Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sycamore Grove Campground, Red Bluff, CA

Sycamore Grove Campground, Red Bluff, CA

Sycamore Grove Campground is a National Forest Campground just outside of Red Bluff…perhaps too close to Red Bluff.  It is convenient, it is near the highway but far enough away that noise is not a factor, and far enough from the railroad tracks too.  It is close to the Sacramento River…which is flowing very well right now.  At $12 per night (senior discount card with National Parks), with electricity at nearly half of the sites, it is a good deal…EXCEPT … (doesn’t there always seem to be an “except”?) … you HAVE to pay over the Internet, which means it cost you $10 more for the visit via the Internet.  For a ten day stay, $120 become $130…not bad.  For a one night stay, $12 become $22.  WHY????  

Sycamore Grove Campground, Red Bluff, CA

Because it is so close to town that they have had problems with those who are looking for a quick buck.  Their Iron Ranger, as they are called, had been busted into a number of times…despite a camp host on the property.  Unlike most Iron Rangers, which are near the camp host…this one was not near him.  Instead of moving it, they put a RESERVATION ONLY CAMPGROUND sign up, making people go through, which makes its money by charging $10 per reservation.  Normally at National Forest Campgrounds, you cannot reserve on the same day you use a campsite…but not here…you have to pay through the website, and you can do so upon arrival.  So we parked in site 23, I walked to the Iron Ranger just to find out that I needed to pay over the Internet.  Yes, there were signs…but you could not read them from the vehicles when we pulled in.  I get back to the motorhome just to find that despite no reservation sign listed at the site…it indeed had someone coming in today…so we moved into the sun at site 24.  Lucky for us…90 minutes later we had shade and site 23 was in the sun.  Open-mouthed smile   Still, we had everything set up already…who wants to move when you just set up??? 

Sycamore Grove Campground, Red Bluff, CA      Sycamore Grove Campground, Red Bluff, CA

Other than this huge quirk…it is not a bad little park.  As the sun went down, the park is about half full, split between tents and RVs.  The Camp host is a nice guy, drove around a few times, and has to talk to each new camper because you have to give him your confirmation number from the website registration…which they email to you.  He does put up reserve signs when people reserve many days in advance…but otherwise you just don’t know until you get on line as to which site you might be able to get into.  My suggestion is to pull into the park, get on line, make a list….and if it is May-September, be sure to get an electricity site because the weather in Hot Bluff, I mean Red Bluff, is Red Hot!!!  Devil 

Bubba at Sycamore Grove Campground, Red Bluff, CA

EVERYONE is so happy to be getting out of the hot weather…well, almost everyone!   Tomorrow we go over the coastal range mountains, and to cool temps near the ocean.

Sacramento River at Sycamore Grove Campground, Red Bluff, CA

Here is a shot of the Sacramento River…a far cry from the river I grew up next to…I remember it being very brown, sometimes very very brown.  For nearly ten years the river was just down the street from us…in my formative pre-teen and early teenage years.  I remember many times walking down the river just to see it, going to river to fish…and later when I was a Restaurant Manager, the river was even closer to one of my many apartments which I lived in way back then, and I would fish on my time off for stripers (WOW, glad I asked Marcia, I nearly put an extra ‘p’ in that word).  But the BEST fishing experience I had in the Sacramento River was when my brother Roger and Cousin Bill and I went fishing with only two fishing poles.  I was the youngest…so I had to use a bamboo stick with a fixed line on it.  And “I” caught the largest Crappie Fish (sounds like Croppie) of my lifetime! It must have been 15 pounds and 20 inches long!  (Ok, more like 3 or 4 pounds, and perhaps 7 inches long).  By the way…the only Crappie Fish I ever caught…I think we brought back home…just to show it off…and buried it in the garden.   By-the-way…I always through my stripped bass back into the water, back in those days I only ate Trout (and Tuna Fish Sandwiches, of course)


  1. I hate those on-line reservations ... what a pain you can't just pay on-site!!

    1. I so agree...thought this would be a good "kicking off" point on future travels to the north...but not for that extra $10. HAD I known we would have left earlier and traveled further and reached the coastal area all in one day like you did...


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