A couple of friends and I planned a trip to the Laguna Mountain Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land which is about 25 miles south of Pinnacles National Park. I’ve been there four times before and I love this place. It’s a small campground with four sites, it’s very remote, and the camping is free. We go there in the early summer to ride motorcycles in the Clear Creek Management Area (that was last year’s mega fun) and to do some target practice.
I left work on Thursday afternoon to make sure I got a good spot. The drive out of Santa Cruz at 3pm was very slow going but once I got to Highway 25 all was good. After passing through the town of Hollister, the houses are few and far between and there is lots of open grassland.
Drive, drive, drive then turn left off Highway 25 on Coalinga Road and travel 13 miles to the sign that says Laguna Mountain Campground. The GPS coordinates are 36.367191, -120.828987. When I got there, two of the four sites were occupied but I was lucky to get site #3 which is close to the open field which has a great view of the expansive Hernandez Valley.
On Friday morning I woke up to a very warm day. Katie (my 5 year old puppy dog) and I walked up the fire road towards Laguna Mountain . By 10am it was getting very hot.
Katie and I hiked for about and hour and stopped at the top of a rise overlooking the campsite and the Hernandez Valley and reservoir. Beautiful view but the temp outside was close to 95 degrees.
We hiked back to the RV and cooled off for a bit. I then setup my target range.
I was able to shoot for a couple of hours but the heat was oppressive and the annoying bugs were too much to deal with. Later that night the temperature dropped down into the low 50s and we felt much relief.
With heat and all of the bugs, I just wasn’t having a good time so I decided to leave early Friday morning. While on the road, I called by friends and let them know that the trip was canceled. They were disappointed but at least they didn’t have to live with the heat and those nasty flies.
- May 1-2, 2015
We’ve had lots of good times here in the past so I’m sure we will return in the future.