20 Feb Take the Smaller Park Less Visited
Recently my brother set-up an impromptu trip to a local national forest and it was just as good as any trip to a big national park. A short 45 minute drive up into the mountains and we went from a suburban house-fill landscape to the beautiful Los Padres national forest. If you live in a city or suburban area like me, its easy to narrow your thinking to just local campgrounds not too far outside the city or making the trek all the way to a national park, but considering taking a look for a local state or national forest.
Smaller parks make for easy getaways to break up your normal weekend routine. Its hard to take a 6-8 hour trip one way without taking time off, the pricey campsite fees, and some parks are booked 6 months in advanced. A cheap and spontaneous trip to Big Sur is not easily accomplished. Good news is a lot of these smaller parks have little to no camp fees, and there is far less demand for campsites. Be aware though. some small parks tend to have limited on-site facilities, do your research and come prepared.
While I like Yosemite, there are a lot of hikes and areas that have a Disneyland crowd type of feeling. At Los Padres we had several beautiful trails where we felt alone and it wasn’t hard to find a nice secluded campsite.
Do a quick google search on parks near you, and have a quick trip into the wilderness near you.