Arriving at Priceless 101
This is our thirteenth Priceless, and there’s always something new to learn about the science of showing up. For those of you joining us for the first time: welcome! In a second we’ll take you through the details of how we squeeze 1000 campers and all their gear through a one-lane road with no onsite parking. But before we get to that, we want to remind you of our Number One recommendation for having a good experience on arrival: be patient and relax. A little shuffling has to happen, and you are in a beautiful place among friends! Let it happen and follow the guidance of our arrivals team–we’ll get you through with as little friction as we can manage.
Like last year, parking will happen at an offsite lot. Once again, the shuttle WILL NOT be running 24 hours a day.
New this year: there will be ongoing construction on the highway right outside of Belden, bringing the last 1,000 ft to Belden down to one lane. Hooray for infrastructure investment! This is expected to add 30 min to 1 hr to your total arrivals dance. Please plan your travel, meals, and pee breaks with this extra time incorporated into your calculations.
- Start time is departure from PoP (Party Outside the Party); end time is arrival at Belden:
- Fri, June 29: 2:30pm – 2:00am
- Sat, July 30: 12:00pm – 11:00pm
- Sun, July 1: 12:00pm – 11:00pm
- Start time is departure from Belden; end time is drop off at PoP:
- Mon, July 2: 8:00am – 2:00pm
IMPORTANT: Please plan your travels so that you ARRIVE BY NO LATER THAN 1AM late Friday night (technically, Saturday morning) or NO LATER THAN 11PM on Saturday. (You do NOT want to arrive while the shuttle is not operating, since this would lengthen your arrivals process to two days rather than an hour or two.)
- Once you cross the bridge into Belden, you will be directed into the RV parking lot.
- You will be checked in and wrist-banded while in this parking lot. PLEASE REMAIN IN YOUR CAR 🙂
- You will then drive through town where the campsite team will get you into an unloading spot. If all the spots are full, please bear with us as we have you wait at the edge of town.
- After quickly unloading all people and gear, bring the car back to the gate, where the parking team will direct you either to your onsite parking spot (if you bought an onsite parking pass), or get your driver (only!) headed north to the offsite parking lot (offsite parking is $20 cash per car).
- Due to limited space on the shuttle, we ask that only drivers make the trek out to drop their cars off at the offsite lot. We know it’s nicer with a buddy sometimes, but extra folks at the offsite lot will dramatically slow down the shuttle process and make everyone’s arrivals and set-up process, including yours, take much longer. Sooo…make friends! Meet someone nice on the shuttle! (And note that parking staff have been authorized to prioritize shuttle seating for drivers who are not accompanied by a companion, so if you do need to bring a friend with you to the offsite lot, be prepared for a longer wait to get back to the party.)
- The shuttle will be running back and forth to bring drivers back to Belden Town. Note that the shuttle takes some time — drivers should avail themselves of the comfort station which will be hosting Party Outside the Party.
- You will have very limited access to cars parked in the offsite lot. There will be limited shuttle service each day, outlined above, but Priceless staff won’t have the capacity to provide any kind of transport while the shuttle is not operating. If you need it, unload it!
- Just one final reminder–Priceless is NOT a car camping event. Parking passes are NOT car camping passes. You will not be allowed to sleep in or with your car unless you have an RV pass. Please plan accordingly!
If you have any issues during this process, don’t hesitate to ask an arrivals volunteer to assist you or get an arrivals lead to help you out! If we cannot answer your arrivals question, we’ll come up with some sort of special merit badge for you. Most importantly, relax and settle into the party, and feel free to reward your tireless arrivals volunteers with hugs, jokes, cheer, and–after their shift ends–gifts involving very good whiskey… or tequila.
A special note regarding PCT hikers:
In years past, Priceless has welcomed hikers from the Pacific Crest Trail because Belden is a known stop on the PCT. Unfortunately, we are no longer able to do that for permit and legal reasons. If you know anyone who’s planning on including Priceless as part of their hike, please let them know that we can’t allow anyone to stay in Priceless campsites without a ticket. PCT hikers can use Belden services and camp in the adjacent National Forest — check in with staff upon arrival for a special wristband and details.
Location and directions
We will celebrate under the stars, surrounded by the majestic Sierra mountains, just four hours north of San Francisco. Please drive carefully and slowly. Enjoy the scenery.
The beautiful Feather River runs adjacent to the campgrounds and is accessible for rafting and swimming during the days. The event location has plenty of camping under the trees and an old-style saloon for drinks, snacks, ice, and water. We strongly encourage you to share a ride with someone! Saves gas money, easier on the parking, and it’s way more fun.
Directions from select areas are here, or you can get them direct from Google Maps. We suggest that you make a final gas stop in Marysville or Oroville to fill up (and get other last minute supplies) on the way.
WHAT to pack
A few key items will make your stay more awesome.
- YOUR TICKET(S)!
- Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, pillow, teddy bear, etc.
- Sun shade to camp under, particularly if you have a large group and want to take advantage of the large open space for camping all together.
- Flashlight or headlamp.
- Water bottle.
- Bug spray and sunscreen.
- Swimwear and a towel for daytime. Warm layers for night.
- A couple trash bags to de-MOOP your area at the end of the event.
- $20 cash for your off-site parking pass (if you didn’t buy an on-site parking pass).
- Convergence Catering will provide disposable plates, but please bring your own cups and silverware. (Limited amounts of disposable cups and utensils will be available, but don’t rely on their availability.)
- A few more dollars cash if you want to purchase an a la carte meal from our food vendor or hit up the Belden Lodge for ice, sundry items, or a meal.
- Your Party-within-a-Party outfit (theme is PANTONE)!
- Snacks and/or additional meals.
- DO NOT PACK your pet or any animal (other than a legal service animal): they are not allowed at Priceless.
HOW to pack
Once at Priceless, all things are wonderful! Getting in and out is tricky, but works great if we all plan ahead.
First thing to note: Parking at Priceless doesn’t happen at Priceless, but in a remote lot 12 miles away. Second: The camping area is accessed by a single road, and drop off locations get really busy and full. So to make your arrival & departure experiences good ones, we recommend:
- Best: 3 people per car. Or 2 people per car minimum.
Picture in your mind this wonderfully smooth scenario for arrival: After check-in, you drive to a gear drop-off location and immediately start to unload the car while someone looks for the campsite. Once the car is empty (and BEFORE you set up camp) the driver moves the car out to the parking lot to clear room for another car to unload. Meanwhile, the passenger transfers your stuff from the drop-off location to the campsite and starts set-up (but how much smoother and faster if there are 2!). The driver is shuttled back to Priceless, joins in finishing set-up, and you can crack open a tasty refreshing beverage.
- Pack for carrying.
Since you won’t be driving right up to your campsite, plan ahead for carrying your stuff. We have a handful of wheelbarrows to help, but there will only be 3 or 4, and there are hundreds of campers. So unless you really like walking back and forth a lot, don’t pack in numerous small bags or use overly large containers that are awkward to carry. And if you have your own rugged-wheeled cart — bring it!
- Plan to pack it all out.
Belden Town doesn’t have the capacity to handle all the trash we generate. So bring trash bags and save room in your vehicle for carrying everything out. And remember to grab your floaties before you leave, too!
- Pack up quick on Monday morning so you can enjoy our Monday Morning Send-off!
Priceless is officially over at Noon on Monday. After a wonderful lounge-y weekend with your friends, why make your final hours frantic? Pack up quick on Monday morning so you can enjoy our Monday morning gathering, then hop a shuttle to retrieve your car from the lot and be all smooth sailing on your departure. Magical!
The mountains we are in are a tinderbox in the summers. Please review the following info so we don’t stress out the nice folks at CalFire.
- If you have a camp stove, you’ll need to get a permit. The good news is that you can get one online and it’s free. Here is the permit page.
- No personal BBQs or grills. There are communal propane BBQs available to use. If you have a BBQ you wanted to bring to leave at the communal BBQ area for everyone to use, email email@example.com! Otherwise, please put it back into your storage; you won’t need it.
- Smoke responsibly. Use lidded ashtrays and please dispose of waste safely — don’t burn down the forest or leave gross butts around.
- Please be extra careful with any cookstoves, and remember: ABSOLUTELY NO FIREWORKS, CAMPFIRES, GENERATORS, CANDLES, FIRE ART, OR FIRE-SPINNING ARE ALLOWED.
Want to know the Evac Plan in the event of a Wildfire/Emergency in the nearby area? Here’s the Belden Town Evacuation Plan. It goes like this: