Joshua Tree Desert - Much like Death Valley, it’s preferable in the winter. J Tree is also well known for bouldering and we encourage experienced, prepared climbers to check out the scene! Deserts are great this time of year and we recommend you do some research on a few before you make your pick.
Kirk Creek Campground - Make a trip up and down the PCH for a iconic coastal trip. We stumbled on this campground one year but I can say it was one of our best decisions. Nestled amongst the coastal brush, this campground boasts epic beach views and is just a stone’s throw away from Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and the fabulous McWay falls.
A Drive on the 395 - A trip recommended for anyone. Make the journey to Bishop and have a grand old time, especially if you enjoy bouldering, snowshoeing, hot springs or just staring off at the Sierra Nevada mountains. Don’t forget to hit the slopes at Mammoth! Keep in mind, some roads are closed in the winter.
Mendocino - The coast can be a bit rainy this time of year, but the timing is great for whale watching! Each year, November through April, California gray whales migrate from Alaska south to mate and have babies in the warm coastal lagoons of Baja, Mexico. Oh, and don’t forget to stop by Mendocino’s local wineries and grab some bottles for the trip!
Big Basin (at another point in time) - In any other year, we would highly recommend this as a primo local destination for the winter. Currently, much of the Big Basin and the surrounding area is closed due to fire damage, but it still should be preserved in our minds. Learn more about Big Basin recovery here.
Mount Tamalpais State Park - Close, convenient and walk-in only! Try your hand at winter camping and stay in your Bay Area backyard. The camping options are excellent, though limited, so we encourage you to plan wisely and have back ups. Bootjack Campground and Pantoll Campground are first-come, first-served, however you could always skip that hassle and book a cabin or campsite at Steep Ravine.