the dyrt
Mendocino National Forest, CALIFORNIA
91 Reviews 130 Campgrounds
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Most Recent Mendocino National Forest Camping Reviews
Beautiful forest

Drove for hours and stumbled upon this place very nice sites, huge redwoods, quiet and remote. Navarro store is close.

Closed or could not find

I drove this whole stretch of 128 and saw one private campground and one that looked like it was closed 10 years ago. No cell service. I kept driving till I found Hendy woods state park

Glass beach trip

Close proximity to glass beach and fort brag. Stayed here for one night had some mosquitos but nothing spray couldn’t stop. Was a bit rainy and overcast the whole night but still a really enjoyable trip. Bathrooms were clean

Has lots of great amenities for all ages to enjoy.

Large campground with many great options for activities. This park has lake access from a large sandy beach. Extensive nature trail system throughout the park. There is also a visitors center with many displays of the animals that are found within the park as well the cultural history.

Upper Loop is amazing...

In my opinion, the upper loop is a more legit campout setting. We loved the space and the trees. The reason why i wont give it 5 stars is the fact that, although the kiosk claimed the whole upper loop was booked after our first day, it was not true for the days we were staying. We were leaving the day this ginormous group was arriving so we were pretty disappointed that we couldnt have a site when clearly it was not occupied.

Another reason I wont give it 5 stars is because the website claimed they dont do reservations but the whole upper loop was reserved…? We were staying Mon-Thu and just wanted to lock it in. It was frustrating.

Other than that, the workers were friendly. They delivered firewood on a daily basis. We had a great time. It was super that the ocean was right across the street. I loved hearing the waves at night and seals in the morning!

i recommend it but its tricky/I need a better understanding of how to reserve ahead of time.

Off-Season Camping on Letts Lake

I visited this campground during the off-season. Therefore, there was no one else at the campground, but I have heard that this is a very popular place to camp during the summer months.

The campground does not offer very much privacy between sites, but is right on Letts Lake, offering great views. There is an easy trail that surrounds the lake, but the surrounding area offers a wide variety of hiking. There are also many trails for ATVs. The campground has two pit toilets as well. Each site has a table and a fire pit. The paved drives for each site are moderate in length.

During summer months the area gets fairly warm. During off-season camping, I experienced temperatures between 26-34 F. Although it was a chilly camping experience, it was one I won't soon forget!

Abalone Point - Hidden Gem - Amazing Views

There appears to be a couple of separate campgrounds… the one I camped at is called Abalone Point.  I was unsure if it was open because there was nobody around and an old road was falling into the ocean.  Primitive campground with no showers or camp host. There was a toilet (hole in the ground), a table, and water.  What you do get is peace and quiet and an amazing view of the ocean. Self payment and was $3 for hike and bike.

Beautiful Coastal Campground

This is a large spread out campground with nice hiking paths near the beach. Good coastal marine viewing area and close to Ft. Bragg. Hike and bike area is small and across from one of the camp hosts who was very friendly and offered wine, watermellon, and her campfire.

Great Coastal Location

While this campground is set off from the highway it is very busy on weekends from tourists out for the day.  Lush setting with the hike and bike area located near showers and restrooms. Campsite includes a table and fire pit.  Within walking distance of the beach and a short drive to coastal towns.

Lush Campground

Lush and moist campground with large banana slugs. Helpful park rangers.  Bike and hike area includes table and fire pit. Near cute little towns and the ocean.  Lots of vehicle traffic on weekends.

Camping Sequoia National Park

Great location in the Sequoia National Park. Appropriate for families, couples or singles. Plenty of trails to roam and scenery galore. Easy access to bathrooms, evening activities. If you can get a spot on the West side, you’ll have your own private sunset every evening! Can be a little crowded in the summer with families camping but everyone is happy, kids are having fun and your neighbors are great!

Campground away from the Interstate

The North Fork campground is about 30 minutes off of Interstate 80 along a 1-2 lane paved road. The campground is next to the Truckee River but most sites do not have easy access to it.

There are only three pit toilets since one of them is permanently damaged and has been for quite some time. There is no running water or access to any electricity.

It is is a small to medium size campground which is a plus and it’s in the trees.

Camping on Northern California Coast

This campground is across the street from the coastal beach and just south of Fort Bragg, CA.

Reservations can be made and are a good idea as this is a very popular campground. There are bathrooms with flush toilets and paid showers. Plenty of hiking or biking can be down through the pygmy forest. Coastal fishing can also be done nearby. It is cold year-round, so come prepared for wet, coastal weather.

Sites include a food storage cabinet, table, and fire pit. The campground is a short walk from the beach and there are plenty of nearby cities for food or other forgotten essentials.

Redwoods, Apples, and Wine

centrally located in within Anderson valley,so one can go for a hike and (cool off in the Navarro river), go next door and eat organic apple, and Saunders down 128 (<1/4 mile) and sip some wine at the Navarro winery. Big bonus for pet owner this park has trails that you can walk your dog on!

Great family camping!

Nice sites with some privacy. Stays fairly cool in the Redwood grove. Clean bathrooms. Good walking/hiking. Great Jr ranger program!

Camping right on the beach

You can camp right on the beach or just steps away. It was really crowded when we went but we still enjoyed our trip. You can walk to the beach from your campsite and watch the sun set. The people are great and there is everything you need.

Forest campground close to ocean. Loop campground with meadow.

Inner sites on a meadow have lots of space! Outer sites are in a more wooded landscape. Campground can be foggy in summer months, but is very close to the beach where ocean kayaking is common. Only a few minutes away from Mendocino. Bathrooms have flush toilets and showers are available!

A lucky find

My family and I stayed here once on a road trip to California. We like to play each day by ear which can sometimes become challenging when it’s time to find a place to stay for the night, relying on last minute availability. The night we stayed here was the most difficult we ever had finding a campsite, but we got lucky with a well-timed, last minute cancellation just as we were checking to see if they had any openings. The car just before us had checked for openings and had just been turned away. When we pulled up the ranger took a call canceling one of their best tent sites for the night. So lucky!

The campground is incredibly beautiful, wooded, cool and fresh. The campground sits in a deep narrow valley of trees with a stream running through just across highway 1 from a beach. The bathrooms are good and clean. There’s an amphitheater where we were able to see a ranger/scientist presentation on sea birds of California. Lucky, lucky, lucky.

We had dinner in nearby Mendocino - which is a cute, small town on the coast which attracts many tourists. The town has a rich history and some mystique with the local freemasonry statue “Time and the Maiden” statue which looks down over the town.

The next morning the Ranger suggested we check out a nearby Pygmy Tree Forest as a point of interest it was pretty cool and definitely worth checking out.

I would stay here again in a heartbeat. It’s like an oasis of cool and fresh in the hot August of California. The coast is breathtaking and the local sights are not to be missed.


Great campground located right on the Pacific Ocean. Campground is well kept with privacy in some locations. Added bonus is easy to get groceries in Fort Bragg. You could relax here for a week!

Not bad, site of convience for us

The campground is your typical KOA. there's a store, pool, pond, bathrooms, cabins, disc golf etc. The electric scooters are pretty fun, and the paddle boats too. The ground themselves arent really anything special though. It's open, very little privacy. Honestly it's kinda like a massive group site. No real walking trails or anything. Getting to the campground is easier in the summer because there is a bridge that goes over the river, making it a shorter drive. In the winter, the bridge is removed, so you have to go through the town of Cloverdale and back track, adding about 15-20 minutes to your trip.

First to Review
Family Fun

Designed for families, this KOA a lot. A petting zoo, water play, pool. arcade and events. We were there for movie night. They had a big screen and showed a film for the kiddos. Good stopover.

Great for backcountry beginners

Looking for a nature getaway to escape the city life of Los Angeles? No more then 45 minutes away, without traffic, lies a peaceful hike in campground. Roughly 5 miles from Chantry Flats, you can find Spruce Grove Campground of of the Gabrielino Trail. There are only a handful of sites, which are first come first serve. If you have an adventure pass, there are no fees to worry about. Each site has fire pits. They do ask that you obtain a fire permit at the pack station. Less than a mile up the trail, past Spruce Grove, you can also find Sturtevant Camp. Just past the camp is a trail junction that leads to the top of Mt. Wilson. Spruce Grove Campground has a small stream running alongside it. Be sure to filter or boil your water.

Great price

Great price, simple, utilitarian camp ground. Glad we were there on an off weekend though, Idk how many more dirt bikers I could handle. Everything they did was loud. Could use another bathroom.

Relaxing campsite near the Grove village in Sequoia

Nice sites, trees for hammocks, bathrooms (no showers) w running water and toilets. Close to neighboring campsites but not too bad. Grove village is really close where they have firewood, grocery store, restaurant, shops, post office. Bugs in summer so don’t forget your bug spray! It’s bear country, so bear bins provided! Campsite is in the middle between King’s canyon and Sequoia National Park. Our site had a spot for 1 car, 2 tents and a hammock. Space looked shared with adjacent site.

Ranger Review: Nature’s Coffee Kettle at The Aurora RV Park & Marina

The Aurora RV Park & Marina is a work in progress. I can see what they want to make this campground into, but the reality of what it’s currently status is makes it difficult to stay there. I did get to try a couple of the different blends of Nature’s Coffee Kettle while I was there. Unfortunately I did have to cut my trip short as there was a mandatory evacuation order put into place due to wild fires.

Campground Review

First off this park is designed for RV use, but the owners have converted a few spaces for tent camping. During my visit I stayed in a tent. I booked the site through and paid $22.00 a night.

The Good

Each site has its own water sipget and two electrical outlets that work well. There was plenty of space at the site to setup two 4-person tents. The site is at the North end of Clearlake and you have some pretty spectacular views all day long. There is a beautiful public BBQ sitting area right next to the private beach. You can use the canoes, kayaks, or paddle boat all free of charge and they provide life jackets. There park does provide WiFi at no additional cost and it worked reasonably well. The mangers there are very friendly and approachable. They checked on me multiple times to make sure everything was okay.

The Bad

At the time of my visit the campground was undergoing renovations. The office area where the bathrooms/showers, laundry room, and community lounge were all at some stage of construction. THe bathrooms were clean, but only one shower and toilet worked. There was no mirror in the bathroom during my stay. I could not for the life of me get the shower to spray warm water at all so I had a week of cold showers, which wasn’t too bad given how hot it was. I did report this to the mangers, but the issue never got resolved. For tent camping the site were too close together and no picnic table was provided at the space I was at. If I had booked through AirB&B I would have been in a different area that had a picnic table.

Product Review

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products in the field. At The Aurora RV Park & Marina, I tested two different blends of Nature’s Coffee Kettle. I tried the Colombian and Sumatra blend. Overall I would give this product a 4 out a 5 stars.

What I liked about camping with the Nature’s Coffee Kettle:

  • Portable and easy to pack. It takes almost no space at all as it is completely flat when empty.
  • Easy to make. Boil water and pour into the kettle and wait. That’s it!
  • Easy to clean. Once you’ve had your coffee take out the coffee pod and dispose of it. Rinse out the kettle and your done.
  • The kettle is reusable! You can re-order new pods and keep using the kettle
  • Many different things you can brew. Currently they have variety of coffee blends and tea blends. They also have Hot Chocolate, but that comes in its own kettle.
  • Some of the best coffee I have had while camping. The coffee was really good! Way batter than my normal percolated stuff.

THings to be aware of

  • You have to be really careful when pouting the boiling water into the kettle. It is easy to still some of that water on yourself (I did this).
  • The pouch is not insulated so if you want to drink hot/warm coffee you got to drink quickly.
crowded in summer, but great family spot

campsites are relatively far apart, though this campsite can get rowdy and loud in the evenings, especially on weekends. the access to the water is amazing! the water is calm and warm, great for swimming or kayaking! campsite has working toilets and showers and access to a boat launch

Great for family reunions

Wonderful campgrounds for large family reunion camp ours. Watch out for the ticks during the summer months.

Beach at your doorstep!

Close to beach but also just outside of town. Cook over a fire or eat at a restaurant, your choice. Fun tide pools.

Peaceful and gorgeous!

This small campground has a wonderful host, clean amenities, a wonderful smell, and a fabulous beach to play on.

Quiet campground best in early summer

Navy Camp is a small, quiet campground on the far side of the lake from the dam. When the water is high (early summer), this camp is our favorite on the lake. Later in the season, it can be very dry and you may be the only camper there, even on a weekend. (This can be good but the forest critters are more bold in trying to steal your food!).

Spots on the first part of the loop have sunset views, but are less protected from the wind. The second half of the loop have sunrise views.

When the lake is high enough, we stay here so we can anchor our boat for the duration of our trip near our campsite. There are two boat launches on the lake: one by Fuller Grove Camp, one near Sunset camp. The one at Fuller has a small boat dock. Near Sunset there is no dock, less parking, but easier turn around access. We also bring our inflatable canoe and leave that on shore when not using. A lot of people bring kayaks too-just watch the wind coming up in the afternoon or it’ll be a long, hard paddle back to camp!

Soda Creek Store is about a 10 minute drive. They have ice, wood, bait, beer, sodas, snacks, and a few other things like tp, diapers, etc if you forgot these. But you can never count on anything…they’ve got what they’ve got and that’s it. They always have a cooler full of ice cream treats, though!

Summertime days are often very hot (100+) but you can also experience windy, cooler days and thunderstorms.

Go here if you like to camp with few amenities and limited supplies nearby and want to be left alone! Ive been going here 20+ years. It’s my happy place. Don’t ruin it.