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 > East Bay Regional Park District | Embrace Life! > Activities > Camping > Backpacking Sites: Frequently Asked Questions

Backpacking Sites: Frequently Asked Questions

It is recommend to make your backpacking reservations at least five business days in advance so that parking passes and Ohlone permit (if needed) can be mailed to you. The last day to reserve backpacking sites is Wednesday for the upcoming weekend; however, if you make your reservation Tuesday or Wednesday, you will need to pick up your passes/permit at the Reservations Department in Oakland. See below for more information.

When can I make a backpacking reservation?

LAST WEDNESDAY IN OCTOBER: Written Request Deadline for Residents of Alameda and Contra Costa County.

 >  2015 Reservation Request Form Adobe Acrobat PDF

FIRST MONDAY IN NOVEMBER: Phones Open - Residents and organizations based in Alameda and Contra Costa counties may begin making Group Camp or Backpack site reservations for the following calendar year. Requests will be considered in the following order: EBRPD events, picnic reservations part of a special event permit, written requests, and phone requests.

FIRST WEDNESDAY IN DECEMBER: Written Request Deadline for Non-Residents of Alameda and Contra Costa County.

 > 2015 Reservation Request Form Adobe Acrobat PDF

SECOND MONDAY IN JANUARY: Phones Open - Residents outside Alameda and Contra Costa counties may begin making picnic site reservations for the calendar year.

LAST DAY TO RESERVE: Backpacking and group camping reservations must be made no later than five working days in advance IN ORDER TO HAVE PARKING PASSES OR OHLONE WILDERNESS PERMITS MAILED TO YOU.  For Friday through Sunday reservations, the last day to have passes or permits mailed is Monday.

If you are able to come in-person to the Reservations Office at 2950 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland to pick up your parking passes or Ohlone Wilderness Permit(s) (if needed), the reservation cut-off is three working days in advance. For Friday through Sunday reservations, the last day to reserve is Wednesday. The Reservations Office in Oakland is the ONLY location that can issue overnight parking passes for backpacking or group camping at this time. Parking passes cannot be emailed. If reserving less than 5 working days in advance, you are responsible for arriving at the Reservations Department before closing time to pick-up your passes or your reservation will be invalid and no refunds will be issued.

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 through Thursday: 8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M Friday: 8:30 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. Closed Saturdays, Sundays and all District holidays.

Where is parking?

Parking is available at the park entrance of each site. Overnight parking permits must be displayed in 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 pay for my reservation?

PAYMENT in full is due at most 7 days after the reservation is made, and at least 5 business days prior to the camp-out; reservations not paid within this time-frame will be cancelled. The reservations office is not open on weekends or holidays; please plan accordingly.

  1. VISA OR MASTERCARD: You must speak with a reservations agent. Charges are processed immediately and will appear on your statement as "EB Parks - Oakland".
  2. CHECKS are accepted up to 15 days in advance and must be pre-printed.
  3. MONEY ORDERS are accepted up to 5 days in advance.
  4. Cash is only accepted in person at the Reservations office. DO NOT MAIL CASH.

How do I CANCEL or CHANGE my reservation?

NO REFUNDS will be given for dropping nights leading into these holidays: Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. NO REFUNDS will be given for rain during your stay.

If you are calling To Increase or Move Dates To Decrease or Cancel Dates
3 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 3 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 4:30pm on Tuesday or earlier, you would receive $40 refund. by 4:30pm on Wednesday, you would receive $20 refund for Saturday night only. after 4:30pm Wednesday 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-Thursday, 8:30am-4:30pm and Fridays, 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 addition fees?

Dogs are allowed during daytime only. $2 Fee paid at Sunol or Del Valle entry point.

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:

Anthony Chabot Regional Park

Group camping will have priority over backpacking use of the site by virtue of having earlier reservation access to the site. Groups of 10 or less may use the site for backpacking and will be charged backpack fees. The site may be reserved for backpacking no more than 30 days in advance. Two Rocks is located in the middle of Anthony Chabot Regional Park near other group campsites and is connected by a side trail to the Skyline National Trail.

Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

Stewartville Backpack Camp is for the general public. The fee is $5 per night per person. Camping is limited to two nights during the spring, summer and fall. There is room for 20 campers. Picnic tables and a pit toilet are available, as well as water for horses (the water is non-potable and must be filtered or treated for human consumption). The camp is located 3.2 miles from the Preserve headquarters, near the Stewartville and Upper Oil Canyon trails. Camping reservations must be made at least five (5) days in advance. Note: Stewartville Backpack Camp is closed November 1st until Spring.

Mission Peak Regional Preserve

Eagle Spring Backpack Camp offers backpack camping opportunities. Reservation is required. To make a reservation, call 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, press option 2.

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve

There is a backpack campsite in the Regional Preserve, 4.5 miles from the staging area. Reservation is required to use the campsite. To make a reservation, call 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, press option 2.

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, Volmer 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.

Vehicles must be parked in the staging area and display a valid overnight parking permit: 3 parking permits are included in the reservation and will be mailed 5 days in advance. No additional parking permits are available.

Reservation must be completed at least 5 days in advance.

To make a reservation, call 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, press option 2.

Sunol/Ohlone Regional Wilderness

Overnight camping at designated backpacking sites along the Ohlone Wilderness Trail and Sunol backpack area is allowed by reservation only. Reservations must be made at least five (5) business days in advance. Call 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, press option 2. Backpacking Fee: $5 per night per person For general information about Sunol Park and/or the Ohlone Wilderness, phone Sunol Regional Wilderness at (925) 862-2244.
Group and family campsites at Sunol Park are closed until further notice. Visit the Sunol Park page.

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.

Round Valley Regional Preserve

When not in use as a Group Camp, the site is available to the general public for backpacking (no more than 30 days in advance). One group camping site; 25-person maximum. Non-potable water available at the site. There are leveled tent spaces, picnic tables, and a disabled accessible restroom. It's a 3.6-mile walk from the Marsh Creek staging area. Two cars can go to the site to carry materials; no shuttling, campers must walk from the staging area.
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