Parking Lot Boondocking: Harris Ranch, Coalinga, CA

Harris Ranch, AKA the halfway point on I-5 between San Francisco and Los Angeles, is an inn, restaurant, and shop located smack dab in Middle of Nowhere, Central Valley CA. We had begun the trek south but between needing to work as we go and being a little short in the sleep department, we decided to take our time in our efforts to move closer to the equator. Unfortunately, camping opportunities do not abound in Middle of Nowhere, so we had to venture into the world of parking lot overnights.

I learned that Harris Ranch welcomes overnight RVers via Campendium. They don’t hugely advertise it as I’m sure they don’t want a flock of RVs clogging their parking lots every night, but the reviews I read seemed like they were very welcoming to the traveler just passing through and looking for a place to park for the night. So we rolled in and confirmed with the staff that it was okay for us to overnight there.

Parking lot overnights are a little tough in the FWC as we need to pop up, which totally takes away from the stealth factor. But we nestled ourselves in amongst the other RVs, kept ourselves self-contained with windows and shades closed, and we weren’t bothered at all.

I had read one review on parking at Harris Ranch that there were signs designating where RVs could park. Clay and I completely missed them after a few circles around the lot, so I took a picture that will hopefully be helpful. It is right in between the restaurant building and the inn building.

It’s kinda small, right? And we were tired. So we get a pass for not being able to spot it right away.

As far as parking lot experiences go, this one was the bee’s knees. We had excellent free wifi access right in the parking lot, there were restrooms a short walk away in the building where the restaurant was, and the parking lot was very quiet and had security. We skipped dining at the restaurant for dinner as it is not a cheap experience, but we did have coffee and bagels there the next morning before we hit the road again. 10/10, would park there overnight again.

2 thoughts on “Parking Lot Boondocking: Harris Ranch, Coalinga, CA

  1. Hi Caitlin, love your blog.

    THANK YOU so much for informing us and others of Harris Ranch, how many millions of times have we passed by not knowing anything about the ranch except that it’s the wonderful source of that ranch fragrance I like, really I do, I love herds. Kim might not agree.

    This is a great find for us as we are not pay camp people and basically enjoy the day doing and seeing new things but need a place to just sleep in peace knowing we are welcomed.

    Our regards to Clay and Lucy, we tell our friends about you two as you three and your lifestyle has left a positive impression.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Santiago. Such a pleasure meeting you and Kim and now that we’re back west, we’re looking to add a lot more boondocking and overnighting spots to the blog!

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