Palo Alto Online Database last updated: Monday, June 10, 2013.|
Butano State Park
1500 Cloverdale Road, 4 miles south of Pescadero, Stands of very old Douglas fir and redwood trees. Day use fee is $10. Butano has 30 miles of trails, 21 drive-in campsites and 18 walk-in campsites. Trail campsites also are available. Reservations for drive-in sites needed year-round; walk-in sites need reservations May 15-Labor Day weekend. Rates for campsites are $35 and fees exist for more than one vehicle. Bicycling and horseback riding is limited to fire trails. Dogs must be on leash at all times. size: 3,200 acres. Call 800-444-PARK for campsite reservations; 650-879-2040 for Butano Park.
When it comes to pitching a tent, the options are few inside Palo Alto's city limits. But you don't need to head to the Sierra to rough it. Great spots are available within a 45-minute drive. Here are some of your best bets:
3300 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto. Camp overnight at Towle Camp located east of the interpretive center in Wildhorse Valley. Available by reservation May 1-Oct. 31, the sites are for the use of Palo Alto residents and their accompanied guests only. $15 per campsite, Sun-Thu; $26 Fri-Sat; $26 per site for four or more campsites on any day. Single sites hold eight people, group sites can hold up to 16. One handicap drive-in site. No bikes on trails. No dogs on weekends and holidays. Leashed dogs welcome at other times (or Friday night if camping). Call 650-329-2423.
Huddart County Park
1100 Kings Mountain Road, Woodside. Group campsites only, open May-September, by reservation. Picnic grounds, barbecues, grassy areas, 25 miles of hiking and horse trails (no bikes allowed), play area. No pets. $5 entry fee per vehicle per day. Huddart Park is open daily at 8 a.m. year round. Closing time varies by month. size: 973 acres. Call 650-851-1210, 650-363-4021 for reservations.
Memorial County Park
9500 Pescadero Creek Road, Loma Mar, near Tuscadero Road and Hwy. 84 junction. Picnic and campgrounds set in a redwood forest. Showers available for nominal fee. $25/night per campsite by reservation only. Day use is $5/vehicle. No pets. Backpacking trails free with permit. Family and youth group camping, naturalist program and museum. Family and group picnic area. Open daily at 8 a.m. Closing time varies by month. size: 499 acres. Call 650-879-0238; 650-879-0212 (general info and campsite availability), 650-363-4021 for camping reservations and horse camp availability and reservations..
Monte Bello Open Space Preserve
Page Mill Road before Skyline Blvd., in the Santa Cruz Mountains, above Los Altos Hills. The Backpack Camp on 2,800-foot Black Mountain is the only camping spot in the vast Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. The Monte Bello Open Space Preserve is located 7 miles west of I-280 on Page Mill Road. The camp is a 1.5 mile hike from the Page Mill Road gate and parking lot. The camp has four sites that hold up to four people and one group site that holds up to 24 people. A permit is required to camp overnight. Fee is $2 per person per night. No dogs or campfires allowed. Call 650-691-1200.
Pescadero Creek Park
9500 Pescadero Creek Road, Loma Mar, near Tuscadero Road and Hwy. 84 junction. Hiking, biking, horseback riding on 5,700 acres. Pescadero Creek, which flows year round, is a major steelhead trout spawning stream. size: 8,020 acres. Call 650-879-0238.
Portola Redwoods State Park
9000 Portola State Park Road #F, La Honda. From Hwy. 35, take Alpine Road west for 3 miles, and then turn onto Portola State Park Road. Portola has 53 family and four group campsites. Family sites cost $35 per night; trail campsites are $15 per night. Reservations needed for weekend campsites, mid-May-Labor Day. Family campsites handle up to eight people and have fire rings, picnic benches. Leashed dogs are allowed at campsites and paved roads, but not on trails. Slate Creek Trail campsite requires about a 3-mile backpacking hike. Limit six people, six sites. Day parking $10. Senior days are $9. Open 6 a.m. to sunset. Call 650-948-9098 for general information; 800-444-7275 for Portola Redwoods reservations; 831-338-8861 for Slate Creek reservations.
Sam McDonald County Park
13435 Pescadero Road, Loma Mar, near Tuscadero Road and Hwy. 84 junction. Family picnic area, hiking and horseback riding, and Jack Brook Horse camp for families, groups or individuals who camp with their horses. A hikers hut, owned by the Sierra Club for overnighters, holds up to 14 people. Fees vary. Hike from the parking lot to the hut is 1.5 miles; no vehicle access. Electric stove, pots and pans, small refrigerator in an A-frame Danish cabin. Running water for drinking and cooking; no shower. This park is connected to Portola State Park and Memorial Park via a network of trails in Pescadero Creek Park. Mountain bikes allowed only on Old Haul Road Trail, Bridge Trail and paved portion of Camp Pomponio Road. No dogs allowed anywhere in park. size: 850 acres. Call 650-390-8411, ext .393, to reserve Sierra Club hikers hut; 650-363-4021 or http://reservations.eparks.net/index.asp?park_idno=5 for park reservations; 650-879-0238 for park.
Sanborn County Park
16055 Sanborn Road, Saratoga. Nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains between Saratoga and Skyline Blvd. Hiking, camping, RV camping and picnicking opportunities year round. Tent camping is available by reservation at the walk-in campground from the third Saturday in March to the third Saturday in October. Parking fee $6. Walking campground $12. size: 3,688 acres. Call 408-867-9959, 408-355-2201 (reservations).
Wilderness Camps at Deer Hollow Farm for Kids
P.O. Box 7540, Mtn. View. In June, July and August, Wilderness camps and Wildlife Week for grades 1-2, 2-4, 5-7 and 7-9 vary activities according to age group. Hiking, backpacking, wildlife viewing, feeding farm animals and learning about farm life and Ohlone Indian lore. Register at Mountain View Community Center. Fees vary. Call 650-903-6430 (Deer Hollow Farm), 650-903-6331 (Mtn. View Recreation Division).