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Whaleback Ranch Camp and Tub

96%
·
· California
34 acres
5 sites
1 Lodging
2 RV/Tent
1 RV
1 Tent
*See @whalebackranch on IG for updated photos and videos. Welcome to our land, "the Ranch" as I've known it growing up, which has been in my family for 4 generations now. We've recently made many fun improvements for our own use, including the camp, bathtubs, shower, and trails - and we're excited to offer them. We do this for fun and a little extra income as a teacher (Dan) and army vet, artist (Mariah). Mariah is also the gardener; I have built most of the camp out of recycled redwood. The treehouse is a peaceful and safe relaxation haven; feel free to sleep up there, but at your own risk:) In the MAIN CAMP, there are plenty of tables and chairs to help you decide which view is most beautiful, behind newly installed privacy shades between our house (for two of the campsites that share the hilltop with our house). In that camp is the main outdoor shower and bathtub which you fill with our mineral-rich well water (yep, iron-rich water which gets filtered out once before all taps). There is a full kitchen with sink, cutting boards and utensils, and a gas grill, along with an outlet (NOT FOR LARGE APPLIANCES), hot pot and coffee fixins for the morning, and access to a mini-fridge and microwave in the shed if needed. You're welcome to explore any parts of the property north of the driveway, depending on other campers being there; we generally hang out on our deck or opposite side of the house south of the driveway and enjoy our own space. *For hiking, you can get to "The Whaleback" by walking down past the Safari Tent and toilet, taking your first left and following the main trails which will cover the edges of our 34 acres, about 30 min. hike to the top of the ridge. *The camp is near our main residence, but separated by a communal shed and privacy shades/fences. You may see/hear cars come and go, but we are a quiet and friendly couple (and Mariah's here only half time, splitting custody of her kids). *There is an outdoor compost toilet. You cover your biz with leaves and it starts breaking down, eliminates odor, and will be regenerated into new soil (eventually) to grow flowers. Generally please pee in a bush, or use the commode and dump it in the bushes if you prefer. We generally provide TP, but please bring a roll of toilet paper to be sure it is available and dry. *We have two old dogs! Both are super friendly, but the husky ("Beautiful") will bark at first. She's an alpha for our hilltop but makes friends quickly; feel free to meet her and show you're friendly, then ignore her and/or give her a treat if available in the camp. If you bring pets, please just introduce them slowly at first, and then they should get along famously. Owen, the golden retriever, is just a big lover - and they're both beggars, so if you give either of them food they might never leave you alone :) Throwing a toy or stick should work, or if available, give them treats from the camp to leave you alone. We let them out in the morning and evening but try to keep them out of your hair most of the time. *There are five options to rent: The (private lower) Wedding Spot Safari Tent 6x10 ft. ($95/night with sep. shower/toilet/camp), the larger hilltop Safari Tent 10x12 ft. ($105/night), the Hilltop Campsite ($65/night), the Shelf Campsite ($55/night), and the RV-only spot ($40/night with no amenities). As much as I am able, I try to limit renting both the hilltop Safari Tent and Hilltop Campsite, but you may share the kitchen facilities with the Shelf campers, who have their own space. The (private lower) Wedding Spot Safari Tent has all its own amenities and RV-only spot has no amenities. *This is a beautiful, serene, and peaceful spot! We invite you to come contribute to that energy.
Activities
Biking
Hiking
Wildlife watching
Natural features
Forest
Canyon
Mountainous
Field
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Location
California, United StatesTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
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Hosted by Dan C.Joined in May 2021
96%
45 ratings · 37 reviews
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Trey S.recommends
December 15, 2022
RV only spot
Great Location for a Great Price
Dan was a great host for our stay. It’s tough to beat the price for the location and privacy. We had a little bit of unlucky weather while we were there, but still got to enjoy some of the many wineries in the area. I would mention that the length of our truck and rig was definitely putting the entrance to the test. We are about 58 feet long hooked up, and it was pretty tight turning into the property, but we made it! You probably wouldn’t want to be much longer than that. Once in, we had no problems getting situated. I would highly recommend Dan’s place if you’re in the area!
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Amie A.recommends
December 8, 2022
Hilltop Safari Tent
Sweet Spot
I booked on instant book late in the day and Dan was great at getting the tent and tub set up for me. I wish I could have arrived for the sunset but the full moon made up for that! Very friendly.
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Carol K.recommends
November 22, 2022
RV only spot
Great place! We stayed in the low RV spot and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Dan was a wonderful host and very helpful upon arrival. Very convenient location.
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Julie W.recommends
November 19, 2022
Hilltop Tent/RV spots
Beautiful top of the hill camping spot close to the house for the sprinter. People gave low reviews for the composting toilet but it was fine. Private, great view and no smell or flies. We used the sink and electrical outlets for cooking. The outdoor shower had plenty of hot water. There was a tub but we didn’t use it. It was conveniently between St Helena, Calistoga and Healdsberg
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Richard S.recommends
November 13, 2022
More private tent/RV spot
Quiet mellow spot near fun town of Calistoga…host Dan very friendly
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Brenton D.recommends
October 31, 2022
More private tent/RV spot
Camping under the stars
I loved camping on Dan’s land. It was so quiet and peaceful. We were able to watch the stars at night. There were several trails on the land too which we took advantage of. Dan was a great host. He showed us around when we first got there and brought us a few additional blankets for the cool night. Dan has two dogs which were super sweet and got along with our little shitzu.
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Sarah M.recommends
October 27, 2022
Hilltop Tent/RV spots
I was looking for peace and quiet, and that is what this land offers, with lovely views over the hills and a beautiful sunset, especially from the treehouse hammock. Absolutely loved indulging in an evening soak in the bathtub perched at the edge of a cliff. I was lucky to be the only camper last night, so I had my own private experience; if multiple campsites are occupied, you’ll definitely encounter other campers nearby. The stars were incredible last night! Must like dogs as they will follow you around, but they’re friendly; watch out for doggie doo all over the ground, but it’s easy to avoid. Dan was such a gracious host to accommodate my last-minute reservation, show me around the camp kitchen/bath, and to give me a jump on the spot this morning when my car battery died, thank you! He was very warm and kind and gave me privacy, which I especially appreciated as a female camping solo. Special spot here!
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Gina P.recommends
October 25, 2022
Safari Tent #2 (very private)
We had such a wonderful stay at Whaleback Ranch! The new tent site, "Wedding Spot" is so private and sweet. We were actually the first guests to be able to check it out, and we were very impressed. The tent is warm and cozy, with a comfortable bed and nice linens. Further down the barked path there is a cool outdoor shower setup with hot water; we didn't use it this time but it looked pretty sweet. The kitchen space is well equipped too, with a bunch of dishes and supplies and a sink and table. We had brought our own cooler and coffee making set up and had a pretty sweet picnic! There's also a composting toilet behind a really cool privacy screen made of downed wood. It's a nice private spot just a few minute walk from the upper parking area (I wouldn't have tried to bring our motorcycle or car down the barked path) but carrying our supplies down wasn't bad at all.
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Karen R.recommends
October 24, 2022
Hilltop Safari Tent
Dan was very kind. He reached out a number of times to check on when I was arriving. His property is very close to Calistoga wineries and easy to locate even in the dark. His tent cabin is very sweet. It is quiet and he has two friendly dogs.
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Harry H.recommends
October 23, 2022
Hilltop Tent/RV spots
Oct 22
Much thanks to Dan and Mariah for a great weekend their site and amenities were more than expected and their really cool pups greeted us and befriended our lil pup lots of quiet and beautiful skylines we will return soon hh
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Kathy C.recommends
October 16, 2022
Hilltop Tent/RV spots
This was a beautiful setting - gorgeous views all around - and great walking trails were easily accessible. Also really appreciated the sink and running water to wash dishes, makeshift shower and tub, and refrigerator and electric kettle.
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Michael.recommends
October 4, 2022
Hilltop Tent/RV spots
My plans changed so I never was able to camp there. I look forward to camping there sometime in the future.
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Tiara W.recommends
September 30, 2022
More private tent/RV spot
Beautiful getaway
Gorgeous view of Sonoma on one side and Napa to the other. Dan is a gracious host. Extremely responsive and accommodating of requests. His senior dogs are so cute and friendly. Our 4 little dachshunds are afraid of big dogs and so kept barking at them. Too bad they couldn't be friends... Ecclectic little spot with a fun way of reusing common things around a house to create something new (e.g. a shower outdoors, kitchen etc). Pictures don't do it justice. The only thing that's not my cup of tea is the compost and pee toilet outside. It's clean and doesn't smell at all but I just wasn't a fan. Dan was clear about it going in so we knew what to expect and wanted to try a different experience. This only con was because of my personal preference
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Sarah K.recommends
September 25, 2022
More private tent/RV spot
Best campsite in Calistoga!! A beautiful spot with wonderful hosts. Staying on their property was peaceful, and especially enjoyable if you love dogs. Their 2 elderly dogs, hung with us as we set up our camp🥰. I highly recommend staying there if you enjoy camping and want something different than a hotel room. We will definitely stay there in future when we visit Calistoga!
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Kyla H.recommends
September 13, 2022
Hilltop Tent/RV spots
Perfectly peaceful little stay.
This site was lovely! So peaceful and a great location. The outdoor tub and shower was a perfect touch to end the day. Would stay here again when we return to the area.
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Ben G.recommends
September 5, 2022
Hilltop Tent/RV spots
Awesome, private camping spot. Nice amenities and Dan is a welcoming and communicative host.
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Yvonne L.recommends
August 27, 2022
More private tent/RV spot
Hidden gem
If you’re wine tasting in Calistoga and don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for a hotel room. Stay at Dan‘s place for a night. The toilet is a little special but with outstanding views 😁. Very quiet spot with only two camping parties allowed.
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John O.recommends
August 21, 2022
Hilltop Tent/RV spots
Dan was a fantastic host, and the property is very well situated. He got us checked in and situated and was quick to offer some suggestions in town as we were going to head out to dinner. The shower in the morning hit the spot, and they are not kidding, saying there s a well-stocked camping kitchen. I'd left in a hurry for this last-minute trip, but cups, spoons, and even an electric kettle for me to get the coffee going in the morning were all right there! And the two dogs could be adorable. Happy to say I got some quality time with the two pups with some god tug o war and chasing around the campsite. Thanks again, and looking forward to staying again in the near future. -John
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Georgina S.recommends
August 21, 2022
More private tent/RV spot
Camping near Napa Valley
The Whaleback Ranch camp experience was awesome! Host instructions were clearly explained in a binder on site and also explained with host greeting me on arrival. Other guests were super cool and friendly. My dog and I enjoyed a restful, fun, scenic and economical stay in our exploration of Calistoga and nearby Santa Rosa and St. Helena.
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Mark B.
August 10, 2022
Hilltop Tent/RV spots
Very strange and dirty camp setup. Not happy about the water boy working as a power failures also occurred. Hope they fix this issue for others with kids. Not much to do and weirdly put together not safe and price should be lower if they dont even know how to put one of these together! Then if you're going to be doing this think at least of how to be better hosts and better at making people feel comfortable instead of ruining the stay even more by making so we had to leave at 2am!!! Never going back would never recommend these people!!! Oh and the compost toilet is disgusting you might even fall off the thing is barely supported!! And the tree house is just a deck constructed over a very half ass build shower/hot water set-up that has smelly mucky water!!!!!!
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Erin C.recommends
August 8, 2022
Hilltop Safari Tent
Had a really nice time staying here. The terrain was beautiful and the glamping tent was really cool and comfortable. Dan was very responsive even though he was on his honeymoon!
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Rita R.recommends
July 29, 2022
Hilltop Tent/RV spots
Camping in Nature
It was nice to have a secure, safe spot to camp. We were in a self-contained vehicle, so we didn’t need to use any of the facilities. It was very quiet at night and down nicely after a rather hot day
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Victor T.recommends
July 17, 2022
Hilltop Tent/RV spots
Dan and Mariah were sweet and considerate hosts. Their property is in a wonderful location with nice mountain vistas. The private unwalled potty is clever and the on-demand water heater is so smart, I want one too! We visited Calistoga during some really hot days: up to 96F. But the nights cooled down to 55F and we were quite comfortable in our tent.
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Angie R.recommends
July 11, 2022
Hilltop Safari Tent
All of your glamping dreams come true at Dan's place. The tent was spacious, the bed was comfy, the view was incredible.
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Adam L.
July 3, 2022
Hilltop Safari Tent
Not private but great views
Everything was as promised except that I was under the impression that the camp site was more private and isolated. But it's actually right next to the main house with people, dogs, and cars coming and going. So it, unfortunately, was not the private retreat I was hoping for.
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Kara H.recommends
June 27, 2022
Hilltop Tent/RV spots
Dog lover? This is for you.
The host's dogs are friendly although a bit persistent. A few treats and they acted like we were their people. The outdoor kitchen was well-equipped and made meal prep easy. The shower and the privy are open air although this does give you an opportunity to take in the lovely hilltop views during all aspects of your stay. Lots of space to any neighbors. Very peaceful.
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Amber G.recommends
June 22, 2022
Hilltop Tent/RV spots
Almost glamping!
Dan’s spot was perfect for what we needed. I loved the bath experience, outdoor kitchen area, hot water availability, and electric outlets. The views were nice. We were conveniently located near petrified forest and wine country. Some considerations for future visitors- there are two large friendly dogs. It’s their home so there were some landmines around the campsite. Dan came out with a shovel and scooped and we did have to do some scoop maintenance during our visit. Also, the site is rather close to the home where the owners reside. That being said, it still felt very private and we used the tub cover propped for additional privacy while I bathed. The outdoor toilet is compost so essentially an outhouse with no house! Didn’t bother me or my husband a bit. We did do some hiking and there is petrified ash fallout for exploring. I would definitely stay here again!!!
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Dave W.recommends
June 22, 2022
Hilltop Tent/RV spots
Such a peaceful area, with great views, outdoor hot-tubs, and two very friendly dogs
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Marissa M.recommends
June 19, 2022
Hilltop Safari Tent
Rustic But Comfy Glamping w/Dogs
First of all, Dan was super warm and helpful via text before we even arrived. He had restaurant recommendations and made sure we knew to pack for cold nights in the tent. We found the tent and pads super comfortable and plenty spacious for our family of 4. We brought our own sleeping bags and pillows but lay down some of the provided blankets to make extra cushiness for the pads on the floor. We met our hosts and their dogs in person the morning after our first night. The dogs are old and extremely sweet and gentle. Dan and his new wife are so friendly and so sweet with children. We were interested in a place for the kids to swim, so Dan and Mariah led us on a ten minute walk down to a big pond that was perfect! Sure there was some mud and the water was a little cloudy this time, but there were dragonflies, water skeeters, tiny fish, and occasional bullfrog sounds. We enjoyed sitting in the mint-covered banks watching the kids and dogs play in the water. There's also a smaller pond near the campsite where we found time of tiny frogs and tadpoles. Back at the campsite there's a swing and a tall tree house with a hammock in it. The outdoor kitchen has a grill and several sinks. It is stocked with a sponge, dish soap, Dr. Bronner's, and dishes and cutlery for four. The ground near the campsite is rocky and often uneven. This would be a great site for families with kids either pre-walking or ages 3/4+.
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Rebecca B.recommends
June 6, 2022
Hilltop Tent/RV spots
Dan & his wife were amazing hosts. they greeted us when we arrived and gave us recommendations for dinner in town. when we got back, we had a nice soak in the outdoor tub and watched the fog roll in through the mountains; it was beautiful! it rained overnight and they gave us a towel to wipe our things down & plastic bags for our wet items in the morning. very thoughtful! before we left, we wandered on one of the trails on their property and came upon the most idyllic pod; we saw the tiniest cutest frog 🥰 haha we didn’t end up using the outdoor kitchen but it was well equipped! all in all, it was a perfect one night camping get away!
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