Gravelly Valley Camping, Mendocino National Forrest, CA

My buddy Joey (Avid guy, but don’t hold that against him) and I finally made it out to Gravelly Valley airstrip, on the Northwest shore of Lake Pillsbury in the Mendocino National Forrest. What a great little place, and time of year to visit.

Our route took us over the gorgeous east side of the Napa region – man thats pretty country. We found a bunch of little grass strips that we hope to visit sometime (Scott, we’ll take you with us).

Up to Clear lake from Berryessa, and up to Gravelly.

Its a big strip – 4000 feet long, and 150 wide. Its actually pretty much a couple dirt roads on each side of a gravel/grass/dirt runway. It was in pretty good shape, but folks come out and do donuts in cars right on the runway – some ruts, but nothing too bad.

There is a good size campground near the lake, at the far southend of the runway, a short walk away. It was fairly full with boaters. We found one camp spot literally off the side of the far end of the runway. You are by yourself as the other campgrounds are further away.

What a pretty spot this time of year. The late spring conditions means it was still green, not very dusty, not too hot, not too cold. Beautiful spot. Bring bug spray though.

We just camped one night. Arrived around 6pm, set up camp, went flying around for 30min or so. We landed all over, finally just doing some short field practice landing in about 3/4 the width of the runway! Then relaxed to a cold beer.

Up early the next AM, we hoped to have Elk on the runway (there are LOTS of Elk herds around, we saw them the night before N. of the runway) but mainly just fog. Broke camp and hung around until 8:30 until the fog lifted, then flew East to Willow for breakfast before home.

Great place – check it out!

Here are some pics and a link to some new video from my ContourHD tail cam (sorry its a bit crooked).

Loaded up and ready to go

Joey in his Avid over Clear Lake

Pretty Flight up!

Not a bad place to camp!!

Looking up the runway


My favorite Shot



One response

17 06 2010

Nice photos of Gravelly Valley. We are lucky we still have such places in California to fly to!

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