Celebrating 26 years online!

Total Escape turns 26 this October 2022

Autumn Bliss HikeAspens in California


California places listed by elevation

Climb high into the mountains and find aspen groves, lakes for kayaking or peaks for stargazing. Find upcoming Meteor Showers! The higher you go, the cooler the temps. HIKE. BIKE. FISH. CAMP. KAYAK. Stay a full week and save on gasoline!


These California forests listed below are the best choices for camping in green mountains with live trees, instead of the black, wildfire burn scars.

Burnt Above

Wildfire: Recent California Burns

58 counties

Expect Disruption: road closures, campground closures and even trail closures in all wildfire areas, for years come. Flash floods, debris flows, boulders rolling, trees falling and overall blackened scenery. Know where the burned areas are – before you head out on your week long, outdoor, summer vacation.

In Lassen National Forest, Plumas National Forest and Sequoia National Forest – about half the campgrounds are closed due to wildfire damage. Many roads are closed, wilderness areas off limits and scenery drastically changed. Fire clean up takes years with rebuilding roadways, bridges, haz mat teams, debris removal, increased traffic, dump trucks, chain saw noise every day and fair amount of logging truck traffic.


wildfires map
CapRadio 140 year Wildfire Map California

Wildfires in California Fire Map


gasolina gasoline

Gone are the days of cheap gas and endless cruising. Darting around, all over the state, for days of driving and sightseeing pleasure. A cafe here, a remote campground there, more beer and ice 25 miles round trip, moving camp every day.

RVer and van-lifers may actually find themselves staying put for a change with the fuel prices being so high. Plan a week-long trip outdoors, instead of 4  short weekends of frantic driving. STAY LONGER, RELAX MORE, get to know your local canyon and the wildlife – up close and personal.

California Google Maps


4×4 Camping California 

Benchmark Baja Atlas
Fishing Maps
National Forest Atlas
Regional Maps
Wilderness Trail Maps


58 counties

Our ever-expanding California Town List has updated populations, since some cities / towns have doubled (or even quadrupled) in size. Also fresh local links, updated weather link, and museums. On each town page are more books and maps – specific to the local area, plus a few new photos.

Listing local farms, orchards and wineries, coffee shops, cafes, small markets and restaurants, independent grocery stores, garden centers, services, farmers markets – and anything organic!

canoe   stars    fish

Total Escape features ONLY local travel in California. Much of it is free or inexpensive, primarily on the back roads – with abundant nature and outdoor activities.

We list only the mom-n-pop, independent lodges – without the chain hotels and giant resorts. We list all cabins, RV parks, yurts, campgrounds and tent cabins.

Wildflowers are currently blooming and the heat of summer has not yet arrived. But it will be here early, guaranteed.

Hot springs, petroglyphs, old mining camps and ghost towns. Off roading areas, massive sand dunes, and all the desert parks. Hiking, biking, kayaking and so much more. We have traditional, local events for each community; bike rental shops, organic cafes, local coffee shops and every wilderness area in the Golden State.

find back roads; off the beaten path

Explore this site: All of it, just on California.

ranger  picnic  gasoline


stay on trails

California, off the beaten path