I don’t know about you, but when I am looking to unplug I always run straight for the woods. Living in northern California definitely has its perks and vast options for hiking and camping. After living in Daly City for years, we moved to East Palo Alto and are so happy with all the campgrounds that the southern peninsula has to offer! We recently discovered Sanborn County Park and we are the biggest fans of this park. 30 minutes south of East Palo Alto lies a gorgeous park with RV set ups, hiking trails, campground and so much more! There are so many rushing creeks to see and hiking trails for miles that always lead to small waterfalls that are magic in this drought filled state. A few weeks ago during Labor Day Weekend, my husband and I packed the car, buckled in the kids and toted the dog along for a little rest and relaxation away from tech and society! This park has everything you need for a weekend get away. There is a large open grass field with picnic facilities that you are more than welcome to grill out while the kids play with all the ample space.
The most amazing feature of the park is how shaded it is which is PERFECT for these Hot Summers and even Indian Summer which we are ALL suffering through now. To make your own reservation, click here.
The campsite is a hike in campsite so FOREWARNING it is a bitttt of a struggle getting everything to the site so make sure you try to book campsite #1 which is closest from the parking lot. The most amazing part is they provide huge wagons you can push so you don’t struggle getting everything up the steep hill to the campsite! When we first arrived, we took the time to set up our site with our trusty Coleman 6 Person Tent (there is NO reason you should go below a 4 person tent. I don’t care if there is just two of you….AMPLE ROOM IS BETTER THAN NO ROOM!).
Once we set up the tent, picnic table and grill we took a little hike right down the hill into a beautiful creek that was right below our site! Let me tell you, to find water in this drought filled state that is only 30 minutes away from my house is something I have dreamed about since moving from the beach on the East Coast.
There is something that becomes missing from your soul when you aren’t by the water all the time and Sanborn is just the quick soul recharge that I need from time to time. The most amazing sounds come from rushing water against the rocks, pushing sticks and earth down stream while falling into the mineral filled pools below. Its sooo relaxing and we found ourselves down there for about an hour with some Trulys and happy kids skipping rocks.
When we got finished at the creek, we were all a little famished and decided to head back to the site to get ready for supper. We opted on grilling some AMAZING filipino barbeque I marinated 24 hrs prior, grilled shrimp on the barbie and grilled brussels with bacon.
Before we left I made some delicious potato salad to go with the entire meal that the whole family loved! Grilling out while camping is my absolute FAVORITE and there are so many ways to make it an amazing outdoor dining experience for everyone. To make matters easy on us when we go camping, there are a few things we always make sure we bring and it always make everything go smoother. Listed of importance to bring are:
- Cutting Board
- Marinated Meat on Skewers
- Dry Ice
- Extra Coals or Gas depending on your grill
- Veggies on Skewers (Bacon and Brussel Skewers are AMAZING grilled)
- Dish Soap
- Paper Towels
- Garbage Bags
- 2 Grill Lighters
- Newspaper (for lighting the coals)
These are our necessities that we always bring and I believe that you will find them of great help on your camping trip too!
The next day we woke up and made some sausage and toast for breakfast, fed the dog and packed away all the food back into the locker before heading out on a nice hike! Luckily for us, my kids LOVE hiking. They rarely get too tired, but when they do we always opt to bring out Deuter hiking back which is beyonddd functional with feet straps, has ample room for packing snacks, water and diapers in case of an emergency!
We took a long hike back down to a creek and spent some time among the water basking in the sunlight among the trees. Its such an amazing rest before hiking back to the campsite when you find some of the many small waterfalls that run all throughout Sanborn!
The kids once again had fun skipping rocks and collecting sticks while playing fetch with our pup Ms Dina.
When we all grew weary, we headed back for dinner, cleaned the kids up and put them to bed for a little adult time by the fire. There is no firewood collecting in the park and no nearby store so make sure that you bring ample wood dependent upon how long you are going to stay! My husband is OBSESSED with building a fire and staying out all night so we brought about 6 bundles for our 2 day stay.
Best part of fire is DEFINITELY smores and you know we did just that! What better way to end the day with a chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow sandwich to melt the cares away.
The next morning after a restful night, we made hot dogs with a delicious chili that I had made before at home.
When all was said and done, we packed the car and headed out back to tech county and the hustle and bustle that is Silicon Valley. I am so thankful that we found somewhere that is dog friendly and kid approved for a cheap weekend getaway.
My kids always ask to come back and we do as often as we can for day trips! To anyone that wants to visit and DOESN’T want to camp, a little advice. It is $6 to enter the park and hike BUT there is a small ravine to the left by a small wooden watch tower about 5 minutes before the park where you can park and hike among the water pools and huge rock mountains without having to enter the park. We do this often and its honestly just as gorgeous for a quick weekend hike! I hope you visit Sanborn soon and as always thank you for reading!