Backpack Camping: Frequently Asked Questions

Group campsite reservations are by phone only. Check availability at ReserveAmerica.com before you call. Search by park name. “C” = CALL – the date is available.

When can I make a backpack camping reservation?

For In-County Residents of Alameda or Contra Costa County

FIRST WEDNESDAY IN OCTOBER: The Reservation Written Request form will be available here to download. You must fill it out and send to the Reservations Office before the last Wednesday in October. Requests will be considered in the following order: Park District events, reservations part of a special event permit, then the written Reservation Request Forms from in-county residents.

LAST WEDNESDAY IN OCTOBER: Deadline to submit the Reservation Written Request Form

FIRST MONDAY IN NOVEMBER: PHONES OPEN - Residents and organizations based in Alameda and Contra Costa counties may begin calling to make reservations for the following calendar year.

For Out-of-County Residents

FIRST WEDNESDAY IN DECEMBER: The Reservation Written Request form will be available here to download. You must fill it out and send to the Reservations Office before the last Wednesday in December. Requests will be considered in the following order: Park District events, reservations part of a special event permit, written Reservation Request Forms from in-county residents, then out of county resident request forms.

LAST WEDNESDAY IN DECEMBER: Deadline to submit the Reservation Written Request Form

SECOND MONDAY IN JANUARY: PHONES OPEN - Residents and organizations not based in Alameda and Contra Costa counties may begin calling to make reservations for the calendar year.

LAST DAY TO RESERVE: Backpacking and group camping reservations must be made at least FIVE business days prior to your arrival date IN ORDER TO HAVE PARKING PASSES OR OHLONE WILDERNESS PERMITS MAILED TO YOU.

I want my reservation to BEGIN:     Last day Reservation staff can BOOK:  
 Friday   Wednesday (of same week)
 Saturday   Thursday (of same week)
 Sunday   Friday (of same week)
 Monday   Friday (of prior week)
 Tuesday   Friday (of prior week)
 Wednesday   Monday (of same week)
 Thursday   Tuesday (of same week)

Are campfires allowed at these sites?

Please call 1-888-327-2757, press option 2, for site specific information.

Are alcoholic beverages permitted?

Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in any backpack sites.

How much does it cost to reserve a backpacking site?

Age of Camper per Night****
15 and under FREE with adult
16 and over $5.00

****SERVICE FEE: $8.00 non-refundable fee is charged per site reserved.

TO RESERVE BY PHONE: Call East Bay Regional Park District Reservations 1-888-EBPARKS (1-888-327-2757, option 2). Monday-Friday: 8:30am - 4:00pm. Closed Saturdays, Sundays and all District holidays.

Full payment is due at the time of booking. Visa/MasterCard are accepted over the phone. Other methods of payment (checks, money orders, or cash) are accepted but reservations must be made in person at the EBRPD Office in Oakland. Checks must be pre-printed and are accepted up to 15 days in advance. ADVANCED RESERVATIONS FOR ALL BACKPACKING LOCATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Call the Reservations Department for more information.

Where do I park and do I need overnight parking passes?

Overnight parking, with a backpack reservation, is available by permit only. Overnight parking permits are issued by the Reservations Department 7-10 days in advance of your trip for all parks EXCEPT Black Diamond Mines. Parking passes for Black Diamond Mines (Stewartville Backpack Camp) are issued by the Black Diamond Mines staff upon check-in. These permits must be displayed in the windshield of your vehicle.

Why do I need parking passes? Where can I get them?

Your vehicle must have an overnight parking passes displayed in the windshield while you are camping in the backcountry so that you are not cited by the park police. In addition, the parking pass states the dates of your stay and your contact phone number so that we can better assist you in case of emergency. Backpacking overnight passes for all parks (EXCEPT Black Diamond Mines*) are only issued by the Reservations Department in Oakland. At this time, parking passes cannot be emailed or picked up at the park.

*Parking passes for Stewartville Backpack Camp in Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve are picked up at the park office when checking in.

How do I CANCEL or CHANGE my reservation?

NO REFUNDS will be given for rain during your stay.

If you are calling To Increase or Move Dates To Decrease or Cancel Dates
2 OR MORE DAYS before the start of your reservation Pay for any per-person fees for additional nights. Forfeit the $8.00 non-refundable fee you paid to reserve the site, and be refunded per-person fees.
LESS THAN 2 DAYS before the start of your reservation Pay for any per-person fees for additional nights. Forfeit the $8.00 non-refundable fee you paid to reserve the site, forfeit any site fees paid for within the next 48 hours, and be refunded any remaining balance.

For example, if you had 4 adults going backpacking Friday and Saturday nights so you paid $48 (4 adults x $5/person x 2 nights + $8 non- refundable service fee), and you cancel by 4:00pm on Wednesday or earlier, you would receive $40 refund. by 4:00pm on Thursday, you would receive $20 refund for Saturday night only. after 4:00pm Thursday or later, NO REFUND.

What is the cancellation/rescheduling policy for rain/bad weather?

There are no refunds for bad weather. Regular cancellation and rescheduling policies apply.

Will my backpacking trip be affected by Fire Weather or Fire Danger?

In some cases, trails and parks will be closed due to fire weather. Please visit the Closure Link to get information about park closures. If the park is closed due to fire weather, you will be contacted and given a full refund. Please obey posted signs and be aware of our Fire Weather Information before your trip.

What other permits do I need?

Ohlone Wilderness Trail Permit is required for each person, ages 12 and over, to hike beyond Mission Peak Regional Preserve Boundary into S.F. Water District Land along the Ohlone Wilderness Trail. Permits may be purchased at the Sunol Visitor Center, at Del Valle Regional Park or Coyote Hills Regional Park or the Reservations Department. Ohlone Wilderness Permits can also be purchased online or by phone at through the Reservations Department at 888-327-2757, option 2..

What are the hours of the Reservations Department?

Reservations telephone hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:00pm. Please call 1-888-EBPARKS (1-888-327-2757), press option 2, For persons with hearing impairments, please use the Telecommunications Relay Service at 711. The Reservations Office is open for walk-in reservations or questions Monday-Friday, 8:30-5pm.

Are pets allowed? If so, are there any additional fees?

Dogs are allowed at Anthony Chabot, Black Diamond, Morgan Territory, and Sibley. Dogs are allowed along the Sunol-Ohlone Wilderness Trail during the day only and a $2 fee/dog is charged at the Park entrance. Dogs are NOT ALLOWED to stay overnight along the Sunol-Ohlone Wilderness Trail. Dogs are NOT ALLOWED at Round Valley at any time.

What are the quiet hours, if any?

Quiet hours are 10pm to 7am. CAMPGROUND DISTURBANCES: PLEASE CALL 911 ON THE PARK PAYPHONE OR (510) 881-1121 TO NOTIFY PARK POLICE OF AFTER HOURS PROBLEMS that need police attention. Other campers will be glad you brought the problem to the attention of the Regional Parks Police.

Locations:

*ALL backpacking locations require an advanced reservation made at least 2 days prior with the EBRPD Reservations Department. Ohlone Permits are also required for the Ohlone Regional Wilderness. Mailing of permits is not possible under 5 days so please plan to pick up at one of the locations listed above.*

Anthony Chabot Regional Park

Two Rocks, is a large group camp site located in the middle of Anthony Chabot Regional Park. It is near other group campsites and is connected by a side trail to the Skyline National Trail, Bay Ridge Trail, and Juan Bautista de Anza Historic Trail. Two Rocks can be reserved as a backpacking site for groups of 8 or less and no more than 30 days in advance, April through October. This site includes picnic tables, BBQ, fire ring, potable water, and chemical/vault toilets. Camping is limited to 2 nights maximum. Visit Anthony Chabot Regional Park

Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

Stewartville Backpack camp is approximately a 3.2-mile hike-in from the Park headquarters, near the Stewartville and Upper Oil Canyon Trails. This site accommodates 1-20 campers and has picnic tables, a pit toilet, and a non-potable water source (filter, treat, or boil for human consumption). Campers must haul out their own garbage. Camping is limited to 2 nights maximum. Reservations must check-in with the visitor center to obtain overnight parking permits. Site is closed seasonally November – March. Visit Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

Mission Peak Regional Preserve

On the backside of Mission Peak sits the Eagle Springs Backpack Camps (#1-4). These are approximately 4.5 miles from the Stanford Avenue staging area or 4 miles from Sunol. Each of these sites accommodate 1-10 people and include a picnic table. They share a chemical toilet and non-potable water source. Ohlone Trail Permits are also required if you plan hike from Mission Peak towards Sunol along the Ohlone Trail. Visit Mission Peak Regional Preserve

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve

The Morgan Backpack camp is approximately a 4.5-mile hike from the staging area. This site accommodates 1-20 people. It includes several picnic tables, a vault toilet, hitching rails, and non-potable water. Camping is limited to 2 nights maximum. Site is closed seasonally November – April. Visit Morgan Territory Regional Preserve.

Sibley Regional Preserve

The Sibley backpack camp is a small, primitive hike-in site for a maximum of 15 campers, a moderate 0.2 mile walk from the parking lot (NO VEHICLE ACCESS). The site has 160 degree views of Mount Diablo, Vollmer Peak and Tilden Park. There are only two tent pads - approximately 10'x25' and 10'x20'.  Site has 2 picnic tables, 1 serving table, and a pit toilet. No fires/BBQ allowed; only camp stoves allowed. Drinking water is 0.2 miles from camp. Dogs are allowed in camp on leash, must be under owner's control at all times, and must not disturb other animals or park visitors.  Bikes are allowed on the fire trail. Camping is limited to 2 nights maximum. Visit Sibley Regional Preserve

Sunol/Ohlone Regional Wilderness

The Ohlone Wilderness Trail spans 28 miles from Del Valle in Livermore, through Sunol, and ending at Mission Peak in Fremont. Along these 28 miles, there are several locations available for overnight camping. Site capacity varies at each. These sites include (in order from Del Valle towards Mission Peak): Boyd Camp (#1-2); Stewarts Camp; Maggie’s ½ Acre (#1-3); Doe Camp (#1-2); Sunol Backpack Camp which includes Sky Camp, Cathedral, Hawk’s Nest, Oak View, Sycamore, Eagle’s Eyrie, and Star’s Rest; and Eagle Springs (#1-4) on the backside of Mission Peak. Please review the Ohlone Trail map for information about distances and/or elevation. No dogs, alcohol, campfires/BBQ’s, or bicycles are permitted. Visit Sunol Regional Wilderness and Ohlone Regional Wilderness

Note: Ohlone Wilderness Trail Permit is required for each person to hike beyond Mission Peak Regional Preserve Boundary into S.F. Water District Land along the Ohlone Wilderness Trail. Permits may be purchased online at EBParks.org/Register or by phone 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, press option 2. Ohlone Permits are also sold at Del Valle Regional Park, the Sunol Visitor Center and the Coyote Hills Visitor Center. Call ahead or visit park pages for hours. Ohlone Wilderness Trail map

Round Valley Regional Preserve

The Round Valley group camp serves as both a large group campsite and a backpacking campsite. Backpacking reservations can be made for groups of 1-8 people, no more than 30 days in advance. The site is approximately a 3.6-mile hike from the parking lot. It includes: graded tent pads, picnic tables, an ADA vault toilet, hitching rails, and non-potable water. No dogs, alcohol, or campfires/BBQ’s are permitted. Visit Round Valley Regional Preserve.

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