Pantoll – A Pleasant Surprise

Fires raged in the Sierra mountains this summer, forcing my husband and I to cancel our long-awaited backpacking trip. So, what did we do instead? We thought “local!” We found Pantoll Campground located on Mt. Tamalpais that seemed like a good alternative for a peaceful getaway. Only a forty-minute drive from home, we felt like we had traveled hundreds of miles, entering into another world. Mt. Tam is a popular tourist attraction, but with packing up all the gear and necessities for camping, we always wanted to drive farther into the mountains. It’s funny how one setback unexpectedly leads to a pleasant surprise. Here’s a glimpse into our weekend…

A visitor quietly joined us in our site.
Our cozy accommodations.
Site #1 presented an open concept of a
raised dining and great room with a
rustic fireplace.
Our backyard, perfectly landscaped.
Hiking nearby with views of San Francisco Bay.
Boiling water in minutes for our freeze-dried
Our only fire because of the red flag warning
for the following day.
Our first beautiful sunset.
Coffee and a gorgeous sunrise. Ahhh…..
A different perspective.
Our once-a-year bacon splurge, using my mom’s
cast iron skillet
that must be about 100 years old!
We hiked to the outdoor mountain theater –
a wonderful, summertime cultural experience.
After hiking uphill a few miles, our legs were
ready for a break.
Back on the trail, views of the SF bay entertained
us again.
It’s all downhill from here. πŸ™‚
Must be 5 O’Clock. Cheers!
Nature’s architecture.

Did you enjoy the scenery? I hope so! We’re glad to have found a local option now, maybe not for backpacking, but at least for camping and hiking. Here in sunny and drought-ridden California, everyone waits for some precipitation to reduce fire danger.
We hope to slip on those backpacks next year…

Thanks for popping in and stay safe,
Lauren ❀️❀️❀️

54 thoughts on “Pantoll – A Pleasant Surprise

    1. Mt. Tam is really beautiful, John, but when the kids were little we headed into the Sierra. But it’s good to have this option now. It’s great that you know the area and I’m glad you enjoyed the pics.

    1. I laughed out loud at your paper cup comment, Jill. No, we like wine glasses, although they are plastic for camping. But they look nicer, don’t they? πŸ™‚ I’m glad you enjoyed the scenery. πŸ’•πŸ·

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Gwen, and I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. There are so many trails, we were in awe. It was funny stumbling upon this campground so close to home after living here for two decades. Life is full of surprises. πŸ™‚

    1. It was literally a pleasant surprise to find this campground since we were in a bind because of the fires. I’m glad you enjoyed and thanks for stopping by, Janis. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Ian, and I understand. For this quick weekend, we didn’t bring the air mattress, which we started using 20 years ago. So sleeping on pads in the bags was fine for two nights only. We still love to backpack, but for camping, we’re thinking of looking at trailers next year, nothing too fancy though – we like to rough it. But a little step up from the tent. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, Robbie. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, especially the one with the bacon. The smell of it cooking is as good as its taste. πŸ™‚ And using my mom’s old skillet is sentimental since she has passed away. πŸ’—

  1. Wow.. What lovely pics and seemed like an amazing adventure!!! Nice to see you having a relaxing time out there β€οΈβ€οΈπŸŒΉπŸ™πŸ€—

  2. With the right attitude, your change of plans was a gift, Lauren. I love the comfy accomodations, the excellent cuisine, and the first class entertainment. And your sense of humor. πŸ™‚ Looks like you had fun.

      1. Your post was such a smiler, Lauren. I loved the tongue-in-cheek photos of the sunrise and sunset, socked in by trees. That’s how they look from my house. You just cracked me up.

    1. Thanks so much, Jane, and I’m grateful that my photos gifted a lovely pause for you. Love and hugs, dear friend, and have a wonderful start to your week. 🧑🍁🧑

  3. I loved your mini tour Lauren. What a beautiful spot. And I can see you guys are organized planners with all you bring with you. Love your mom’s frying pan! Hugs xx

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed, Debby. We were happy to find this local gem in case fires deter us again from backpacking in the mountains. And yes, when we camp, we strive to be as comfortable as possible in our little home in the woods. Mom’s frying pan is definitely sentimental and that bacon was good. Until next year. πŸ™‚ Hugs πŸ’ž

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