After spending a week in the Alabama Hills, on Saturday I decided to pack up and head a couple hundred miles further south to go about halfway to my next destination, of Niland, California. I have found several spots near Barstow that sounded promising. My first choice was Sawtooth Canyon Campground, a free BML campground nestled in a beautiful rocky canyon.
This is a free first-come first-served campground and I was amazed at the nice facilities here. There is no water or dump station it’s strictly a boondocking spot, and there are couple pit toilets. But of the 12 or so established campsites, they all have nice picnic tables with shelters over the picnic table area, a large charcoal grill, and a nice concrete fire pit. As you can see in this photo.
Being a Saturday I was a little concerned if I find a site open. There are ample spots right off the roadway that you can pull off in park most any size rig. And lots of little nooks and crannies for tents and smaller rigs. When I pulled in there was actually a large gathering of Boy Scout taking up about a half a dozen sites. And they had tents set up all in between the established campsites. But this is a large spread out campground with lots of open area in between. Here’s some photos I took of the open area.
I unhooked the car to drive around and scout out the whole campground. I found several spots I could get in that were not actually established campsites. But just after I picked out a couple good spots to park my rig for a few nights, a guy was pulling out of site number 10 which was a perfect spot so I pulled in. Here’s a photo of my site for the next few nights.
This area is well known for its rock-climbing, and over the weekend there were a lot of climbers scattered amongst the hills. I think it was mostly locals from the area, you’re not very far from San Bernardino.
Climbers scattering all around climbing different rock formations. Here’s a group up pretty high getting ready to scale this unique rock formation.
On Sunday a fair amount of the people left but it wasn’t until Monday that were down to about five campers in the whole Park. Maxine and I walked around and she discovered, these dinosaur bones over where the Boy Scouts were set up. The scouts had all the sites full plus tents scattered all through the rock formations here.
And there’s this neat little playground area that I didn’t noticed when we first pulled in because the scouts were parked all around.
In this photo it looks like it’s trying to catch Maxine.
Plus there was a new baby one being born. This is a really nice developed heart from being out in the middle of nowhere, you are about 20 miles from the nearest town of Barstow.
On Sunday Maxine and I did a little exploring we went up to the Ghost Town “Calico”.
This actually was one of my other choices in the area for camping, just a few miles east of Barstow. It has over 265 campsites in the campground with water and electric at most of the sites. But I’m glad I chose not to stay here because it was crazy busy because they are having one of their Halloween weekends going on and lots of activities. Plus it would cost over $30 a night to stay here and the sites were not near as nice as when I found at Sawtooth. It is a San Bernardino County Park. Calico is a “Old West Silver Mining Town” dating back to 1881 this was during the last big silver strike in California. At the time there was over 500 minds in this area. Over a 12 year span of mining in this area they produced over $20 million in silver ore. When silver lost its value in the mid-1890s the minors all packed up and abandoned the town and it became a “ghost town”. In the 1950s Walter Knott purchased “Calico” and restored all but five of the original buildings to look as they did in the 1880s turning it into a tourist destination. In 2005 it became a State Historical Landmark, and was proclaimed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to be California’s “Silver Rush Ghost Town”. It is now a San Bernardino County Park. The fact that it was decorated for Halloween made it look a little less realistic, than it would normally. But this would be a great spot for families with children to explore and they’ve got lots of little activities.
There’s a train you can ride around and once again they had gravesites in zombies placed around the tracks.
It’s a very dog friendly area so Maxine had a good time wandering around town and enjoying everybody greeting her.
She was allowed inside almost all the buildings and we could wander up and down taking photos on this beautiful sunny day.
We did stop to get refreshments and one of the many restaurants and bars scattered throughout the town in the old buildings. The décor has a very old West look.
I really thought this building was cool made out of old wine bottles.
There is one mind that you can tour, but there are warning signs all over to stay out of certain areas because of dangerous mine shafts.
I particularly liked the look of this well-preserved fire pump.
Maxine and I are spending are today just hanging around the campground it so peaceful and quiet here. We did a little hiking in the hills this morning and will probably do a little bit more later when it cools down. Tomorrow Tuesday we will be packing up and moving about 150 miles south of here to our next stop. We will be staying outside of Niland, California at Fountain of Youth Spa & RV Resort. I have two weeks booked here at very good rate because I’m going to be going to a WIN”s Rally. WIN,s stands for “Wandering Individuals Network”. It’s an online network designed for solo RV,s to connect with each other. Here is a link to their website A friend of mine told me about this a couple years ago, I had never pursued it but decided now was the time. They are having what they call a “Dance Rally” that they have every year around this time of year, so I decided to join in. It’s a weeklong rally but they offered a discount rate of $13 a night (for first timers) with full hookups five days before and five days after the weeklong rally. So I’m taking advantage of this great rate and going to enjoy this RV Resort for the next two weeks. More to come about this in my next posts. That’s it for now safe travels and best wishes to all, Rick
Moonrise Sawtooth Canyon