Pitching a tent at the Francis Beach campground was a mixed experience for us. The 3 walk-up sites (36-38) were right up against the beach, which was nice. We arrived on a Sunday night and the beach (open to non-campers) was a madhouse, and people were using all the picnic tables despite no one camping in our area. By the end of the day the bathrooms were in very rough shape. Considering the $35 price tag to pitch a tent, we were a bit disappointed. The campground is likely much nicer in the middle of the week when there aren’t so many people.
We had a nice time camping in this large and well-maintained campground. We found a beautiful spot tucked up on an embankment on the first loop and managed to squeeze in 4 tents. A bit windy and cold being so near the shore, but definitely worth it. The bathrooms and showers were clean and had plenty of hot water. The Pacific-side beach was only a 10-minute walk away.
Fuller grove was a nice little campground on Lake Pillsbury (our rented minivan just weathered the dirt road in from the 101). It’s a small loop with great options for multi-tent camping. Some of the sites far from the entrance and along the water are very nice with multiple pads and tables. The campground beach is beautiful, definitely recommend some late-night stargazing. There’s only outhouses in decent condition. We were there with only a few other campers, so it was a peaceful stay.
The Bullfrog Pond Campground is a great camping area peacefully tucked into the redwoods. We were able to talk our way into a last minute walk-up, and despite being a super busy weekend, the place was quiet and pleasant. The bathrooms—which only had toilets—were clean. It was a bit buggy and hot, but considering the time of year that’s par for the course.