Nathaniel S.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 24, 2021

Fun Camping in the Middle of Napa Valley Wine Country

I've camped here more times than I can count.  I remember camping here during several wine-soaked weekends with large groups of friends, back in my younger days.  We rode our bikes through the Napa valley, stopping at multiple wineries along the way.  Then, after a day of riding and wine tasting, we retired back to our campsites for an evening of grilling and drinking of local wines (of which there are many, many excellent choices). I've only tent camped here; I've not brought my Airstream because I don't think there are spots that are large enough for it.  However, I do recall seeing trailers and RV's here in the past, so it can accomodate rigs of smaller sizes.

There's nothing dramatically beautiful about this park, but if you like California country living - oaks, madrone, rolling hills, and lots of sunshine - than you'll enjoy it here.  It's a short drive from the San Francisco Bay Area, and is quite literally in the Napa valley, on its northern end, near Calistoga.  You'll easily be able to get to all the restaurants and wineries in the valley. You won't be disappointed with a couple of nights camping at Bothe-Napa.

One important note: I have not been here since the fires that have ravaged Napa and Sonoma every year since 2017.  There has been at least one fire that burned very near this park, causing it to close temporarily.  I don't know how bad the impact to the park has been, as I've not seen it first hand.  As I write this in summer 2021, the campground is open, so hopefully the fire and smoke damage was minimal.   As I've mentioned in many of my other posts, the sad reality of the ongoing drought in California is that summer camping is not the experience it used to be.  It's still fun, but I would argue winter or early spring is now the best time to visit places like Bothe-Napa.  The creeks will be flowing, you'll be allowed to have a campfire, and the vegetation will be greener and lusher.

Per my rating system, I give this 4 stars as it's not a place you'd plan a trip to from out of state, but it is a place you should consider visiting as part of a larger trip to Napa/Sonoma.  For locals, this is a top tier spot.

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