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Free Beach Camping Northern California

Rocky Point West Campground

HIDDEN BEACH CAMP SPOT California free camping: Exploring Northern California

Located at Eagle Lake just outside of Susanville, California, Rocky Point West is a quiet campground with no amenities. Boating is allowed in the lake during high water periods, but it is not recommended during low water periods as the bottom is shallow.

There is a small camp store, restrooms, and shower station at the Eagle Lake Marina nearby.

Camping Near You Find A Free Campsite

Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.

Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.

This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. By sharing camping information freely, we can all spend less time researching campgrounds, spend less money, and more time camping. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we’ll all have more places to go camping.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

We are not actively seeking Wal-Marts, truckstops or other parking lots and will not be adding very many of these. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

Willow Creek Road Dispersed

Willow Creek Road Dispersed Camping is located in the famous Big Sur area of California.

With views of the ocean and lots of wildflowers during the spring, this is a must-stop spot. Open year-round, five camp spots can fit an RV up to 30 . There are no amenities and little cell service, but it is one of the best free escapes with an ocean view money can buy.

If you must have cell service, invest in an RV cell booster. They can really help you get connectivity in remote areas.

  • Address: Willow Creek Rd. / FR 23S01, Big Sur, CA 93920

Also Check: Tent Camping Near Rocky Mountain National Park

How Do You Recognize Free Campgrounds In California

If you roll up to a great-looking campsite in California, with no one else in sight, and wonder, Is this really a legit campground? Or am I trespassing on private land? here are a few telltale signs that you have nothing to worry about:

  • Spot for a car – Some campsites have a small parking space for a vehicle, usually made very obvious with a cleared area surrounded by plants. Be on the lookout for tire tracks.
  • Fire ring – You know its a free dispersed campsite if you see a pile of rocks made into a fire ring.
  • Spot for a tent – If you find a small dirt patch surrounded by vegetation, it is most likely a spot for a tent. Look for a patch of land thats been flattened or disturbed. Keep in mind that a campsite may not have any of these signs but still be legit.
  • Using Apps To Find Free Camping In California

    10 Best Free Campgrounds in Northern California  Ordinary Traveler

    While its a good idea to read lists like this to get an idea of where to find free camping in California, its also fun to forge your own way and search out your own sites.

    Thats one of the joys of boondocking, right?

    As an avid California boondocker, my favorite way to find free campsites is to rely on apps downloaded on my phone or iPad.

    A couple of these apps can be used offline, which proves vital when Im driving somewhere without phone signal and need to find a site for the night.

    We often wing it when it comes to free camping in California, but we also know many people like to plan.

    Here are some awesome apps to try when boondocking California.

    Also Check: Camping Near Six Flags Over Texas

    Proximity To The Main Road

    Is the site right on the highway or tucked behind trees or even further down the road? We personally never stayed on turns out directly on the highway for reasons I mentioned before. Whenever I saw free camping that had words like turnout or it actually did quite at night I knew it meant the site was near a lot of traffic and wasnt a good fit

    Steiner Flat Campground Shasta

    Situated along the shores of the Trinity River, the Steiner Flat Primitive Campground boasts 6-15 campsites that can be used for tents or small trailers. While staying at the site, plan on partaking in some swimming, fishing, hiking, or, if youre seeking more of an adrenaline rush, white water rafting!

    Nearest Town: Douglas City, Trinity County

    Amenities: Vault toilets, fire ring, and picnic tables. No potable water.

    Read Also: Best Camping Spots In West Virginia

    Other California Free Camping Ideas

    My favorite free campsites discussed above are just the tip of the iceberg for dispersed camping in California. Dont limit yourself to them and expand your search with the following tips:

    • Consider Parking Lots Im a big fan of camping in store parking lots as a backup when I cant find a good dispersed campsite for the night. Walmart and Cracker Barrel are two options .
    • Try Casino Camping Even better than store parking lots is camping in a casino parking lot. Many casinos in California welcome boondockers, although you usually need a self-contained vehicle . Casino camping is often free.
    • Online Maps Are Helpful Find your own dispersed campsites with the help of Gaia GPS or just plain old satellite view in Google Maps. I like Gaia because it lets you turn on USFS and BLM overlays, so you know 100% your campsite is on public land.
    • Visit a Ranger Station Always visit the nearest ranger station to the public land you plan to camp on. Not only will they provide information on current conditions, but most have paper motor vehicle use maps as well. Ranger will also provide recommendations on nearby dispersed campsites when asked.
    • Stealth Camp as a Backup Im not personally a very big fan of stealth camping, but learning the ins and outs is smart just in case you need to hunker down in a city on your trip.

    Camping In Central California:

    DEEP In The WILD: California Coast Camping

    Clover Meadow Campground North Fork, CA Open between June and October with several sites to choose from. They are a first come, first served basis with access to a water spigot, picnic table, and fire ring. There is also bathroom access with vault toilets. No handicap accessibility.

    Eldorado National Forest Placerville, CA Most of the open land within the Eldorado National Forest is open for camping and is a walk in camp option only. You can not drive your vehicle off the road to camp. Your campsite has to be at least 100 feet from any natural water source and above the high water mark. You may have a campfire with a permit only. No amenities are available so no trace standards to apply.

    Lake Tahoe Basin South Lake Tahoe, CA Camping for this area is restricted to the following areas: Mt. Rose Wilderness, Desolation Wilderness, Echo Chalet, Meiss Country Roadless Area, Mokelumne Wilderness and Granite Chief Wilderness.This is primitive camping only with no amenities and a leave no trace policy. You may have a fire with a permit.

    Willow Creek Trail Big Sur, CA Stay up to 14 days here with campsites scattered all along the area. There is no water or bathroom access but the views are really amazing.

    Alabama Hills Recreation Area Lone Pine, CA There are no restrooms or water access for public use but you may camp here in a tent or an RV. This is a great spot for views and is a location most well know for the views both night and day.

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    Where Can You Find Free Camping In California

    California can be an expensive place to vacation, but that doesnt mean that there arent ways to save money. You can have a cheap summer vacation in California by renting an RV and staying in free campsites. RV park rates can vary depending on location and amenities, so if youre willing to forgo amenities like sewer, water, and electric hookups, you can easily vacation while staying on a budget.

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Camping World In Idaho Falls Idaho

    Discover The Best Free Camping In The Usa

    To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America .

    You should give it a try!

    As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, youre contributing to these lands.

    Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site!

    Well send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA . Access the list by submitting your email below:

    How Do You Know Its A Campsite

    HIDDEN BEACH CAMP SPOT California free camping: Exploring Northern ...

    Here are some telltale clues that youre good, bro:

    • Fire ring If you see a fire ring you KNOW its a site.
    • Spot for a car Some sites have a little spot for a car to park in, made very obvious with a cleared area surrounded by other vegetation. You may even see tire tracks.
    • Spot for a tent Some sites have an obvious spot for a tent with a little square dirt patch surrounded by vegetation. Look for a patch of land that looks disturbed or like its been flattened.

    Sometimes, a campsite wont have any of these signs and is still legit, but these are things I look for just to be sure.

    So now, lets talk about how you can even find free camping.

    Recommended Reading: Bradbury Mountain State Park Camping

    Where To Find Free Camping In California

    As a general rule of thumb, finding free camping on the coastor any coast, reallyis difficult. There are exceptions to this rule, but if youre watching your budget, the coast is a tricky place to do it.

    Luckily, the interior of California is full of public lands, including the Bureau of Land Management, National Forest, and National Park Service lands, where you can settle in for a week of adventure and relaxation in a beautiful place.

    Blm Dispersed Camping California Map

    In order to enjoy disperse camping on BLM lands, it pays to read their website first. It is filled with lots of information you need to know especially if this is your first time on these lands. The link to their websiteis hereand on it, you will find many other links to get all the information you need to know about.

    The link to their maps isright here. That link will get you all the maps to all of the disperse camping in all of the BLM lands across the nation.

    We are also going to provide links to other maps for other places you can do disperse camping or even regular camping. Having access to maps help make planning your itinerary easier..

    Then for different types of maps for the state of California,to get even more options. Having multiple resources at your fingertips is the best way to plan your vacation. It just cuts down on the many items that can go wrong.

    On the last link, you will find explanations for symbols as well.

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    Anza Borrego Desert State Park

    Anza Borrego Desert State Park has lots of paid campsites but also allows dispersed camping for free if you want to be a little more adventurous and economical. There are no hookups in the dispersed camping areas, but RVs and other camper vans are allowed as well as tents. Coyotes are common in this area, so keep your pets safe and within sight at all times.

    The park asks that you not drive more than 10 feet from the road to park your vehicle to preserve the natural beauty of the area.

    Lassen Volcanic National Park

    Overland Beach Camping in NorCal

    Lassen Volcanic National Park makes for a wonderful camping destination. All around the park are interesting sites from caves to volcanoes, from lakes to steaming mud flats.

    • Manzanita Lake – The best campground in the park with a great lake for kayaking, hiking trails, and abundant facilities.
    • Remote and beautiful. Very good campground with scenic views of the lake and distant Lassen Peak.

    Also Check: Anza Borrego Desert State Park Camping

    Abbott Creek Camping Areasequoia National Forest

    Abbott Creek Camping Area draws OHV users to rev their engines and explore the nearby area with gas-powered fun. Each of the campsites is within a convenient three-mile drive to the OHV staging area.

    While usage is light at this campground, its primarily for OHV users, so if youre more interested in an idyllic getaway there are better areas near Sequoia National Forest to camp.

    Spectacular Northern California Camping Spots

    From the dramatic coastline of Big Sur to the giant sequoias of the Sierra Nevada mountains, camping in Northern California never fails to impress.

    My fondest childhood memories rest in Northern California campgrounds.

    Growing up in the Bay Area meant the best campgrounds were only a day drive away. Beach, forest, lake camping, you name it, Northern California has it with a stunning landscape to go along with it.

    Home to a handful of national parks, the worlds tallest trees, ancient lava beds, and miles upon miles of scenic coastline, the reasons to camp the northern half of this state are endless. The toughest part is deciding where to go.

    To get you started, we put together this Northern California camping guide. From north to south, this list covers a variety of areas throughout Northern California so theres something for every type of camper.

    Recommended Reading: How To Plan A Camping Trip

    Beach Camping Near Santa Cruz

    Santa Cruz is a great place to go beach camping. Besides enjoying the sun and sand, there’s a lot you can do in the area. You can go to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, get bewildered at the Mystery Spot, check out these fun things to do in Santa Cruz or just explore other great beaches in the area. To make it even better, Santa Cruz has a couple of the best beach camping spots in the San Francisco Bay Area:

    • Seacliff State Beach is a picture-perfect place, guaranteed to generate some photos to share with friends and family. The campground stretches along a sandy beach, backed by vertical bluffs that block the wind. There’s also an abandoned ship just offshore, and you can go fishing from the pier. This popular spot will be booked up months in advance, so start planning your stay ahead of time, using the Seacliff State Beach camping guide.
    • Sunset State Beach is – as Goldilocks might say – “just right.” You can set up camp under shady pine trees and be on the beach in just a minute or two. It’s 16 miles south of Santa Cruz. To get all the details, use our handy tips to find out how to snag one of those in-demand campsites, in the Sunset State Beach Camping Guide.

    Refugio State Beach Spot

    Free Camping in California

    Refugio State Beach Spot is a very good beachfront campground in northern California where you get two countries in one place. This beach is stretched into the Santa Barbara County. I want you can drive up to the coast of Santa Barbara.

    The Refugio State Beach is a small campground with only 66 campsites. If you want to go for a beach camping where you will find fewer people around then this is the right chose for you.

    This campground is especially preferred or famous for summer beach camping as kayak rides are being offered by the beach lifeguards. This smart way of kayak camping, you can surely enjoy your vacation perfectly here. This place is also a good choice for family camping as this place is very safe.

    Limekiln State Park

    Usually, beach campsites come with an only beach or water-related activities, but this place offers beach view and facilities as well as trekking or walking on trails of mountains. This campground is smaller than Refugio and consists only 12 campsites and a total of 29 campsites. Through choosing this campsite you can privilege yourself with enjoying the moon and sky up from the mountain.

    The mountains near Limekiln give a wide range view of sky and beach. If you get the chance to enjoy this scenario I assure you, you will cherish it for the rest of your life. As it is a small campground you need to book the place months before your camping date in order to get a reservation.

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