We’ve finally opened for the 2010 camping season! The weather has been throwing us curve balls for the last month or so and we are a bit later in opening than I would have liked this year. Gotta go with the flow out here on the river though. 

Our opening weekend was Memorial Day and we had a great group of campers here at Schoolhouse Canyon. The sun even came out for us, which tends to be kind of important when you are camping. Everyone was in a great mood and there were lots of kids enjoying the park. Considering how many people were here, everyone was really mellow. I think I only had one group that had to be asked to quiet down and they were very good about complying. Coast Guard and their family I think, real nice people.

There was tons of stuff to do over the weekend as Memorial Day is truly the kickoff to the summer season on the Russian river. I missed the community chicken barbecue in Rio Nido and the unauthorized Rolling Stones who played at the Roadhouse down the street. Johnson’s beach had opened though and Colton and I were able to take a quick break on the beach for a burger and a strawberry milkshake.

Most of the campers from the Bay Area have had enough stimulation and things to do by the time they get here and they usually prefer to just chill out at the camp. It can be pretty relaxing to just sit and look up at those big Redwood trees. Add a glass of RR Pinot and a bit of Sonoma Jack and you’ll be in camping Nirvana. Either way, the Russian river resort area is way to fun in the summer time and Schoolhouse Canyon Campground is a great place to stay while you are here.

See ya around the campfire-



About twice a week, I get asked if Schoolhouse Canyon is a state park. It always makes me smile and feel like I’m doing a good job. It’s beautiful here and I consider it a compliment when people look up at the redwood trees and think they are in a state park. 

The campground is in fact a privately owned park that happens to be in a little nicer setting than most of the others on the Russian River. As many of you know, the campsites are secluded and surrounded by redwood trees, most of which have never been cut. The canyon is 6 or 7 acres and is surrounded by a 200 acre nature preserve. Aside from River road, there is very little noise other than what the campers make. 

Unlike so many campgrounds that have gone the way of an RV park (read – paved parking lot) Schoolhouse is still the real deal. If you are a car camper with a tent, a pickup truck owner with a camper on the bed or a Westfalia owning overnighter, this is your campground. You can pop up after work on a Friday night and stay the weekend without much effort. We are only about 90 minutes from San Francisco, but you will feel like you are in a whole different world.


Around here, the California Buckeye trees are the first to lose their leaves in the fall and the first to show buds in the spring. Just after the Buckeye’s bud, the wild Plums bloom and later spread their pedals about like confetti. These are the fist signs of spring at the campground and it means that I need to start thinking about cleaning up the mess that the winter storms left for me. 

I’m sure you are all wondering when Schoolhouse will open for camping, and the answer is late spring. That means likely sometime in the later part of May assuming that the weather is cooperative. I may decide to open for weekend camping a bit earlier than that and if I do, I’ll post it here on the blog. We can’t open too early as the ground is still soft and needs to dry out a bit before we can let cars drive into the sites. Rest assured that it will be worth your wait. I have lots of improvements in the works for this summer and the camp will be better than ever.

Buckeye Bud

Site 30 Winter Creek

California Buckeye Tree


Since most of you visit the campground during the summer, I thought you might like to see what the winter creek looks like when it’s running. The creek runs through the last site in the canyon, site 30. It has a couple of tiny falls and if you hike back far enough, flows over a solid rock wall. As many of you know, site 30 is one of my favorites. It’s probably not right for a family, but is perfect for a couple. Campsites don’t get a whole lot more private than site 30, at least not on the Russian River.


Fall is coming to the river. If you are in the know, this is the time you to visit Schoolhouse Canyon Campground. There are fewer campers this time of year as the kids are back in school and most families are settling in for the season. 

Still, it is about the best time to be here. The leaves are turning color and the weather is still comfortable. With fewer canoes on the water, you will see turtles, Blue Heron, Cotton Tails and if you are lucky, a fox or bobcat.

Schoolhouse Canyon Campground 12600 River Rd. Guerneville, CA 707.869.2311

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