THE BEST CAMPING NEAR
Pinnacles National Park, CALIFORNIA
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Most Recent Pinnacles National Park Camping Reviews
Great spot for camping

My family and I enjoyed a day in Monterey, and we camped here the night. It was very nice! Clean bathrooms, clean warm showers! Friendly neighbors from all around the world. Even saw six deers walking around.

Incredible experience

Of course this campground is in one of the most beautiful places on earth, so for that alone it deserves five stars! In addition to that, the campground had all the amenities you would need. There are laundry facilities, general store, firewood for sale and alternative lodging facilities if camping isn’t your thing. We visited in August and the weather was perfect. It was warm enough during the day to dip in the streams that run through the camp and cool enough at night to sleep comfortably. The nights are pitch black because of the massive redwoods, it’s pretty amazing! The bathrooms were relatively clean, there were a lot of cobwebs that probably could have been easily cleaned but overall they were clean. There were so many things to do and see nearby, Monterey is about an hour drive and totally worth doing a day trip for. There is zero cell service for T-Mobile, I was completely disconnected from the outside world, it was wonderful.

Incredible experience

Of course this campground is in one of the most beautiful places on earth, so for that alone it deserves five stars! In addition to that, the campground had all the amenities you would need. There are laundry facilities, general store, firewood for sale and alternative lodging facilities if camping isn’t your thing. We visited in August and the weather was perfect. It was warm enough during the day to dip in the streams that run through the camp and cool enough at night to sleep comfortably. The nights are pitch black because of the massive redwoods, it’s pretty amazing! The bathrooms were relatively clean, there were a lot of cobwebs that probably could have been easily cleaned but overall they were clean. There were so many things to do and see nearby, Monterey is about an hour drive and totally worth doing a day trip for. There is zero cell service for T-Mobile, I was completely disconnected from the outside world, it was wonderful.

Glamping in the redwoods

This place is beautiful. Has everything you need right in the redwoods. Very expensive

Camping in the redwoods

I love big Sur and this state park just has it all.

Rustic camping

It’s hot in the summer, but you go here to cool off in the river. Perfect summer spot.

The most amazing campsite I’ve been to

Beaches, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, redwoods, must I say more? It’s BREATHTAKING.

Family fun

Been coming here for 20+yrs. Great camping, camp sites are nice and clean. Great for boating, kayaking & just enjoying some sun.

Spruce Campground near Salmon Creek

My girls and I love a good, remote campground… This is (almost) it. We only hiked in/out without camping this time. We're making plans to return.

Only a two-mile hike from HWY 1 and about the same to Salmon Creek Falls. The entire area is lovely, but we had hoped for more sweeping ocean views. That isn't meant as a complaint though or this place would be packed all of the time. The trees were thick and many were down on the trail itself. Luckily, the girls don't mind mud as the trail to/from Spruce was muddy most of the way. Expect a steep climb as the first two miles of Salmon Creek Trail increases in elevation by approximately 1,000 feet.

Great "Adventure Cabin" aka Yurt

Traveling alone with two little girls, I opted for more populated campgrounds with nearby amenities. Granted, it was spring and the weather still too cold for most, so the Fernwood Campground was all but deserted. (If there were more people, it would likely have been loud in the campground as the spots are really close together.)

We rented a yurt for two nights right on the Big Sur River. My girls had a blast playing in the mud, traversing the meadow and climbing readwoods. Really, this place lacks nothing.

One major stair climb and you are in the hotel on HWY 101. My youngest has a knack for falling in rivers, so we took advantage of the laundry facilities in a nearby hotel while sipping cocoa and eating a hearty breakfast.

Only 4 stars because the spots are too close together to achieve that "remote" feel I like.

Great location

Right in the middle of town, we were there for a quick overnighted on a road trip. Bathrooms were clean, campsite was spacious, but lots of city noise. (Middle of town on a hill)

Big Campground

This is really the only campground in the NP. It's within a few miles to the major trails and caves. The spots are more private and you will see lots of wildlife in there too!

First to Review
Amazing Views

Only about 20 min outside of Monterey, this was a great spot we ended up staying at for almost a week. Full or partial hookups are available. Many of the sites are at the top of the hill with some beautiful views around. We weren't there during an event weekend so it was pretty quiet.

Not Great for RVs

There's a hefty grade to get up the hill to this campground. It's a nice spot and it has a park and hot showers. It's about a mile to walk into town and it's back down the hill you just drove up. They have a limit of 21 feet for RVs.

Ranger Review: RovR RollR 60 Cooler at Ventana Campground: Nice campground

Campsite Review:

Ventana Campground

Ventana Campground is a tent only campground, which I love as I feel like it’s harder and harder to find now a days. They can’t accommodate RV’s, motor homes, travel trailers or pop-up tent trailers. Although we did see a few of the rental company camper vans and trucks with roof tents or small campers on top. This campground isn’t cheap… But for the Big Sur area, I guess it’s “reasonable” as this campground is right in the middle of Pfieffer Big Sur and Julia Pfieffer Burns State Parks. It really is in a great location to explore the coast That being said, I did find it a little disappointing just how close the campsites are to each other here, meaning you’re not going to get anything close to a secluded camping experience. These (like almost all campground now a days) come with a fire ring and picnic table. We were lucky enough to get randomly placed in a spot right next to a wonderful little 2-foot waterfall on the creek that runs through the campground. We lucked out as there was never anyone at the front gate and there was just a list of everyone’s per-assigned campsite. There were some other campsites which were right on top of each other and you had to basically walk through someone else’s area to get to “your” table and fire ring.

It was nice that there was both recycling/trash and potable water stations scattered throughout and the bath facilities were decently maintained, and as they say “modern” (i.e. flush toilets). However, I was blown away that they only have coin-operated showers available (2 minutes per quarter). This and they really did pack in the 60+ sites plus a “glamping” area in the back for $425-695 (average ~$600) a night…

The tent site campground is reservable by phone at 1-855-391-8683 or online ($85 for Sunday-Thursday, $105 for Friday & Saturday)

While we don’t have one, I know people like to know that dogs are allowed at the campsite on leash (2 per campground).

For me personally the campground only gets 3/5 stars :

Overall, remember that while you have great access to the beauty that Big Sur Coast has to offer and the campground is pet friendly you’re definitely, not really going to get a remote camping experience and there’s a lot lacking for how much you’re paying. The facilities don’t have dish washing areas and while they are nicely cleaned and maintained things like a shower shouldn’t have cost extra…

These rules are copied from their pamphlet.

•        Respect the peacefulness and quiet of the redwoods.

•        QUIET HOURS 10 PM TO 7 AM.

•        No loud noise or loud music at anytime.

•        NO RVS. NO HOOK UPS. NO GENERATORS.

•        All fires must be in fire rings, under control at all times and extinguished before departure.

•        PLEASE DO NOT DEFACE TREES OR STUMPS.

•        Please purchase your firewood in Big Sur. Collecting groundwood is forbidden.

•        No fireworks or fire arms permitted on property.

•        LEAVE NO TRACE on campsites or facilities.

•        Conserve water. Firmly close water taps when not using.

•        Dogs must be quiet, on leash at all times and stay in campsites or roads. Please clean up after your dog. No dogs left unattended.

•        Recycle bins are available for plastic bottles, cans and glass. Please recycle.

•       Maximum five people, one vehicle, two dogs.

Gear Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt I sometimes get the opportunity to test out products and what I got to use during this trip for protecting our food from the wildlife and the elements was RovR’s RollR 60 cooler. While listed as “a 60-quart carrying, all-terrain attacking, patented design that can go anywhere you can. Engineered with the world's best cooling and organization design on the inside and built to carry your campsite, tailgate or party on the out.” It really turned out to be all this plus so much more. We had a really easy time wheeling it around and to our site and it was so much nicer than having to carry a cooler like I’ve done with my other rotomolded brands. Ugh… they get heavy with food and ice in them.

This cooler comes with a lot of really unique features that no other cooler has! Plus many other customization and add-on possibilities. Their coolers come with a folding tote container which is attached to the top with velcro straps so that while wheeling it around it won’t just slide right off. Good thinking there! When not in use this tote folds flat, and fits into an indention on the top thus serving possibly as a slight cushion for sitting.

When in use, the tote is unfolded and becomes an additional dry container for holding extra gear like a stove, pots and pans, paper towels, etc. You can also remove it entirely from the top and placed to the side or move it to a picnic table with all that dry gear you have for cooking or whats not. This “feature” is awesome - it is like having two carrying containers in one.

There are additional fixtures on the cooler which are designed to attached auxiliary items like a cutting board, umbrella or drink holders. There’s even a fixture for attaching an extension that can be attached to a bicycle. Thus, one can pull the cooler behind a bicycle like a trailer. Innovative game changer for those bike campers!

My favorite feature was Inside the cooler there is a special bin that can hold items that may not need to be chilled like bread, towels or utensils. This feature is so important to keep items separate and dry when moisture develops, or the ice starts to melt. The bin itself has an internal divider which further aids with organization. Sometimes you want things right on the ice, but other stuff isn’t going to do as well if you freeze it!! This was an awesome idea.

Overall, I give the cooler 5/5 stars. I really love the company’s innovation to the rotomolded cooler and even our cats approved! Go get ourselves one of these instead of some of those other rotomolded coolers at RovRproducts.com

Cooler’s Features:

•        Certified grizzly bear resistant rotationally molded body and lid with anchor pins for attaching prep station and accessories.

•        Up to 10 days of ice retention depending on use.

•        Capacity: Without Deepfreeze dry bin installed: 60 cans and 20lbs. of ice. With Deepfreeze dry bin installed: 40 cans and 10 pounds of ice in main compartment and 4-6 bottles of spirits upright with meats, breads, fruits and vegies in dry compartments.

•        High density foam insulation

•        High performance wheel assembly: 9-inch all-terrain rubber tires with interchangeable tube, aluminum hubs with 2 sealed bearings *

•        12.5 mm stainless steel axle *

•        Aluminum pull handle with dual motocross style grips *

•        Deep Freeze removable Dry Bin with 2 compartments *

•        Airtight gasket *

•        Rubber latches *

•        Fast Flow drain plug with gasket *

•        Wagon Bin/removable storage bin *

•        Rubber non-skid feet *

•        5 year limited warranty

  • Can be removed, replaced or repaired at home to increase the longevity of your RollR under the most extreme conditions.

** Refer to warranty on site for more info.

Can’t wait to come back!

Great camping spot! You have a few hiking trails to choose from. Restroom and showers were clean. I’ll be back soon

Beautiful Redwood Camp

This campground is tucked away between Watsonville, CA and Gilroy, CA in a small stand of second growth redwwoods. They have one loop of rv sites and three other loops of gorgeous tent sites. They have redwood trees, showers, restrooms, archery, hiking trails, Henry Miller's vacation home ruins, camp fire programs and a pen of exotic white deer.

I've been camping here my entire life in every season and I never get tired of it.

Could use a little TLC

Two campgrounds: tent sites with no hookups and an RV Loop with electric. We chose the latter since we are having problems with our solar. Several sites are not open due to damage (storms, vandalism, not sure why) and the ones that are open could still use a little sprucing up. We were in site 112 which had the advantage of shade from a huge oak tree. Since the three sites to our left were closed and the one to our right was not occupied, it felt private but if all sites were open and occupied, there would not be much privacy between sites. 116 looked to be the best site in this Loop. Wooden picnic table was a little warped and there was a huge hole at one corner that I tripped in more than once. We tried to re-position the table but there was no way it would budge. No bathrooms in the RV Loop but it was not that far of a walk to the flush toilets in the tent Loop. The road on the RV Loop was part paved and in fine condition but part dirt with deep ruts that were impossible to navigate around. This campground gets extra points for recycling, especially of propane canisters. The campground is located at the East entrance to the park by the Visitor center; there are no campgrounds by the west entrance and you cannot drive between the two (you can hike). Lots of hiking, Condor sightings and, in the spring, many wildflowers.

Awesome, Beautiful Campground If You Get Good Neighbors

I lucked out and nabbed a site that someone had canceled at the last-minute, so I was able to stay among the majestic redwoods at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. My site was lovely, just a short walk from the bathrooms. In the evening, you could hear kids playing, a nearby group strumming on a guitar — all of the sounds you expect from a camping experience. Then my neighbors put up a giant big screen and proceeded to watch, while blaring the audio, "Finding Nemo" until late at night. After 10pm, I had to hike in the pitch black to find the camp host to get these people to stop. It seriously became my most awful camping experience — not because of the awesome campground, but because of the awful people. When I finally found the camp host (many host spots were empty and the hosts who were there ended up on the far side of the campground, which is very, very large), they opened their door and said "Camp site xx?" and said my camp site number. "We knew you were coming. We saw them setting that up earlier today." So the host drove me back to my site and dropped me near the bathroom so the neighbors would think the host was just cruising around checking on things. (That was nice of the host, really. It had taken a 20 minutes of walking to find him.) The people did finally shut down their movie operation. The next morning, they headed out on the hiking trails with their boom box blaring music.

So I'd definitely stay here again and hope for a better neighbor experience. I also hope the park is able to get more hosts to take on that volunteer role.

Cloud heaven

Prewitt Ridge has some of the most fantastic views I have ever seen from any campsite. It’s quiet, peaceful, and I’d recommend to anyone who hasn’t been before.

The drive up is probably difficult for anyone in a sedan. While some of the road has been recently graded, there are some larger potholes that will cause your suspension to flex. If you’re in a suv, it’s pretty easy if you’re used to driving off road. There are some campsites on the drive up, but if you can make it to the top it’s definitely worth the drive.

We arrived at 7:30pm, and the sunset was incredible. If I could do it again I’d get there earlier to try to grab a spot near the ridge. Keep in mind that if you camp near the ridge, it’s not that private and you’ll get camped on top off pretty quickly. There are some choice spots towards the back of you want more privacy.

The only thing that really bothered us were the gnats. They were pretty vicious and I wouldn’t spend the entire day up there just to avoid those things. We had a thermacell backpacker mosquito repellent with us and luckily there wasn’t a lot of wind which kept the mosquitos away but obviously not the gnats. Come a couple hours before sunset and you should be gnat free.

Overall, if you haven’t been I’d suggest making the drive up. It’s beautiful and a chance to get away from the zoo that’s taking place on highway 1. Not sure I’d spend an entire day up here since there’s not much to do but definitely worth an overnight trip.

Ocean view redwood oasis

Beautiful campgrounds right by ocean. Can get a little cold with ocean breeze but so beautiful and worth it. Redwoods and hiking in campground too.

Quiet with walking distance to the beach

there is always a helpful camp host here to help. There are bathrooms. Large campsites with table, firepit, and stove. Walking distance to beach and hiking. Off road 4WD trails next to camp sight. Beautiful trees there too.

Camp under Oak trees near the Arroyo Seco River
  • A primitive campground that has about 8 campsites. Some campsites are pretty big and have privacy. Some are closer together than others. We stayed at site 8 and it was really nice. Tucked in the back with lots of privacy and space.
  • First-come, first-serve walk-in campground ($20/day) but I was able to make reservations online as well.
  • No running water, but there is are vault toilets (long drop) near the entrance of the campground
  • Lots of fantastic hiking nearby including Junipero Serro Peak. Trails are a little difficult to see because there are so many going in different directions, so a map can help. You can also see LOTS of animal scat so there are animals using hiking paths as game trail. Stay alert and be careful. Otherwise, it's so beautiful here and you can get AMAZING VIEWS!
  • This campground is in the valley of a few peaks so it was freezing at night (especially without a campfire)
  • Each campsite has a picnic table, firepit, and trashcans (with lids). The campground floors were covered with leaves but for the most part very flat and easy to find good spots for pitching a tent.
  • There was a fire ban during the time we stayed so no fires were allowed
  • Lots of wildlife and animal activity nearby. Loved camping underneath the canopies of Live Oak trees and listening to Acorn Woodpeckers in the morning. They are loud but still pleasant
  • The 18-mile drive getting here off the main highway was also beautiful and windy. We saw lots of deer and rabbits. This campground is far from shops or stores so make sure you come with plenty of supplies and water.
  • Very secluded and rustic campground. We only saw one other group in the evening, and they ended up leaving. During the day time there were more people coming for day hikes and parked at the visitor parking lot.
  • No cell reception AT ALL so you feel like you're off the grid (AT&T)
Beautiful location

Minimal amenities (to be expected in many state campgrounds) - no electric, no dump station, but there is access to drinking water (community spigots). It’s also right across from a short (.2mile) trail with jaw-dropping views of the bluffs and surrounding mountains. At night all I heard was the ocean and a great horned owl. The one downer: although this is on the edge of the Verizon coverage map, there is NO cell service unless you walk out to the short trail, where you might get a single bar of 1x or 3G. We got nothing with our AT&T hotspot.

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.

Excellent Camping in Big Sur

The site was beautiful, with many nice trails scattered about within the park. The lodge is not too far in case of any purchasing needs. Besides our loud neighbors, I would say that my group had an excellent time.

Backpacking

Backpacking trip by myself nice big sur like nature majority of the hike is next to a small creek /river. Sites are hard to find but flat. No amenities so make sure to come prepared

Passed by while backpacking

Walked passed it on the way to Estrella camp. Really nice sites with tables and right next to the river. Looked like a good spot to take kids for a swim 🏊‍♀️ only about 2ish miles out so would be an easy first trip for people (can get crowded)

Backpacking

Took some buddies on their first backpacking trip out here probably about 3ish miles there. You pass two waterfalls. The second one is really nice and a great place for a dip. Sites are hard to find but once you get there they are flat and nice next to creek/ river