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Camping Spots In Northern California

Type And Number Of Sites

A Favorite Camping Spot in Northern California – Inn Town Campground
  • 165 sites

Just minutes away from the Lava Beds National Monument in Californias northeast corner is a great place to pitch your tent or park your RV in a quaint NorCal campground before exploring the cinder cones, craters, lava tubes, and over 700 caves.

The kids will love discovering the lava tubes on Cave Loop Road and then enjoying a starry sky at night in one of the most scenic campgrounds in Northern California

Russian River Rv Campground

Location: 33655 Geysers Road, Cloverdale

Amenities: Clubhouse, swimming pool, hot tub, playground, picnic tables, game room, dog park, restroom, laundry and shower facilities

Activities: Hiking, swimming, fishing, mini-golf, volleyball, shuffleboard, tennis, billiards, basketball, horseshoes

Fee: $57$78 per night, depending on campsite

Number of sites: 125

Dogs allowed: Yes

Reservations required: Yes

Everyone needs to have a Russian River camping experiencewhat better place than the Russian River RV Campground to do exactly that? Forget about Guerneville camping hop in your RV and head over to this campground for endless fun. Wine Countrys natural beauty complements the river camping spot. Whether you want to go kayaking, canoeing, swimming, or fishing, this scenic campground wont let you down.

Indian Well Campground Lava Beds National Monument

In California’s northeast corner, in Siskiyou County, Lava Beds National Monument is a volcanically shaped landscape dotted with cinder cones and hundreds of lava tubes. The most frequented and family-friendly lava tubes to explore are located on Cave Loop Road within the national monument, and just minutes from the Indian Well Campground. Accommodating tents, trailers, and motorhomes up to 30 feet in length, the campground has potable water and pit toilets available.

Address: Lava Beds Campground Road, Tulelake, California

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Mendocino Beach And Forest Campgrounds

Mendocino County is known for its spectacular coastline dotted with pocket beaches and for its magnificent forests spread across the coastal mountains.

  • Hendy Woods Redwood State Park – For anyone seeking a quiet redwood park with lots of streams and trails for children to explore, try Hendy Woods.
  • Russian Gulch and Van Damme Beach – These two coastal state parks offer camping near the ocean close to the picturesque town of Mendocino
  • MacKerricher State Park – Just north of Fort Bragg, MacKerricher has great coastal camping with lots of nearby attractions.

Silver Lake West Campground

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On the north shore of Silver Lake, you will find Silver Lake West Campground, which has 42 campsites that allow up to 6 people per site and one vehicle.

Silver Lake West Campground costs $30 per night, but there are discounts available for seniors, military personnel, and the disabled, where the cost is $25 per night.

No showers are available on-site, but there are vault toilets and piped water. Campsite benefits from storage boxes for bear-proof food lockers, fire rings and grills, and a picnic table.

There are lots to keep you busy at Silver Lake West Campground with boating and fishing at Silver Lake and Caples Lake. Mountain biking and other summer activities are available at Kirkwood, or you will be able to explore the local hiking trails.

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Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park Campground

  • Location: Big Sur, Monterey County
  • Type: Hike-in

Feeling lucky? Try scoring a night at one of the four-person environmental campsites at . These two sites, the only ones in this park, are located about a half-mile hike from the parking lot and right above the famous McWay Falls. You wont be able to see the falls from your tent, but youll be the only people in the park once it closes for the night.

Spend the day hiking to Cone Peak, at 5,155 feet, the tallest coastal mountain in the lower 48. At night, head to Treebones for some outstanding omakase at the Sushi Bar or garden-to-table campfire fare at Wild Coast Restaurant, also onsite. If youre up for a late-night adventure, book hot springs time at Esalen the spring-fed tubs are only open to the public in the wee hours of the morning.

Joshua Tree National Park

The Joshua Tree National Park, in Southern California, is one of the most incredible natural desserts in the world. It boasts stunning boulder formations, granite monoliths, and more. The highlight of the park is the Joshua Tree which you can get to by hiking. Aside from that, there are plenty of activities that you can try here too.

For example, you can go rock climbing among the rock formations. If you want to make the most out of your trip here, go on a guided tour with the park rangers to know more about its history. Ask if there are any nearby hot springs that you can visit too. The Jumbo Rocks Campground is a good place to start here.

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Donner Memorial State Park

Under 100 miles from Sacramento, you will find the Donner Memorial State Park Campground, located on Donner Lake. The 154 campsites accommodate tents, RVs up to 28ft, and trailers up to 24ft.

The campground is open from late May through to early October, but this is dependent on the weather.

Up to eight people are permitted per site and a maximum of two vehicles, though there is a charge for the second.

For $35 per night, you will also have access to a picnic table, food locker, and fire ring. The campground also has flush toilets, showers, and tap water.

There is a nearby museum and hiking paths to enjoy and lake activities, including swimming and boating.

Best Time To Camp In Northern California

Amazing Camping Spots In Northern California. TOP 15

Guys, NorCal camping is cold in the winter! The best time to camp in Northern California is early summer, hands down.

Many campgrounds are closed in the winter, so summer will not only give you the most campgrounds to choose from, but itll be warm enough to enjoy the outdoors and go swimming.

But OK, if youre determined to be a non-summer camper, here are some pros and cons for camping in Northern California in each season.


California spring comes early, so theres a chance you could snag some nice early season weather.

Keep in mind the elevation of Californias northeast corner is quite a bit higher than the coastal region, so there may still be snow in the spring.


Summer is the best weather window, especially early summer.

However, know that bugs will be out , and in late summer, youll have to contend with fire season. Summer will also have the craziest crowds.


You can start to enjoy fewer crowds in the fall, which is appealing to many. The main downside to camping in the fall is that its peak fire season in California.

I have known plenty of people whose carefully planned vacations were dashed in an instant when a fire started in their region.

This means youll probably want to plan cautiously for this time of year and even have a backup reservation in a different region, just in case.


Winter will undoubtedly be the quietest time to camp in Northern California, and for some, that is the most important factor when planning a camping trip.

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Orr Lake Campground Klamath National Forest

For all you fishing fanatics out there, Orr Lake is one of the most popular freshwater spots in Klamath National Forest home to bass, trout, and catfish. Plus, its just a short hike from Orr Mountain, and has an awesome view of Mt Shasta!

Nearest Town: Bray, Siskiyou County

Amenities: Boat ramp, tables, and vault toilets. No potable water.

Lake Tahoe El Dorado County And Placer County

With magnificent mountains in the surrounding, this lake area is a good option for camp lovers as there are multiple sites for it. D. L. Bliss State Park, Camp Richardson, Sand Harbor, Sugar Pine Point State Park, and Fallen Leaf are best amongst the lot. From full to partial hook-ups and other amenities all are offered in these areas. You may also opt for kayaking, swimming, hiking or biking apart from camping.

Get Directions | Contacts

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La Jolla Indian Campground

Location: 22000 California 76, Pauma Valley

Amenities: Drinking water, electric hookups, firewood, picnic tables, dump station, restroom, and shower facilities

Activities: Tubing, wildlife viewing, hiking, biking

Fee: $40$65 per night, depending on group size and campsite

Number of sites: 200

Dogs allowed: No, except for service animals with valid permits

Reservations required: Yes

If you thought river camping in Southern California is impossible, youre in for a surprise. The La Jolla Indian Campground is the only campground in San Diego County thats campfire-friendly and has river access. This river camping spot has multiple sitesgroup, tent-only, and even RV campgrounds. Enjoy tubing in the San Luis Rey River in the midst of the undisturbed wilderness.

Steiner Flat Primitive Campground

9 Family

The Trinity River is the longest tributary of the Klamath, and Steiner Flat gets campers can literally pitch a tent on its banks for no fee. Visitors can hike in the nearby Trinity Alps Wilderness or take to the river to swim, paddle, or even pan for gold. Theres no water at this site, but the BLM does maintain vault toilets.

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What Is The Most Popular Campground In Northern California

Straight up, there isnt a hard and fast answer to the most popular campground in Northern California.

The most popular natural area in Northern California is Lake Tahoe, but those campgrounds dont keep accurate statistics to show which one is the most popular.

And you know what, it really doesnt matter what the most popular campground is, because the best camping in Northern California isnt always at the most popular spot.

Sometimes the most popular spot is overrun with trampled vegetation, long lines, and dirty bathrooms.

There are so, so many excellent places to camp in Northern California. Just like everything else you choose in life, read some reviews, bring a smile, and go for it.

Dl Bliss State Park Campground South Lake Tahoe

Tahoe is popular among visitors and campers, and the D. L. Bliss State Park Campground, located on the west shore, is a great place to take in all t has to offer.

Opened from mid-May to October, there are 140 campsites that allow up to eight visitors and one vehicle The maximum length of RVs allowed is 18 ft and 15 ft for trailers.

You will be able to choose from standard campsites at $35 per night or $45 for lakefront sites. There are also hike and bike options available at $7 per night.

Sites include a fire ring, picnic table, and food locker, and campground amenities include flush toilets, tap water, and coin-operated showers.

Visitors will be able to enjoy the sandy beach, paddle boarding and kayaking, trail hiking, bike riding, and fishing.

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Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park Campground

Jedediah Smith is one of the three state parks. It is jointly operated with the Redwoods National Park. These state parks make up the northern area of Redwood County in California. Aside from that, Jedediah Smith boasts 89 campsites that are open to tents and RVs.

It is open year-round which is why it is one of the favorite spots of campers. In addition, it is near Howland HillRoad. Photographers and anglers can make their way to the Wild and Scenic Smith River. They have flush toilets and coin-operated showers in the area for guests who will stay overnight.

Jedediah Smith State Park Del Norte County

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Accessible throughout the year, this state park has its own beauty with redwood trees, comprising around 7% of all entire worlds redwood trees. Even people who do not have tents or RV, they can stay at the cabins, offered by the state park authority. As far as camping is concerned, there are 86 sites. The nearby Smith River is all about enhancing the beauty of the state park. You can also hike through the lush green rainforest area, refreshing your mind.

Get Directions | Contacts

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Burney Falls Campground Burney Ca

You might have heard of one of Californias most amazing waterfalls called Burney Falls, but you may not know that they have a great campground right next to the falls.

The campground offers tent camping, RVs, and they even have cabins.

In the campground they also have a visitor center, and general store. The hike from the campground to the base of Burney falls is only short distance.

The park also offers many other hiking trails, fishing, and a nearby lake called Lake Britton.

One More Reason To Visit These Beach Camping Spots In Northern California:

And another big reason I highly recommend this spot is because its not far from the border of California and Oregon and just about everyone knows that the Oregon Coast is stunning, which is why if you want to see the northern California Coast but just as well travel through the Oregon Coast, this particular campground is a great place to stay at in between that trip.

Just as well, if youre going on more camping excursions, then the Oregon coast has many camping spots to stay at just much as the northern California Coast does.

Ill be making a post on the Washington coast and spots to camp at there soon, so if youre looking to do a full trip through the entire Pacific Coast, youll have plenty of options in all 3 states to do just that.

Just as well, if youre looking for a list of great camping spots on the Southern California Coastline, let me know below .

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Point Reyes National Seashore

If you prefer some peace away from noisy campers. Those in their cars and large RVs this is the perfect place for you to be in. Point Reyes offers five campgrounds that are part of the backcountry. On the other hand, if you want to be close to beautiful beaches, make a reservation at Coast Camp. Those who want to have an ocean view should go to Wildcat or Sky Camp. Since it is a short drive from the San Francisco Bay Area, many go here during the weekends.

Aside from that, Glen Camp is suitable for hikers who want a more secluded place to stay. Take note that the amenities are not as impressive as the others. Additionally, the water is not potable. So make sure that you take this into account when planning your camping trip here.

Lassen Volcanic National Park Shasta County

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With around 7 campgrounds, this volcanic zone is also nourished by the frequent volcanic eruptions. There are 33 camping sites dealing with first-come-first serve basis while the rest 4 can be booked prior to your camping. The place is the one of a kind in the world as one can see 4 types of volcanoes in the same premises. There are Manzanita Lakes campgrounds as well. Juniper Lake, Butte Lake , and Lost Creek along with Manzanita Lake are for group camping. There are opportunities like kayaking, hiking and swimming that you may enjoy besides camping. In certain places one can find picnic tables and campfire facilities.

Get Direction | Contacts

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Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is the hottest and driest national park in the country. It is the lowest point in North America and spans across California and Nevada. The park comprises more than three-million acres of designated wilderness and around 1,000 miles of backcountry roads.

Death Valley is a famous desert camping California destination. Youll find spectacular dunes, colorful rock formations, unique wildlife, and diverse plant life like mesquite trees and desert holly. It is home to the renowned Titus Canyon and Badwater Basin.

With scorching summer temperatures, it is best to experience desert camping in the fall and winter seasons. At Death Valley, youll find several campgrounds that include:

  • Furnace Creek 136 sites
  • Thorndike 6 sites
  • Mahogany Flat 10 sites

When it comes to Death Valley camping, winter offers unforgettable adventures. Our top pick would have to be Mesquite Springs campground. Youll experience fewer crowds and cooler temperatures than the sites at sea level or below.

Mesquite Springs campground is at the north end of the valley and sits around 1,800 feet above sea level. It is open all year with a fee of $14 or $7 for those campers with a lifetime pass.

Castle Crags State Park Campground

Another great place to add to your list of campgrounds to visit in North America is Castle Crags State ParkCampground. What makes this a popular spot among campers is the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. It surrounds the city of Mount Shasta. This is one of the national forests that you will find in Northern California.

Aside from that, there are several activities that you can do here. Things such as camping, hiking, as well as fishing. In addition, the campgrounds have running water and showers for those who will stay longer. Just make sure that you make a reservation. Especially during the peak season.

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Kirby Cove Campground Golden Gate National Recreation Area

On the north side of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area within the , the five available sites at Kirby Cove Campground are a bit of a secret spot for those looking to get away from San Francisco without traveling too far.

Encompassing great views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the campsites at Kirby Cove are available by reservation only and are often reserved months in advance. The reservable day-use picnic area at Kirby Cove also tends to fill up fast.

Address: 948 Fort Barry, Sausalito, California

Official site:

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