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I live in San Jose and I was thinking about organizing a camping trip for myself and a couple of friends. do any of you guys camp? are there any good places to camp in the bay area you would recommend? how's the drive there?

do you like camping in the wilderness or on the beach? My parents camp a lot so they have all the required equipment. it would be the first time i go without them though.:)
 

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Well, what do YOU like.

If you like a beach and party scene, New Brighton State Beach is good. If you like beach with some civilization near by, then Halfmoon Bay and Bodega Dunes State Parks are good. If you like beach with not much civilization near by, then Andrew Molera State Park is good. If you like redwoods, then Pfeiffer Big Sur, Big Basin, and Samuel Taylor State Parks are good.

If you don't mind riding your bike there, from far or near, all of these places have a bicycle tourist camping spot: $3 and no reservations required.
 

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Old,slow,still havin fun.
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I'd also suggest browsing Tom Steinstra's "California Camping", it is a great book with summaries of almost every campsite in the state. It also has some "camping for n00bs" info, which I found very helpful.
 

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Fireball in the Night
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Car, bike, or hike?

Are you talking about car camping, biking in, or hiking in?

Used to like going to Andy Molera when no reservations were required and it was a free for all with potentially hundreds of tents on the open field. Now, there's about 24 spaces that require reservations. And, so you don't have the wrong impression, camping is not on the beach, it's on a grassy field with recently plumbed bathrooms.

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=737
Yosemite is a great place to go -- but not for MTB.

Tuolumne / Strawberry is incredible for hiking in to, say, Buck Lake or Cherry Lake.

And, parks around Pt. Reyes is awesome, too.

Most people forget to bring some things when they go their first time (alone) so you might consider car camping for easy access to supplies.

What kind of camping experience are you looking for?
 

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Coors, the american beer.
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i go camping all the time .... my favorite spot in nor cal is diablo campground near bassetts, CA in the summertime (yes this is near the top of the downieville dh)

havent gone to the beach in a long time

love going to king river NP also but that shits hella far and really is only worth it if you like white water rafting ... some decent fire road riding though.
 

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Big Sur is awesome. and not at all far from where you are.
 
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