Wa Ka Luu Hep Yoo Campground

Dorrington, California

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Wa Ka Luu Hep Yoo (sometimes spelled Wakaluu Hepyoo) means wild river in the Native American dialect, Miwuk. The campground sits on a sloping bank above the Stanislaus River, in woods where Miwuks lived seasonally for more than 2,000 years. Wa Ka Luu Hep Yoo hosts incredibly nice camping, yet still preserves historic Miwuk features, including grinding stones and middens. It’s a great cultural experience, accentuated by campground signs in both English and Miwuk. Wa Ka Luu Hep Yoo would be a wonderful campground even without its location on the Stanislaus River, but the large rushing waterway boosts the camping experience to the upper echelon of California tent pitching. Downslope from the campsites, the river is easily reached by a paved and dirt-trail network that threads through the campground. Fishing is popular, and although signs warn about strong currents and drownings, on a hot day it’s nearly impossible to resist taking a dip in the pristine, crystal clear, and cool water. Use good sense here: if you want to take the plunge, stick to the deep, placid pools, and away from the shallows where the current is strongest, and keep small children out of the river. Giant rock slabs lining the river make perfect lounges for basking in the sun. It’s a 5-mile, class-IV whitewater trip from the raft access at the Sourgrass day-use lot (across the river from the campground) to Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

Wa Ka Luu Hep Yoo Campground Professional Review and Guide

"Wa Ka Luu Hep Yoo (sometimes spelled Wakaluu Hepyoo) means wild river in the Native American dialect, Miwuk. The campground sits on a sloping bank above the Stanislaus River, in woods where Miwuks lived seasonally for more than 2,000 years. Wa Ka Luu Hep Yoo hosts incredibly nice camping, yet still preserves historic Miwuk features, including grinding stones and middens. It’s a great cultural experience, accentuated by campground signs in both English and Miwuk. Wa Ka Luu Hep Yoo would be a wonderful campground even without its location on the Stanislaus River, but the large rushing waterway boosts the camping experience to the upper echelon of California tent pitching. Downslope from the campsites, the river is easily reached by a paved and dirt-trail network that threads through the campground. Fishing is popular, and although signs warn about strong currents and drownings, on a hot day it’s nearly impossible to resist taking a dip in the pristine, crystal clear, and cool water. Use good sense here: if you want to take the plunge, stick to the deep, placid pools, and away from the shallows where the current is strongest, and keep small children out of the river. Giant rock slabs lining the river make perfect lounges for basking in the sun. It’s a 5-mile, class-IV whitewater trip from the raft access at the Sourgrass day-use lot (across the river from the campground) to Calaveras Big Trees State Park."

Activity Type: Campgrounds
Nearby City: Dorrington
Campsites: 52 sites for tents
Season: Open June through October
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Stanislaus National Forest
Driving Directions: Directions to Wa Ka Luu Hep Yoo Campground

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May 2018