California: Mt. Madonna County Park (near Gilroy) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-28-2013, 09:58 AM   #1
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California: Mt. Madonna County Park (near Gilroy)

This is one of those places I'm tempted to keep quiet about. It's up at the top of Hecker Pass, that windy road that goes from Gilroy to Watsonville on 152. After you leave 152 the road is very steep but wide and paved. I crawled up it in 1st and 2nd pulling only the Campster (and I was doing 55 on 152).

Once you get there, bypass the RV sites. They are nice enough, and there are showers in that area, but the real gems are in Loops 2 and 3, which have no hookups. Read the reservation list carefully as not all sites are long enough for a trailer. Sites are paved but a few are too steep, also. There are plenty of shaded sites, some more private than others, some close together if you camp with friends. Every site has a storage unit for food (protection from raccoons) and a fire pit with grill or stone fireplace with grill, and picnic table. Each loop has a restroom with flush toilets, no hot water, forced air hand dryers.

I'll just add a few pictures now.

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My first two nights- slightly sloped, slightly short, but no problem, I could have backed up another five feet.

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Big open site, but very sloped. I spent the last night here and could just barely level the trailer front to back. Side to side was fine.

Accidentally included the same picture twice and can't delete it, sorry.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:02 AM   #2
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A few more pictures- these are some of the other sites.

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Above is one of the best sites in Loop 3- private once you've parked there, long, fairly level. Not as good for really hot weather.

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Loop 2 is really heavily wooded, this is just woods, not a site.

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Two smallish sites together in loop 3- a couple of 13 footers camping together would like this, a very private cooking area and meadow, lots of shade.

I didn't get a picture but Loop 3 also has some nice sites surrounding a small hill- it would be heaven for children to explore and play on.

There are tons of hiking trails in the area, short to longer, one about a mile back to the RV loops and showers. There is a dump station, too.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
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And a number of very good wineries just down the road towards Gilroy!
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:35 AM   #4
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True. We didn't find the need to go exploring beyond the park but there is much to do on either side of the pass for those who do, or stay longer. (Summer limit is 14 days total, off-season 14 consecutive days.)
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:38 PM   #5
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Isn't Gilroy where they have a garlic festival? Certainly you'd prefer garlic to wine.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:40 PM   #6
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I got my whiff of garlic driving through Gilroy. I think Gilroy has permanently turned me off garlic- can't imagine what the Garlic Festival must be like when just driving through it is so odorific.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:07 PM   #7
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I went to the Garlic Festival it's first year, and it's only grown bigger since, so I avoid the mobs now. You haven't lived until you've tried garlic ice cream, however!

Gilroy Garlic Festival | July 26th, 27th & 28th | 35th Annual 1979-2013 Home Gilroy Garlic Festival | July 26th, 27th & 28th | 35th Annual 1979-2013
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:14 PM   #8
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Nice pictures of the park. I've hiked there many times but haven't camp there yet. You're right the road right before the park is very steep. Many trails in the park are also steep.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:21 PM   #9
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If your ever around New Denver BC early sept they have a great. Garlic festival.
Blue grass music fills the air along with the odor my wife loves
So I have to have some so I can be around her!
Its a hippie event so its not the only odor,,,,
One of the neatest things we've done.
Fred
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