Southern California has a secret camping season a lot of us locals love to take advantage of. While the rest of the country is putting away their camping gear we are keeping it out for another few months. What I am talking about of course is desert season. Truth be told the fall is often still too hot to camp and we really don’t see it consistently cool off until the end of October or beginning of November.
In fact many county, state and federal camping areas don’t really get fun to camp at until the fall and early winter. One great example is Agua Calinete a county park located in San Diego’s east county. This park is actually closed for half the year during the hotter months to allot the sheep that live in the mountains an opportunity to come down and take water from the area. During the winter the spring fed pools are an awesome treat well exploring the surrounding desert.
On the state park front Anza-Borrego is California’s largest state park and offers many great desert attractions. From developed camp sites to some of the more liberal camping rules of any California state park there are great opportunities for people of all abilities to take advantage of the area. The visitor center at Borrego Springs is a great place to start you adventure. Speaking of Borrego Springs, it is a great little town to stop and grab a bite to eat and stretch your legs. Although don’t be surprised when everyone else has the same idea… expect Borrego Spring to be super busy especially with the Super Bloom wild flower traffic that will undoubtedly be coming there in droves.
When talking about traffic and exploring the back country of San Diego don’t forget to stop in Ramona (our neck of the woods). Other than the fact we would love to run into you Ramona is the last real town before heading up the hill. What I mean by “real” town obviously not meaning to insult our neighbors, it's that we have a couple super markets to include Ramona Family Naturals (health food store), gas stations that are even cheaper than down the hill at times and plenty of places to eat. I have learned in my travels that there are places that you stop and supply before stepping off especially if you are traveling at night and Ramona is one of them. Things don’t tent to get cheaper of less crowded the further you go ha-ha.
Now if you are looking to camp and are not necessarily want to go into the desert Ramona and the Julian offer some great camping options as well. Dos Picos in Ramona is surprisingly close to everything and the winter and spring when it is cooler weather is some of the best time to visit. William Heise up by Julian is nice too but you can definitely plan on this park being a lot colder, they actually got snow this year!
We know that winter isn’t the usual time to camp and for our locals reading this you can probably vouch this is a great time to go. The longer nights make for better star gazing and smore making. The recent rains have created a false spring and everything is green and begging to bloom! It’s like we are getting an early start on spring. So jump on the Google box, check out some cool spots, go camping and Get The Fox Out There!