We had chosen two different Harvest Hosts for the night, but both were having big functions so didn't have room. Beth started calling state parks along I-40, but none of them had any open spaces. Saturdays in the fall can be prime camping time.
Belle Ridge Retreat turned out to be a gorgeous campground owned and being developed by a young couple.
We ended up in a tent sight because we didn't need utilities and promptly set out to explore the campground. Here's a view from the overlook near our site.
There are caves, lakes, and waterfalls on the property. This place didn't show up in "Allstays" our favorite app and website for finding campgrounds, probably because it is so new. We highly recommend staying here if you find yourself anywhere near Monterey. It is very convenient to I-40 and has full service sites for big rigs, tiny cottages, and tent sites further from the highway. Click on this link to their website: www.BelleRidgeRetreat.com.
We closed the day returning to the overlook near our campsite to watch the sunset over the hills.
Check out the video at the end of this post to see one of the "secret" grottos in the campground.