overnight backpack trip central california
February 28, 2017 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Where in central California can friends and I go for a two-day (one-night) backpacking hike this week? The two days would include driving from and back to Santa Cruz CA. We planned to go to the Ventana Wilderness but that's closed. Big Basin's Skyline-to-Sea is closed too. Ideally we'd take our dog, so prefer NOT to go to a state or national park as they're not dog-friendly.
posted by anadem to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Not dog friendly unfortunately, but this is literally the only thing I can think of for an overnight from Santa Cruz since everything else is closed after burning down or storm damage! Black Mountain backpack camp.

It's right at the edge of San Jose, but it nice and they have availability for any night but Saturday. Great hill to watch sunset. Get the group site if it is available the night you want. It can be as long or short of a hike as you want from where you park.... I've gone straight in a couple times and taken longer routes for more training. You can also hike in and set up camp and then go hike more with just the day packs.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 9:36 PM on February 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

Castle Rock State Park?
posted by humboldt32 at 9:55 PM on February 28, 2017

Selby Rocks campground in Carrizzo Plains National Monument. Surreal landscape .
posted by hortense at 10:15 PM on February 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ohlone Regional Wilderness, perhaps.
posted by the Real Dan at 10:50 PM on February 28, 2017

Henry Coe, Pt. Reyes, or Sonoma County (e.g., Pomo Canyon)? Some parts of Pt. Reyes are dog-friendly, but the other two are not, as far as I recall.
posted by stillmoving at 10:51 PM on February 28, 2017

posted by gatorbiddy at 10:59 PM on February 28, 2017

Pinnacles is a National Park, so no dogs.
posted by rhizome at 11:12 PM on February 28, 2017

Snow Mountain Wilderness is an excellent place for an overnight but might be a little far away.
posted by rockindata at 3:53 AM on March 1, 2017

Not that familiar with central CA but up north a bit, there are tons of cool county parks that are dog friendly, and BLM land where you can do (almost) whatever you want.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:16 AM on March 1, 2017

Sunol Regional Wilderness into Ohlone. I don't drive by there anymore, but it should be emerald green and beautiful by now. Here's an overnight backpacking description.

Henry Coe doesn't allow dogs.
posted by cnc at 9:01 AM on March 1, 2017

Best answer: These are near SLO - So there's water everywhere and now's the time to visit those bone dry places. I haven't looked a whole lot but out of Pozo maybe something on Manchesna Mtn (Santa Lucia RD, Los Padres Nat'l Forest). Big Falls and Little Falls off Lopez Canyon - I've hiked up one of them and while you probably couldn't drive there now given the rain, they are amazing once above the lower dark canyon. Little falls looks like you have to cross the stream in your car to get to the trailhead but it's only a mile if you walk it - you can disperse camp once out dark canyon (and have a fire with a campfire permit).

The 41 out of Atascadero to the west goes through Nat'l Forest and you could jump off at Morro Creek heading either upstream or up Cerro Alto.
posted by mrzz at 3:50 PM on March 1, 2017

Arroyo Seco/Horse Bridge?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:22 AM on March 2, 2017

Ah, crap, sorry--Arroyo Seco looks to be in Ventana. That was my stomping grounds as a kid, and I never thought of them as being together. It's amazing, though.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:35 AM on March 2, 2017

Response by poster: Thanks for all the ideas but, we didn't go after all as there was nowhere dog-friendly near enough to make an overnighter.

As a consolation we're heading for Indians next week, aka Santa Lucia Memorial Campgrounds, with a few days backpacking out from there. That gets us into the south of Ventana Wilderness which is still open, though most (all the north end) is closed probably until December 2017.
posted by anadem at 8:38 PM on March 31, 2017

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