A Peaceful Stay at Anthony Chabot Regional Park in the East Bay

The campground at Anthony Chabot Regional Park in the East Bay’s Castro Valley, just outside Oakland, is a true gem. There are 12 full hookup sites and ~60 non-hookup/tent/group sites, some of them having views of Lake Chabot. The drive in is curvy and steep and narrow, and it’s not very easy to back into a lot of the FHU sites, but we were surrounded by bright, green grass and towering eucalyptus trees. It was crazy quiet and super peaceful, and about an hour drive into SF; 25-30 minutes to Oakland. Cell signal was good and we had no issue being able to work or stream.

Campground Stats

Name: Anthony Chabot Campground

Address: 9999 Redwood Rd, Castro Valley, CA 94605

Website: www.reserveamerica.com

Dates Stayed: November 14, 2021 – November 18, 2021

Site: 12

Rate: $45.00

Speed Test: AT&T – 31.9 Mbps down/6.54 Mbps up

Amenities:

  • Full Hookups
  • Pull-Through Sites
  • Tent Sites
  • Group Sites
  • Equestrian Sites
  • Picnic Table
  • Fire Pit
  • Firewood for Sale ($10/bundle)
  • Restrooms with Showers
  • Hiking Trails
  • Biking Trails
  • Horse Trails
  • Fishing
  • Water Spigots
  • Dump Station
  • Gated from 10pm to 8am

I did a lot of research when reserving a site and feel we ended up with the best site in the full hookups area. The road through the campground is narrow and lined with trees, and the sites aren’t angled as much as they should be, so backing into our site was quite difficult and took a bit of time. Some of the other sites are much easier to get into, but are grouped fairly close together. Site 12 sits far enough away from the one neighboring site and has an abundance of green space around it as it sits at the end of the loop.

Some of the non-hookup sites have nice views of the lake, as seen in the pic below, and seem to be easier to get into than the sites in the FHU area. Only a couple of these sites were occupied during our stay, so the campground was very, very quiet while we were there. I do think weekends can be quite busy, but we stayed a Sunday to a Thursday and there were very few other campers during that time.

Anthony Chabot Regional Park has some nice hiking, biking, and horse trails throughout, with some leaving right from the campground.

From the campground, we took the Honker Bay Trail down to the lakeshore, walked along the lake for a little bit, and then took Huck’s Trail back up to the campground, which made for a nice 2.63-mile loop with 541′ of elevation gain.

The rangers were incredibly helpful during our stay, with one recommending the hike up Brandon Trail to get a view of the bay, downtown Oakland, downtown San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate, and the San Mateo Bridge. We walked out past the campground’s entrance along Towhee Trail until it intersected with Brandon Trail, and then followed Brandon Trail up to the viewpoint. While it may be hard to make out in the picture below, Oakland is to the right with San Francisco right in the middle and the Bay Bridge spanning the water between them. This hike was 2.12 miles roundtrip from our site with 337′ of elevation gain.

Did you know the proper collective term for a group of turkeys is a rafter? Well, you do now. This rafter of wild turkeys would stop by every day for a visit.

We went into San Francisco one day for a little sightseeing. Of course, we had to stop by for a view of the Golden Gate. The view below is near the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center. When we pulled into the parking lot, there were signs posted everywhere about issues with smash and grabs and to not leave any valuables or luggage visible in your vehicle. While the parking lot at the visitor center is small, there’s a lot of traffic with plenty of people coming and going. We didn’t think too much about it, but did make sure there wasn’t anything of value in the truck. We stopped in the welcome center for a souvenir, got our shot of the bridge as seen directly below, and then followed the path along the batteries to another overlook where we got the second and third shots. We then walked back to the parking lot where we found three cars had had their windows smashed, one on either side of us. This took all of 30 minutes to happen. So, I would not recommend parking where we did. Or if you do, make sure absolutely nothing is in your car. Or have one person stay back at the car. We should have gone to a more scenic location to take in views of the bridge, but I didn’t really do any research of where to go and we weren’t really feeling driving across the bridge.

After that experience, we weren’t really in the mood to check out much else. We’ve been to San Francisco multiple times before pre-Airstream and stayed in lovely hotels in lovely neighborhoods and had a lovely time, so the smash and grabs didn’t sour us on the city — just that particular day. We then drove over to the Presidio area, picked up a quick lunch from a coffee shop, and sat by the Yoda Fountain outside Lucasfilm headquarters. The Presidio is gorgeous and wonderful and if we were in a better headspace, we would have explored it more.

On the way back to our little slice of peace and quiet at the campground, we got gas as we knew we wouldn’t be venturing out again, and stopped at the closest grocery store, which is 25 minutes away.

Anthony Chabot is a great place to stay in the Bay Area, especially the East Bay, and we would definitely stay here again. Next stop, Pinnacles National Park!

2021: A Year in Review

The beginning of 2021 found us in Bozeman, Montana, dealing with the first real winter we’ve experienced since we moved from Wisconsin to Southern California in 2011. Thanks to Covid, we decided to spend the winter in our condo that we purchased in July of 2020, instead of heading to warmer climes. Bozeman is as equally as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer, but after almost six months of cold and snow, we were ready to adventure again.

Our very first night back in the Airstream for the year was May 15th. We spent two nights at a nearby campground to get the rig de-winterized and to make sure everything was still functional after its long winter sleep. Besides needing to replace the propane tank hoses, all systems were a go! It was during this first outing that we started a new tradition we refer to as #CampfireSweatshirtSeries. Here’s a sneak peak, but I’ll share more about that later:

Without further ado, our year in numbers:

 

States Visited: 5 | Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and California – We weren’t able to add any new states to our Airstream travel map this year, so our total sits at 20. (And that’s where it will stay, but more on that later.)

Montana | Glacier National Park
Wyoming | Grand Teton National Park
Idaho | Craters of the Moon National Monument
Oregon | Silver Falls State Park – Sublimity, OR
California | Sue-Meg State Park – Trinidad, CA

Miles Traveled: 3,410 | We opted to stay mostly close to home this year and it really made for an enjoyable spring, summer, and fall to not be putting too many miles on.

Gallatin Gateway, MT | May 23

Nights on the Road: 100 | I’m actually pretty happy with this number, seeing as we spent almost the entire first half of the year in our condo.

Anthony Chabot Regional Park – Castro Valley, CA | November 15

Different Overnight Locations: 24 | We had a good mix of site types this year, with a fifth of our nights being spent in national park campgrounds; a healthy blend of city, county, & regional parks; four state parks, all in Oregon; a sprinkle of casino, Harvest Host, & fairgrounds stays; two different KOAs; and the remaining nights being spent in private RV parks/campgrounds.

Millsite Park RV Park – Myrtle Creek, OR | November 5 – 6
Emigrant Springs State Park – Meacham, OR | September 30 – October 2
Azalea Glen RV Park – Trinidad, CA | November 11 – 13

Total Site Fees: $4017.79 | That number is a combination of nightly/weekly/monthly rates, tax, reservation fees, and electricity. It comes out to an average of $42.72/night, which is much higher than we like to spend. However, our not-too-ridiculously-priced place where we usually spend the winter in San Diego County was closed for maintenance and the also-not-too-spendy backup wasn’t available when we first arrived, so we had to settle for one of the holy-crap-this-is-stupid-money RV parks for the last month and a half of the year.

Cheapest Site – $0.00 | Harvest Hosts at Milano Family Winery in Hopland, CA — November 13
Most Expensive Site – $86.15 | West Glacier KOA — July 12 – 15

National Park Service Sites: 6 (Officially) | We revisited a few of our favorite national parks – Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier and Redwood. We also added a new one in Pinnacles. We visited Crater of the Moon National Monument as well, and minus Redwood, our 20 nights in national parks campgrounds were spread across those 5 parks. We also made it to see the Golden Gate Bridge, but didn’t officially cross the bay to Golden Gate National Recreation Area. And one of our favorite places to visit this year was the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, which is actually managed by the U.S. Forest Service as opposed to the National Park Service.

Grand Teton National Park (Stayed at Colter Bay Campground) | May 24 – June 4
Yellowstone National Park (Stayed at Mammoth Campground) | June 29 – July 2
Glacier National Park (Stayed at Fish Creek Campground) | July 8 – 12
Redwood National and State Parks (Stayed at Azalea Glen RV Park) | November 11 – 13
Pinnacles National Park (Stayed at Pinnacles Campground) | November 18 – 19
Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve (Stayed at Lava Flow Campground) | October 27 – 28
Golden Gate Bridge (Stayed at Anthony Chabot Regional Park) | November 14 – 18
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (Stayed at Ainsworth State Park) | October 2 – 4

You can find information about all of the places we’ve stayed and traveled to in previous blog posts.

You can find wrap ups for previous years here: 2018, 2019, and 2020.

As I mentioned earlier, we started a new thing we refer to as the #CampfireSweatshirtSeries. For some reason, we decided to start taking campfire photos at every place we stayed (with a fire pit) while I sported a ‘Campfire Sweatshirt’. Are we weird? Yes. Do these pics bring me joy when I look back at them? Also yes. We have never shared these publicly before, so enjoy!

Cheers to us! at Colter Bay Campground | Grand Teton NP – May 28
Taking in the sights at Mammoth Campground | Yellowstone NP – July 2 (It was too hot for an actual fire.)
Bucks game at Fish Creek Campground | Glacier NP – July 8 (It was still too hot for an actual fire.)
#instahusband at West Glacier KOA | Coram, MT – July 13
Scrabbling at Emigrant Springs State Park | Meacham, OR – September 30
Fireside tea time at Ainsworth State Park | Corbett, OR – October 3
High five for starting a fire in what is essentially a rain forest! at Silver Falls State Park | Sublimity, OR – November 3
“There’s no one else I’d want to live in a 200sqft aluminum can with” at Harris Beach State Park | Brookings, OR – November 7
Caution: Hot at Anthony Chabot Regional Park | Castro Valley, CA – November 15
Our 20th national park at Pinnacles Campground | Pinnacles NP – November 18

We also did a Phase 2 of modifications at Ultimate Airstreams. You can read all about that here, but here are a few pics of what we had done:

We replaced the rounded sink and cabinet with a straight cabinet with new square sink.
This gave us much more room, especially in the area between the sink and the desk.
This of course required a new countertop, so we chose Corian’s rice paper color.
We also replaced the old Atwood stove/oven with a the new Furrion model. We love its look AND functionality!

On the personal front, we got on a plane in July for the first time in a long time to fly to Wisconsin to visit and spend time with family. We explored a lot of things we never got around to while living there, such as:

Lambeau Field Tour and Packers Hall of Fame – Green Bay | We’ve been to plenty of games and we’re even Packers shareholders, but Travis hadn’t done the tour since he was a kid and I had never done it, and neither of us had ever been to the Hall of Fame.

Harley Davidson Museum – Milwaukee | The museum is pretty great and has an onsite restaurant.

Lakeshore State Park – Milwaukee | This is a smaller, urban state park, but is nice for a walk along Lake Michigan.

While in Milwaukee, we were also able to catch the traveling Beyond Van Gogh exhibit…

…and check out Fiserv Forum a few hours before the Bucks won the championship!

Summer in Wisconsin can be pretty great!

We also flew to San Diego in September for our friends’ wedding. This trip actually felt like the kind of vacation we would take pre-Airstream life…

Speaking of pre-Airstream life…

While we didn’t put on a lot of miles this year and most of the places we spent the bulk of our time we had been to before, we really enjoyed our travels this year. However, towards the end of the year we officially decided to do something that we’ve been discussing for a looooong time — we’re selling the Airstream. There are many reasons that go into this decision and I’ll share them at some point, but for now, you can find more information regarding our rig at the blog post here, the RV Trader link here, the Airstream Marketplace link here, or the Airstream Hunter link here. If you are interested, please reach out. If you know someone who may be interested, please pass along our info.