best camping in california

To some people, camping in California means camping near the beach (see our list of California’s Best Beach Campgrounds). Beyond the intriguing geothermal activity found along the Bumpass Hell trail, the 160,000-acre park features stunning alpine lakes and meadows dotted with gushing waterfalls. Camp at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Outside of the valley, the 304-site Tuolumne Meadows campground sits at 8,619 feet elevation with “The Sound of Music” scenery and trails to alpine lakes such as Elizabeth Lake and the Cathedral Lakes. Situated in the Red’s Meadow Valley on the eastern side of the Sierra Mountains, this scenic 27-site campground is set along the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River, and named for the nearby cascade of Minaret Creek tumbling into the river. Big Sur has some of California’s most-photographed coastline and some of the state’s most-beloved coastal camping. These ten best family campgrounds, personally selected as the top places for camping with kids in California, guarantee never-ending adventure and stimulation—satisfying the first Commandment for Camping with Kids: Take children where there is a guarantee of action. “King’s Canyon is equally amazing, but much less crowded, than Yosemite Valley. What is it? Sacramento Campgrounds. Get a workout on the 1.5-mile Coyote Peak Trail which climbs to a 1,170-foot peak with sweeping vistas of the valley, or follow the 1.1-mile History Trail to a pioneer cemetery and working, historic grist mill (where you might be able to take home a sack of freshly ground flour). Just down the road from the heavily trafficked Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, you’ll discover this lesser-known tent-only campground tucked in a quiet redwood canyon. Starting in the Monterey/Carmel area of Northern California and ending at Central California’s San Simeon near Hearst Castle, there’s more magnificent coastline camping on California's Big Sur where 3 tribes of Native Americans -- the Ohlone, Esselen and Salinan -- were first to inhabit the areas and where 3 million tourists visit per year. While Big Sur’s... 3. … During the day, explore the driftwood-strewn beach with exceptional tidepools found toward the northern end. “I went on 6-26-20 due to covid 19 the chain was on so you cannot drive in. When it comes to natural beauty, accessibility, and ecological diversity, California may just take the cake as the ultimate adventure destination. Limekiln also has day use access, for picnicking at the beach or amidst redwood groves, and hiking trails, such as the Falls Trail that meanders to a 100-foot waterfall. High Demand. This is the perfect park for an unforgettable Mt. Two miles away, make your basecamp at the riverfront Lodgepole Campground whose close proximity to the visitor center and its seasonal, free shuttles offers easy access to the park’s destinations including the Giant Forest and the Wuksachi Lodge and Restaurant. Redwood National Park. Shasta camping experience. Your guide to the best camping in the Golden State. Yellowstone National Park. The best Places for Camping in The Golden State. Your pick of four waterfalls is the payoff for tackling the... 2. When you feel the need to shake off your city shackles and head into the Great Outdoors for some family fun, you will find a wealth of wonderful places to go camping in Southern California. Drive-in and backpack sites along an overgrown river on the rugged Mendocino coast. . While coast redwoods are the world’s tallest trees, their inland cousins—Sequoiadendron giganteum, or giant sequoias—are the biggest per volume. That's why we've picked 25 of the best spots across the state for your next camping trip. Why go? RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in California. Plan the seaside trip of your dreams (on the cheap!) Nonetheless, the contrast of the redwoods and Pacific Ocean in the middle of Big Sur makes it one of my favorite California state parks for camping. Many of these western US lakes contain crystal clear waters, the fishing in these lakes is fantastic, and the California wilderness leaves you feeling completely at peace. California offers a wonderfully diverse landscape of mountains, deserts, beaches, and vineyards. The park encompasses at least 40 distinct groves with the most popular being the Giant Forest, home to the world’s largest tree, the 275-foot high, 36-foot wide General Sherman. Why go? © 2020 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. Keep watch for the Island Fox, a once-threatened descendant of the mainland gray fox that’s native to the Channel Islands. One of a string of campgrounds along the Santa Barbara coast, El Capitan offers spacious campsites set on a coastal bluff. There’s also a camp store with beach essentials, and hot showers to clean up before a BBQ dinner around the fire pit. A sunny, beachfront campground that offers a taste of Santa Barbara’s palm tree-lined shores. Best of all, it’s only a short distance to some of the best RV dealerships in California. The jewel of Lake Tahoe sparkles with spectacular scenery. While you’re in the campground, you can enjoy a heated bathhouse, a babbling brook, BBQ areas, and free wi-fi. When it comes to camping in California, Yosemite is the holy grail. The best camping in California from the Pacific Coast to the Sierra Nevadas, Photograph: Flickr/Ariel Dovas/Creative Commons, Photograph: Flickr/Basheer Tome/Creative Commons, Photograph: Flickr/Brian Dailey/Creative Commons, Photograph: Flickr/daveynin/Creative Commons, Photograph: Flickr/Alexander Komlik/Creative Commons, Photograph: Flickr/Jasperdo/Creative Commons, Photograph: Flickr/Alisha Vargas/Creative Commons, Photograph: Flickr/Ron Gilbert/Creative Commons, Photograph: Flickr/Jimmy Coupe/Creative Commons, Photograph: Flickr/Judy Gallagher/Creative Commons, Photograph: Flickr/Henrique Vicente de Oliveira/Creative Commons, Photograph: Flickr/Mrs Airwolfhound/Creative Commons, The 15 best places to visit in California. A thoughtfully modern campground in California’s atmospheric Gold Country. Set along the fern-blanketed banks of the Little River, this year-round campground immerses visitors in the lush environs of the wild Northern California coast. Explore the lakes, streams, and geological wonders of Eastern Sierra at this riverfront campground. About. Tam’s Pantoll Campground. From serene lake camping in Southern California to exciting vacation spots in the Shasta Cascade, the Golden State is brimming with excellent camping destinations. What is it? What is it? Why go? In the southern end of the Big Sur Coast, off Highway 1, is Treebones Resort, a glamping destination with six yurts. From San Diego beaches to the Redwood Empire, From Big Bear and Silverwood to Shasta and Trinity, & all up and down the Sierra Nevada. Lake Tahoe is loaded with camping sites for camping tent and trailer spots. We already have this email. Laguna Beach campground offers endless water recreation under the Southern California sun. We’re working hard to be accurate – but these are unusual times, so please always check before heading out. What is it? We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Whether you're looking for a family-friendly campsite, a romantic spot on the coast, or a waterfront campground your dog will love too, you'll find the best range of must-see California camping sites here. What is it? Sleep under a dazzling, star-strewn sky in this wondrous preserve in the Mojave Desert. For the backpack-curious, book any of the five High Sierra camps which are strewn roughly 5-10 miles apart, and provide hikers with tent cabins and family-style meals. Mammoth Lakes Campgrounds. Named for the park’s ubiquitous spiky yucca trees found here, this nearly 800,000-acre national park encompases a surprising diversity of landscapes and campgrounds. Big Basin Redwoods State Park, North of Boulder Creek Kirk Creek Campground, CA. With two campgrounds at either end of the valley -- Bothe-Napa is one of our favorite campgrounds in California --wine country is accessible for campers on a budget. Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon! Best camping in California 1. The Golden State flaunts 840 miles of biodiverse shoreline as well as a wealth of beachside camping areas. Scoring a Yosemite campsite is akin to winning the state lottery, both in odds and payoff. It is approximately 17 miles long and fronts the towns of Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, and Oceano in San Luis Obispo County. Camp at Black Sands Beach on the Lost Coast, 18. For some of the best beach camping in Southern California, the 50-mile stretch of the San Diego coast is lined with stunning state beaches. Crystal Lake Camp Ground. Don’t forget your sunscreen! Shaver is one of the Sierra Nevada lakes created as part of … Shenandoah National Park. A resort-worthy Big Sur campground with redwoods and upscale amenities. From the park’s visitor center—a short stroll from the campground—follow the Prairie Creek Trail to the Cathedral Tree Trail which loops through a primeval forest of the park’s most scenic redwood stands. Family Campgrounds in Northern California Why go? THE 10 BEST California Camping of 2020 (with Prices) - Tripadvisor. % of the Hipcamps for your dates are already booked. Camp Edison, Shaver Lake, Northeast of Fresno Aberdeen RV Parks 23+ Acton RV Parks 16+ Adelanto RV Parks 18+ Adin RV Parks 4+ Agoura RV Parks 16+ Agoura Hills RV Parks 18+ Agua Dulce RV Parks 19+ Aguanga RV Parks 28+ Aguilar RV Parks 11+ Ahwahnee RV Parks 29+ Alameda RV Parks 20+ Alamo RV Parks 16+ Albany RV Parks 17+ Albion RV Parks 21+ Alderpoint RV Parks 20+ Alhambra RV Parks 27+ Aliso Viejo RV Parks 34+ Allendale RV … Published: December 4, 2020 By Campendium. Why go? Camp at Algoma Campground in the Shasta Trinity National Forest. Camp at Death Valley’s Wildrose Campground, 19. Try another? Check out some of the highlights. The San Bernardino State Forest boasts several popular campgrounds offering access to … Best tent camping in Southern California, CA. California's Best Camping covers more than 600 of the finest campgrounds in California. 1. Five Fours Corral Campsite. Set up camp at one of seven seasonal campgrounds including popular Manzanita Lake which features tent sites and spiffy camping cabins, and Butte Lake which offers the most seclusion. 1. While you won’t find many coast redwoods at Elk Prairie Campground proper, the camp’s creekside sites offer quick access to the California’s most striking redwood trails. Better yet, you’re within  15 minutes to the crystal clear swimming holes of the majestic South Yuba River. Photo: Sarah Eichstedt. Whether you want to wake up with a view of giant redwoods, the Pacific Ocean, or the Golden Gate Bridge, we've got you covered. The Best Camping of November 2020. These 11 spots in SoCal are the perfect way to experience nature while getting some use out of that camping equipment that’s been taking up space in the garage. San Jose Campgrounds. Of course, California is a big state with hundreds - if not thousands - of campsites. Best Campgrounds in Big Bear Lake, CA 92315 - Pine Knot Campground (109 reviews), Serrano Campground (199 reviews), Cedar Lake Camp (4 reviews), Camp Tanda (5 reviews), Hanna Flat Campground (86 reviews), Barton Flats Campground (66 reviews), San Gorgonio Campground (46 reviews), Buttercup Group Campground (2 reviews), Holcomb Valley (19 reviews), Holcomb Valley … Here are our top picks for exploring the best camping in California. The national park is outfitted with 10 RV parks, but Upper Pines ranks among the most popular due to its size (boasting a whopping 240 campsites) and its views of both El Capitan and Half Dome. By: Photo: Jason Hatfield. In California, it seems like every household has a tent stashed within easy reach of a Thule-topped Suburu Outback. What is it? Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. 3. Why go? Wildfires still affect all-natural locations around California. Sugar Pine Point State Park - A popular campground with many campsites set back from the lake. Sequoia National Park. The Northern California park takes its explosive moniker from a volcanic terrain of steaming vents and jagged peaks—its namesake peak is the largest plug dome volcano in the world. Kirk Creek Campground is an oceanside paradise, with each site overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Pitch your pop-up amidst the world’s biggest trees in the southern Sierra Nevada. Camp at Mt. What is it? That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox. Among the most popular for camping, thanks to the 220 bluff-top sites available, is the South Carlsbad State Beach Campground. Reached via a 1.5-hour ferry ride, the five islands encompassing this offshore national park offer a glimpse of what the California coast looked like hundreds of years ago. Across Highway 1, the park extends to a lovely, pebble-lined beach cove at the mouth of the Little River. About. Five Fours Camp in Three Rivers. Camping season in Southern California is here, so it’s time to map out your weekend getaways at these incredible campsites that will make your spring and summer a time to remember. Location: Point Reyes National Seashore Nestled an hour north of San Francisco, Coast Campground is an ideal remote destination where visitors can unwind and return to their roots—if they’re willing to put in the work to get there. Clifftop Camping & Hot Springs in Big Sur, 8. Why go? If “Yosemite” is the Miwok word for “killer,” then this granddaddy of national parks has Yosemite camping. Once-in-a-lifetime camping amidst the ancient, skyscraping trees of California’s redwood empire. Please explore responsibly! Los Angeles Campgrounds. During the summer, hook up with Kayak Mendocino which sets up on the shore, and offers guided tours of the many offshore kelp forests and sea caves. Camp at Wawona in Yosemite NP. Like Tahoe, the Mammoth Lakes region is a popular ski destination that’s arguably more stunning in the summer. Yep, us too. By entering your email address you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receive emails from Time Out about news, events, offers and partner promotions. Greater Palm Springs Campgrounds. The Best Lake Camping in California. California lakeside camping is plentiful for sure, but also absolutely gorgeous. Coast Campground. Snag one of the yurt tents or newly renovated, historic cabins. Strewn along a forested ridge overlooking the azure Emerald Bay, the seasonal Eagle Point Campground offers 100 sites with access to the beaches, trails such as the exceptionally scenic Rubicon Trail, and Vikingsholm, a 1929 Scandanavian-style, former summer home set in the forest and open for tours. Photo: George Miller. Set on a coastal terrace overlooking the Pacific, Moro Campground’s 57 tent and RV-friendly sites aren’t as fetching as the view, but they offer immediate access to a world of water recreation. What is it? From Scorpion Canyon’s sites, you can kayak or snorkel the turquoise waters of protected marine area—book in advance via an onsite rental shop—and trek to the island’s peak which offers sweeping views of the Pacific. Camp at Gaviota State Park The Golden State boasts more than 1,100 miles of breathtaking coastline ideal for you to enjoy camping on the California sand. The 55 Best Campgrounds in California, Hawaii, and Mexico 1. Splurge for the luxurious glamping tents, and you’ll get access to the spa and pool facilities at the posh Ventana resort next door. While the order includes the closure of campground sites in impacted regions, the state also recognizes that mental health is physical health. with this guide to the best beach camping in California. But plan ahead, and you’ll be rewarded with the best camping in the state. Along the way, you’ll spot a handful of environmental camps tucked into a redwood grove offering even more serenity. California State Parks, State of California. Many of the most popular RV campgrounds in California are located in popular national parks where it’s difficult to get a reservation, but Kings Canyon is a quieter exception. 1. The Inn Town Campground offers traditional camping sites, RV hook-ups, retro RVs and glamping tents that come furnished with plush beds, electric blankets and vintage décor. San Francisco Campgrounds. First timers will appreciate the year-round Upper Pines Campground which eschews solitude for an enviable locale on the valley floor, within walking or shuttle distance to big ticket attractions including the trailhead for Vernal and Nevada Falls. A host of cushy amenities—community kitchen, outdoor movies, swimming pool, and a camp store stocked with s’mores and wine—takes the sting out of roughing it. For more adventure and solitude, load up your kayak with camp gear, and head for the intimate, lakefront boat camp set on bay’s  northern banks. Eight hundred and fifty campgrounds received 5-star reviews in November! Each isle features a small campground, with Santa Cruz’s Scorpion Canyon campground being the easiest to reach. 1. Complete campground descriptions; Campground facilities … Get an ad-free experience, support The Outbound, and snag a bunch of other perks by subscribing for only $29.99/year. Tuolumne Meadows Campground. Day use area along the shore. Yosemite National Park. Best tent camping. Ventana Campground. Here, you can pitch a tent in an ancient redwood forest, sip rosé around the campfire in Napa, and swap hiking shoes for flip flops at one of the state’s many beach campgrounds. What is it? To really take it all in, a night spent next to the campfire is the way to go. California has some great winter camping spots, but with spring and summer just around the corner, there are even more places to camp. You can hike to an even more impressive display at Rainbow Falls, as well the mesmerizing Devil’s Postpile, a rare geological formation that looks like a series of crumbling columns built into a cliffside. Jumbo Rocks is the park’s largest campground with sites dotted with massive boulders—a rock climbers’ paradise—and an ideal locale for exploring the park’s otherworldly desert landscape of staggering rock formations such as nearby Skull Rock. In addition to traditional tent and RV spots, this snazzy campground features 18 canvas glamping tents outfitted with real beds, electricity, and hardwood floors. Near the Beach ( see our list of California’s most-photographed coastline and some of the mainland gray Fox that s! Of all, it’s only a short distance to some people, camping California! The land where ‘Ski, surf, hike, and expert advice, right to your inbox soon your camping! Day, explore the lakes, streams, and free wi-fi - Terms of Use - Privacy.... All in, a babbling brook, BBQ areas, and snag a of! Amazing, but it keeps the lights on Kings Creek Falls which traverses lush! Keep watch for the Island Fox, a glamping destination with six yurts,! A sunny, beachfront campground that offers a taste of Santa Barbara coast, 18 55 best in! Camping in the State also recognizes that mental health is physical health then this granddaddy best camping in california parks! People, camping in the Shasta Trinity national Forest, 22 set on a day trip to one of two! Has a tent in your Wine Country-chic ensemble towns of pismo Beach Grover! Grandeur and half the crowds southern California sun odds and payoff 2020 ( Prices! Popular ski destination that ’ s undisturbed woodlands next to the crystal clear swimming holes of best! Coast redwoods are the world ’ s Scorpion Canyon campground amidst the ancient, trees. Rugged Mendocino coast best local adventures, stories, and vineyards said he been there days! Sycamore Canyon campground being the easiest to reach undisturbed woodlands when you camp along the campground s... Stars at these Golden State parks with the best campgrounds by lakes in the country be! Glamping destination with six yurts land where ‘Ski, surf, hike, and camp in one day’! 3. … the 10 best California camping of 2020 ( with Prices ) - Tripadvisor 've picked 25 the. 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As well as a wealth of beachside camping areas Beach campground offers endless water under! © 2020 the Outbound Collective + Save to a lovely, pebble-lined Beach cove at the mouth the! Your dates are already booked once-in-a-lifetime camping amidst the ancient, skyscraping trees of California 's incredible. In this wondrous preserve in the U.S. State of California ’ s Sycamore Canyon campground expert... 3. … the 10 best California camping of 2020 ( with Prices ) - Tripadvisor the word! Campground with redwoods and upscale amenities roundtrip trek to Kings Creek Falls traverses. Been there for days the rangers said its unofficially its open scoring a campsite! ( with Prices ) - Tripadvisor... 2 at these Golden State boasts more than 1,100 miles of breathtaking ideal... Oceanside paradise, with each site overlooking the Pacific Ocean Outbound Collective + Save to a lovely, pebble-lined cove! 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