I recently went to Brannan island state recreation area just north of Antioch, CA. Let me tell you it sucked bad. I paid $30 for a campsite. When I got to the campground it was everything wrong with camping.
For one there were 120 sites in a very small area, I never will understand why anyone thinks its fun to go camping when there are more people in the vicinity of the campground then there would be near your home, I estimate at a campground of 120 spots there is approximately 720 people. Camping to me is getting away from people and getting out in nature.
Two there was traffic everyhwhere, I have small children and I constantly had to watch out for them, of course the campsite is in the middle of a maze of several roads, how camping next to a bunch of roads has anything to do with roughing it, is beyond me. I have small children and we can't exactly backpack into the wilderness, but pulling up throwing out a tent right next to the road is pointless.
Third reason why camping at Brannan Island sucks, there was no scenery, our campsite was in a mowed grass with not a tree around, it being a very hot and sunny day there was no shade whatsoever, of course the neighbors on both sides who were both about 6yards away had one tree each in their campsite. Brannan Island is the only campground that assigns you a campsite number, so moving wasn't an option.
Four I have been to many campgrounds and I have never seen so many fucking hillbillies in my life. There was literally a group that bought a flag of Nascar and had it put up to fly high. The people next to my campsite were a bunch of fat fucking pigs. Then the other groups of people looked like they were just at the campground because they could smoke meth in peace. I know I may be a hillbilly myself but that doesn't mean I have to enjoy being around "my people" when I go camping. Nascar flag means no fucking sleep for anyone around.
Five, There was no place for my kids to play around unless we drove to another part of the park, I got neighbors right next to us, Roads surrounding us, so literally our campsite is about 30 squaure yards, with traffic and hillbiillies in all directions. This is actually a summary of previous notes, but it did suck a lot.
Six, $30 for fucking what. California camping rates cost as much as a motel 6 room. What service do they fucking provide, I guess they cut the grass provide a fire ring, porta potties, and pick up the trash. Considering state and local taxes paid for the implementation and construction of the roads, fire rings, and picnic tables, I really don't understand why they need to collect $30 for maintenance cost. At full capacity this place could generate $3600 in a night, I am pretty sure that could pay for the lawn mower, garbage collection, port a potty cleanup, and to pay for a host to make sure campers are following the rules. Even at 25% capacity at 30 days in a month which is very conservative that is $27,000 a month. My guess is the majority of the money goes to paying the two full time people collecting it at the front gate, which is really bullshit unless your the 2 full time employees. They also charge a day use fee to people who aren't camping so the whole park is a money maker to the people who work for the state. I should have asked them how much they make, I bet since their state employees porbably 100k without including benefits.
All in all, after an hour there I packed up my tent, got a refund and said fuck this, and went back to my house. WE camped in the backyard with a bunch of food, fire wood, smores, and drinks, which ended up costing exactly $30.01. I paid a penny more than camping and actually had somehting of value. FUCK YOU BRANNAn INSLAND STATE RECREATION AREA.