The best HIKE IN camping near
Cressey , CALIFORNIA

9 Reviews7 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Cressey Camping Reviews
Secluded!

We drove into the campground on a Friday night and were surprised to see that the 5.5mi dirt road was on the side of the mountain and had a lot of ruts. We were driving a Prius Prime with low ground clearance, so it took us nearly an hour to get down to the campground from Hwy 120. Others driving a truck and a Chevy Suburban passed us pretty quickly during turnouts.

Though 4WD or higher ground clearance is not required, I would recommend it! Otherwise, be prepared for a slow drive down to the campground.

Campsites are free, and the facilities are pretty bare bones (you have a picnic table, a fire pit, and a bear box at each site plus a single toilet at the campground entrance), but we got excellent views of the stars and were the only group at the campground. I definitely recommend this campground if you're looking to get away from everything and everyone.

Other than the unexpectedly difficult drive down (for a sedan/Prius), we all enjoyed this campground. We will be returning in a more appropriate vehicle in the future.

Hike-in sites are great

We stayed here for a weekend at one of the hike-in sites in the Chamise area.  We were the only ones in this area, and had a decent view of the lake.  We even managed to make a path down to the water from our site, so we could swim.  Lots of good trees around for hammocks.

The hike-in sites were relatively close to the parking area, so not a huge hike, though a little steep.  We probably brought too much stuff, so it might have been a little easier if we pared down a little.

Nice spot for a weekend

We camped out for 2 nights in spot 96 in the height of summer and just before all the fires started. New Melones was not a top destination but it was close to a very special place for us, Natural Bridges. Also, at the time of booking it was one of the few campgrounds accepting new reservations in this age of COVID. We selected spot 96 as it was the furthest from any other spot (situated on a bend and the only site on that part of the road for a while). It was something like 107 when we were setting up the tent and most of the day time but on the lake itself, the temperature was perfect. One thing to be aware of, most of the drive in camp sites, including ours, had absolutely no shade (including nowhere to hang a hammock).

The Good:

  • The view was amazing
  • The tent spot was level and clear of big rocks
  • All the campers abided by quiet time
  • It was so dark that I was able to do some great astrophotography
  • The location was a great step off point for adventure in Gold Country

The Bad:

  • The last campers in our spot left garbage everywhere. We filled up a large garbage bag before we could setup camp.
  • Some bathrooms were closed but port-o-potties were there instead (as if somehow that is more clean???)
  • The bathrooms that were open were disgusting
  • No camp host onsite while we were there

We don’t have a boat but the boat launch was pretty busy all day and the day use spots were packed.

All in all, Tuttletown wouldn’t be our first choice but we would go back - probably later in the season since we aren’t there for boating.

I was debating on 3 or 4 stars. Showing up in 107 heat and wanting to set up a tent but having to clean up that much garbage was a huge turn off and having bathrooms closed with no notice was also a disappointment. I know these things aren’t normal but more notice on facilities and finding ways to get this cleaned up first would be a start.

Found on accident! Fell in love!

This will always be my FOREVER campground ! We have been coming for about two years now and still so absolutely in love with it! I recommend to friends and family all the time. You can bring your furry kids, there are clean showers and restrooms. Watering holes on campgrounds and around the area like Cherry Lake, Rainbow Pools and Gods Bath! California is full of beautiful wonders and this little gem in Stanislaus Forest is one of them! There is a little coffee-smoothie shack made by the hosts! Enjoy a mocha and have great conversations with them! Frank is our go to guy, he’ll set you up with a great spot to suit your needs!!

very relaxing

when I was a kid we used to go there as a family very nice place to camp. me and my wife went there 2 years ago. we were gonna further up the road a little closer to cherry lake campground at a private and free place called Thompson meadows but the Rangers closed it down because the homeless left it a mess and so she upset so we went and stayed at River ranch and it was great. I love that place. I will find some pictures for u guys.

Cool spot

Chill spot Has a “tent only” area with about 6 spots and a lot of other spots for small trailers and tents

Melones

not bad a little warm most of the time.

Tuttletown, near Sonora CA

Beautiful surroundings.

Very nice with lovely views of the lake and the facilities were clean. Coin operated showers as well. Fishing areas were easy to get to and we watched numerous people enjoy water sports on the lake.