I'm a coach looking to take my cross country team to a training camp this August. We've done Mammoth before which is great but I'm looking for something less expensive. There's probably a lot of great places I'm not thinking of and am looking for suggestions.
So this is what I'm looking for:
Within 8 hour drive of the South Bay Area. It doesn't need to be far away either.
Cheap rentals (condo/house/cabin/camp). I really don't want to do straight camping with 30-40 people.
Decent running. It doesn't have to be amazing running but at least some decent dirt roads or trails and I'm willing to trade inexpensive for okay but not great running.
So letsrun community what ideas do you have?
Sycamore Canyon at Pt Mugu in Malibu/Oxnard sounds like the ideal place for your team.
Excellent trails. It is across the street from a nice beach. There is a tunnel so kids won't have to cross PCH to get to the beach.
No problem with bugs. Flush toilets and hot water for showers if you use tokens.
The downsides: kids will have to want to sleep in a tent. Not a big deal to most kids.
Food: You will have to cook it with a gas stove or drive up to Oxnard or into Malibu for it (about 15-20 minute drive either way). The drive to Oxnard isn't bad and there are tons of places to eat there and the drive to Malibu is super scenic. There are a few good places down the road in Malibu - Subway, one best fast food Mexican food place in Southern California, pizza place.
If have any questions about the place, I can fill you in since I camped there many times to run on those trails.
ah this August...scratch Sycamore Canyon off the list. No way you will be able to get reservations for this year.
There are teams that camp there with about 20-30 kids. One girls team is there almost every year I have been there. On the weekends a few teams go and run in there.
You can try to get a campsite at Malibu State Park to camp. It gets hot there in the summer but it has some nice trails. It doesn't get as full during the summer. It is not at the beach and the hills block the onshore breeze.
They have flush toilets, heated showers. It is about 4 miles from lots of places to eat. And you can drive down to a nice beach for the day about maybe 8 miles down Malibu Canyon.
If you don't want to camp, you can stay at a cheap hotel like the Goodnite Inn in Calabasas and then drive to the trails really close by. Or run to the trail right there but that isn't the best trail. Or can drive to different trails in the area - there are some really nice ones.
I suppose getting even 15 cheap hotel rooms for a week could get expensive, especially since you cannot cook in the rooms.
You could check the reservations at La Jolla Group Campsite just north of Sycamore Canyon at www.reserveamerica.com You could either run the Ray Miller Trail or La Jolla Trail or jog along PCH for about a mile to get into Sycamore Canyon. You can have the kids run up the dunes. That is tough and a unique workout.
I must be bored.
The group site at La Jolla is all booked through August except for one day.
I meant Malibu Creek State Park. I left the Creek part out above.
There are actually spaces available at Sycamore Canyon for this period of August. I am surprised.
Lots of spots open at Malibu Creek State Park in August.
|Some running groupie in SD|
Mt. Laguna Lodge in San Diego at 6000', where a number of elites have trained. Only 17 cabins and 12 hotel rooms, so I would check availability right away.
|another banned poster|
Fort Bragg / Mendocino. Excellent trails all around + nice cool temps in August. I don't have leads on accommodations but a friend's soccer team is up there every year and stay in motels without losing their shirt.
We've gone to Soda Springs the last 11 years. Really nice up there. Lots of good running, trails and dirt roads. You're about a 5-10 min drive to the Pacific Crest Trail trail head. You should be able to get some excellent running there this year. Soda Springs is also home to Royal Gorge XC ski area (the largest in North America) There are a number of ski trails cut through the woods, most aren't maintained for foot or vehicle traffic, but there is some fantastic running to be had on them if you search a little bit. Donner lake is about a 20 minute drive. We do an anual time trial around the lake at the end of camp. The kids feel like they are flying after being on the trails in the hills all week. There is a beach with sand court volleyball. If you go at the end of July/beginning of August, you can be there for 'serene lake days' which is a giant weekend long party with activities and even a 2 mile footrace.
I'm not sure what reasonably priced means to you, but we usually get one cabin and the kids have to pay 100 bucks each for a one week stay (we do a fundraiser during the summer as well).
I'm guessing that you'd probably want 2 cabins with the numbers you are talking about. Here's a link to a rental company up there. You can check out the accomodations. You should talk to Sue Busby (proprietor) to get cabins that are relatively close together.
We've stayed in:
Tamarack (3 times)
Serene Escape (2 times)
Forrest Lakefront (very nice, but a bit small)
Scottish Lakefront (but they've re-modeled and jacked up the price)
Berg Hytte (last year. It was too far from the lake for my taste)
And another house that is not rented by Castle Peak Rentals
Also, consider Julian, at altitude east of San Diego. There is a high school with a track, and a variety of trails which can be found online. The Julian Chamber of Commerce has a list of accomodations in the area.