Tag Archives: desert

Camping Picnic

Picnicking & Camping

This picnic page is dedicated to various ways to eat outdoors around a camping or road trip. Whether it be a backpacking adventure, a car camping excursion or a quick stop “en route” while on a longer road trip, these tips may help you plan to eat better while enjoying the outdoors.

Ice (or refrigeration) – during winter this is less of an issue. Don’t let your food spoil with warm temperatures. Ice Chest or Cooler Backpacks are key to keeping your food fresh. Block ice will last longer than cubes, so make some at home ahead of time.


Paper Plates – easier than washing dishes outdoors

The Tools – kitchen knife, utensils and a perhaps corkscrew. Storing utensils inside the ice chest is acceptable. Ziplock bags, paper bags, paper towels and a beach towel are all handy items to carry.

Thermos – thermal insulated bottle for storing hot beverages like coffee, hot cocoa or even homemade soup.

Screen Room – when bugs and mosquitoes are expected, plus you plan on staying in this location all day, then bringing a screened tent might be a good idea.

The Food Bag – This is one, strong grocery bag with all the food items inside for easy transport and access “on the road”.

If you are parking in Bear Country (where bears live) then you may be required to store your food items inside a steel locker/bear box located near the parking lot or campsite. Being able to grab a cooler and one bag and move these to the bear box will be less cumbersome if you have all your food condensed. Sharing boxes with other visitors is quite common, so keep your belongings compact.


Camping is often one long picnic, spending much of the time in cooking, preparation, campfires, and of course, cleanup.


Day trips from camp, may lead you away from your base camp most of the day exploring, so you should always bring the FOOD BAG and the cooler in the car/truck/van. Have mostly prepared food – all ready to eat for quick access and minimal hassles.






Hunting and fishing trips are often done with overnight camping. Cooking over the open flame, primitive style is key to the fun. Bring a hand saw for firewood, lighters or matches for flames. See more on Campfire Cooking


Hunger can come on sudden when outside exerting oneself.

If you are planning a big “all day hike” or even a “half day hike”, packing a picnic lunch to eat on the trail is always advised. At minimum, you should pack a snack and water for any hike.


desert picnic


Camp chairs, lawn chairs, beach chairs and solid picnic tables are all considered luxury items in the wilderness. Finding a picnic table location will be easier near parks, campgrounds and trailhead parking. Bring a blanket, beach towel or large tarp to throw down and dine on. Carry your own portable chair if you cannot sit on the ground. Truck tailgates make fine benches for eating.

silver lake picnic

Top Destinations for Picnics:

alpine lakes

Summer is the best time to find a lake in the mountains, as most are located at high elevations, covered snow during winter. Luckily, California Lakes come in all shapes, sizes and elevations.


The coastlines are the most popular locations in all of California. Locating an uncrowded beach will be easier during the non-summer months.

big meadows

Meadows are very popular spots for picnics and most require some walking to reach. This mountain terrain is usually buried in snow half the year, so these are summertime spots.


The California deserts are best visited in non-summer months. Considered winter playgrounds, deserts hold mining history, ghost towns, abundant off road trails and first-of-the-season wildflower blooms.

ridge lines

Mountain ridges are awesome places for views, sunsets and stargazing. Find a dirt road, instead of a paved highway for the best experience.


California has plenty of rivers to enjoy. Picnic tables and parks, plus campgrounds can usually be found next to these bodies of water. Rivers can also be dangerous during spring run-off, where the river swells with the high country snow melt. Find California Rivers




Planning to camp out, maybe bike and/or hike? Explore the wildflower blooms and relax longer with a meal. Low deserts  began blooming as early as late February, and can last well into May.

star party

Night skies with meteor showers or a lunar eclipse can mean plenty of free time to sit and watch the sky. Celestial events. Snacks, sandwiches, caffeine beverages.


Winter picnics should include hot beverages, or perhaps a barbeque or cooking over a fire. Bring the Camp Stove for instant heat options. Campfire permits may be required if you plan to build a fire outside of a developed site.

picnic table


save fuel, stay put

You do know that you don’t have to drive all over the park, cramming in every sightseeing destination? You could choose to spend MOST of your time at camp, or maybe walking distance from camp. 

Learn to stay put, really relax and take it all in. The trees, the birds, the breezes, the sound of the creek. Less driving means saving on gasoline cost.


walk more, drive less

Choosing to camp in large campground near the best attractions, could mean more walking and less driving. Picnic grounds are common in most all State Parks, National Parks, National Forests and even in county parks and small historic towns. 

State Historic Park

State Historic Parks are great places to find picnic tables. This oak and wildflower hillside is located at Coloma, CA in the Gold Country foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Marshall Gold Discovery State Park at the south fork of the American River.

Hot Air Balloon Rides California

The areas for hot air ballooning inside California are: any wine country area, Palm Springs desert and most of Southern Cal.


Adventure Flights
19301 Jasmine Ct,
Lake Elsinore, CA

A Grape Escape Balloon Adventure
40335 Winchester Road
Suite E, PMB #226
Temecula, CA 92591

Balloon Above The Desert
Palm Springs Area
Indio, CA 92201

Balloons Above the Valley
603 California Blvd
Napa, CA 94559

Balloons Over Paso
Central Coast Wine Country
Paso Robles, CA 93446

balloon rides

California Dreamin
33133 Vista del Monte Rd
Temecula, CA 92591

Cheers Over California
(Tethered Rides)
PO Box 661932
Sacramento, CA 95866

Fantasy Balloon Flights
74181 Parosella St.
Palm Desert, CA 92260

Lake Tahoe Balloons
2435 Venice Drive East
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Magical Adventure Balloon Rides
Temecula, CA

Mammoth Ballooning Adventure
High Sierra Ballooning Company
Mammoth Lakes, CA

Mountain High Balloons
Lake Tahoe, CA

Napa Valley Aloft
6525 Washington St
Yountville, CA 94599


Napa Valley Balloons
P.O.Box 2860
Yountville, CA 94599

Panorama Balloon Tours
2683 Via De La Valle
Del Mar, CA 92014

hot air balloons

Sky Drifters Hot Air Ballooning
7000 Stonehouse Road
Rancho Murieta, CA 95683

Sky’s the Limit Ballooning
2432 Railway Ave. Suite A
Los Olivos, CA 93441

Sonoma Ballooning
Sonoma Skypark
21870 Eighth St. E
Sonoma CA, 95476

Sunrise Balloons
PO Box 891360
Temecula, CA 92589

Up & Away Ballooning
4086 Byway E.
Napa, CA 94558

Vegas Balloon Rides
4390 Polaris Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89103

Wine Country Balloons
Santa Rosa, CA

hot air balloons

Horseback Rides Palm Springs

Southern California Trail Rides
Wagon Rides & Horse Rentals near:


Inland Empire, Joshua Tree
Palm Springs Area &
Temecula Wine Country

Joshua Tree Tours

Cottonwood Canyon Ranch
48948 Canyon House Rd
Morongo Valley, CA 92256

Covered Wagon Tours
Washington St
Palm Desert, CA 92211

Crazy Horse Ranch
50440 Cheyenne Trail
Morongo Valley, CA 92256

Anza Horses

Knob Hill Ranch
57840 Cortez Dr
Yucca Valley, CA 92284

Saddle Up Wine Tours
44060 White Mountain Rd
Aguanga, CA 92536

Palm Springs Tramway

San Jacinto State Park
(via Palm Springs Aerial Tramway)
Long Valley Ranger Station
1 Tramway Road
Palm Springs, CA 92262
horse rentals in summer only

Smoke Tree Stables
2500 S Toledo Ave
Palm Springs, CA 92264

Sweetwater Farms
Pony Rides
27825 California Ave
Winchester, CA 92596

Vin Hesten Trail Rides
41529 De Portola Rd
Temecula, CA 92592

Wine Country Trails by Horseback
43101 Anza Rd
Temecula, CA 92592


Temecula Town
Old Town Temecula (1998)

Desert Camping California

destination: outdoors

high desert mountains, mining camps, ghost towns, 4×4 trails, low elevations, hot springs & desert resorts

Free Camping US 95


Afton Canyon Campground BLM, Mojave
Alabama Hills, Eastern Sierra

Angeles National Forest
Ancient Bristlecone Pines
Anza Borrego State Park

Baja California, Mexico
Barker Ranch, Panamint & DVNP
Benton Hot Springs
Bodie Ghost Town State Park
Borrego Springs California
Box Canyon BLM, Mecca

Calico Ghost Town, Mojave
California Poppy Reserve, Antelope Valley
Canon Sin Nombre Slot Canyons, Anza
Carrizo Gorge Goat Trestle, Anza
Cerro Gordo Ghost Town, Inyo Mts
Chimney Creek Campground
Chimney Peak Backcountry Byway
Chumash Wilderness, Los Padres NF
Colorado River RV Camps

Death Valley Charcoal Kilns
Death Valley California
Death Valley National Park
Dove Springs OHV Camping

Goler Wash, DVNP
Great Overland Stagecoach Route of 1849
Guadalupe Canyon Hot Springs, Baja

Horse Canyon, N Mojave

Inyo Forest Roads, Eastern Sierra
Inyo National Forest

Jawbone Canyon, N Mojave
Johnson Valley BLM, Mojave
Joshua Tree Campgrounds
Joshua Tree National Park

Kelbaker Road, Mojave NP
Kelso Dunes, Mojave NP
Kelso Valley, Kern County

Desert Lake County Park
Lake Cahuilla Park, La Quinta
Lake Havasu
Lake Mohave Camping Fishing

Mahogany Flat Campground, DVNP
Mojave Desert Camping
Mojave National Preserve
Mojave Road Map
Mojave RV Campgrounds

Mono Lake, California
Montgomery Ghost Town
Mortero Wash, Anza Borrego

Newberry Springs, Mojave
Nipton, California

Panamint Springs, California
Panamint City Ghost Town
Panamint Springs Resort & RV Camp
Panamint Valley Camping
Pichacho Peak SRA
Pioneertown, Yucca Valley
Providence Mountains SRA, Mojave
Quatal Canyon, Los Padres Rd #9N09
Randsburg Ghost Town
Red Rock Canyon SP, N Mojave

boys at alabama hills

Alabama Hills
Alabama Hills @ Lone Pine, CA

Saddleback Butte State Park, L.A.
Saline Valley Hot Springs, DVNP
Salton Sea Camping
San Bernardino Forest (eastside)
Sequoia National Forest (eastside)
Silverwood Lake SRA
Split Mountain Anza Borrego

Thorndike Campground, DVNP
Topaz Lake, Eastern Sierra
Trona Road
Turtle Mountain Road, Needles
Tuttle Creek Campground BLM, Lone Pine

Wildrose Campground, DVNP

Yucca Valley, California

desert escapes


Arches National Park, Utah
Bryce National Park, Utah
Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Capital Reef National Park, Utah
Cedar Breaks National Park, Utah
Dolomite Campground, Vegas
Grand Canyon National Park
Lake Mead NRA, Vegas
Moab, Utah
Mount Charleston, Vegas
Red Rock Canyon, Vegas
Vegas Camping, Nevada
Yuma AZ Camping
Zion National Park, Utah