2 lodging sites · 1 RV/tent site · 1 RV site · 1 tent site
Hipcampers say this spot has amazing views.
Pets can be off-leash at some sites.
*See @whalebackranch on IG for updated photos and videos.
Welcome to Whaleback Ridge, named after the ridgeline that my great-grandparents called "the Whaleback" to the Northern edge of our property. I grew up here, and my family is the 5th generation to work this land. We've recently made many fun improvements for our own use, including the camp, bathtub, 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 artist (Mariah).
Mariah is also the gardener; I have built most of the camp out of recycled redwood from my mom's old deck. The treehouse is a peaceful and safe relaxation haven; feel free to sleep up there. Please know that you use at your own risk, and mind the gaps in the metal guardrail and strap.
Currently, we have a family who rents the main house, which shares the 'hilltop' with the Sunrise Camp and the Coral Cabin. The main house is also VERY NEAR the 'Shelf, more private campsite.' Our tenants are an active family and cars may come and go - which might be more disruptive, just a heads up! The Married Manzanitas and Shaded Oak sites are private. And besides cars coming and going sometimes, the family is very quiet and you will barely see them.
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 (which is filtered). There is an outdoor kitchen space with lots of kitchen wares, spices, and cooking condiments, with dry storage for everything inside the yellow shed. Everything from the shed can go back and forth between being stored outside or in the shed itself. You have use of the gas grill and outside outlets to heat food/drink with hot pot and coffee fixins for the morning. There is also access to a SHARED mini-fridge and microwave in the shed if needed; just plug in the fridge.
You're welcome to explore any parts of the property *north* of the driveway and hilltop, being considerate of other campers present at the 3 other campsites. 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 Coral Cabin and toilet, taking your FIRST left trail and following the main trails which will cover the edges of our 34 acres, about 30-45 min. hike to the top of the ridge. These trails do get overgrown, and it is wilderness - long pants and hiking boots required.
*I may or may not be present on site, but I AM the main point of contact by text. If you need wifi to send a text, find the info sheets at the MAIN CAMP by the yellow shed, at the top of the hill for wifi information (which generally only works for hilltop campsites). In general please don't disturb the house residents unless there is an emergency and I don't respond quickly enough to your text.
*Steer clear of the neighbors down the hill - the first house you see when you drive up the driveway. Please do not disturb them.
*There is an outdoor compost toilet. You cover your biz with leaves and it starts breaking down and eliminates odor immediately. In general, 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 (due to morning mist, other campers, etc).
*We have an old dog! She is a husky-akida mix (her name is "Beautiful") and she will bark at first. She makes friends quickly; feel free to meet her and show you're friendly, then ignore her and/or play with her! But please don't feed her, and watch your food (!). If you bring pets, they should be fine! If yours is at all questionable with new dogs, please just introduce them slowly at first, and then they should get along famously. 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 space most of the time.
*There are seven options to rent: The (private lower) Married Manzanitas, with sep. shower/toilet/camp ($49 /night); the (private lower) Married Manzanitas Safari Tent ($90/night); the hilltop Coral Cabin 10x10 ft. room ($90/night), the Hilltop Campsite ($49/night), the Shelf Campsite ($49/night), the Shaded Oak Campsite ($49/night with no shower), and Shaded Oak #2 RV only ($45/night with no shower or compost toilet; also not level, so requires leveling jacks for RVs -- cinderblocks and boards are provided to help with leveling).
During busy weekends and holidays, the hilltop Coral Cabin and Sunrise Hilltop Campsite sometimes rent simultaneously, meaning you may share the kitchen facilities and tub/shower - can easily all use at different times. Same may happen with the Married Manzanitas campsite and furnished Safari Tent. *If this concerns, you may rent the premium of the two sites and request the other camper site be closed - even if that's the site you really want. If I can rent the premium site, I am happy to block the less expensive site if possible and not rented yet.
Note: The (private lower) Married Manzanitas campsite AND Safari Tent share camp kitchen and other amenities, including the second 'throne' and second shower on the property. The Married Manzanitas is also the only site that does not accommodate an RV.
*This is a beautiful, serene, and peaceful spot! We invite you to come contribute to that energy.
Calistoga, Sonoma, California, United StatesTraditional, ancestral territory of Wappo and Miwok First Nations according to To respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Dan C.Joined in May 2021
Response rate: 100%Response time: Within 2 hours
92 ratings · 72 reviews
November 24, 2023
Sunrise Hilltop Campsite
Pros: beautiful rural setting on a hill but only 15 min from town, prompt responses from host when needed, microwave with use of dishes
Cons: outdoor shower and tub a hassle to use - turning on propane, water inconsistently hot, shower platform and overall appearance of camping area funky.
November 1, 2023
Married Manzanitas Private Campsite
You should stay here!
This is a nice HipCamp in a great location with an AWESOME host.
The site is quiet, private and very close to Calistoga. I couldn’t drive my Prius all the way (bumpy road), but the walk takes about 60 seconds & is very easy.
I stayed in the roomy safari tent, furnished w/ double bed, upholstered love seat & desk. Clean bed linens!
The camp kitchen was equipped w/ everything you need, but I brought my own stuff (& it’s easy to drive to Calistoga for coffee or meals). There also is a table w/ chairs by two big, beautiful manzanitas that presumably gave Married Manzanitas its name.
There is an outdoor composting toilet and a hot shower. Both have semi-private privacy screens. I had the entire HipCamp to myself, so I was not concerned about privacy.
I enjoyed hanging out, exploring Calistoga & hiking the Oat Hill Mine Trail (beautiful views!)
The camp is very nice as long as you remember this is HipCamp, not Airbnb. You’re essentially car camping with a big furnished tent already pitched for you, a stocked camp kitchen (bring your own food), and semiprivate outdoor toilet & shower. There are no campfires allowed. This place is pet friendly.
Saving the best for last, the real standout was the camp host/landowner Dan. His communications—including response time—were stellar. He was so solicitous & ready to help with any problems or answers to questions. I would recommend this HipCamp based on the quality of the camp host alone. Thanks, Dan. I hope to stay again!
October 16, 2023
Married Manzanitas Private Campsite
This is a great settup right outside of Calistoga. It’s super easy to get to from downtown and or from the main road and gives you a full forest camping experience with all the amenities you need. Dan is also a very accommodating and responsive host. Would stay again!
October 7, 2023
Sunrise Hilltop Campsite
Charming hilltop tent/rv site with outdoor shower, outdoor kitchen and a treehouse. Nice views. Dan is kind and helpful. All the amenities are homemade and rustic. We had a great time.
October 5, 2023
The Shelf 'More Private' Campsite
Beautiful scenery! This was a perfect location for our trip to Calistoga.
October 2, 2023
Sunrise Hilltop Campsite
Dan is the man with a plan. He helped us with an issue we had with our stuff. Also the site was lovely and the neighbor doggo was adorable. Thanks Dan!