FOTR - Families on the RoadYosemite

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Families On The Road (FOTR) are families who are choosing not to wait until our kids are grown to live on the road. We are living our dreams, exploring America and beyond with our kids.
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California has more than 100 significant waterfalls, many of which are close to campgrounds and easily accessible on foot. Mountain streams and waterfalls are back to life across California after five years of drought, thanks to a series of powerful storms.

Yosemite"These are best storms we've seen in years," said Debbie Sipe,CEO of, a travel planning website featuring more than 300 campgrounds. And while the wet winter weather is good news for California's ski resorts, it's also good news for campgrounds, many of which are located close to scenic waterfalls that will be at their peak in spring and early summer.

"Everybody thinks of Yosemite when they think of waterfalls, but there are actually more than 100 breathtaking waterfalls throughout California, many of which are accessible by taking short hiking trails," Sipe said.

One great resource to find waterfalls is, which provides detailed information and photos of California's waterfalls as well as directions on how to get there.

"Visit the World of Waterfalls website first to find waterfalls of interest to you, then check to see which campgrounds are nearby," Sipe said, adding that many campgrounds have rental accommodations if you don't have a tent or RV.

Here's a sampling of exceptional waterfalls that are a short driving distance from campgrounds in several different areas of California:

Alamere Falls: Considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls along the Northern California coast, Alamere Falls is located in Point Reyes National Seashore. It cascades over a cliff onto a beach and then runs into the ocean. It can be accessed via the Palomarin Trailhead at the southern end of Point Reyes.
Nearby campgrounds include: - Olema Campground in Olema, which has RV and tent sites.

Burney Falls: Located inside McArthur Burney Falls Memorial State Park, Burney Falls is considered to be among the most scenic in the state.
Nearby campgrounds include: - Hat Creek Resort and RV Park in Old Station, which has RV and tent sites as well as cabin, yurt and motel rentals. - Lassen RV Resort in McArthur, which has RV and tent sites.

Feather Falls: One of the tallest waterfalls outside of Yosemite, Feather Falls is a 410-foot waterfall in the mountains roughly 40 minutes east of Oroville. Campgrounds to consider as base camps include: - Dingerville USA RV Resort, which has RV sites. - Riffle's RV Park & Campground in Oroville, which has RV and tent sites.

Waterfalls at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. This park, which is located in the greater Santa Cruz area, includes 70-foot Berry Creek Falls, Silver Falls and Golden Cascade.
Nearby campgrounds include: - Cotillion Gardens RV Park in Felton, which includes RV and tent sites and rental cabins. - Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort in Felton, which has RV and tent sites.

Waterfalls in the Big Sur area: There are 13 waterfalls in the Big Sur area, including McWayne Falls, an 80-foot waterfall that plunges from a forested cliff onto the beach below. The fall is located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and can be seen from State Route 1. Other noteworthy waterfalls in the area include Limekiln Falls in Limekiln State Park and Salmon Creek Falls, which is really a pair of 100-foot waterfalls that join together as they plunge.
Nearby campgrounds include: - Big Sur Campgrounds and Cabins, in Big Sur, which includes RV and tent sites and rental cabins. - Fernwood Resort in Big Sur, which includes RV and tent sites as well as furnished "Adventure Tents."

Waterfalls in San Diego County: One of the county's most spectacular waterfalls is Cedar Creek Falls near the picturesque mountain town of Julian, which has several campgrounds close by, including: - Butterfield Ranch Resort in Julian, which has RV and tent sites as well as rental accommodations. - Pinezanita RV Park and Campgrounds, which has RV and tent sites as well as rental accommodations.

Of course, if you have your heart set on seeing Yosemite's waterfalls and can't get a reservation, take heart. There are several privately owned and operated campgrounds just outside the park, including: - Yosemite Pines RV Resort & Family Lodging, which features RV and tent sites as well as furnished cabins, yurts and retrotrailer rentals. - Yosemite Lakes RV Resort in Groveland. This campground is situated inside a 400 acre preserve five miles from the western entrance to Yosemite National Park. The campground includes RV and tent sites as well as cabin and yurt rentals. The South Fork of the Tuolumne River runs through the preserve.

For more information on trip planning ideas and campgrounds across California, please visit


Pursuing an education while traveling provides some unique opportunities and challenges. The Roadschooling Section provides tips, links, resources and advice about homeschooling on the Road.

Homeschooling requirements should be a factor that fulltiming families consider when choosing a home base state. Some states, such as Texas, have minimal requirements, while others may require supervised testing, record-keeping and more. Parents can obtain information about these requirements by contacting the state Department of Education. Often, a homeschooling group in that state will have helpful information as well.

Looking for some help with cirriculum on the road? FOTR provides information by subject (History, Language Arts, Science, Math and Miscellaneous) to help parents in educating their children.


Explore things to do and find nationwide passes and discounts to museums, zoos, national parks and more.

The RV Lifestyle

Are you considering hitting the road? Want to learn more about living in a motorhome fulltime? If you are new to the idea of living on the road the lifestyle section is where you will learn about downsizing and job options for families on the go. Find information about budget, insurance and safety issues. Learn about technology that makes your mobile life a breeze. Plus answers to questions about how to stay in shape, take books along, get mail, take pets and more.


You will find books and movies recommended by families who are on the road in the resource portion of the FOTR site. Tips on how to buy an RV for family living, general information about RVs, travel and links to many articles.

"I think poor is more a state of mind than a state of finance. We are amazed at how little we actually need, and how much more happy we are now that we don't have to keep up with the Joneses. When you really start thinking about what is essential, you realize that it's only a handful of things, don't you? And there's no need to have all that wasted space in a big house. And when you're not stressed out trying to work for all the "toys", life becomes a joyful discovery of all the things we missed along the way."

~Vickie Swindling (FOTR since 2006)