIVER THAT YOUR DOG CAN PLAY IN, JUST BE CAREFUL ABOUT THEM RUNNING THROUGH POISON OAK.

Family Friendly:(4) THIS PART OF THE SANTA YNEZ MOUNTAINS IS SORT OF PLAYGROUND FOR KIDS AND KIDS AT HEART. THE CAMPGROUND DIDN’T HAVE ANY ACTIVITIES BUT IT IS NEARBY A RIVER TO SWIM IN, LAKE CACHUMA ISN’T FAR, AND WE DISCOVERED SOME ROCK CLIMBING SPOTS THAT ARE AWESOME FOR EXPERIENCED CLIMBERS AND FOR THOSE JUST WANTING TO SCRAMBLE OVER SOME BOULDERS.

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Lots of fun boulders to climb at nearby Lizard’s Mouth (made famous by the movie ‘Alpha Dog’)

Cleanliness: (4) IT WAS STILL EARLY IN THE SEASON, SO WE CAN’T SAY IF ITS ALWAYS LIKE THIS, BUT IT WAS IMPRESSIVELY CLEAN. OUR FIRE PIT HAD BEEN FRESHLY CLEANED OUT AND OUR PICNIC TABLE WAS CLEAN.

Noise Level: (4) ASIDE FROM ALL OF THE DOGS BARKING AT EACH OTHER, WE FOUND THIS CAMPGROUND TO BE PEACEFUL. I THINK SOME OTHER LOCAL CAMPGROUNDS DRAW MORE OF THE COLLEGE PARTY CROWD THAN THIS ONE (I’M LOOKING AT YOU EL CAPITAN).

Restrooms: (3.5) THE RESTROOMS WERE CLEAN AND THEY HAVE FLUSH TOILETS, BUT THERE ARE NO EXTRA AMENITIES HERE. NO SINKS OR MIRRORS IN THE RESTROOMS. THESE LOOK LIKE THEY WERE ONCE VAULT TOILETS THAT WERE UPGRADED TO FLUSH TOILETS.

Campsite Space: (4.5) WE WERE IMPRESSED WITH HOW NICE AND BIG OUR SITE WAS, ESPECIALLY FOR BEING ON THE INSIDE OF THE LOOP. WE NOTICED MANY OF THE SITES HERE WERE SPACIOUS AND FELT MORE SECLUDED THAN OTHER CAMPGROUNDS. WE EVEN HAD A FUN BOULDER IN OUR SITE TO CLIMB ON.

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The view from our car. We had so much space!

Shade/Sun: (4.5) AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE PICTURE ABOVE, THIS CAMPGROUND HAS TONS OF SHADE FROM ALL OF THE BEAUTIFUL OAK TREES. THAT BEING SAID, WE WERE ALSO HERE IN SPRING, AND BY SUMMER THIS CAMPGROUND MAY STILL BE HOT.

Ground: (4) DIRT – PRETTY FLAT. WE DID NOT HAVE A HARD TIME FINDING A PLACE FOR OUR TENT.

Bugs/Critters/Wildlife: (4) IT WASN’T OVERWHELMING. THERE WERE SOME BUGS, MOSTLY FOUND UNDER OUR TENT WHEN WE WENT TO PACK UP. THERE WERE A FEW MOSQUITOES BUT IT WASN’T TOO BAD. IF YOU COME IN SPRING BE AWARE THAT THERE ARE LOTS OF BEES ON NEARBY HIKES WITH WILDFLOWERS.ALSO FUN, THERE ARE WILD TURKEYS ROAMING THROUGH THE CAMPGROUND!!!!!! ALSO BE WARNED, THERE ARE COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF POISON OAK ON THE TRAILS NEARBY.

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Leaves of 3 – let it be

Amenities:

  • FLUSH TOILETS
  • BBQ AT EACH SITE
  • FIRE PITS WITH GRILL
  • CONCRETE PICNIC TABLES
  • WATER SPIGOT
  • WILDFLOWERS GALORE NEARBY IN SPRING!
  • GREAT NEARBY HIKING INCLUDING SWIM AREAS

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Comments from the “Chix”

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OK so I have to admit, we have been avoiding camping in the Santa Ynez mountains for as long as we have been camping. Why? Um…we don’t know, the beach just always sounded more appealing on hot summer weekends. BUT OUR MINDS WERE BLOWN! This campground was probably one of our all time favorites! We went in Spring before it got hot and crowded, and while the wildflowers were in bloom. The campground had so much space and nice shade and the surrounds were just breathtakingly beautiful! This made for the perfect weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of LA.
Pros: The beauty, I can’t say enough about it. We really enjoyed how much there was to do out here. The campground was clean and nice and shady, but the nearby hiking is what had us hooked, that and the oak trees. In the pictures above you can see the flowers from the incredible Aliso Canyon Loop trail. This was one of the coolest hike we have ever done; there wasn’t a single other person on the trail and we were walking through flowers taller than us. But, there were also about 100,000 bees joining us (no stings though!). Also, Red Rock, further down the road, is gorgeous and you can swim, just wear sandals cuz its rocky. Also, we heard it can be a hot spot for rowdy teens, but we didn’t see any.
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Red Rock swimming area
Cons: I hear it can get hot during summer. The other big con would be that no fires are allowed during fire season, so check before you go. But, this is the best place to go in Spring, really! Oh I guess the other con is no sinks in the bathroom.
Tips: Bring some hiking clothes/shoes because you will want to go exploring! Come in Spring during the wildflower blooms and before the fire season starts.
Nearby attractions to check out:
~Aliso Canyon loop trail: very close to the campground and the best place to see the wildflowers.
~Red Rock: further down the road, and requires crossing water, but beautiful and a nice place to cool off in the water. Watch for poison oak.
~Lizard’s mouth: Rock climbing and boulder hopping. This was so much fun. This is on your way back towards Santa Barbara. Park near the gun range.
~Lake Cachuma: We didn’t go, but the lake offers recreational activities and is about a 20 minutes drive from the campground.
 More fun photos from this trip!

Link to reserve your spot at Los Prietos Campground

Forever Young… and Friends!

If you’ve read the “About Us” section on our blog, you know this blog was all started by two best friends who’ve been camping together since childhood. We’ve actually been friends our entire lives. We were forced into it initially by our mothers, and later as we evolved into our own, so did our friendship. It’s a beautiful thing ::queue corny music:: (which you can find at the bottom of the post, hehe!).

Knowing someone your entire life and evolving with them can be quite fun and competitive – as we were always comparing who was taller, who was skinnier, who had bigger boobs… you know, really important things when you’re 12. As “adults” we laugh about these things, but one thing we’ve always been blessed with, other than our awesomely, amazing, fantastic, open and loving friendship – is that we continue to look like we’re still 12. Bless the genes (not jeans) we were given!

Recently we took a new photo resembling the one that we posted on our “About Us” page – the inspirational image to our blog… and here it is:

Now it’s your turn to guess the age gap! How many years has it been since the top photo was taken?? I want your comments people! 

us now and then

And for your musical enjoyment while you contemplate this ever important question…

We’ve made it more than 2 decades already – cheers to all life long friends out there, this post is for you! 

-Campin’ Chix [W]

Dorst Creek Campground – Sequoia National Park

Campsite:  DORST CREEK CAMPGROUND

Geographic Location:  SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK

Type of Campground: NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Experience Level: SOME EXPERIENCE IN BEAR COUNTRY RECOMMENDED- GOOD FOR FAMILIES

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(All ratings are based on a 1-5 system. 1=Horrible 5=Amazing)

Pet Friendly:(3) SORT OF – WHILE THE CAMPGROUND ITSELF IS PET FRIENDLY, DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON TRAILS IN NATIONAL PARKS, SO YOU WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO ENJOY ALL SEQUOIA HAS TO OFFER WITH YOUR POOCH

Family Friendly:(4) SURE IS- KIDS LOVE TO SEE GIANT TREES, RIGHT? THE CAMPGROUND DOESN’T HAVE ANYTHING SPECIAL TO OFFER FOR KIDS, BUT IT IS A NATIONAL PARK WITH LOTS OF FUN SIGHTS TO SEE AND SOME NEARBY CREEKS TO SWIM IN

Cleanliness: (4) IT WAS OKAY. NOT MUCH ELSE TO SAY HERE. NOT THE CLEANEST WE HAVE SEEN BUT VERY ACCEPTABLE.

Noise Level: (4) THERE ARE SOME FAMILIES, BUT OVERALL IT IS NICE AND QUIET AND YOU CAN HEAR NATURE AT NIGHT. THE ONLY REASON IT IS NOT A 5 IS BECAUSE IT IS A PRETTY DENSELY PACKED CAMPGROUND, SO IF YOU HAVE A SPOT CLOSE TO NEIGHBORS YOU CAN PROBABLY  HEAR THEM.

Restrooms: (3.5) RESTROOMS WITH FLUSH TOILETS AND RUNNING WATER. THERE WAS ALSO A SEPARATE ADA ACCESSIBLE RESTROOM. DURING 4TH OF JULY WEEKEND THE RESTROOMS DIDN’T STAY SUPER CLEAN THOUGH…

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Campsite Space: (3) WE GOT LUCKY! WHEN WE BOOKED THERE WERE ONLY 2 SITES LEFT TO PICK FROM, AND I THINK WE GOT ONE OF THE BIGGEST AND MOST PRIVATE SPOTS IN THE CAMPGROUND. THAT BEING SAID, BASED ON SEEING ALL OF THE OTHER HUNDREDS OF SPOTS, MOST SPOTS WERE ON THE SMALLER SIDE AND CLOSE TO NEIGHBORS. IF YOU WANT A GOOD SPOT, LOOK FOR SITE 10.

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CAMPSITE 10 HAD PLENTY OF ROOM FOR OUR 2 TENTS PLUS IT WAS FAR FROM NEIGHBORS

Shade/Sun: (4) CONSIDERING IT IS IN A NATIONAL PARK KNOWN FOR ITS LARGE TREES, THIS CAMPGROUND HAD MORE SHADE TO OFFER THAN MOST CAMPGROUNDS. OF COURSE, IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHICH SPOT YOU PICK THOUGH. OVERALL, GOOD SHADE.

Ground: (3) DIRT & WEEDS – SOME SLOPE, BUT FLAT AREAS FOR TENTS

Bugs/Critters/Wildlife: (3) TYPICAL SIERRAS – THERE CAN BE SOME MOSQUITOES, AND OTHER CREEPY CRAWLERS. THIS IS ALSO PRIME BEAR COUNTRY SO USE THE LOCKERS!  WE ALSO HAD A DEER WONDER THROUGH OUR SITE.

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Amenities:

  • FLUSH TOILETS
  • ADA ACCESSIBLE RESTROOM
  • FIRE PITS WITH GRILL
  • WOODEN PICNIC BENCHES – A LITTLE ON THE WORN SIDE
  • GREAT HIKING TRAIL FROM CAMPGROUND (MUIR GROVE)
  • INSIDE THE NATIONAL PARK!
  • 2 SHUTTLE STOPS INSIDE THE CAMPGROUND TO PICK YOU UP AND TAKE YOU TO ALL THE MAIN ATTRACTIONS IN THE PARK
  • COLLECT YOUR OWN FREE FIRE WOOD (ANYTHING DEAD ON THE GROUND IS FAIR GAME)
  • BEAR LOCKERS
  • WATER SPIGOT
  • BOTTLE RECYCLING
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MUIR GROVE TRAIL HEAD IS IN THE CAMPGROUND. AN AWESOME, FLAT 5 MILE R/T HIKE WITH ONE OF THE BEST SEQUOIA GROVES TO REWARD YOU

Comments from the “Chix”

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Our overall impression was that this was a beautiful campground with its big draw being that is is actually inside the National Park. There are lots of gorgeous trees and plenty of opportunities to see wildlife. There are some nice amenities like the shuttle and flush toilets, however the campground is huge and densely packed. But, a great place to stay in the park. One thing that we really enjoyed was collecting our own firewood. Any dead wood on the ground is allowed to be collected and burned in the fire pits. That meant some great sequoia on pine and it was easy to find. That saved us like $12 and the wood burned nicely.
Pros: The biggest pro is the location, you cannot beat it. Being in the National Park is great and you can leave your car at your campsite and take the shuttle to crowded places like General Sherman. All of the nice amenities were there, like fire pits, picnic tables, bear lockers and flush toilets. The staff were also very friendly and helpful in recommending some great hikes. Speaking of which, the trail head to Muir Grove is in the back of the campground. That was a really nice and rewarding hike. The campground also had nice shade.
Cons: It can get really crowded. We were  here the busiest weekend of the year (4th of July) and the campground was full. It is densely packed and some spots are small or just really close to a lot of neighbors. There are some great spots though, like site 10! Also, the evil mosquitoes got us, so bring bug spray!
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Now that is how you cook an American feast! Celebrating America through campfire food!
Tips: Bring bug spray and use the bear lockers! Seriously, bears are known to go though this campground a lot in late Spring/early Summer. Also, bring a tablecloth for the older wooden bench.
Another fun tip, there are a lot of “walk-up” sites. However, we noticed the parking for them was very close and these spots were mostly pretty nice. Don’t be afraid of these pots as long as you can haul your stuff 100 feet. These sites don’t book as fast, so it might be your opportunity to get to stay here on a  prime weekend.

Link to reserve your spot at Dorst Creek Campground