How we booked our amazing campsite
This is part 2 of our recent Cuyama, California camping recap. You can find part 1 HERE. In this post I’m going to tell y’all how we booked this INSANE/AMAZING/GORG camping property. And no, none of this is sponsored in any way. I just love this service so much I had to share.
Once we decided we wanted to go camping, we had to find the ideal spot. In general, I don’t like state or local campgrounds because they are SO crowded and claustrophobic. And most of them do not allow you to have your dog off-leash. For this trip I was picturing an ideal out-West situation: mountains in the background, Shadow running around freely, and not many people.
Finding a campground that allows you open space, but also has basic amenities (like running water) is nearly impossible. So I started googling and I found this website/service called HIPCAMP. Essentially it’s like an Airbnb, but for camping. People list their private land, ranches, farms, and properties on Hipcamp and then people can book the properties and camp there. Some are really decked out, and some are more primitive.
The place we camped at is called SONGDOG RANCH. I’m not sure if the pictures do it justice. Do you ever feel like some pieces of land just have a different energy about them? Some good, some bad, (some kinda creepy)? Well this land had a really good energy. It felt kind of magical.
Songdog Ranch is about an hour and a half north of LA. It’s in a remote neck of the woods. The property is nestled off of a forest service road. The ranch owner, Jim, has built a camping wonderland on top of a a mesa, overlooking mountains in the distance. He built a gorgeous lodge and massive BBQ station that gets rented nearly every weekend for events and reunions. There are quite a few camping sites, each equipped with water, a picnic table, shelter, and a fire pit. The site’s are far apart from each other, and so carefully concealed that it doesn’t feel cramped at all. Since we went camping during the week, we had the entire place to ourselves.
Shadow had a BLAST. It was so nice to let her off leash and let her run and run and run. At sunset we’d go for a family walk around the property and she’d trot in front of us looking back every minute or so to make sure we were still tagging along. Since there was hardly any light pollution, the stars were so bright. We heard a ton of coyotes howling at night which was really cool — although Shadow would beg to differ haha.