The desire to hit the trail is strong this time of year. Blue skies, longer days, and the sweet smell of summer blooms have us wanting to call in sick to work as much as possible. Sometimes a weekend getaway just isn’t possible given money or time constraints, but there are other ways to escape the grind that don’t involve hours of sitting in traffic. If you love the outdoors and long for a night or two in nature away from it all, then these hike-in, hike-out camping spots are just what you need!
GLEN CAMP – POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE Point Reyes offers several campsites that are only accessible by foot, but Glen Camp is one of the more secluded options. The campsite is a 4.6-mile moderate hike in and offers twelve individual campsites for groups of six or less. The site is nestled in a wooded valley and includes a drop toilet, water spigot, picnic table, food storage locker, and a small grill for cooking. This campsite is also accessible by bicycle, but be warned — the ride is strenuous.
BUTANO TRAIL CAMP – BUTANO STATE PARK This backcountry campground is located in Pescadero among towering redwoods and gushing streams. The trail camp is a 5.5-mile hike from the Visitors Center and has a total of eight campsites, which all require a reservation. Like others on this list, there is no potable water and campfires are not permitted so bring your camp stove. Keep your eyes peeled for bright yellow banana slugs while hiking — they are literally everywhere and you don’t want to accidentally squish any!
SLATE CREEK TRAIL CAMP – PORTOLA REDWOODS STATE PARK This state park is only 30 miles from downtown San Jose, but it will feel as though you’ve left the city far behind and are in a magical Ferngully forest. The hike to the campground is about five miles and flanked by ancient, beautiful redwoods. A few things to note before you go: you must book a site before you arrive, the water is not potable so bring plenty of your own, no dogs are allowed, and there are no campfires permitted so you must bring your own camp stove if you’re planning on cooking anything.
STEWARTVILLE BACKPACK CAMP – BLACK DIAMOND MINES REGIONAL PRESERVE Talk about affordable — this campsite is just $5 per night, per person! The views of the rolling green hills, peaceful cows grazing, and maybe even a coyote-sighting or two make this hike an easy and relaxing one. The campground is about three miles from the Preserve headquarters and there is no potable water, so pack plenty of your own.