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Best Lake Camping In California

El Capitan State Beach

Lake Skinner Best Campsites – Riverside County, CA

Among a string of campgrounds along the Santa Barbara coast, El Capitan offers spacious campsites set on a coastal bluff. During the day, explore the driftwood-strewn beach with exceptional tidepools found toward the northern end. Pack a swimsuit and surfboard the rolling tide provides the perfect setting to frolic or catch a few waves. Theres also a camp store with beach essentials and hot showers to clean up before a BBQ dinner around the fire pit. Visit soon as the site will be closed for roughly nine months starting August 1st, 2022.

Top 10 Best Places To Camp In California

California is a mecca for those who love the outdoors. The state is full of natural wonders ranging from the hottest place on the planet to the tallest trees on the planet. Its no wonder there are so many amazing places to camp in California.

The Pacific Ocean kisses the entire western coast of the state and mountains grace millions of acres within the borders. Because of the natural treasures found in California, the state has become one of the best places to go camping.

Camping At Lake Nacimiento

Lake Nacimiento is an underrated locale in San Luis Obispo County. Settled near Paso Robles, this 5,000-acre lake combines the beauty of the coastal mountains with stunning river canyons and waterfalls. Unlike most lake camping spots, Lake Nacimiento comes complete with a seasonal eatery and a year-round general store, so youll always have access to the necessities while soaking in the untamed wilderness.

This lake is surrounded by campsitesmore than 350 of themmaking it a great place to run away to on any given weekend. Spend your days wandering around the massive lake, kayaking on the water, fishing for bluegill, or photographing your beautiful oasis.

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Best For Dramatic Scenery: Yosemite National Park

If youre an Ansel Adams photography fan, then seeing Yosemite National Park in person should be number one on your park bucket list, plus there are so many unforgettable vistas. Yes, its a World Heritage site with dramatic waterfalls, river-rafting past El Capitan granite monoliths for rock-climbers and world-class hiking at Summit, but dont get too comfortablethere is a 14-day limit on camping in the area but there is also public transit that lest you roam car-free.

Black Rock Campgroundlassen National Forest


There are plenty of primitive campsites in Lassen National Forest, but if youre looking to camp with a few of your friends, Black Rock Campground offers six first come, first served campsites equipped with grills and tables. Anglers can fish in both Deer Creek and Mill Creek, and hikers will find plenty of trails for low- or high-mileage days.

Vault toilets are available at Black Rock, so your camping experience doesnt have to be completely primitive. Within the national forest boundaries, theres opportunity for mineral prospecting, horse riding, and water activities on Lake Almanor.

Find free California campgrounds from your car without WiFi. The Dyrt PRO lets you download maps and campgrounds without cell service. My alternative to using pro would be to drive back out to cell service.

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Russian Gulch State Park Campground Mendocino Coast

Just two miles north of the village of Mendocinoone of the best small towns in Californiathe Russian River makes quite a splash at Russian Gulch State Park. Alongside unique trail-lined bluffs and tidal features like the Devil’s Punchbowl, this coastal state park also has 26 standard sites near the Russian River before it hits the ocean.

The Fern Canyon Trail extends from the campground at Russian Gulch, enabling a six-mile round trip to a 36-foot waterfall and back.

The entire Mendocino Coast is lined with natural attractions and other places to camp. Surrounding the village itself, Mendocino Headlands State Park features plenty of bluff-side ocean views but is day-use only. Less than two miles south of the village, Van Damme State Park offers more camping on the Northern California coast with over 70 sites available.

Address: CA-1, Mendocino, California

Truckee River Rv Park Truckee Ca

A fully-equipped, personal RV park tucked into a lovely landscape, Truckee River RV Park is surrounded by rolling hills and studded with stunning neighborhood Ca flora. Complete hookups are a definite provided, but site visitors may also gain benefit from the on-site store that is general deli, bath, and washing facilities, in addition to its convenient location in just minutes from every one of the excitement of this Lake Tahoe area.

The lakeside is just 18 kilometers away, and you will achieve Squaw Valley Ski Resort, Northstar Ca Ski Resort, and an entire host of climbing, biking, along with other outside entertainment possibilities in just a few just 20-25 mins. Boating and whitewater rafting from the Truckee River it self may also be popular choices long story short, there really is one thing for almost everybody.

Hookups: Yes complete with around 50 amps of solution Other Amenities: On-site basic shop with deli and propane sales shower home, laundry facilities cost: $52-$57 per evening and $325-$360 regular see complete details right right here.

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Angel Island State Park Walk

Region: San Francisco Bay

Scenic rating: 10/10

Camping at Angel Island is one of the unique adventures in the Bay Area the only catch is that getting to the campsites requires a ferry boat ride and then a walk of 1-2 miles, or a kayak or boat trip from the mainland directly to the camp. The payoff comes at the end of the day, when all of the parks day visitors depart for the mainland, leaving the entire island to you.

This is one campsite that it pays to be prepared book far ahead because the sites can book up months in advance. The group camp is popular with kayakers because of beach access. From start to finish, its a great trip, featuring a private campsite, often with spectacular views of San Francisco Bay, the San Francisco waterfront and skyline, Marin Headlands, and Mount Tamalpais. The tromp up to 798-foot Mount Livermore includes a short, steep stretch, but in return furnishes one of the most spectacular urban lookouts in America. Be ready for cold, foggy weather at night in midsummer. The park features more than 13 miles of trails, including Perimeter Road, a must-do for all avid cyclists. Bikes are also permitted on the parks fire road system. Angel Island has a stunning history, including being used from 1910 to 1940 to process thousands of immigrants as they entered America historic tram tours are available.

Lake Cuyamaca Recreation Area And Park

Ep. 134: Best California RV Travel | Camping RVlife

Lake Cuyamaca Recreation Area is another option near a big city. This one is located about an hour outside of San Diego, but based on the serenity found there, youd never know it. It is surrounded on three sides by the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and offers amazing views.

Campsites include electric and water hookups, providing the perfect place to return to after a day at the lake.

Need help finding the perfect campground? is a free resource for California campers and outdoor enthusiasts who like to have fun and enjoy life. The parks listed on this website are members of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.

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Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park Campground Redwoods National And State Parks

In California’s Redwood Country surrounding Highway 101, Jedediah Smith is one of three state parks jointly operated with Redwoods National Park. Less than 10 miles from Crescent City, the campground at Jedediah Smith is popular throughout the year thanks to its proximity to the Wild and Scenic Smith Riveras well numerous groves of very tall trees.

With flushing water and coin-operated showers available, Jedediah Smith State Park has over 80 campsites that accommodate tents and RVs.

A total of four developed campgrounds are in Redwoods National and State Parks. The Gold Bluffs Beach Campground at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park offers tent camping on a secluded coastline, and the Mill Creek Campground at Del Norte Coast features plenty of space to RV camp next to some big trees.

Redwoods National and State Parks also offer backcountry campsites for those wanting some solitude among the redwoods.

Address: 1461 US-199, Crescent City, California

Camping In Socal: Mesa Campground Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area

Reserving a camp site in the Mesa Campground is one of the best ways of ensuring that you get to enjoy all the recreational activities in the very popular Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area . Your campsite at Mesa Campground is suitable for tents or RVs and includes a picnic table, grill, and fire pit and you can have a hot shower at the nearby restrooms. The recreation area offers a wide range of water activities, including boating, water-skiing, swimming, fishing, hiking, and cycling. From January to March you can join a Bald Eagle Barge Tour, and wildlife watching is a popular activity all year round.

Mesa Campground, 14651 Cedar Circle, Hesperia, CA 92345, Phone: 760-389-2303

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Best Lakes In California You Must See

California may be best known for its beautiful National Parks, award-winning wine, and gorgeous beaches, but Californias nature has so much to offer as welland that includes some of the best lakes in California.

Whatever time you visit, these California lakes offer spectacular views as well as numerous recreational opportunities like swimming, boating, fishing, and kayaking. You can enjoy a leisurely stroll, pitch a tent, enjoy a picnic, or just relax by the banks.

Whether you are looking for the best lake camping in California or wondering for an alternative to beaches that easily get crowded, here is our list of the top 10 most beautiful lakes in California for a perfect weekend getaway.


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Morro Bay State Park Campground

10 Best Family Campgrounds in California

Located in eucalyptus groves right on the edge of Morro Bay is the popular Morro Bay State Park Campground. It is right across the street from the marina and next to the beautiful 18-hole public Morro Bay Golf Course.

The location of this campground makes it the perfect spot to explore all Morro Bay State Park has to offer. It is just a short drive into town and to the iconic Morro Rock.

There are tons of walking trails around the park including the 2.5-mile moderate Black Hill Trail that starts right from the campground. A walk on this trail will reward you with some beautiful ocean views, stunning wildflowers and it is the perfect spot to watch the sunset.

Make sure you also check out the bird estuary right across the street and the nearby Museum of Natural History.

If you are looking for a great restaurant, then you should try The Bayside Cafe. It is only a short walk from the campground and offers beautiful waterfront dining.

Keep in mind that this campground does get busy, so you will want to book your reservations in advance. It is also important to know that the sites are fairly close together and you should dress warm as this area on the coast can get cold.

The Morro Bay State Campground is a great place to explore the ocean, see birds and wildlife, and is one of the best RV campgrounds in Northern California.

Things to Know:
  • RV dump station

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Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Sleep 5,000 feet above sea level in an oak forest with green meadows and rushing creeks in this mountain park 15 miles northeast of Alpine. While the Green Valley Falls campground is closed through August, the Paso Picacho Campground, with fire rings, flush toilets, and pay showers, is currently open. There are several good options for hiking that leave right from the campground, and nearby Lake Cuyamaca has fishing and boating. If you dont have a tent, you can reserve one of the parks cabins. The 12′ x 12′ cabins have full-size bunk beds, a wood stove, picnic table, barbecue, and fire ring.

Distance from downtown San Diego: 50 miles

Fees: $30 a night

Best campsites: Sites 6 and 7 sit farther off by themselves, making for a more quiet camp.

How early to book: Reservations are recommended for weekends. You can book up to seven months in advance on

Arroyo Seco and Granite Springs Primitive Trail Camps, Los Vaqueros Equestrian Group Camp, Dyar Visitor Center and Day-use, and Stonewall Mine Day-use are all closed but the rest of the park is open. Parking is very limited, and the other polices are the same as San Onofre and the other state parks.


Camping In Southern California: Point Mugu State Park Malibu

Campers in search of an ideal beachside campground should set their sights on beautiful Point Mugu State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains. Thornhill Broome Campground has 62 primitive campsites, which can accommodate tents or RVs and trailers up to 32 feet long. Basic facilities are provided, but there are no electrical hook-ups. The Sycamore Canyon Campground is a firm favorite , offering 56 campsites for tents or RVs, and there is also a primitive hike-in site for backpackers and a group campsite at La Jolla. All the campgrounds offer access to a brilliant 5-mile beach for fishing, swimming, surfing, and body-boarding as well as access to over 70 miles of hiking trails through major river canyons and wide scenic valleys.

Point Mugu State Park, 9000 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265, Phone: 800-444-7275

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Relax Lakeside At Bonelli Bluffs

Lakeside camping in LA county is possible at Bonelli Bluffs RV resort and campground in San Dimas, California! Our lush property is much more than a place to pull into and rest your head. It’s a community surrounded by majestic mountain views, lush landscapes, and resort-style amenities. Vacations should feel special and revitalizing – at Bonelli Bluffs, it’s easy.

We’re located just 45 minutes east of Los Angeles, at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. Here, Bonelli Bluffs offers a peaceful reprieve from city life. Come enjoy nature, relax and explore the nearby attractions in San Dimas, California. Moreover, you don’t even need to leave the campgrounds to have a good time. Our amenities include a beach-front park, two sparkling pools, outdoor fire pits, and activities galore.

While the natural beauty and views bring most visitors to Bonelli Bluffs, the nearby town of San Dimas is also highly appealing. Here, and in the nearby town of Pomona, you’ll discover fantastic restaurants, shops and plenty to see and do.

So, if you’re looking for the perfect place to bring your RV or to pitch a tent and camp, you’ve found it at Bonelli Bluffs. Moreover, we offer hundreds of sites on our 2,000 acres of meticulously preserved campgrounds for RVs and tents. Visit our RV resort in San Dimas, California, to experience the beauty for yourself.

Oak Knoll Campground New Hogan Lake

BEST Northern California Campgrounds (MUST VISIT!)

The Oak Knoll campground is picturesquely located on a hillside overlooking New Hogan Lake in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The facility offers 49 spacious primitive campsites, most of which can accommodate your RV or camping trailer. You can do as much or as little as you like at Oak Knoll, such as relaxing with a book or enjoy boating, fishing, and skiing on the lake campers may make use of the free on-site boat launching area. After a busy day of hiking, biking, or horse riding you can look forward to cleaning up at the coin-operated showers. The east campsite has a picnic table, a fire ring with grill, and a lantern post.

Oak Knoll Campground, 2321 S Petersburg Rd, Valley Springs, CA 95252, Phone: 209-772-1343

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Inyo National Forest Dispersed Camping

Image from The Dyrt camper Daniel S.

According to the USFS, most of the land in Inyo County is publicly owned, so anywhere you can find to park and camp for the night is fair game. While the Forest Service recommends purchasing a map to distinguish public land from private, you can find somewhere to camp with enough space to hang up a hammock and enjoy the surrounding flora and fauna.

At Inyo, campers can remain for 28 days per every six months in each of the four ranger districts and campsites can be found along the road in compacted pull-outs, many of which have established primitive fire rings. If you do decide to have a fire, always check with the ranger station to understand the fire danger levels.

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