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Best Winter Camping In California

California Campground Guide And Camping Resources

BEST CAMPING IN CALIFORNIA | Winter Overlanding Camping | Idyllwild California | Overlander

Check out the best of California camping. The beauty of California stretches from its deserts, to forests, to beaches all waiting for you to explore. Here you will find tent camping and RV park campgrounds, as well as hidden gems and cabin rentals. Below find some of the best campgrounds and places to camp in California.

Furnace Creek Campground Death Valley National Park

While camping in a place named Death Valley might not sound too appealing, the stark desert landscape of the largest national park in the contiguous states is far from inhospitable.

The Furnace Creek Campground is one of the most accessible campgrounds in Death Valley, with the park’s most prominent visitor center located nearby. Some of the prettiest spots in Death Valley are near Furnace Creek, including the Golden Canyons and the inspiring Zabriskie Point.

Two other popular campgrounds can also be found in the Furnace Creek area of the park, including the Sunset Campground with 270 sites available. It’s rare for all campsites to fill up in Death Valley National Park.

Most campgrounds in Death Valley National Park, including Furnace Creek and Sunset, have running water and flushing toilets available.

Sorensens Resort Hope Valley Ca

Not far from Lake Tahoe, Sorensens Resort is not far from skiing and lake activities as well as other ways to enjoy the scenic beauty of Tahoe. The cabin resort includes amenities like a full-service restaurant and a wood-fired sauna and more. Take a workshop or attend an event, there is always something to do, even in the rural surroundings.

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Yosemite And Kings Canyon

US 395 through the Inyo National Forest, which stretches along the eastern border of Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks, is the crown jewel of California free camping.

Alabama Hills Recreation Area is the hands-down favorite of the Campendium community . Those seeking a quieter experience will find it at lesser-known gems like Owens Gorge Road and Sagehen Meadows.

White Sands National Park New Mexico

Winter RV camping in California  Stock Editorial Photo ...

If you are looking for a white winter experiencebut without the ice and snowconsider camping at or near White Sands National park. Sledding down the dunes on plastic saucers is a fun, exciting activity thats a great alternative to traditional winter sports. The park offers primitive backcountry campsites in the heart of the dunes, and there are many public and private campgrounds and RV parks within an hours drive. Daytime temperatures average 60 degrees Fahrenheit from December through February, but take note that nights are quite cold, averaging around 23 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Far Meadow At Sierra National Forest

Outside of Yosemite, youll fall in love with Far Meadow. Pets are allowed and there are log cabins and A-frame cabins to choose from. Teepee tents are available for bigger parties and you can explore many of the regions most majestic features that you dont find staying in the bigger park.

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White Sand Dunes National Park Nm

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For the look of a snowy winter camping adventure without the freezing temps, head to White Sands . Backcountry is the only type of camping allowed within this 176,000-acre dune field, and the best places to set up are directly among the dunesjust make sure the weather is placid and not windy when you visit. Youll spend days hiking and sledding on the sugar-white hills and nights looking up at the starriest of skies. December through February, average temps range from 23 to 60 degrees, making for pleasant weather for adventuring.

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Joshua Tree Lake Rv & Campground

Check out the Milky Way. At the southern edge of the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, this park features panoramic views of Joshua Tree National Park and spectacular star-filled night skies. Guests can reserve RV sites with power and water or go dry-camping on a first-come, first-served basis. Amenities include fishing at the lake, Wi-Fi, toilets, hot showers, a picnic area, children’s playground and dump station.


Mt Hood National Forest Oregon


Mt. Hood is only 25 miles east of Portland and densely forested, extending south from the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. The mountain is 11,239 feet tall . When youre planning the trip, check the USDA website for a list of the campgrounds that are still allowing campfires, so you dont get left out in the cold.

You can reserve by going on this website. Also, note that there are designated winter parking areas. You can get more details about how to buy a winter pass here.

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Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Traverse spiraling trails under ancient, old-growth redwoods, and take your pick of four waterfalls when staying in the Santa Cruz mountains at Big Basin Redwoods. Out of 142 unique campsites, some are open year-round while others are seasonal. There are also spots that can accommodate large groups of 40 to 50 as well as tent cabins, and a horse camp to bunk with your horses . Looking for creature comforts? Little Basin also has a kitchen, pavilion, and recreation hall that are all available to rent.

Lake Of The Woods Minnesota

For thousands of outdoor enthusiasts, nothing beats camping on a frozen lake, where ice fishing is the recreational activity of choice. In Northern Minnesota, you can enjoy traditional camping in a tent or RV, or go glamping at a luxury fish house through the many resort rentals in Lake of the Woods. Services with these accommodations include clearing an ice road so you can drive your vehicle right out onto the frozen lake to your heated abode, complete with bunks, a small kitchen, and a bathroomnot to mention a hole in the ice floor so you can drop your line.

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The 25 Best Campsites In California

Your guide to the best camping in the Golden State.

By:The Outbound Collective+ Save to a List

When it comes to natural beauty, accessibility, and ecological diversity, California may just take the cake as the ultimate adventure destination. You’ll find some of the most rugged mountains on the continent, pristine beaches, old-growth redwood forests, endless sand dunes, impossibly tall granite walls and much, much more. But you can only experience so much on a day trip to one of California’s many incredible destinations. To really take it all in, a night spent next to the campfire is the way to go. Of course, California is a big state with hundreds – if not thousands – of campsites. That’s why we’ve picked 25 of the best spots across the state for your next camping trip. Whether you want to wake up with a view of giant redwoods, the Pacific Ocean, or the Golden Gate Bridge, we’ve got you covered.

Heceta Head Lighthouse Near Florence Or

Winter RV Camping Guide


Winters are mild on Oregons Central Coast, where the lowest temps average 39 degrees in February. Fortunately, those chilly, rainy days keep away the crowds that swarm one of the Pacific Northwests most photographed spots in summer. Little do they know, the Heceta Head Lighthouse looks even dreamier when its draped in fog or during winter storms when the ocean crashes against the headlands. Camp out at nearby Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park, which is fully kitted out with RV sites, showers, and firewood for sale. A short hike from your tent leads you under Route 101 to a 5-mile beach where youll spend days exploring tidepools and combing the sand for agate, while another pretty 3-mile path takes you straight to the lighthouse, rising from a 200-foot cliff. If it gets too cold, you could always book yourself into the 1890s innkeepers home, which now stands as an bed-and-breakfast.

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Jumbo Rocks Campground Joshua Tree National Park

Surrounded by massive boulders and rock formations, it’s easy to see why Joshua Tree is a special place when staying at the Jumbo Rocks Campground. Enabling easy exploration of the surreal desert landscape, all 124 sites at Jumbo Rocks are located near prominent features of the park, including Skull Rock. Staying the night at Jumbo Rocks enables visitors to experience the magical sunsets of this boulder-rich region, as well as the incredibly dark night skies.

Accommodating both tents and RVs, Jumbo Rocks is one of four campgrounds within the park that offer reservations during the peak season between October and May. Other reservable campgrounds include Black Rock, Cottonwood, and Indian Cove. With over 100 sites available, Indian Cove is another perspective-changing campground at Joshua Tree, with monolithic rock formations on all sides.

Numerous primitive camping opportunities also abound in Joshua Tree National Park, as well as several developed, first-come, first-served campgrounds. Ryan Mountain Campground is available between September and May on a walk-up basis and offers easy access to its namesake feature. Campgrounds at Joshua Tree offer only vault toilets and picnic tables. No water is available, so those camping should pack accordingly.

Enjoy The Benefits Of Nature While Camping This Winter

Outdoor recreational activities have seen an uptick in popularity, especially with restrictions on indoor gatherings implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are seeking experiences where they can be immersed in natural surroundings for leisure, relaxation, and exercise. After all, outdoor experiences have research-proven benefits for both physical and mental health. So if youre itching to travel with a lower risk factor, consider a winter camping trip! Thats right, with quality gear like a tent heater, warm wool socks, and even heated vests, you can enjoy the fun of hiking, exploring, and sleeping among nature even in cold weather. Read on to learn about some of the best winter camping destinations all over the USA.

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Winter Camping Between San Diego And San Francisco

We are planning a road trip for late January – early February next year, driving from San Francisco to San Diego . There seems to be many camp grounds on the way, but I’m not sure how the weather is at that time? Is it ok to sleep in a tent? If yes, any recommendations for good sites?

Along the coast, it will be much warmer than Finland. It’s totally fine weather for camping. During the daytime, temperatures are usually in the 60s . Overnight, it can get down into the 40s or even 30s.

However, winter is also our rainy reason, so it’s entirely possible that it will be raining when you visit. After three very dry years we seem to be having a lot more rain so far. Rain can cause mud and rockslides that block the coastal roads.

Check the roads before you go on this website. Type in the number of the road and you’ll get up to the minute info about construction and road blockages.

Tecopa Hot Springs Campground

I would make reservations before your trip, even though some of these places are uncrowded.

In general, I would avoid trying to camp in mountain areas in the winter, because of the cold and the possible snow, and most campgrounds in mountain areas will be closed anyway.

Campgrounds Perfect For West Coast Winter Camping


For many of us, winter is a time for hibernation when we hunker down watch old movies, read good books, and spend time looking out our windows. Those of us who aren’t into snow sports may feel left with few winter outdoor options. This is particularly true when it comes to camping: it’s just something reserved for summer… right? Not at all!

We’re here to remind you that we are lucky to have countless campgrounds that are actually open year-round. We’ve selected 30 campgrounds that all feature heated yurts and cozy rustic cabins, making it easy to plan a long weekend and get out this winter. Best of all, prices for staying at any of these locations can be as low as $30 per night. All of these yurts and cabins feature electrical lighting, outlets, and heating, though packing a few extra amenities such as your own table lamps can make these rustic accommodations feel that much more comfortable.

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Point Reyes National Seashore Things To Do

  • On weekends & holidays through April, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard closes, so access the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock via a shuttle bus that departs from Drakes Beach between 9:30am & 3pm, more info here
  • Park docents at the Elephant Seal Overlook will have binoculars for you to see the seals up close on weekends & holidays through April from 11am to 4pm

Grand Isle State Park Louisiana

Two hours south of New Orleans, Grand Isle State Park has 14 tent-camping sites smack on the beach facing the Gulf of Mexico, as well as 45 paved, pull-through sites set back from the water that are more suitable for vans or RVs. Mild winter temperatures, with highs in the sixties and lows in the fifties, make beach camping here midwinter totally doable. The park has three miles of hiking trails, a 400-foot-long pier where you can fish for speckled trout, and great bird-watching.

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Yellow Post Camp Sites In Big Bear

Get out there and lose yourself in nature. These 13 yellow post campsites in Big Bear are on a first-come-first-serve basis for up to 8 people per campsite. The fall season is the perfect time of year to go into the mountains and gain solitude before the winter months make it cold and snow ridden. These campsites allow you to disappear into the majestic mountain scenery and forget about life for a while.

Mount Tamalpais State Park

5 tips for winter camping in California

Mount Tamalpais State Park is a 6,300-acre state park in Northern California. It features the notable 2,571 foot Mount Tamalpais and fun activities like wildlife watching, picnicking, and hiking.

If youre seeking scenic hikes and nature outings for wildlife viewing, we recommend heading to the Mount Tamalpais Middle Peak Loop. It is a moderate, 5.3-mile hiking trail that is accessible year-round.

You can enjoy awe-inspiring views of the Farallon Islands, Marin County hills, Mount Diablo, the East Bay, San Francisco Bay and the city. Fog is common in winter, so it is always best to be extra careful during outdoor activities for a safe camping experience.

The park is open year-round with several campsites and lodging options. The reserved areas include Alice Eastwood Group Camp and Steep Ravine Environmental Campground .

You can book these rustic cabins and seaside campsites up to six months in advance. If youre heading on a last-minute trip, the Pantoll and Bootjack campground do not require reservations. There is a $25 nightly fee for both camps.

Note:At Mount Tamalpais State Park, you are not allowed to fly drones. But, dont forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking vistas and memorable moments.

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Owens River Valley Wild Willy Hot Springs

Do you feel that you need to get some space and relax? The Wild Willy Hot Springs in the Owens River Valley off of HWY 395 outside Mammoth, CA is an experience you must have. The pools reach temps over 100 degrees and will relax every bit of your body. You can camp in various spots of the Owens River Valley depending on what you are looking for. Convict Lake is another beautiful place to consider for California camping and has full service facilities for all types of campers.

Weary from camping?

Enjoy a comfortable bed at ITH Hostels after adventuring in the wild outdoors! If you want to camp in comfort, we offer camping at ITH Big Bear Hostel and ITH Coyote Ranch Joshua Tree.

We are close to San Diego International Airport if you need to fly in or out of San Diego.

Joshua Tree National Park

For the best winter camping Southern California has to offer, head to Joshua Tree National Park. The park is best known for its twisted Joshua trees, massive rock formations, excellent hiking trails, and awe-inspiring desert landscapes.

Youll find a few famous formations like the North Horror Rock, Old Woman Rock, Skull Rock, and Giant Marbles. Joshua Tree National Park encompasses 800,000 acres of magnificent land with three varied ecosystems: the lower Colorado Desert, higher Mojave Desert, and San Bernardino Mountains.

There are several campgrounds open all year with roughly 500 sites. Most of the campsites are available by reservation with a fee ranging from $20 to $25 per night. These campgrounds include Black Rock, Cottonwood, Indian Cove, Ryan, and Jumbo Rocks.

If youre seeking a more spontaneous adventure, there are a few campgrounds that do not require bookings with a $15 cost per night. The first-come, first-served campgrounds include the Hidden Valley, Belle, and White Tank.

Note:As the park is a popular spot with campgrounds filling up from October through May, we recommend making a reservation in advance to enjoy the epic views.

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But Where Should You Go Winter Camping

To find the best spots in the USA, I picked over the Internet to find the destinations that adventure buffs consider the best in terms of beauty and wildlife interest.

Here are 10 places that came up many times. Each offers year-round campgrounds, a variety of trails , and a huge dose of serenity. A good solution for saving money is to book in advance where possible, then grab a last-minute cheap flight. Just make sure you have all the gear you need before you hop on the plane.

> > Affiliate notice: I research every product I recommend, and I only give high marks to the very best. Some of the links here may be affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation from companies if you purchase from them. This is at no cost to you and it helps me keep this website running. So thanks for helping me! I independently own this site and the opinions expressed here are my own.< <

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