The best camping near
Stanislaus National Forest, CALIFORNIA

555 Reviews 366 Campgrounds
Camping California Stanislaus National Forest
Retrieving Results
EXPLORE
Most Recent Stanislaus National Forest Camping Reviews
Nice and quiet and beautiful under the moonlight

We came here because Dardanelle was closed down and we are absolutely grateful for that. This quiet piece of gem sits next to the river which shone so beautiful under the silky moonlight. It is clean and well maintained.

Not the best

It’s a good place to stay when you are in Yosemite because it’s central and close to popular hikes. But spots are small and sanitary are old and not very clean. Hosts are kind and helpful. It’s full all days and it’s a huge campground so there is a lot of people but still quite. Good enough but not the best campground!

Great place

Beautiful place in the middle of pines. Spots are big, sanitary are clean. Hot showers, drinkin water, no place for dish. Calm and you can see bears!! Hosts are very kind.

Lower pines

Super confidently placed site to go to different areas of the park. Also close to trailheads.

Especially Beautiful

Fallen Leaf Lake and its campground were really beautiful and felt remote despite being pretty close to the development of South Lake Tahoe. Our spot (84) was not very private or great for a tent, but it worked for our overnight. The bath house was nice and new/clean. The hosts were super super friendly, but they called it a day pretty early (5?) so we missed out on buying firewood onsite. They did warn us about bears in such an admiring way, it was really sweet. However, we didn't see any bears, just poo about 20 feet from our tent (!). Fire ring, giant table, bear box, water, all as expected.

The lake itself is stunning. Seriously. Dusk was perfectly still and calm, but early morning was also beautiful. Would absolutely stay or visit here again.

Great for anglers!

We camped at Spicer on Labor Day weekend with our 28’ toy hauler (no OHV allowed on site). The campsites have a variety of trees/rocks and many are fairly private. We got one close to the walking trail down to the lake, which took just a couple minutes. The lake is nice but better for fishing than swimming/paddle boarding/kayaking. We did find swimming at the river leading to the lake, and it was only a short hike down. Utica is also a quick 10-15 minute drive and perfect for the activities mentioned.

The camp hosts were pleasant and helpful. The vault toilet bathrooms were clean. No reservations (except group camp, I think), hookups, or America The Beautiful pass discounts (but they do take Golden Age). There is AT&T cell service down by the lake. At the time (early September), there were a lot of bees and we saw some fresh bear poop right behind one of the sites.

Best campsite to be at away from the city

This campsite is quiet and peaceful. The person who is in charge was very welcoming. I enjoyed my stayed there. The place was beautiful where you can just relax and listen to sound of the water flowing throughout the day. I highly recommended this place to anyone who has a small or big group.

Close to Perfect

My brother and I hit the north grove campground for the first time this past weekend. My expectations weren’t high but this place was great.

The campground we chose was kind of close to the road which would have been the only real negative. The campground map makes it seem like the road was further away from the sites but I woke up a couple of times from road noise.

Our campsite had a fire ring, bbq, picnic table and bear box and still had a large flat spot for my huge tent as well as parking for my car.

The weather was great, no bugs to be found and plenty to do. I already want to go back next year but choose a site further from the road.

easy access to beautiful

minutes walk form many trail heads and beautiful views. also close to a small store. some of the sites are VERY close together so choose wisely! all the ameneties are easy to access.

Isolated and Perfect

Unsure what everyone is talking about below in regards to "beaches" or "showers", this is right off 108 and as you can see on the map it's nowhere near beaches… I think there is some confusion. Maybe two mill creek campgrounds in Cali? I'll explain my experience. This campground is only 8 DOLLARS A NIGHT Y'ALL. This is because it does NOT have any running water whatsoever. Luckily we packed in enough jugs to be totally fine. Obviously this also accounts for showers. There are no showers. There also isn't a bear box on site. But the host explained bears weren't an issue in that specific area and to follow normal rules of putting it away in the car. It was fine. The host was thorough and caring, thanks Duane! The site was raked up before we got there and was very kept. So were the bathrooms, even though our campsite was pretty far away from it. Our campsite had some large rocks nearby we loved to climb on, you'll see pictured. A small creek nearby that was very very low. We were the only ones in that side of the campground and it was seriously awesome. Lake Donnell has a vista point nearby that is easy to get to, paved and all. Overall, if you're okay without water, this site is beautiful, isolated and cared for. I recommend it! Just be ready to swat away the bees when you eat. 🐝

Gods Country

Great camping, fishing , Hiking. Friendly people all around.

Dusty but pretty lake

The full hookup rv spots are gravel & very dusty. Whole park is actually. Spots are a little tight for my 37' 5th wheel but it worked out pretty good. Back end of my trailer hung over a big hill. You sit above the full timer rv spots & mostly look at trees. Good sunsets! Lake water level was super low at end of summer & lake is hard to access. Unless you got a boat. Saw deer & wild turkeys. This park is huge. Can drive around & find a good spot to access the lake & go swimming.

Cozy

Nice bear boxes and bathrooms. Tent sites were big

Great location

Gets you right to the middle of the park, some sites on a slight hill but most were flat and private. Decent bathroom and dish wash tub and bear boxes provided

Tranquility

At the top of the Sierras, El Dorado national forest, tucked in away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Stunning views, and blue skies, campground is well maintained and accessible. Rvs and tent camping. Shallow lake that warms up a little for kayaking and swimming. Great family lake.

Beautiful Serene Campground

Stayed at this Campground in the beginning of August. It was absolutely stunning. Super close to this place called The Pots. We arrived near sundown. Unpacked our gear and then walked to The Pots from our campsites. The views were amazing. The campsite host had fire wood for sale. There were new bathroom facilities installed. There were no showers or sinks. There was a fire pit at every campsite and a picnic table as well. Well worth it! Would definitely come here again.

Cool spot

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

Great Backcountry Campground!

We loved every aspect of this camp area. Yosemite only allows a certain number of people to camp at the backcountry sites and it shows. This was a pine tree lovers paradise! We hiked the waterfall trail, which is breathtaking, but full of a lot of people! Once you get passed the 2nd huge waterfall, the crowds start to die down and its just you and the mountains. When you finally get to Little Yose Valley, you're probably super tired (we were!), and the campground invites you in like a warm cup of coffee. We passed out immediately in our hammock to the sound of the river next to the site, then woke up and set up camp. Hiked the rest of half dome the next day. My favorite camp site I've stayed in so far.

Beautiful Views, Windy & Tightly Packed

We stayed in tent site #4, aka “Extra Special Lakeshore Camping”. The views were absolutely incredible. The site site on a small promontory, affording you incredible sunsets across Bridgeport Reservoir. The drawback to this of course is that everyone has to walk right by your campsite to enjoy these views. Expect very limited privacy, friendly conversation, lots of it, and to meet every dog in camp. As the listing warns, the location also means extra exposure to wind and bugs. What the listing also says is that the site is (just) big enough for a large tent and EZ-up (shade structure), although it doesn’t mention what we were told upon arrival: due to winds coming off the reservoir at up to 60 knots, we were not allowed to rely on stakes and had to be present at all times when the shade structure was up.

Additional clarifications: The “dog beach” is ~30 ft long, and is the same beach the kayaks, SUP boards, and pedal boat are lunched from (and stored). In practice this is fine for playing fetch, but is not enough room for letting your dog run. Individual fire rings are not provided, so if you want a fire cozy up to the communal fire ring, which can get crowded on weekends, hopefully you’re not an introvert. Restrooms and showers are at the far corner of camp, ~1/8 mi away and up a small incline, not the easiest to get to for midnight wake up calls, or those with mobility limitations. FYI re: accessibility: the entire camp past the bathrooms is not firm & stable surface, and the restrooms are very tight with small stalls.

Otherwise the camp was great. We loved the free and easy access to boats. The communal kitchen was a nice convenience, particularly for washing dishes. The bathrooms were always very clean, and having free showers is awesome. The host’s local knowledge was very helpful, and pointed us to the right hot springs for the right day/time/weather. Finally, back to the view. It was great anytime of day, sunrise to sunset, even peeking out when hiding in the tent from the rain and bugs, the view really made the trip.

Camping under Half Dome

This campground is one of my absolute favorites in the valley! It's centrally located near the Merced river, Mist Trail trailhead, and a short walk from Curry village if you need supplies and a fresh shower. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! Book early :)

Amazingly quiet

The sights are well spaced giving you plenty of room. There is a pretty easy hike to a waterfall which is big or small depending on the season. The hot springs is privately owned so it is extra but worth enjoying.

Beautiful, quiet, private

We arrived after dark and had no idea what was around us. We were so pleasantly surprised when the sun came up to find ourselves surrounded by trees and so close to the lake. Wish we could have stayed longer! A really ideal campsite for getting away.

Secluded Getaway

Absolutely loved it here! No cellphone service, no showers, and one nature toilet. A true tent camping experience. Fell asleep to the raging river nearby. Recreation.gov states that bear proof lockers are provided but that is not true. This is a remote campsite, you are living in bear country; be prepared and secure you food/garbage. We had no problems with any wildlife and found it peaceful.

Beautiful nature filled stay

Great campsite with trails to hike and explore.  Close to Lake Tahoe and also the Taylor Creek Watershed that has a beautiful trail to explore.  Done both tent and yurt camping, both great!

Awesome Cabins!

There are 4 cabins that can be rented from the park service however, they are not actually in the park. They are across the highway and up in the hills. We drove to the park but it's only short distance.

The cabins are great but expensive, $170 per night, so I deducted a star. They are rustic. No TV, no air conditioning (just ceiling fans), no bedding or towels. You bring your own.

It’s a long bumpy road to get here, but you won’t want to leave.

This place is amazing. I’ve been five times since I discovered it late last year. This campground is about an hour’s drive to any kind of amenities or cell phone service. The road in is bumpy and there is a shallow creek that you will need to drive across, but I had no problems driving a 2wd Honda Fit compact car up. This park didn’t even open until late July this year due to all the snowfall. There is 1 vault toilet and an old-school hand pump for water, which isn’t always functioning so bring plenty of water. All of the sites are first come first served, each has a fire pit with grill plate, and a picnic table. No dumpsters for trash, pack it in and pack it out.

There is plenty of hiking, both steep and moderate. Folger peak trail can be very challenging due to all the loose shale. There is an equestrian trail that is more flat going the other direction which is less steep but still a very scenic hike. Ranchers bring their cattle up to graze during the summer months so you’ll hear their cowbells all day long. There is a weather station in the valley and it’s fairly accurate so you can get the forecast before you go, just google weather Highland Lakes. I would recommend a 4 season tent, even in the summer. On my last trip it was a little to cold for my taste so we drove back down the road and camped along the creek the last few nights.

A great spot, but overcrowded

It’s the last campground along hwy 4 with amenities and cell phone reception. A truly great spot but for these reasons alone it’s far too crowded for my tastes. Inspiration point trail is an easy hike with amazing views. Also a hike into Carson Iceberg wilderness into a majestic valley with old log cabins and free range cattle. Sadly this campground did not open until early July this year and will close after Labor Day weekend. There are still plenty of other camping options for late season if you continue up Highway 4 towards Ebbetts pass.

Beautiful!

Beautiful campground, unfortunately right next to the trail, but very spacious and also has bathrooms and picnic tables right there!

Another wonderful stay

This was my second time staying and it was just as amazing as the last time we stayed. The showers and bathrooms are always clean. We arrived and there were no other people staying so it was quiet. Took a little hike around the trail, grinding rock and went to the free museum this time. You can’t beat $30 a night to stay at this place.

Worth it!

Is close to Yosemite valley, 12$ a night, first come first serve , show up at 7:30 am, check out is around 10 am.  

Follow the river down to some golden waterholes ;)