Note that there are multiple campsites on this lake, some are drive up, some you have to walk to. There is also a campground called "Lake Santeetlah" that is not free. The site by the boat launch was quiet, free, and had beautiful views of the lake. I arrived right before sunset on a week day and found it unoccupied. There was a picnic table, and established flat area to set up a tent. No bathrooms or running water available.
Warning: the road to get to Lake Santeetlah has endless sharp turns & drop-offs, would not recommend driving this in the dark.
There are many beautiful campsites here. Tenting sites are separated from RV sites, which I appreciated. There are beautiful fire pits and standard picnic tables. Night temps were good for car camping in winter months. Hikes of any length can be started right from the campground or a short drive away. Maximum stay allowed is 72 hours.
-Campground was completely empty when I arrived on a Thursday evening in December.
-Sites are separated by trees, so some privacy.
-There are more than one compositing toilet on site& they are cleaned regularly.
-Beautiful cliff views are a short walk away.
-No water access, so bring your own