Northern California Coast: Big Sur
Big Sur is a spectacularly beautiful stretch of Californias central coast located between Carmel and San Simeon, snuggled between the steep slopes of the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific. Most tourists see this scenic area from the narrow State Route 1, which winds and turns beside steep seaside cliffs, offering lookout points every now and then.
The whole wild and misty area is very sparsely populated and offers great opportunities for hiking, beach combing, exploring, whale watching, and camping. Artists and writers discovered the area in the 1950s and 60s, finding inspiration in the rugged beauty and untamed wilderness. You can visit the house of Henry Miller, today a memorial library, McWay Falls and Cove, Bixby Creek Bridge, many small, quaint inns and restaurants, small picturesque beaches that are not easy to access but well worth it, and a richness of rare plants and animals. Things to Do in Big Sur
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Coastal redwoods, as well as scenic views of the river, are a few advantages to setting up camp at Pfeiffer Big Sur. Just off Highway 1, this state park is a popular campground and with good reason. It can accommodate all kinds of campers. Especially since they have an RV park, tents, and even hike-and-bike campsites just to name a few.
Guests will always have access to potable water, hot showers, and toilets. You can even bring your dog as you explore the trails here. Although there is no beach access in this park, you can still spot several beaches nearby.
Yosemite National Park Snow Camping California
If youre looking for a scenic spot for winter camping in Northern California, Yosemite National Park is the place to be. It is set in the Sierra Nevada mountains with 750,000 acres of snow-covered land in winter.
It is home to massive, ancient sequoia trees, deep valleys, grand meadows, and many cascading waterfalls. Notable attractions at the park include the Bridalveil Fall, El Capitan, and Half Dome.
At Yosemite National Park, you are required to book in advance with a daily fee of $26. There are 13 popular campgrounds in the park, and four are ideal for the best snow camping California has to offer.
The campgrounds in Yosemite Valley that remain open during winter include Upper Pines, Camp 4, Hodgdon Meadow, and Wawona. For the best winter adventure, make your way to the Upper Pines campground. It is open all year at an elevation of 4,000 feet above sea level with 137 sites.
If youre seeking a glamping experience, there are several lodging options available. From simple tent cabins to deluxe rooms, there are plenty of accommodations with a rustic-luxurious feel. Some of the top choices include The Ahwahnee, Yosemite Valley Lodge, and Glacier Point Ski Hut.
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Los Padres National Forest
For those who didnt make it into Ventana, Kirk Creek Campground is set along a bluff overlooking the Pacific. Open to the sea and stars, the space offers the type of outdoorsy beauty only Big Sur can offerpitch a tent on a grassy lawn directly across the ocean and fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves. Feeling indulgent? Pack a cute outfit and shell out the money you saved on lodging to enjoy a prix fixe dinner at Post Ranch Inns Sierra Mar. Then, mosey back to your tent for a traditional smores nightcap.
Best Camping Spots To Visit In Northern California
Those who live in Northern California grew up doing outdoor recreation most of the time. This is not surprising since they are near the best camping sites. If you are thinking of going out and immersing yourself in the beauty of nature, you should. Or want to have easy access to a sandy beach, you should start with these popular spots.
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Los Padres National Forest Off
Los Padres National Forest may have the most 4×4 accessible campsites out of all the off-road camping spots in California. Quatal Canyon takes you to the red high deserts, whereas the northern portion of the park provides plenty of dirt roads and primitive campsites. If you have the time and means, check out Blue Ridge, Cuyama Peak, and Ballinger Canyon for chills and thrills.
Northern California Cities: Sacramento
The capital of California, Sacramento lies at the convergence of two rivers: the Sacramento and the American River. The Old Sacramento neighborhood features many reminders of the citys Gold Rush era, with quaint wooden sidewalks and fun wagon rides. Sutter Fort and the citys historic cemetery also act as outdoor museums of the Gold Rush times. The city has several great museums.
The California State Railroad Museum teaches about the construction of the legendary Transcontinental Railroad, one of Americas first technological successes. Sacramento has several picturesque bridges that serve both pedestrians and vehicles Tower Bridge connects Sacramento and West Sacramento, and the Guy A. West Memorial Bridge crosses the American River. Take a tour of the Capitol building, a beautiful neoclassical building completed in 1874, and which today is as much a museum as it is the working seat of government. Things to Do in Sacramento
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Perfectly Located Campgrounds In Northern California
Whether you enjoy camping lakeside, within the redwood grove, above volcanically active areas, or with just a magnificent view, camping in Northern California offers tons of attractive campgrounds with plentiful amenities.
Those looking to camp along the rugged Northern California coastline have a lot of sites to choose from, but Russian Gulch State Park has some of the most scenic spots.
For an epic Northern California. campground with a lake or water view, Trinity Lake, Shasta Lake, and Kirby Cove offer that breathtaking scenery with plentiful camping spots.
To plan your next Northern California camping adventure, weve done all the research for you. We hope you enjoy browsing this list of nine terrific Northern California campgrounds, along with useful information to help you plan your Norcal camping escape, such as the number of sites and amenities they each have.
Why Northern California Is Such A Great Place To Rv
California Americas most popular state houses some of the best attractions in the country. Throughout the year, flocks of people rush into the state for the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hollywood sign, or Yosemite National Park. But Northern California also offers terrific RV parks to unleash your adventurous side. So switch things up this time and go explore nature.
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Rv Camping Northern California
To help you plan your perfect Northern California Camping trip I have put together this list of the top-rated RV Campgrounds from thousands of campers.
If you are looking for the perfect RV camping for family fun, or just a quiet campground to get away and relax in beautiful Northern California then you are sure to find it on this list.
Here is all the information you need to know about the best RV Campgrounds in Northern California.
Best Places To Go Camping With Your Family In Northern California 2022
Camping was, is, and always will be entertaining fun. Lets say that you work a lot and you do not have time to travel often. Despite that, your budget doesnt allow you to visit some places. Still, you feel tired and you want more than ever to get out of town. Noise and crowds are everywhere around you and you need a peaceful place. Well, camping is some sort of medicine for you.
Well, people in California know exactly how it looks to live in an urban place. Fortunately for them, there is a huge number of places in Northern California where they can camp. We would want to highlight some of them in this article.
Yet, before everything, it is necessary to prepare yourself for camping. This especially counts if you plan to camp for more than 1 night. Make a list of things that you need to bring. Logically, you wont be able to camp without a tent. Some online shops such as whiteduckoutdoors.com offer various types of tents. We suggest you visit their website before picking the perfect place for camping.
Now, lets see where you should go!
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Best Winter Camping In California
Matt DavisonThis post may contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission but come at no extra cost to you.
Here is a list of the top camping spots for winter camping in both Northern and Southern California. From bare deserts to lush national and state parks, there is a great choice if youre looking for a winter adventure.
As temperatures begin to drop, the California wilderness provides an enchanting setting for outdoor winter adventures. Winter camping in California offers a memorable experience with peaceful environments and scenic views.
While California does not experience extreme winters like Alaska and Minnesota, youll need to prepare for the snowy mountains. For a more comfortable stay, its best to pack your favorite hiking boots and a heated pair of socks.
The Golden State is home to breathtaking beaches, woodlands, and deserts that offer ideal locations to pitch a tent. Whether youre looking to camp out on the beach or in the desert, California boasts diverse environments to fit every kind of camper.
However, camping options are more limited during the colder seasons. Wondering where to camp in the winter? Weve compiled a list of the best winter camping locations for a cozy cold adventure in California.
Redwood National And State Parks
Why you should camp here: Forested campgrounds nestled among rare redwoods in a remarkable ecosystem.
- Reservations accepted: Yes
- Best season: Spring, summer, fall
- Campsite types: Tent, RV, trailers, car camping
- RV hookups: No
Jedediah Smith is an amazing camping experience in the heart of the redwoods and right next to the river, says Tracy Snapp on .
The coast redwood ecosystem is as old as it is unique. The towering trees provide plentiful shade and cooler temperatures for an array of species, including us.
Grab your tent and plan a visit. There are four campgrounds in these parks to choose from, including the popular Jedediah Smith Campground. This campground is nestled among old-growth redwoods along the Smith River with access to restrooms and hot showers.
Hikers and backpackers alike are drawn to the Summit Lake South Campground.
This campground offers vault toilets and drinking water with food lockers to stash your yummy goods from hungry predators. Catering to the tent crowd, Summit Lake South Campground features a secluded tent-only loop so tent campers can find solace among their kind.
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Mt Lassen Shingletown Koa Holiday
Just a short drive from Lassen National Park, tucked in the pines, oaks and cedars of the forest you will find Mt. Lassen Shingletown KOA Holiday.
This campground is open year round, and is one of the best RV campgrounds in Northern California for families.
They have back-in and full hookup pull-through sites for RVs up to 65 in length. There are also tent camping sites and full cabin rentals available.
The campground sits at 3900-ft elevation, so the area does get snow in the winter, and has cooler mountain temperatures in the summer.
You will have plenty to do around this beautiful campground. There is a heated pool, playground, dog park, bike rentals, and many other fun activities.
The kids will love the fun events they offer! Every Friday they have movies on the lawn. Saturdays you can enjoy ice cream at the weekly ice cream social, and Sundays that even have a pancake breakfast.
When you are not relaxing at your campsite, you can spend the day exploring the beautiful Lassen Volcanic National Park. In only a 15-minute drive you can be at this park which has scenic hiking trails, alpine meadows, clear mountain lakes, and hydrothermal areas in the park with bubbling pools and mudpots.
Things to Know:
- Bike Rentals
Sinkyone Wilderness State Park
Image from The Dyrt camper Rachel O.
The Lost Coast is a 60-mile stretch of wilderness along the ragged coastline of Mendocino and Humboldt Counties, part of the King Range Conservation Area. Hikers and backpackers love the empty sandy beaches, windy bluffs and many possibilities for wildlife sightings. Sinkyone Wilderness State Park lies at the southern portion of the region, and is a perfectly hidden northern California camping option.
The campground at Usal Beach is the largest and most accessible campground in the parkhowever, RVs are not recommended because of the difficult road getting in. All 25 sites are first come, first served. There are some sites right on the beach, and some a little more inland among the grasses. There is no fresh running water, so bring your own or bring a good water filter.
Im lucky enough to live within an hour from this amazing place. Granted it has no facilities as budgets have been hacked and slashed, but this isnt the kind of place for luxury camping. This is the kind of place that will renew your soul, it will make you feel alive and allow the stress of the everyday world to wash away. The Dyrt camper Matthew G.
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Places To Visit In Bay Area: San Francisco
If you are coming to San Francisco for the first time, you will have a list of the must-see city icons. So take one of the charming red trams and go see a few of citys 43 hills, brave the tall Coit Tower for incomparable city views, sit on the grass at Alamo Square and watch the timeless beauty of the colorful Victorian painted ladies, or stroll through the Golden Gate Park for a fantastic view of the Golden Gate Bridge permanently shrouded in fog.
Take a ferry to visit notorious Alcatraz prison and enjoy the fabulous view of the city skyline. Stroll through Chinatown, the biggest in North America, to sample some great dim sum and soak up some of San Franciscos ethnic diversity. Check out the Geary Street art galleries, taste some Ghirardelli chocolates on the square that shares their name before strolling down to Fisherman’s Wharf to watch the fishing boats, listen to the racket of the sea lions and taste some fresh seafood from one of the stalls. By then, you will know that you have fallen in love with this amazing city, where everything is possible. Next read: 9 Best Beaches in the Bay Area, Things to Do in San Francisco
Best Rv Campgrounds In Northern California
California is a great state for camping, especially in the summer. The Golden State has a little bit of everything when it comes to RV Camping. There are hundreds of great RV campgrounds in Northern California to choose from.
There are campsites next to waterfalls like Fowlers Campground next to McCloud Falls. California also has some amazing campgrounds that are right on the beach.
Some of the best beach campgrounds include Francis Beach RV and Wesport Beach RV, where you can enjoy ocean views right from your campsite.
If you are looking to camp lakeside then Northern California has great lakeside RV campgrounds such as the popular Collins Lake Campground.
There are also some great spots for RV Camping where you can camp in a majestic Redwood Forest and ride a real historic steam engine train.
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Beal’s Point Campground Folsom Lake State Recreation Area
Thirty miles west of Sacramento, the scenic Folsom Lake has three campgrounds available. Just north of the Folsom Lake Dam, Beal’s Point Campground offers year-round spots to tent or RV camp close to the water. With 69 sites available, every overnight guest has access to potable water and hot showers, as well as proximity to a swimming beach.
North of the campground, the Granite Bay area of the park has several public boat ramps that access the water.
Address: Beals Point, Granite Bay, California
The World Is Only As Big As Much As You Have Explored It
Travel trailers are a great way for you to explore the world around you. You can choose to make temporary friends at famous camping sites or indulge in the innocence of nature by boondocking. If you are a traveling person or a family with a passion for traveling, you must find yourself traveling down the roads exploring beautiful landscapes quite often.
“So how many places are there in Northern California where you can really do some worthwhile camping?”
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Of The Best Family Camping Spots In Northern California
For anyone looking for the best family campgrounds, the north of California has some great options that are worth exploring. Whether you want easy access to beaches, hiking trails, national parks, or just want somewhere to enjoy some quality family time that doesnt break the bank, camping is a great option.
There are excellent options for RV camping, tent camping, and even cabins that are perfect for family vacations.
This article will look at some of the best camping spots in the north of California to help you get a better idea of cost, amenities, activities, and nearby attractions. Or maybe youre looking for camping ideas across the whole of California? Check out our handy guide to the best family camping spots and campgrounds in California.