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Northern California non-snow trips?
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Tim Halberg
(Turtlehead) - F
Northern California non-snow trips? on 12/03/2013 11:40:13 MST Print View

Looking for some trip ideas for this winter... I live in Sacramento and looking for trips within a 1 to 5 hour drive of home.

The Lost Coast is for sure on the list, but would like to find some other options, maybe even in the Sierra foothills.

Unfortunately, right now I've got down to a 20 degree bag. Not looking to do any snow camping.

Any suggestions are appreciated no matter how long, short, or epic. Cross country routes would be fun too, but realizing it's winter and that limits a lot of things.

Rick Adams
(rickadams100) - M
no snow on 12/03/2013 12:02:37 MST Print View

I have 2 on my to do list that might work though I haven't worked out the details. 1. Yuba River Trail I believe this is near 3000ft and just goes along the river and has some primitive sites. 2. Off Hwy 32 out of Chico near Deer Creek. There is a short trail south off the road to some falls. a little further east on the road there is a much longer trail going north, i think one way is 23 miles. This is all from my poor memory, if you want more usable data I'll try to dig it up. Elavation here should be ok assuming no low snow. Yolla Bolla(?) wilderness is supposed to be cool and within your mileage and probably ok too.

Matt Keenan

Locale: In the Mountains in the clouds
RE: Northern CA non snow trips on 12/03/2013 12:15:59 MST Print View

Point Reyes is nice year round, you might even see some whales. Ventana wilderness is pretty epic in the winter as it is much less crowded and their are hot springs! Sykes hot springs are the only ones I know about their might be more though. Santa cruz Mt's are also a non snow option (I think never have been there in the winter) the only trail that I have done there is the Sky-line to sea trail. But it was kind of a pain figuring out the car situation and I would think its pretty dry right now. Henry Coe State park has been a favorite of mine for Spring and Fall trips, its huge you might have to deal with some snow but I wouldn't imagine that it would get much below 20 if you are ridge camping, so with proper layers I am sure you would be fine. You really can't go wrong with any of these,I am sure you will have a fulfilling trip wherever you decide on going.

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
lower elevations on 12/03/2013 13:39:06 MST Print View

Look at Henry Coe State Park...lots to do there

Near Yosemite, Hite Cove is a nice hike.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
South Yuba River trail on 12/03/2013 15:11:37 MST Print View

The South Yuba River trail is a great overnight trip when the mountains are covered in white crud:

Just watch out for these guys:

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Northern California non-snow trips on 12/03/2013 16:44:22 MST Print View

You can browse through our Bay Area trips for ideas. Many of the photo shows include a link to a map on the first image. We're lucky to live in a place that has great backpacking all year :)

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Northern California non-snow trips on 12/03/2013 17:19:26 MST Print View

Hite Cove is definitely recommended. Coe is ok, Ventana is better. Point Reyes is scenic but you have to camp in designated sites. I have done Yuba River area too, not bad but many of the trails are mining trails from days gone by

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Northern California non-snow trips? on 12/03/2013 17:20:48 MST Print View

Cache Creek wilderness east of clear lake.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Northern California non-snow trips? on 12/03/2013 17:27:51 MST Print View

Rogue River is maybe 6 hours.

If the rain happens to be blowing into your area and not further North which happens occasionally, that might be good.

It's low elevation so can be dry when it's raining higher up. See some rafters float by. Not too many people in winter.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Northern California non-snow trips? on 12/03/2013 17:34:00 MST Print View

Whadda ya mean white crud? :) Some of my snow camping trips have been really good. Sledding, chatting with the group, catching up on life and using old stoves. There will be snow along 32 in the Deer Creek area, Ishi has ticks, poison oak to watch out for.

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Northern California non-snow trips on 12/03/2013 17:46:08 MST Print View

"Point Reyes is scenic but you have to camp in designated sites."

Don't ask, don't tell. It was official policy in the military for years. Set up after sunset. Break camp before sunrise. No fires. No lights. No noise. No damaging plants. Not in view of a trail. Just sayin it's been done before.

Here's a 120 mile Pt Reyes hike suitable for winter:

And a few more reports:

4 days in the Silver Peak Wilderness, Los Padres:

3 days along Monterey Bay:

3 days on the peninsula:

2+ days in Ventana:

5 days in Marin:

5 days on the California Coastal Trail from SF to Santa Cruz:

And a non-standard route in Coe:

People who live in northern california are missing half the fun if they stay home during the rainy season :) And, there are plenty of options that let you leave the car at home - take the Megabus from Sacto to SF, walk to Santa Cruz, bus to San Jose, and train to Sacto - one of many options.

Edited by drongobird on 12/30/2014 11:43:41 MST.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
white crud on 12/03/2013 17:57:18 MST Print View

No hate here for the lovely Sierra cement; simply a play on the term as it's used in the classic Tommy Boy movie.

Mike Donnelly: Whoa, what happened to you? You fall into some mud or something?
Steve Dodds: Yeah, I did, and I'll be rich because i'm the only person on earth who's found white mud.
Mike Donnelly: I didn't say mud. I said crud. You fall into some crud or something?

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
My backyard on 12/03/2013 19:11:42 MST Print View

I live 5 minutes (walk) from FS lands. Usually no one about, especially in the winter. I'll take off for an hour or so snowshoe and set up somewhere. I could expand on that, but need more snow than has fallen in the past few years. Lassen VNP is 90 minutes away or that much time to someplace on the Tahoe NF, north of Truckee, but I used to access that area with my old snowmobile that I sold last year.

Joe Lynch
(rushfan) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
big basin and butano on 12/04/2013 00:19:31 MST Print View

Berry Creek Falls in Big Basin SP is a great hike out to Sunset Camp. Might be best in the winter to fill up the waterfalls. Butano SP has six sites and is less busy than Big Basin.

Had a good time at Point Reyes last weekend. If you haven't been there, it's worth a visit.

I would watch the weather very carefully in the Lost Coast. The roads are not the best and it can really storm up there. The road into Sinkyone SP is a mud track that is impassible after rain.

Sunol Wilderness in the east bay is another option.