Scoping out Steep Ravine Campsites
If you can't snag a cosy cabin at Steep Ravine, you may settle for one of 6 spectacular oceanfront campsites which are a scooch less impossible to book. Goes without saying you have to drop everything if something becomes available mid week. While we were lucky enough to enjoy the cabins this time around, we took a close tour of the camp sites for future trip planning.
These sites require an uphill trudge and the provided wheel barrows are a lifesaver to ferry your supplies from the parking lot.
Oceanfront can be quite blustery and at on a winter night the roof of our cabin creaked and groaned against 20-30mph gusts of wind. But we also camped in September without hardly any wind. One may have to forgive the wind for the chance to camp at the edge of the continent.
Site #1 Abalone- spectacular open views. This site is in full view of the cabins- however it's sufficiently far enough you really can't be spied on. It is the most exposed of the sites.
Site #2 Cormorant and #3 Starfish are adjoined and have direct site and sound lines- no privacy here if both sites are occupied. Both now have better ocean views as the park service chopped down the center pines to open it up more. But each site retains great trees with low branches for climbing and putting on a hammock. #3 is good for families and kids as there is more space to run around in.
|#3 Starfish on left, #2 on right divided by a wood fence|
On a blustery night- one might be grateful for such a windbreak. Despite being the only sites with direct neighbors, in any other Northern California park, these would be coveted camping spots. I think the shade from trees and being able to hammock make these two just as desirable.
Site #4 Pelican is closest to the ocean right on the bluffs with plenty of privacy with the most expansive ocean views. Crees joked that this site is secure with it's very own poison oak privacy hedge but I retort that is no protection against invading racoons. This site being also has the longest trek in.
By far the site with the most wow factor (for me and Crees) was #5 Kelp positioned with 2 awesome rocks. All the sites are spectacular, but when all of them have ocean views- you need that something extra! In lieu of trees, rocks have their charms but cannot be used for hammock or provide good shade.
|#5 Kelp with 2 Rocks|
Update: I finally camped at Kelp early September and you can read the report here.
(Note the 7th campsite is available only for those with handicap placard and is unattractively sited next to the parking lot that it is mostly available on most days.)