Good backcountry camping sites near California Bay Area that don't require reservations?

4:59 p.m. on March 24, 2010 (EDT)
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Hi Everyone,

Does anyone know about a good backcountry camping spot in the California Bay Area (preferably near San Francisco or in the North Bay) that doesn't require a reservation? My boyfriend and I are looking for a place to go backcountry camping this Friday (yes, the day after tomorrow). We only have two days (one night), so we don't want to go far. We are willing to hike a bit but would probably like to keep it under 7 miles each way. We don't need a pre-established campsite--unless that's required for the park/wilderness area/forest/whatever. I know it's short notice, but our plans kept on changing.

I appreciate any help you can give us!

Thanks,

Christine

6:37 p.m. on March 24, 2010 (EDT)
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Christine: As far as I know (from having a Bay Area hiking blog for five years) you can't camp without reservations anywhere in the North Bay or near San Francisco.

The only place I know of is Henry Coe State Park in the far South Bay. It should be gorgeous at this time of year. It's probably 90 minutes drive from SF but I think it's worth it.

Here's a post from my hiking blog if you're interested.

7:03 p.m. on March 24, 2010 (EDT)
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Thank you! We'll definitely check it out.

July 29, 2014
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