Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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Free Camping Near Santa Cruz

Sweetwater Laguna Mountain Campground

Campground Review Sunset State Beach Campground near Santa Cruz #camping #campground #santacruz

Location: San Benito County

Amenities: Vault toilets, shade structures, picnic tables, firepits, and a kiosk . Electricity, trash collection, or running water are not available.

Activities: Hiking, hunting, and wildlife watching

Dogs allowed: Yes

This free campground is situated within the rugged, rolling hills and oak forests that make up the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area. The scenery is stunning, and as you traverse through the region, youll pass through forests, meadows, and a desert landscape with unique rock formations. With hiking and biking trails leading to Laguna Creek, to cliffs overlooking the expanse, and to a series of scenic waterfalls located in the gorge, which path will you take first?

Seacliff State Beach Facilities

Seacliff has sites for self-contained RVs and camping trailers only. In general, vehicles can be up to 36 feet long, but they have a few spaces for 45-footers. Sites 1-28 fill up fastest because they have hookups. There is no dump station.

Sites are side by side facing the beach, and some people think they’re a little too close together.

The campground has restrooms with flush toilets. The Beach Shack serves food but is only open on busier days. Water and a sanitation dump station are available at nearby New Brighton State Beach.

Within a couple of miles, you can find shopping, dining, and grocery stores.

Where Can I Park My Rv In Santa Cruz

Sunset State Beach Campground. Watsonville. Big Basin Redwoods State Park Campground. Boulder Creek. Castle Rock State Park Campground. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Campground. Manresa State Beach Uplands Campground. New Brighton State Beach Campground. Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA. Seacliff State Beach Campground.

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Always Respect Californias Dispersed Camping Rules

Please dont go dispersed camping unless youre going to respect our public lands.

Most importantly, you absolutely must follow the 7 Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact when enjoying the great outdoors

To quickly highlight a few key points, please pack out all of your trash , properly dispose of human waste , and always try your best to set up camp in previously disturbed campsites.

In addition, follow all campfire restrictions , stay out of any closed areas, respect local wildlife , and respect all stay limits .

Another point regarding campfires know that a free campfire permit is required for all campfires in California. In fact, a permit is even required to use a camp stove while dispersed camping.

Its vital we keep our public lands clean and minimize our human impact both for our own enjoyment and the enjoyment of the next visitors not to mention for the health of the local wildlife and of the land itself.

Free Camping On National Forests And Grasslands

The Best Santa Cruz Camping, from the Beach to the Forests

On Google Maps, nearly all National Forest and Grasslands are clearly and conveniently designated in green, making it easy to determine which National Forest youll be traveling near. This also helps determine the National Forest boundaries, so you dont inadvertently trespass.

Free camping in the San Juan National Forest, Colorado.

Then you can use the National Forest Services Interactive Map to get detailed information on specific-use areas of the particular National Forest youre interested in camping.

We always recommend checking with the local Forest Service Ranger Station or calling the local Forest Service Office to get confirmation on your intended free camping site and any specific use restrictions, but generally youre allowed to camp for free as long as you:

Free camping in the Manti-La Sal National Forest near Moab, Utah.

  • Only stay up to 14 days in a given 28 day period

  • Camp a minimum of 1 mile from any Developed Recreation Area such as developed forest service pay-for campgrounds, day-use picnic areas, and trailheads

  • Establish camp at least 200ft from any water source or stream

  • Strictly adhere to current local restrictions on campfires, and manage them safely and properly, using only existing fire rings when possible. Note that permits are sometimes required, so check with the local ranger station

  • And make yourself aware of current fire conditions by visiting this interactive map before making camp

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Campgrounds Close To Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz isnt all surfing, skateboarding and beach parties. Visitors and residents regularly take advantage of numerous campgrounds in the Santa Cruz Mountains and along the coast. Reservations are suggested for any type of camping, and sites can fill up quickly in the summer months. Here are a few of our favorites.

Now Get Out There And Find Some Free Camping Sites

We hope the free camping strategies and resources weve shared in this post will help you to not only save money, but travel farther and camp more often!

And PLEASE let us know in the comments section below if you have any other free camping tips or resources youd like to share – were always looking for ways to make our travel budget go further.

Wed also love for you to, and as always, thanks for reading!

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Can You Camp On The Channel Islands

Camping is available year round on all five islands in Channel Islands National Park in National Park Service-managed campgrounds. No camping is allowed on The Nature Conservancys western 76 percent of Santa Cruz Island. Limited backcountry camping is available on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands.

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Welcome To Santa Cruz Harbor Rv Park

Santa Cruz beach parking reopens, county campgrounds remain closed

Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park is your premier destination for RV-ing in the Santa Cruz area. Located in the Santa Cruz North Harbor, you can enjoy convenient access to numerous beaches and restaurants, downtown Santa Cruz, Capitola, and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Harbor beach is approximately 1 mile from the RV parking sites. An extensive walking trail completely surrounds the harbor.

An RV host is available for information and initial registration. Please call 212-4261 and leave a message for reservation inquiries and additional information. Please do not attempt to make contact with the host after 9:00 pm or before 9:00 am.

for the RV Park Rules.

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The 10 Best Places To Camp For Free In Northern California

Its hard to think of a more satisfying way to spend a beautiful weekend than camping on one of Northern Californias spectacular array of public landsexcept, perhaps, camping there for free. Land managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management is typically home to lots of free “dispersed” camping, meaning folks can drive up to an established primitive sitewhich dont typically have the usual campground services like water, garbage pickup, or restroomsand pitch a tent without the hassle of fees or permits. For frontcountry camping in Northern California, assume that youll need a current California Campfire Permit in order to build a campfire, use a camp stove, or barbecue. Check out our list of 10 awesome spots to remember why you fell in love with camping in the first place.

Bob Wick, BLM

Explore Central California Diversity With Santa Cruz Camping

The popularity of camping in Santa Cruz county doesnt just come from its beautiful natural setting. For Bay Area campers, its a short drivedown some winding roadsto get away from eight million neighbors. It can be hard to find an available spot, especially during the peak summer weekends, so plan your trip months in advance with reservations. Dont stress too much however, as Santa Cruz county offers enough camping options for nearly everyone to find a site.

This list collects just a few of the numerous Santa Cruz camping options, reviewed by campers on The Dyrt, that will take you from the mountains to the ocean. Keep in mind many of these campgrounds are closed in the winter because of rains, so make sure to check with the relevant authorities for the latest status.

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Key Seacliff State Beach Campground Regulations

  • A self-contained vehicle contains permanent working plumbing fixtures, flushable toilets, and a sealed effluent holding tank.
  • Do not feed or leave food out for wildlife.
  • Dogs are not permitted on the beach. In the campground they must be on leash and attended at all times.
  • Generators may only be used from 10 AM to 8 PM.
  • No effluent, gray or fresh water may be discharged onto the ground.
  • For safety, stay on the hiking trails as the bluff walls are steep.
  • Check Seacliff State Beach for any campground updates.

    Free Ca Camping Sites

    Santa Cruz Ranch RV Resort
    • Willow Creek Road : This is a forestry road that branches of Hwy 1 . It’s a good half hour drive up a curvy mountain road, the first mile is paved, then you hit a dirt road. The sites are scattered without notice all along the side of the slope. I recommend heading up the road a good thirty minutes and finding a spot few people have claimed. Plus, you get a better view. For me, camping is best when I don’t have to listen to my neighbors, who probably love hip hop so much they have to blast it throughout the campground for everyone else to enjoy. Pack your trash and you’ll have to dig a scat hole, or hold it until you get to Gorda. Free camping typically means little to no amenities. This is what I seek when I want good, non-parking lot style camping, or glamping. Otherwise you’re heading to Plasket, Lime Kiln Creek, etc., but those are packed and booked six months in advance.
    • Another stellar set of free sites are further north from Willow Creek Rd. also off Hwy 1, about 30 minutes north of Gorda, up Nacimiento Road .
  • Cole Creek Camping Area : Shaded by oaks and adjacent to a meadow, this campsite has a little over 20 sites available. You get here from Hwy 88, south to Bear River Res. drive, drive over the dam and follow the Cole Creek Rd. Fortunately, the road is paved here too. Note, this site is only open from Summer to fall. Equipped with a bear box and parking stall.
  • Cole Creek Free Camping

    Lumsden Bridge Campground

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    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. Freecampsites.net 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!

    Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Editors Pick

    Tucked into the Santa Cruz Mountains less than five miles from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is an international tourist destination and campground. Encompassing over 4,600 acres of mountainous terrain, this nearly 90-year-old park gains its notoriety from the 40 acres of old-growth redwood trees within its borders. The tallest tree at Henry Cowell stands approximately 277 feet tall and is estimated to be over 1,500 years old.

    A two-mile hike from the Redwood Grove Loop, one of the best hiking trails near Santa Cruz, the parks campground has over 100 sites for tents and RVs. Dispersed throughout a shady forest, the campsites have natural privacy and access to flushing toilets and coin-operated showers. The highest point in the park, an observation deck with big views of the Santa Cruz Mountains, is a half-mile hike from the campground.

    Including the winding banks of the San Lorenzo River, the terrain at Henry Cowell provides enough attraction for an entire weekend without leaving the park. The day-use Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell, just north of the campground, has over 20 miles of hiking trails to explore. One of the best swimming holes in the state can be found at the Garden of Eden also within the state park. Reservations are highly recommended and available six months ahead of time.

    Address: 101 N Big Trees Park Road, Felton, California

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    What People Are Saying About Santa Cruz / Monterey Bay Koa Holiday

    One of my favorite campgrounds! Dont have any complaints. Ive stayed at more than 50 campgrounds, and this one is very well laid out where the spots make circles around the playgrounds. . The fun train came by every day and the staff was so kind to go on another trip around if my kids missed the first train. Sarah, Google Review


    • Santa Cruz / Monterey Bay KOA Holiday
    • 1186 San Andreas Rd
    • Pets Allowed: Yes
    • Cell Reception: Strong signal

    Is Renting An Rv Cheaper Than A Hotel

    Santa Cruz Ranch California RV Resort and Campground

    RVs are becoming the new norm in the travel industry, and its not hard to see why. According to Condor Ferries, and TripSavvy It is cheaper to rent an RV than stay at a Hotel. In Fact, you save between 20% 60% in travel costs when you Rent an RV over staying an a hotel or traditional vacationing options.

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    Best Free Camping Incalifornia

    By Sara Sheehy

    With its 840 miles of coastline, beautiful mountains, and fun cities, California is at the top of many peoples adventure lists. From the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Joshua Tree National Park, California is filled with beautiful destinations, sunny days, and plenty of those Beach Boys vibes.

    California has an ample amount of dispersed camping if you know where to look. Here is where youll find the best no-cost camping in the Golden State.

    See the California free camping map.

    Fremont Peak State Park

    Fremont Peak sits above the Salinas Valley southeast of Santa Cruz. It’s accessible from the city of San Juan Bautista and an approximately 45-mile drive from Santa Cruz. The last 10 miles of the route quickly gain elevation, with a narrow and winding route where RVs and trailers are not recommended. But stunning panoramic views of Monterey Bay await those who make the slow-going drive.

    The park has 25 campsites split between two campgrounds: Valley View Campground and Oak Point Campground. Both enjoy big views, but Oak Point arguably has the better vantage points. Running water is available, but no flushing toilets are at either campground, only vault toilets. And perhaps because of the winding drive, the campground doesn’t tend to book out as fast as others in the region.

    Spend some time on the park’s hiking trails if you’re staying the night. One of the best views from the park comes from the Peak Trail, easily accessible from both campgrounds. This is an excellent spot to bring along a flashlight and catch the sunset.

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    Visiting Henry Cowell Redwoods

    Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains and is most famous for the 40-acre grove of towering old-growth redwood trees. Its historical significance and spectacular scenery draw travelers from around the world. Visitors can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, swimming, and camping on more than 4,650 acres of forested and open land. These skyscraping redwoods were admired by explorer John C. Frémont, President Theodore Roosevelt, and inspired some of Californias earliest redwood preservation efforts. Take a walk beyond the redwood grove and youll find four diverse habitats that this park preserves: grasslands, river/riparian, sandhills, and redwoods. The tallest tree in the park is approximately 277 feet tall, about 16 feet wide, and around 1,500 years old. Keen-eyed visitors may spot banana slugs, black-tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, or steelhead trout.

    A few miles north is the Fall CreekUnit a second-growth redwood forest with a fern-lined river canyon and remnants of a successful lime-processing industry. Fall Creek is open for day use only, and includes almost twenty miles of connecting trails. Parking and trailheads are marked on Felton Empire Road off Highway 9.

    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.

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    Can I Camp On The Beach In Santa Cruz

    Santa Cruz Beach Camping Most of the coastal state parks have camping areas, but not a single one is directly on the beach. The campgrounds in this list are close enough to the beach that you can walk, but not quite right on the sand. Manresa State Beach Campground has walk-in tent sites and is very close to the beach.

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