Spoiler alert: Our swimming hole is about done for the season. Walk in a couple of hundred feet to a site adjacent to the Tule River on a fully-protected working cattle ranch and nature preserve. Don't worry- no cows allowed in the river!
SYCAMORE ARCH overlooks the river from a flat perch that is cradled by a beautiful California Sycamore. It is close to Turtle Cove, our swim hole.
This site has a maximum of two tents and four people. It is very close to our River Barn with tables and chairs under the roof of a 900 sq. ft. rustic structure.
Kitchen access: Please note: you are expected to leave the ranch and kitchen area as you found it, i.e., dishes washed thoroughly and dried and put away, recycling separated from trash, food scraps in compost buckets, sticky marshmallow removed from forks and surfaces (ick!). Thank you.
Please enjoy: includes use of refrigerator, microwave, oven, cook top, sinks, dishes, glassware, utensils, etc. 10' diameter river rock fire pit (BYO FIREWOOD), bbq's (bring own charcoal, please), swimming in North Fork Tule as season allows, miles of hiking trails on ranch.
River Ridge goes from 1,000' elev. to 3,000' elev. and passes from 3/4 of a mile of superb riparian corridor through Valley Oak grassland to Blue Oak Woodland and ends in Chaparral. Abundant wildlife. Next to Giant Sequoia National Monument (free).
We are about a one hour drive to Sequoia National Park, but we're only 16 miles to groves up Hwy 190. There are 33 giant sequoia groves in our Southern Region of the Giant Sequoia National Monument, some easily driven to and some remote.
Our ranch is a nature preserve, a working cattle ranch and an educational/demonstration site, teaching sustainable and regenerative land use practices. River Ridge Institute, our non-profit, hosts a variety of events for the public. During the Spring, early Summer and then in the Fall, JAM Wednesday runs from 6-9 PM: BYO dinner and bevs and hang out in the 2,000 sq. ft. Pavilion while locals take turns at the mic. Or, bring it on! Always looking for standup comics.... :)
Please see the Rules and Safety section to review our Waiver of Liability.
Our friends at WildPlaces host all kinds of community outdoor events and are a Hipcamp site, too.
- Check in: After 3PM
- Check out: Before 12PM
- Cancellation policy: Moderate
- On arrival: Go straight to camp
- Minimum nights: None
- Accepts bookings: 6 months out
The vibe at Sycamore Arch
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
River Ridge Ranch is a special treat. This is a spot you enjoy whether you are an experienced camper or camping for the first time. The campsites are large and well-spaced with perfect options for having both sun and shade all day long. They are very private and at night you feel like you are truly out in nature. Yet just a short stroll away are some of the best amenities I've had at any campsite. The kitchen is stocked with dishes, an outdoor stove, grills, and fridge. There was an electric kettle for tea and a french press for coffee. The bathrooms are charmingly rustic outhouses kept impeccably clean, with hand sanitizer and electric lights. The outdoor shower has all the privacy you need while providing a beautiful view of the woods. There is a gorgeous fire ring surrounded by benches that the hosts generously provide some firewood for (no fires at the campsites!). The river and swimming hole are idyllic with a little sand beach- no wading through mud to swim! There are numerous, large shade structures around the property that are as beautiful as they are functional. I'll be coming back for sure, either just to get away from the summer fog for some hot summer weather and with friends who want to experience the outdoors without completely giving up all creature comforts.
The River Ridge Ranch is a true gem. With only 2 camp sites and plenty of space between them, it feels like you're camping alone in an oak wilderness. The swimming hole is beyond lovely, and so refreshing on a hot summer day. The amenities (outdoor kitchen with plates, utensils, cups, and an iron pan plus very clean pit toilets) make camping here easy and comfortable. Gary, the owner and host, is very friendly and a great communicator. It's a beautiful area and I would definitely go back!
We absolutely loved our stay at River Ridge Ranch, not only because it has a beautiful and refreshing swimming hole just steps from the camp spots, but also because Gary and Barbara are such a pleasure to chat with, the ultimate hosts. They are passionate about the property, their mission, and making sure the guests are happy and well taken care of. We visited over July 4th weekend, and the temperatures were soaring, but it was easy to find shade and comfort in the river, communal areas, or a drive up into the mountains. Everything you need to create your meals is available in the outdoor kitchen. The bathrooms were extremely clean and the outdoor shower was heavenly. There is so much space to spread out, yet if you want to be social, you can mingle your fellow campers. Gary even hosted a BBQ on July 3rd and invited us all to eat and get to know each other over shucking corn! We will definitely return, and I want to try other seasons. Spring is supposed to be gorgeous!
What a wonderful weekend getaway!
Gary's co-hosts Jose and Ally were so kind upon our arrival. The property itself is beautiful. It was difficult to build ourselves up for a hike due to the heat but we did take a back trail that led us to the cow pasteur. The small watering hole was relaxing and cooling. We can't say enough about the communal areas, it has everything you need and much more! We can't wait to come back with a bigger group. Our 2 year old had a blast chasing frogs and picking up sticks.
Keep your head up for signs that tell you when there's poison oak! Lots of ants and little frogs, be respectful.
River Ridge Ranch was a true delight. A perfect mixture of outdoorsy camping with everyday amenities (stove, refrigerator, toilet, sink, etc.) while also balancing a private and social element.
My friend and I stopped in for a couple nights and stayed at the campsite nearby the swimming hole.
We checked in late and made it in after dark. The campsite was easy to find and a short 50 yards from where you park your car to where you pitch your tent. Bathrooms, the kitchen area (sink, mini refrigerator and outdoor stove/oven) and the community fire pit is approx 150 yards away. These areas serve as common areas for our campsite, the other campsite on property and 1 AirBNB cabin. Gary cleans the common area daily and is available to recommend any nearby hikes, tell you about the outdoor shower, etc.
Though our campsite was private, it was good to have the common areas to go when we were looking to socialize. One night we ended around the firepit with the two AirBNB guests and the other night was one of the last Wednesday JAM nights of the season and a picture perfect experience. All the locals came out bearing picnic baskets and wine bottles as a open mic consisting of singers, guitar players, piano players, stand up comedian, etc. unfolded. It was a beautiful night engaging with a community in a beautiful place at a simpler pace.
The only big thing to note is that a fire is not allowed AT the campsite. You must walk the approx 150 yards to the common area to keep a fire in the large handmade pit. Wasn't a huge deterrence, just encouraged us to hangout more in the common area then return to our campsite when we were ready to turn in for the night.
I will 100% be returning to River Ridge Ranch and looking forward to bringing a bigger group. The hosts were wonderful, the setting relaxing and the land perfect for private camping.