VW Camper Family

A camping forum for VW bus and camper owners.

I did some reconnaissance at Malakoff Diggins State Park on July 4.  It's a very nice campground with 30 sites.  There are hiking trails leading right from the campground to the historic village and to the diggins. They take reservations, but they are not site specific.  When you arrive, you choose an available spot.  The reservation simply guarantees you a site.  Many sites can accommodate 2 or 3 busses and they don't limit it to 2.  Standard state fees apply: $35 plus $8 per additional vehicle. The group site gate was closed but, from my conversation with the ranger on duty, it doesn't sound very bus friendly-not very level. ($165, 50 people, 16 vehicles, I think). The ranger also said that, except for holiday weekends, they are rarely full.  I have uploaded a map and a few photos for your review.  The upper loop is the nicest and most bus-friendly, IMHO.

*I do not recommend N. Bloomfield/Grizzly Flats Road*. Take Tyler Foote from 49 to Cruzon Grade to Derbec Road.  Or simply follow the signs once you get off Hwy. 49, turning onto Tyler Foote.  The roads change names like crazy up there. Be prepared for some travel on gravel roads.  Unless you are coming from the northwest, be prepared to cross the Yuba River, one way or another.  It's a long way down and a long way up.  And absolutely beautiful.

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we did a class campout there with my 11 year old son and his class.. we all dressed in period clothes for twoo days and lived the way pioneers did back in the gold rush days.. except i camped in my westy... ha ha h a

We camped at Malakoff Diggins 2 weeks ago and loved it. I agree that many of the sites don't have very level parking areas, but also that it was pretty empty when we were there so we had a lot to pick from. We got site #26, which was perfect. The only time they are apparently busy is during their Humbug Days weekend, in early June I think. A week or two before we were there.


Lots of trails, and lots of flowering bear clover all around. We were there with our 2 and 4 year olds, and they really enjoyed it. Especially the free Gold Panning activity they have at 3pm in "town".


You'd think the largest hydraulic gold mining site in the state would be pretty ugly, but it's really not. The mining location is actually down the road a bit, and we really didn't explore that very much. Mostly you're in the pines, and exploring the historic buildings. There is also a pond that has a trail around it. You can fish, but you're not supposed to eat what you catch. We watched the 5 year old daughter of a Ranger catch a fish using a stick with some line on it.


There is a gourmet corner market up the road maybe 15-20 minutes with organics and stuff. Pricey, but tasty.


There are also several geocaches in the park, if you're into that. We are. http://www.geocaching.com. It's really fun with the kids.


One more note. We came in via the paved route going up Hwy 49 and then coming over on Tyler Foote Rd as recommended on the Parks webpage. However, we left via North Bloomfield road, which is gravel, but just fine for a bus. Lots of local drive it in passenger cars. It's only gravel for 5 miles or so. Then you get to the river crossing, which is more scenic than the one on Hwy 49. Then the pavement starts again, which is good, because it's a fairly steep accent up the over side.


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