the dyrt
THE BEST CAMPING IN
California
3400 Reviews 3299 Campgrounds

Yosemite. The redwoods. Big Sur. World-famous outdoor destinations abound in California. There are so many that you couldn’t possibly explore all the richness the state offers in one lifetime. The trick when camping in California is managing so many possibilities. Once you've visited the famous sites, try some creative approaches to camping in California.

When you think Napa Valley, you think of wine, not camping. But you can plan a wine vacation from behind the flap of your tent. Set up in one of the valley’s campgrounds then visit the many casual tasting rooms that won't mind dirt under your fingernails. When you tire of drinking wine, hike Mt. St Helena, a dormant volcano. Or walk through the Petrified Forest, a forest that was turned to stone by the last eruption of the volcano. Or visit California’s Old Faithful, a nearby geyser.

Once you have found camping in California’s Half Dome in Yosemite Valley, center yourself in Tuolumne Meadows, a more remote section of the park with its own collection of charming granite domes. Here's a secret: Instead of joining the crowds of day hikers on the meadow's most popular trails, follow the backpackers north on the famed John Muir Trail. The trail meanders through meadows, along a river below alpine peaks. And best of all, the first 8 miles of this trail out of Tuolumne are flat. Hike until you find a spot to watch the marmots, then return to your campsite. For more, backpack another 23 miles to Reds Meadow where you can catch a shuttle back up to Tuolumne.

With a little effort, you can spend the rest of your life camping in California and have a new adventure every time.

Retrieving Results
EXPLORE
Recent Reviews in California
Good for what we needed.

Camped here as a launch point to see the blooms near Lake Elsinore. Very standard campground with basic amenities. Road noise was a little rough for those looking for a quiet getaway.

Good not great

The sites are very close together with nothing to separate your site from the next, more specifically, nothing to separate your neighbors septic hose from being the first thing you see and smell when you step out of your door. The bathrooms are cute and decent. Price at the tiki bar was fantastic and the karaoke nights on weekends was very fun. The kids love to swim at the pool at night and watch karaoke. The kids club was nice to have and I actually enjoyed sitting in there with the kids doing crafts. I did not eat at the tiki bar so I can't see anything about that food.

Would i stay here again. Not unless it was all that was available. It's the equivalent of a decently run Motel 6. Everyone there was very nice there's nothing wrong with it per se but I also know there's nicer places that are similarly-priced

Park keep rude

Sucks

Busy but Beautiful

We stopped here on the way into Sequoia National Forest knowing the Kern River sites would be full. There were lots of families playing by the water here and it was nice to have our dog out and swimming for a little bit.

There is only one pit toilet bathroom so that was rough waiting for the line to go down. Kernville isn't far away so you can go to town easily to get supplies and food.

Quiet and Easy to Find

We pulled into this spot right around sunset and were greeted with friendly bats and open rv concrete flat spots. It had a beautiful view of the Funeral Mountains and was just East of DVNP.

No bathrooms or facilities and hardly any shade but perfect for a free spot right outside of the the NP.

Breathtaking and Serene

We came out with a bachelorette group and the rangers were so incredible and helpful that they switched us to a bigger site when they found out there were 7 of us in a site that was stated as being big enough but due to the water flow. It was vacated after the mudslides so they had the "penthouse" available for us to move to. We were sleeping under the Redwoods but we were only a 2-3 min walk to the beach for sunset.

The creek was flowing at full capacity so it seemed like we were the only people in the campground because all noise was drowned out by the lovely flow of the river.

Hidden gem

One my favorite places to camp among the redwoods. There is a daily fee. Generally pretty quiet, smaller trailers ok. We’ve driven up 28 ft travel trailers. Road up is fair but that is what keeps it from being overwhelmed by visitors. Gets crowded on holidays. Ponds are stocked with trout during the summer. Lots of trails.

Get above it all....

I stayed there the night of March 2nd, 2019. It was very windy and fairly cold. I think the actual temperature would have been fine if not for the windchill and spitting rain from the clouds stuck on the mountain a few miles away. The wind blew the moisture across.

Free primitive campground with clean and stocked pit toilets (depending on who went before you anyway). The road in is rough but can be navigated with a passenger vehicle (I drove a Prius on them). I’ve hit bottom coming out of California business driveways more often.

It’s located well up the mountain from Borrego Springs on a scenic highway. Borrego Springs is a Dark Sky community, so there’s good stargazing.

You are supposed to use a metal container for fires, but the site where I camped had a fire ring that had been used. I don’t think I’d have had a fire even if I’d had a metal container. The wind was that strong (and I’m a Kansas boy, I know strong winds). I also saw discarded gas cylinders that I was going to pack out but got distracted. I’ll never be able to wrap my head around people go want to be in nature but have no problem trashing it out or burning it down. That said, it was only my campsite where I saw these issues.

All in all, a very picturesque stay, but the wind will rock you.

A hidden gem just outside SF

Hawk camp is one of my favorite backyard (I live in Marin) camping spots. It's free, it's a 2.2 mile hike in from the car, and even for that, it's remote. I head there when I just feel the need to strap on my pack and break out my gear. Only 3 first-come sites, I prefer the one on the upper left. Fires are not permitted and be warned - Bay Area coastal weather patterns prevail. You can go to sleep staring at the stars and looking out on the lights of the City, only to wake up to a wet camp under a steady drizzle from the condensing fog in the cypress trees above you. I have literally booked a night, gotten close, seen the pea soup fog rolling over the ridge, and turned around for home. But for all that it is a great place to pack in, hike to the top of the ridge for epic sunsets, and feel like you're miles away from the crowds just across the bay.

Great little beach across the road

The spots closest to the enterance have theost privacy, the sites in the back are good for large groups and families and are noisier than the sites up front. The beach is across the street and through a little trail but we'll worth it. Very nice water for floating and swimming, with a cute little beach area to keep your stuff.

Beautiful views, lots of space

These cabins are well worth the cost. There is a separate bedroom, you could sleep 2 couples on beds easily with extra floor space and a small individual bunk for larger families. No electricity but the wood burning stove provides some light. Bring candles and lanterns and some fabric for curtains for privacy.

I love this place to take the kids.

One of the first camping spots I ever went too in the late 70s while in 3rd or 4th grade, was excited to have this be my kids first camping spots.

Camping, hiking, playground and pools!

I have had many great times here, but one bad college kids with a loud radio that ruined one trip, but that does not ruin my thought on this wonderful spot!

Nice amenities - try to get a spot overlooking Lake Mary

Beautiful area. Beautiful view. Nice restrooms. Good fishing and hiking in the area!

A "resort"? No. A campground? Yes.

Very large park for RV, cabin and tent camping. As it's listed as a "resort", we figured it would be pretty upscale. Disappointment upon our arrival. Floods have been in the area and much of the sites were closed and being cleaned?? The road closest to our site was washed away (from earlier reviews it's been months), so a long jog or drive around the perimeter to get us to the pool, laundry and hot tub…speaking of which, the pool, hot tub and laundry facilities all needed attention. You could actually see people's footprints (bottom of pool and on pool and hot tub entry steps)…that much sand, dirt, etc…I didn't venture in. When we arrived, we started driving around to find the best site for our rig. We're a 32ft class A w/20ft enclosed cargo trailer tow. So, all in all about 55ft. Well, that wasn't easy. Most of the park's electric and some sewer connections didn't exist or were "down" for repair. We have yet to actually SEE someone working on these issues. We are currently here and checked in for a two-week stay. After some boon docking prior to our arrival, we wanted all the bells and whistles the park boasted they had. Took us just over THREE HOURS to find a decent spot. Many levels to this park and most didn't have a decent WiFi (we have our own router) signal. Some sites had dumpsters blocking them from being a true "pull-thru". That left us with about two areas to choose from. It's dusty, dirty, and, really, not ready to be called a "resort"….more rustic than we'd been looking for or what website photos showed. We would not recommend this "resort" to anyone. Several folks with dogs they let simply sit outside and bark, poo, etc….strict rules against that, in most all resorts we've ever visited. Unless you plan on tenting, cabin or what have you, it's not worth it. Very disappointing! :(

Beautiful place to hike!

No services. Can be very hot!! Be Prepared. Endless exploring throughout the canyons.

www.hitched4fun.com 🤓 Delivering fun while hitched! 🏕🏜🇺🇸

Nice campground , good fishing , and wonderful hiking !

I go to Rock Creek every year! Nice campground, good fishing, wonderful hiking! Stop by Pie In The Sky Cafe to get wonderful fresh fruit pie! Hike up to Heart Lake and Gem Lakes.

My family has been coming here since the 1940’s!

Try to get a spot along the creek! Nice and quiet. Great fishing and hiking! Don’t miss hiking up the North Fork of Big Pine Creek to the upper lakes! Beautiful!!!!

Right on the beach!

We loved that it was right on the beach, but there is quite a bit of traffic noise from PCH and quite a few homeless people wandering around (one in particular was making noise throughout the night!) There are lots of great restaurants within walking distance.

City camping

There are 4, 30 person, group sites. Pitch tent on wood chips. Level. Fire pits, water. Nice and close, yet feels a ways away. Accessible to many trails.

Nice side of mountain camp

Nice campground. Went there with Cub Scouts. Good walk down the hill to John Muir Woods and visitor center. Not too bad hike back up to camp. Nice views. Reserve way ahead your date.

Gorgeous

Very family friendly with stunning views

The mountains✔️The woods ✔️Clean toiletsb✔️But then add The Beach THE BEACH

Small quaint BEAUTIFUL not extremely well known. And The Beach…

THE BEACH People.

It’s the best of all worlds. Camping,hiking,animal watching, fishing, Room enough to throw a frisbee or play catch

We fell in love with it in 1979 and never stop going back

E N J O Y

Senic walkup campground

This is an ada compliant walkup campground situated near the top of Mount Tamalpais. Featuring 13 sites ranging from standard campground style to a few more secluded areas. As a first come first serve campground and camping in the middle of a gale storm we had our pic of sites and explored the entire campground. I picked a site more secluded from the rest. While there is some road noise from below it does give some of the feel of a back country trip with none of the hassle. There is a ranger station with maps and selling firewood. Stinson beach is a 3 mile hike away or a short drive down the mountain if you are in need of more supplies.

beautiful and somewhat remote

Backcountry camping with several swimming spots, decent fishing and meals and hot showers! If you feel rich, this is a place for a big treat. Tent cabins with basic sleeping set up and a nice spot to sit around a group fire. The ranger talks can be a little much but easy to sneak off and enjoy the quiet. Food is fantastic and the folks who work there are super friendly. A nice loop is to walk in via Tenaya Lake, pass through the Mansfields and over to Merced Lake - a very doable 15 mile one day. Exit out through Happy Isles - about the same distance.

The best of the best

So beautiful, welcoming and filled with excellent amenities that you’ll never want to leave.

Expensive, and nice!

We spent 2 weeks here. The weekly rate is much better than daily. It is a nice resort with clean amenities. The gym was great and the pool was not busy which made it a nice place to work from. The main downside is it is near the train tracks, which runs often.

Good location, average ambience

Conveniently close to the iconic redwoods on the California/Oregon coast. The campsite itself has good amenities but not necessarily the most natural setting.

Good Times

The is a great place and Ive been coming here since I was a kid. Great staff and friendly campers

Thieves

Thieves! I checked in here for an extended stay. It cost me $1800 a month for a spot 100 feet from the freeway. Half way through my first month the park flooded and evacuated. I asked the staff the day before if I should be concerned and was told no. The day of the flood they didn't call me for four hours after they were notified of the evacuation. By the time I got there I was in waist high water. I lost over a $1000 worth of gear and $2500 in damage to my coach. I couldn’t risk more damage so I moved moved out and they wouldn't even refund the rent for the last two weeks. Stay away if you're smart.! I’ll be seeing them in court.

Super RV Park

I would stay here again and again. The tent sites have a large covered area for shade and the park has a pool for a refreshing little swim. Showers are included with the campground fee.