Texas Flats Campground, about 45-60 minutes from the gates of Yosemite National Park in California was one of the more secluded campgrounds I’ve ever found. It takes about 6.5 hours from San Diego, maybe a little more but it’s close to that, and well worth the drive.
If you’re going I’d try to plan for a little longer trip than just the weekend but even a weekend is worth the drive. Coming to the campground you drive for a while off the main roads, take some gravel roads for quite a while and see some amazing landscapes. Mountain streams, grazing cows in flat meadows, dense wooded areas with the sunlight shining through like rays from heaven, it’s a place where I feel very much cut off from the city life I’m so accustomed to.
The campground itself is only maybe 20 spots, could be less, it’s set up for large groups and can accomodate anywhere from 20-40 people per site. The spot we had was so far from the next closest group that when they were up until wee hours of the morning we couldn’t even hear them through our tent walls. Each spot has a large table that’s been made from fallen trees, a grill and a fire pit. Our spot, and I believe every spot, was right on a stream with close access to restrooms. Our camp site had to be close to the size of a football field and the local live on rangers are the best.
We met a ranger the previous year when staying at a campground called Soquel which is just down the road, and the experience was something we still talk about on trips. The ranger came by early in the day and offered to grab things from a local store that one of our friends had forgotten, then later that afternoon brought it back with tons of firewood to boot. Now this past year when we ended up at Texas Flats we see this same ranger, she brought us down this blueberry cobbler and sat around the campfire telling stories most of the night. Something random that just made these trips a constantly talked about and memorable experience for everyone.
If you’re going to Yosemite, want to go to Yosemite or a regular in the area, check out Texas Flats. There are 2 other campgrounds in the same area, Soquel Campground and Greys Mountain, and both are worth the trip but Texas Flats was the best out of the 3. This has turned in to an annual car camp trip and lets us drag our non-backpacker friends along for some good camping and hiking fun.
If you find this and are considering one of these sites, do it, you’ll love it. Happy Trails!