We were looking for something fun to do during the holiday weekend, May 25, 2013, and as we found all hotels at most places booked full for the holidays, we thought we would try our hand at airplane camping again. We had done this at Columbia and Shelter Cove before, always having a great time, but we were looking for something new. We found some information about Georgetown, a short 14 minute flight from our home base at Lincoln, CA. It was hard to get a complete picture from a few reviews – so here’s the full camping operations review about tent camping at Georgetown.
To begin with, there is a real camp ground:
The campground is on the West side of the runway. There is a small asphalt pad with faded ‘no parking’ markings, but it works well to load and unload the airplane. After unloading, we towed the plane just off the pad into the grass. Ground was solid enough, but the grass was a bit high. Alternatively, you could unload at the pad and taxi across the runway to park at transient parking.
The campground is pretty big, with five robust picnic tables and room enough for a lot of tents in shaded areas.
There are facilities with evidence of hot water, but the doors were locked when we came. However, there are facilities on the airport itself. If you are brave enough to ignore the signs…
…you can get to the airport facilities. It is probably about a 3 minute walk from the tent, so not too bad.
There was drinking water, flush toilets, and hot running water. No showers…
At the fuel station, there is a donation box for tie down fees and camping fees, $6 each. We made our $12 contribution…
Though we hardly needed any after our 14 minute flight, the fuel prices seemed reasonable: $5.49/gal for 100LL.
Other amenities included one campfire pit:
A hiking trail:
A fence all around the airport area…
…which should keep the bears out, but just in case…
…and the fence is conveniently chained in a way so that a small person can still get through:
Which leads us to an important note: if you want to drive a car here, you cannot get to the campground.
Park on the East side instead and walk through the runway. Canyon Creek Road is closed off by Gate E.
A few more items:
- There was some low pressure water at the campsite – We carried our water in and used that. Not sure if the water is potable or if you have to filter it. At the airport facilities in the North East of the campground, I think it is safe to assume the water is potable.
- We carried in firewood, but there was plenty there. Make sure fire danger isn’t too high.
- You can hike to Georgetown. It’s a little over 2 mile each way, with a total ascent of 187 ft (this was walking back from Georgetown, using mapmyfitness). It’s a combination of uphill and downhill each way. Part of it is along a very quiet 2-lane road, and part along HW 193, but there is a very nice pedestrian walkway which makes it very safe. The Buffalo Hill shopping center is at about 1.5 miles. It has a supermarket, but we didn’t see any restaurants there.
- There were as good as no ‘bugs’ – just a few ants. We brought bug spray, but didn’t use it.
- It was cold in the morning – 45 degrees
- Finally, I thought the airport was pretty intimidating the first time I approached it. I decided to take a long, high, final and slip it in. The runway is plenty long.
Have fun camping at Georgetown, and maybe we’ll see you there sometime.