Best Camping near Monterey, CA

All 117 places to camp near Monterey, CA. Only on TheDyrt.com: real photos & reviews for all top Monterey campsites, RV parks, free camping, and more.

Camping near Monterey, California

Monterey, California, is a prime destination for campers looking to enjoy the great outdoors while being close to the stunning Pacific coastline. With a variety of campgrounds offering different amenities and experiences, there's something for everyone, whether you're a tent camper, RV enthusiast, or looking for a glamping experience. From the serene beaches to the lush forests, camping near Monterey provides a perfect blend of nature and convenience.

In this guide, we'll explore some of the top campgrounds near Monterey, highlighting what campers love, what you should know before you go, and tips for families and RVers. Whether you're planning a weekend getaway or an extended stay, this information will help you make the most of your camping adventure.

What to do

Camping near Monterey offers a plethora of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking and beachcombing to exploring local attractions, there's no shortage of things to do. Many campgrounds are situated near popular landmarks and natural wonders, making it easy to plan your daily adventures.

For instance, Veteran's Memorial Park Campground is close to Monterey, offering easy access to the city's attractions. One camper, Allison, mentioned, "The proximity to Monterey was great. An easy walk down to town was maybe a little over a mile." Read more.

Another great spot is Big Sur Campground & Cabins, where you can enjoy river activities and hiking. Jake R. shared, "You can go down and walk by the river, float the river with the complimentary tubes, and relax by a fire right next to the massive trees." Read more.

What campers like

Campers have a lot to love about the campgrounds near Monterey. From the scenic views to the well-maintained facilities, these campgrounds offer a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

At Sunset State Beach, Sonya S. praised the cleanliness and tranquility, saying, "This is a beautiful place, campsite behind woods, this, waving sound won’t bother at night. Very clean and friendly staffs." Read more.

Santa Cruz North-Costanoa KOA is another favorite, especially for families. Alma L. noted, "The campground to be super clean, the bathrooms to be ultra clean. The restaurant at the lodge, the Cascade, was phenomenal." Read more.

What you should know

While camping near Monterey is generally a fantastic experience, there are a few things you should be aware of to ensure a smooth trip. Some campgrounds have specific rules or limitations that might affect your stay.

For example, Santa Cruz North-Costanoa KOA does not allow rooftop tents. Andrea W. warned, "Just a warning that apparently this is a franchise KOA and by 'owner decision' no rooftop tents are allowed." Read more.

At Laguna Seca Recreation Area, water is non-potable, so you'll need to bring your own drinking water. Neil T. mentioned, "Water is non-potable, but that wasn’t a problem for us." Read more.

Tips for camping with families

Camping with kids can be a rewarding experience, especially when you choose a family-friendly campground. Many campgrounds near Monterey offer amenities and activities that cater to families, making it easier to keep everyone entertained.

Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA Holiday is a top pick for families. Andrea A. shared, "We have a two and a half year old and it’s perfect for us in a 28’ fifth wheel. Paved roads for bikes, huge playground, nice store, warm pool." Read more.

Another great option is Fernwood Campground & Resort, where kids can enjoy playing in the river. Siân d. noted, "The site is beautiful, with a river running through that the kids loved playing in." Read more.

Tips from RVers

RVers will find plenty of suitable campgrounds near Monterey, but it's essential to know what to expect regarding amenities and site conditions. Some campgrounds are better equipped for larger rigs, while others may have limitations.

Carmel by the River RV Park is highly recommended for RVers. Jena mentioned, "This RV park is a hidden gem!" Read more.

At Moss Landing KOA Express, you'll find a cozy and well-maintained park. HandL C. shared, "This KOA is cozy, with small sites, no pool, no frills. The shower rooms are big and in good shape." Read more.

For those looking to stay close to the action, Laguna Seca Recreation Area offers a unique experience. Christopher S. said, "Many years ago, while stationed at DLI, I camped here. Lot 114, right about the raceway, which I thought was a great site." Read more.

Camping near Monterey, California, offers a diverse range of experiences, from beachside relaxation to forested retreats. By choosing the right campground and being prepared, you can ensure a memorable and enjoyable camping trip.

Best Camping Sites Near Monterey, CA (117)

    Camper-submitted photo from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Campground

    1.

    Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Campground

    59 Reviews
    182 Photos
    1098 Saves
    Big Sur, California

    Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground features 189 RV and tent sites are situated on or near the Big Sur River. There is a Campfire Center that offers evening programs on the weekends during peak season.

    Each campsite includes a parking area for at least one car, a fire pit with half-grill and picnic table. No hookups are provided at any site. Fresh water, hot showers and toilets are a short walk.

    All incoming campers must check in at the entrance kiosk. Camper vehicles must display vehicle tag (proof of reservation) in the windshield. Vehicle tags are also valid for day use entrance into other area state parks.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    • Tents

    $60 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Veteran's Memorial Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Veteran's Memorial Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Veteran's Memorial Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Veteran's Memorial Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Veteran's Memorial Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Veteran's Memorial Park Campground

    2.

    Veteran's Memorial Park Campground

    31 Reviews
    72 Photos
    869 Saves
    Pacific Grove, California

    Veteran's Memorial Park is a popular and beautiful 50 acre park in the forested hills of Monterey. Located only a mile from Downtown Monterey, this park is an affordable and fun way to stay overnight in the Monterey Peninsula. Besides campgrounds (open 365 days per year), the park includes hiking trails under towering Monterey Pine forest and bay views. You will also find BBQ picnic areas, play equipment, turf and lawn playfield and a basketball court.

    FIRE RESTRICTIONS During fire season (June 1st - November 1st, weather pending) no fires allowed and cooking with fuel camp stoves only.

    Campsites are first come, first served; no reservations. Camping is limited to three (3) consecutive days. Vehicles or trailers cannot be longer than 21 feet. Pets are allowed in the camp (leashed and attended only), but are not allowed in hiker/biker sites.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • ADA Access
    • RVs
    • Tents

    $10 - $47 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Saddle Mountain Ranch
    Camper-submitted photo from Saddle Mountain Ranch
    Camper-submitted photo from Saddle Mountain Ranch
    Camper-submitted photo from Saddle Mountain Ranch
    Camper-submitted photo from Saddle Mountain Ranch
    Camper-submitted photo from Saddle Mountain Ranch

    3.

    Saddle Mountain Ranch

    22 Reviews
    63 Photos
    349 Saves
    Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    We are located on 89 acres of forest land off Carmel Valley Road, just 5 miles from HWY 1. Nestled within oaks, Monterey pines, and redwoods, Saddle Mountain offers a great peaceful getaway for those seeking a break from the bustle of life.

    Experience Carmel Valley where the climate is tempered by the ocean just 15 minutes away. Our RV village offers 30-amp hook-ups, restrooms, free hot showers, wifi, cable, playground and we are pet-friendly.

    You can also enjoy our sparkling pool in the months of May to October. RV max length is up to 30ft.

    Enjoy Saddle Mountain Ranch and the surrounding areas with all the amenities and comforts of home. Our cabins have a variety of layouts and amenities to accommodate the different needs and desires of our guests.

    Camping Sites Pitch your tent on our cozy mountain amongst the trees and beautiful settings. Enjoy a short walk to our sparkling pool where you can relax under the gazebo with a propane fire pit. We also have fire pits (burning Duraflame logs only) for your campsite use as you gaze at the stars.

    Free hot showers/bathrooms are for our Saddle campers to use, and when you camp with us you can indulge in amenities such as ping pong, horseshoe pits, badminton or check out a board game.

    We welcome guests to try our Saddle Mountain trail up into the forest with beautiful views. Can’t wait to see you!

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from New Brighton State Beach Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from New Brighton State Beach Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from New Brighton State Beach Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from New Brighton State Beach Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from New Brighton State Beach Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from New Brighton State Beach Campground

    4.

    New Brighton State Beach Campground

    39 Reviews
    126 Photos
    876 Saves
    Capitola, California

    New Brighton State Beach is one of the most popular beachfront campgrounds in California, offering over 100 developed campsites, including 11 RV hookup sites. With bluff top views of the the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary, a visitor center museum, shade ramada for group picnics and special events, and campfire center with free summer programs, it’s no wonder New Brighton State Beach is such a favorite destination!

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access

    $185 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Laguna Seca Recreation Area
    Camper-submitted photo from Laguna Seca Recreation Area
    Camper-submitted photo from Laguna Seca Recreation Area
    Camper-submitted photo from Laguna Seca Recreation Area
    Camper-submitted photo from Laguna Seca Recreation Area
    Camper-submitted photo from Laguna Seca Recreation Area

    5.

    Laguna Seca Recreation Area

    20 Reviews
    57 Photos
    238 Saves
    Seaside, California

    Laguna Seca Recreation Area, located near Monterey, CA, is a unique spot for camping with a twist. This campground is set around the famous Laguna Seca Racetrack, making it a thrilling place to stay, especially if you're into motorsports. Imagine waking up to the sound of engines revving and watching cars zoom by on the track—it's an experience you won't find just anywhere.

    The campground offers a mix of tent and RV accommodations, with amenities like electric hookups, showers, and toilets. However, keep in mind that the water here is non-potable, so you'll need to bring your own drinking water. The sites are spacious and provide great views of the surrounding lush green hills, which is a pleasant surprise for many visitors who expect a more barren landscape.

    Pets are welcome, and there's plenty of space for them to roam. Fires are allowed, so you can enjoy a cozy campfire under the stars. The staff here are known for being friendly and helpful, with some campers sharing stories of staff members going above and beyond, like helping out with a dead car battery in the pouring rain.

    The location is also a perfect basecamp for exploring the Monterey Bay area. It's an easy drive into Monterey, where you can enjoy the coastal attractions, or you can stay put and take advantage of the scenic trails and viewpoints around the campground. Whether you're here for the races or just to relax, Laguna Seca Recreation Area offers a memorable camping experience.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinnacles Campground — Pinnacles National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinnacles Campground — Pinnacles National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinnacles Campground — Pinnacles National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinnacles Campground — Pinnacles National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinnacles Campground — Pinnacles National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinnacles Campground — Pinnacles National Park

    6.

    Pinnacles Campground — Pinnacles National Park

    83 Reviews
    383 Photos
    95 Saves
    Pinnacles, California

    Overview

    Pinnacles Campground is located in the unique Pinnacles National Park, 32 miles south of Hollister, California. The park encompasses 26,000 acres of spectacular rock formations and remnants of an extinct 23 million-year old volcano. Hiking and rock climbing are very popular activities in Pinnacles, as is watching for the majestic California condor overhead. Pinnacles National Park is a nesting place for the endangered soaring bird, the largest in North America.

    Recreation

    Pinnacles National Park has more than 30 miles of trails, ranging from easy to strenuous. Many trails intersect, allowing for a short loop or a longer all-day hike. Popular destinations include Bear Gulch Reservoir, High Peaks and the Balconies area. The Bench Trail provides direct access to the park from the campground. Visitors enjoy exploring Balconies Cave and Bear Gulch Cave, which houses a large colony of Townsend's big-eared bats. Bring a flashlight! Rock climbers flock to Pinnacles for the variety of climbing routes that range from easy top-ropes to the multi-pitch climbs along Machete Ridge.

    Facilities

    Pinnacles National Park has more than 30 miles of trails, ranging from easy to strenuous. Many trails intersect, allowing for a short loop or a longer all-day hike. Popular destinations include Bear Gulch Reservoir, High Peaks and the Balconies area. The Bench Trail provides direct access to the park from the campground. Visitors enjoy exploring Balconies Cave and Bear Gulch Cave, which houses a large colony of Townsend's big-eared bats. Bring a flashlight! Rock climbers flock to Pinnacles for the variety of climbing routes that range from easy top-ropes to the multi-pitch climbs along Machete Ridge.

    Natural Features

    The campground is situated in a rolling landscape dotted with shady Valley Oak, Blue Oak and Coast Live Oak trees. A gentle, seasonal creek runs through the grounds. Springtime finds Pinnacles bursting with a wide variety of vivid wildflowers that line every trail and fill entire meadows with color. Deer and wild turkeys roam the area, and condors can be viewed from within the campground. The park ranges in elevation from 824 feet along South Chalone Creek to 3,304 feet atop North Chalone Peak.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group

    $129 - $154 / night

  1. 7.

    Sunset State Beach

    27 Reviews
    70 Photos
    938 Saves
    Watsonville, California

    RVs and Tents. Sunset State Beach camping provides dozens of dune-protected family sites (without hookups) that hold recreational vehicles up to 31 feet in length. Pets must not be left unattended in campsites. Parking for one vehicle is included in camping fees. Additional funds may be collected on site for up to TWO additional vehicles at a nightly rate (this does not apply to tow-in cars or trailers).

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    • RVs
    Camper-submitted photo from Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Campground

    8.

    Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Campground

    41 Reviews
    160 Photos
    773 Saves
    Mount Hermon, California

    Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Campground, located near Santa Cruz, CA, is a fantastic spot for camping all year round. This place is a haven for nature lovers, offering a serene environment surrounded by towering redwoods and lush greenery. The campground is equipped with essential amenities like flush toilets, coin-operated showers, and picnic tables. You can also bring your pets along, but keep in mind that they aren't allowed on the trails.

    One of the standout features here is the abundance of beautiful trails nearby. Whether you're into hiking or just want a peaceful walk, you'll find plenty of options to explore. The campground itself is spacious, with sites that provide a decent amount of privacy thanks to the dense tree cover. However, some sites might be a bit shaded, which could be a downside if you're relying on solar panels.

    Visitors have praised the cleanliness of the bathrooms and the overall maintenance of the campground. It's a family-friendly spot, safe and enjoyable for all ages. If you're into campfires, you'll be happy to know that fires are allowed, and you can even purchase firewood on-site.

    For those who like a bit of convenience, the campground is just a short drive from the South Bay area, making it easy to pop into town for supplies or a quick bite. Plus, it's close to attractions like Roaring Camp, which adds a fun element to your stay.

    In summary, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Campground offers a great mix of natural beauty, essential amenities, and convenient access to nearby attractions. It's a place where you can truly unwind and enjoy the great outdoors.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    • RVs

    $7 - $35 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Big Sur Campground & Cabins
    Camper-submitted photo from Big Sur Campground & Cabins
    Camper-submitted photo from Big Sur Campground & Cabins
    Camper-submitted photo from Big Sur Campground & Cabins
    Camper-submitted photo from Big Sur Campground & Cabins
    Camper-submitted photo from Big Sur Campground & Cabins

    9.

    Big Sur Campground & Cabins

    27 Reviews
    53 Photos
    717 Saves
    Big Sur, California

    Located among majestic Coastal Redwood trees along the pristine Big Sur River, Big Sur Campground & Cabins offers camping and lodging with the emphasis on Family. Enjoy RV/campsite camping on the forest floor as you watch the kids inner tube by in the cool water. Or pamper your family in one of several styles of cabins, from rustic camping cabins to fully equipped cabins with kitchens and fireplaces.

    Pitch your tent among the redwood trees and enjoy camping in one of the most beautiful settings anywhere. A firepit and picnic table are provided at each campsite, and you'll find a bath house with hot showers nearby.

    Big Sur Campground and Cabins welcomes you and your RV. We can accommodate trailers and motorhomes up to 40 feet in length in select sites. In addition to a picnic table and firepit, we provide water and electric hookups at the site, and a central dump station.

    If you're looking for the feel of camping but don't have your own gear, take a look at our popular cabins. Situated on or near the river, each cabin includes a queen bed with linens, blankets, and towels to use the camper’s bathhouse. Simply bring your cooler and camp stove and you're ready to go!

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • RVs

    $80 - $699 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Mount Madonna County Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Mount Madonna County Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Mount Madonna County Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Mount Madonna County Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Mount Madonna County Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Mount Madonna County Park

    10.

    Mount Madonna County Park

    29 Reviews
    102 Photos
    363 Saves
    Gilroy, California

    Visitors may choose from 116 drive-in and walk-in reservable campsites spread throughout four campgrounds. Each site comes equipped with a barbecue pit, food locker, and picnic table. Showers are also available (no coins needed) for campers (camping fee required for use of showers), as well as 29 partial hook-up RV sites. Yurts are also available for reservation. These domed-tent like structures come in three different sizes - 16', 20' and 24' offering bunk beds with mattresses, fold out futons and a wrap-around deck.

    Overnight camping is one of the most popular activities at Mt. Madonna. View here for more information about tent, yurt and RV camping. There is no longer first-come, first-serve camping sites.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • RVs
    • Tents
Showing results 1-10 of 117 campgrounds

Pet-friendly camping near Monterey

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Frequently Asked Questions

What camping is available near Monterey, CA?

According to TheDyrt.com, Monterey, CA offers a wide range of camping options, with 117 campgrounds and RV parks near Monterey, CA and 3 free dispersed camping spots.

Which is the most popular campground near Monterey, CA?

According to TheDyrt.com, the most popular campground near Monterey, CA is Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Campground with a 4.6-star rating from 59 reviews.

Where can I find free dispersed camping near Monterey, CA?

According to TheDyrt.com, there are 3 free dispersed camping spots near Monterey, CA.

What parks are near Monterey, CA?

According to TheDyrt.com, there are 13 parks near Monterey, CA that allow camping, notably Pinnacles National Park and Golden Gate National Recreation Area.