Date of Stay: June, 2015
Made a last minute reservation as I was not able to make it to the park I was trying to get to. I was so glad to find this diamond in the rough. The trees do need to be trimmed in this park, as there are a lot that are low hanging. There were literally only 2 other campers in the park with me. No one was at the entrance when we went in - self check-in. We drove around a little looking at sites. We were turning around to get a spot and found the real diamond site. There is only 1 electric/water site. It doesn't show on the Reserve America site on the map. It only shows on the list section. It shows as length 35 ft, but this site has nothing behind it for 30 ft. I was able to put my 35 ft travel trailer in with my crew-cab connected and still had 30 ft behind me. The lake is a decent size. It was a little low when we were there, but that gave a nice size beach. There are a lot of squirrels and we saw wild turkeys and deer walking around in the park. To get to this park, it is at the north end of Lake Mendocino. There is a road that cuts off under a bridge and then you follow it back for a mile or so along a river (this is off the 20 highway). There was supposed to be a dump station at this park, but I did not see one and none shows up on the Reserve America website map. There is a decent size park for the kids and a lot of grass. The sites are mostly in the woods with grassy meadows in between loops. Our site had a fire ring and a table.
Date of Stay: June, 2015
Stayed 2 days. It is really just a parking lot. I stayed in a pull-through (site 143). It was long enough for my 35 ft trailer and my crew-cab truck to fit lengthwise, but just barely wide enough to slide my slides out. I was literally 2 inches from the large concrete posts with my slides, and my steps on the other side were about 4 inches from the white line. We were really there just to visit San Francisco, and that is exactly what we did. I did not do anything except sleep and eat at the campground. I got exactly what I had prepared for after looking at this campground on the Internet before booking a reservation. I would stay here again if I wanted to see San Francisco, but we walked 6 miles in one day so I have had my fill.
Date of Stay: June, 2015
Made reservations at the last minute without much research into this park. The location is a little confusing to get into as the direction on reserve america's website says "20 miles past Jenner". That is it. You are not able to book a specific site, unlike most other CA state parks I have stayed at. The park ranger tells me we drive through and find a site, then come back and let them know the site we want. The ranger was really specific - 3 times - that we were not to unhook our trailer until we came back to let them know what site we selected. Not sure why it mattered, but not a problem. We were in a 35ft travel trailer with 2 slides, although the site shows 31ft as the largest they will allow. I took the chance as I usually do and booked it anyway. There were about 4 sites I could fit into, so I got lucky this time. The site we had was double wide, but short (like 20ft) so we parked diagonally. This is the only park I have ever been to with wooden poles around all the roads and all of the sites (front to back and all around - poles everywhere). There are no hookups at all, and no dumps. I did not use the bathrooms. The walk down to the cliffs was really nice. I wouldn't stay here again. There are better parks in the area. Not a bad park, but I have been to better parks.
Date of Stay: May, 2015
Stayed at Emma Wood a couple of times before and a couple of times in May/June (1 day each). Stayed in site 70 the first time (great spot as there is only a neighbor on one side of you and the large turn around in the front of you. We had a sea lion come right up to the wall and fall asleep for hours while we were there. We also saw dolphins swimming by. The second time, we stayed in site 85. This is a really long site. I had my 35ft travel trailer and my truck with about 6 feet behind me and 3 feet in front of me. It was fairly level for Emma Wood. The noise from the water drowns out the road noise. We have stayed at other sites in the park and you can hear the highway 101 noise more. The farther from the entrance or the closer to the entrance is the best to not hear the 101. In the middle, you will hear the road noise some (most Harley's and semi-trucks).
Date of Stay: July, 2014
Now one of my favorite parks. Just got back from a week of camping in our 35 ft travel trailer. We stayed up top in space 111. This space has electric hookups, but no water or sewer. There is an on-site dump station and hose bibs every 4-6 campsites - opposite side of the street from the campsites themselves so you are not running a hose through another persons campsite. The view from up top was unreal at times. If I were to stay again, it would be up top and maybe a couple of sites on the mid-level of the park. I would not stay down on the bottom sites. There are some good sites down there, but you are literally parking in the sand on those (not bad if you like a lot of sand in your stuff - not exactly what we want), and the view is not as good. On the bottom level, there are no sites with electric that I saw, but you can use a generator if you have one. I do not know the quite hours. Down on the bottom, there are a ton of tents. Probably 85-95% of the tents are on the bottom near the small playground. There were trailers mixed in with the tents down there. I would not stay here in a tent. The wind kicks up every late evening and there were some really big gusts at night. I don't know how those people put up with it. Up on top, they allowed people to park sideways if they fit into the lines and also gave a lot of leeway with letting people overhang onto the road. There was plenty of room for everyone to pass, so it was not a problem. It helped us to get a lot more space behind our trailer near the campfire ring. I saw a few 40 ft motorhomes pull in up there and they were probably sticking out into the road 6-8 feet. They barely fit whatever site number they were in. Our trailer being 35 feet, we still had 10 feet to the fence behind us and could park my truck on one side of the trailer near my slides and still had my awning fully out on the other side - good room width wise. The beach was great for the most part. There was some tar bubbles, for lack of a better description down on the beach. They are not always easily seen when you are walking on the beach and I had to really scrub to get the black stuff off my feet later in the day. If you watch out for it, you will be OK. One day out of 5 we sat down and had nothing but sand flies attacking us. We did not sit in that area for the rest of the trip and had no real issue after. The Jalama Burgers are really good as everyone else has stated. Almost $7 for them, but they were great on the first and last day camping. The road getting there is 14 miles long after you turn off highway 1 and it is a skinny little road at times, but easily manageable if you know how to drive. The Wi-Fi at the park was pretty decent once you get connected. This was our first trip there and we will be going back as soon as possible.
Date of Stay: May, 2014
Nice campground in the woods way up in the mountains. The site we had was site 6. It was plenty long enough and level on asphalt. We went a few days before Memorial Day and there was a strict fire restriction. When I made the reservation, there were only a few sites available. I expected to be completely surrounded. Maybe the local fires kept everyone away, but there was no one within 10 sites even close to me. The sites are about 30-40 feet away from each other. This campground is a little farther away from the lake than I thought. The lake is about 1/2 mile away down a hill outside of the park. There are great walking/biking paths nearby that were very nice - asphalt. I would return to this site, but I think the mountains will probably keep me away for a while. We went from Phoenix near sea level up to 7000 feet, and back down a couple of times during the drive, not to mention other 4000 foot mountains. Very hard on my truck.