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Van Damme State Park Camping

Van Damme State Park Group Campsite

Van Damme State Park, California

Van Damme State Park has one group tent campsite for between 9 and 50 people and up to 15 vehicles . The maximum vehicle length is 27 feet. The group site is open from late March through November.Fee: $160 per night

  • Campsites are within walking distance of Van Damme Beach.

  • Choose between valley or meadow campsites.

  • Enjoy this popular scuba diving and kayaking area.

  • Van Damme State Park Campground

    Relax By the Fire

    Camp At The Environmental Campground In Van Damme State Park In Mendocino

    River otters and redwoods blend smoothly in the charming hamlet of Mendocino. And while many visitors head for convenient drive-in campgrounds, just a few miles south of town is one of the best hike-in campgrounds on the California coast. Van Damme State Park follows Little River inland from the ocean, and the nine first-come, first-served environmental campsites can be reached only via the partially paved and mostly flat Fern Canyon Trail.

    You can hike to the campsites but we recommend bringing your bike to ride the 2 miles in. Each site has a picnic table and all are nestled among coastal redwoods in a fern canyon along the Little River. Beautiful. Spend some time exploring.

    Hike a couple of miles from camp to a pygmy cypress forest where 100-year-old trees reach just one foot in height. Or hang out on the large and delightful beach at the mouth of Little River . Damme good time!

    TIP: Van Damme has plenty of drive-in campsites and you’ll need a reservation if you’re booking anytime in spring through autumn.

    Manchester Beach Koa Campground

    44300 Kinney Road, Manchester, CAAdjacent to the Manchester State Park campground

    Campground Amenities

    • Pool, hot tub, pavilion, game arcade room, bike rentals
    • WiFi , disc golf course, bocce ball courts, Sandy volleyball court
    • Kabins, kottages and lodges
    • 135 tent and RV sites
    • Variety of hook-ups available

    Hours: 8 AM to 9 or 10 PMEntry Fee: $8 per vehiclePark Facilities: Parking, restrooms, seasonal visitor center, day-use area, trails, dump station, amphitheaterDogs are not allowed on beach.Cautions: Be wary of crumbling cliff edges, rogue waves, and rip-currents

    Hiker’s Guide to Mendocino Coast

    Read Also: Croton Point Park Camping Reservation

    Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

    What are some popular services for campgrounds?

    Some popular services for campgrounds include:

  • Virtual Consultations

  • What are people saying about campgrounds near 8125 CA-1, Little River, CA 95456?

    This is a review for campgrounds near 8125 CA-1, Little River, CA 95456:

    “Probably one of the best camping spots along the Mendocino/Sonoma coast! My family and I camped here at the end of June and we are awaiting our return for an end of summer camping trip!!! Bathrooms were EXTREMELY clean, washing faucet at every corner for dishes/teeth brushing, all staff was very polite and helpful with daily tips and information. Camp site is across from a super cute beach site and about 5 miles from downtown Mendocino. It’s the perfect location! I will say, our campsite was on a slope, but it was also a VERY busy weekend for the campgrounds and we booked last minute, we will try to plan for a more evened campsite next trip, but even then, we still had an amazing time!!”

    Russian Gulch State Park Camping

    Van Damme State Park, CA

    Russian Gulch State Park campsites are among the trees along Russian Gulch Creek. Besides standard sites there is a group site, a hike and bike site, and a horse camp.

    The tent-only group site will accommodate from 9 to 40 people. It has 10 parking slots, 3 fire pits, and a large grill. Among visitors’ favorite family campsites are numbers 1 through 12 and sites 25 through 30. Sites 18-20 may no longer be in use.

    Russian Gulch Camping Reservations and Fees

    $45 per night $5 for Hike and Bike site $140 for group siteor call 444-PARK between 8 AM and 6 PMFor horse camp reservations, call 707-937-5804

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    Van Damme State Park Campground

    Van Damme State Park Campground is found along the Mendocino coast, a few miles south of the town of Mendocino. Van Damme State Park offers some of the best camping in the area with campsites along the Little River and others higher on a ridge in an area known as Highland Meadow. Visitors to Van Damme State Park enjoy the beach set in a protected cove, scuba diving, abalone fishing, kayaking, hiking, and sight-seeing.

    Van Damme State Park Campground has 68 campsites. Five of the sites at the eastern end of the campground are designated for tents-only, while the rest can accommodate RVs, trailers, and tents. In addition, there are 9 environmental campsites requiring a couple of miles of hiking up Little River from the main campground to reach. Van Damme State Park also has a Hike & Bike campsite and a Group Campsite.

    Notice: A temporary single-lane bridge has been installed to allow for access to campsites on the east side of Little River. The narrow bridge is very difficult for large RVs and those pulling trailers to negotiate. Read the detailed information on the park website: Van Damme State Park.

    Van Damme State Park Campground Basics
    Van Damme State Park Campground Location: Highway 1, three miles south of Mendocino
    Elevation:
    1 driven and 1 legally towed
    Pets:
    Van Damme State Park Information 937-5804

    Van Damme State Park Group Campsite

    Pygmy Forest Discovery Trail

    If you dont want to do the logging trail, but want a taste of the pygmy forest, then take the .2 mile discovery trail interpretive loop. The signage does a good job of explaining the unique geology of this part of the park and why the poor soil here causes the stunted tree growth.

    You access the Discovery Trail from the Airport road.

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    Van Damme State Park In Little River California

    Van Damme Beach State Park is located at the mouth of Little River in the small town of Little River. In addition to having an excellent beach in a semi-protected cove, this state park has several camping areas to accommodate over 70 car and tent campers. It also has ten miles of trails for hikers and mountain bikers that meander up Fern Canyon and all across the Spring Ranch Property with access to the ocean bluffs. The upper inland terrace of the park is home to a rare Pygmy Forest. Cyclists can ride the paved road that follows the Little River up-canyon.

    The day-use parking area is right on the beach at a bend in Highway 1. The Little River Golf Course is across the highway and many lodging options are available if youd like to stay here for a coastal getaway weekend to the Mendocino Coast. For added adventure, Kayak Mendocindo launches SUPs and kayaking tours to sea caves and the Albion River which start right at Van Damme Beach. Nearby is the Little River Blowhole which shouldnt be missed since you are so close.

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    Van Damme State Park Overview

    Van Damme State Park

    Van Damme State Park campground has 74 campsite along the Little River in a lush redwood and fern forest along the California coast. Hike/bike and group campsites are also available. The park also has 9 first-come, first-served environmental sites in a redwood forest along the Fern Canyon Scenic Trail. These are about 1.75 miles from the trailhead near the end of the campground.

    Campsites can accommodate tents, trailers and RVs. Each campsite also has a table, food locker and fire ring/grill. The campground has drinking water, flush toilets, showers and an RV dump station. There is also a campfire center and visitor center.

    Van Damme Area Recreation

    Van Damme State Park 1,831 acres offers some great hiking through the forest and along the beach. Other outdoor recreation includes biking, kayaking, surf fishing, exploring historic sites, beach combing, picnicking, kayaking, swimming and photography. Wildlife viewing is also nice in the area.

    Read Also: Car Camping In Northern California

    Van Damme State Park Campground:

    This state park offers a few different options in camping. There are three different camping areas, pretty much something for everyone. There are three different areas to camp in. The campground is open year round except for the Upper Loop Sites, they are closed during the winter season.

    During the summer time, this campground is pretty busy, so you will want to make reservations in advance. That can be done through reservecalifornia.com.

    Van Damme State Park Camping

    Campsites at Van Damme State Park are found in three different areas, one called the Lower Loop, another along the Little River Valley and the third up in an area named Highland Meadow. In addition to the standard family campsites there are environmental campsites, a group site for 9 to 50 people, and a hike and bike site.

    The environmental campsites are 2 miles up Little River from the park headquarters. There is no potable water available there.

    In the main campgrounds are 69 campsites for RVs, Trailers, and tents, along with 5 sites for tents only.

    Van Damme State Parking Camping Reservations and Fees

    $45 for standard sites

    Campsite in the Highland Meadow Camping Area.

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    Van Damme State Park Guide

    The Van Damme State Park sits on the California coast just below the historic town of Mendocino in the town of Little River. In the 1,831 acres you can find Van Damme Beach with its gentle waves, a canyon of ferns called Fern Canyon and a Pygmy Forest. You can camp, kayak and hike within this gem of a state park.

    Named for Charles Van Damme who was born in the town of Little River in the year 1881. He left the property as a place for townsfolk to recreate. Though he passed away before he could see what became of the land, it carries his namesake today.

    Weather Forecast For Mendocino:

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    Address: 8125 US Highway 1 Little River, CA 95456

    Allowed on leash but never on trails

    Showers:

    Yes, many spigots around campground

    Toilets:

    Camping In Van Damme State Park

    Van Damme Camp Albion River Paddle  Anet Gazette

    Van Damme State Park camping is certainly popular on summer weekends and holidays. Reservations are strongly advised from April through early October, particularly for weekends. But if you can swing weeknights, you can often find shoulder season spots available on the fly. The park then goes off reservations in mid October.

    Book your Van Damme campground reservation at Reserve California.

    The park has four discrete camping areas with 74 regular spots, a group camp and a handful of walk-in spots in the fern canyon. The three main camping areas each have regularly spaced bathrooms and pay showers. Little Loop has 13 spots near the entrance. Little River Spur has 16 spots and is strung along the lower road and provides the closest access to the fern canyon. And the Upper Loop is up the hill with 43 spots.

    Van Damme has a 35 foot RV trailer limit, but a trailer that large wont fit into many of the camp spots, especially on the Little Loop. If you have a large trailer, the park can also accommodate you at the beach, but you need to call and arrange it ahead of time. Their phone is: 707-937-5804.

    The best camp sites in Van Damme are in the Upper Loop because the area has more sunshine and a place for the kids to run around. But only choose one of the spots on the perimeter of the meadow, There are are few oddball camp spots on the road going up to the meadow and they are very tight and not level.

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    Hiking Fern Canyon Trail

    The main event in Van Damme is hiking the Fern Canyon Trail. You can do it as a 5.5 mile out and back, or add on the Old Logging Loop trail, which makes it 8 miles total. Doing the longer trail gets you into the pygmy forest. But even the shorter out and back is a lovely, peaceful hike, as you transit through fern canyon, across the stream and through coast redwood groves. There is nothing essential about doing the whole thing just do as much as you have the time for.

    Trails In Van Damme State Park:

    This park offers hikes for everyone, though most of it is very shaded and can be muddy at times. But do not let that detour you, many of the hikes are easy and are stroller accessible.

    Fern Canyon – 8 miles – Moderate

    Though this trail is listed as a moderate level hike, but most folks said that it was only for one hill in. The entire trail for the 8 miles has an elevation gain of about 700 feet. There are multiple bridges to cross, and the river follows a good stretch of the trail. This trail is accessed through Van Damme State Park all the way to the back. To park in the park, it is $8

    Old Logging Road-Fern Canyon Loop – 4.4 miles – Moderate

    Located off of Little River Airport Road, this hike starts you at the Pygmy Forest and takes you into the Fern Canyon.

    Pygmy Forest Discovery Trail – .02 miles

    Also located off of Little River Airport Road, the Pygmy Forest Discovery Trail is an interpretive trail. It is wheelchair and stroller accessible and very easy. If you have school age children, this could be a great opportunity for them to do a little learning while on a short walk through the Pygmy Forest.

    Spring Ranch – 4.2 miles

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    Key Van Damme State Park Campground Regulations

  • Fires may only be built in provided fire rings.
  • Dogs are required to be on leash and always attended. Dogs are not permitted on most trails. At night they must be confided to a vehicle or tent from 10 PM to 6 AM.
  • Purchase your firewood locally to avoid bringing in invasive insect pests.
  • Check Van Damme State Park for any campground updates.

    Mendocino Coast Attractions And Activities

    California State Parks: Russ Christoff visits Van Damme State Park

    Visitors to Mendocino enjoy exploring the coast and visiting the little beaches along the way and stopping at rocky points. Campers at Van Damme State Park Campground one of the area’s best kayaking and diving beaches just steps from their campsites.

    • Explore Van Damme State Park with a nice beach for kayaking and scuba diving and great inland hiking trails.
    • Visit the quaint town of Mendocino and walk along the Mendocino Headlands.
    • Poke around famous Glass Beach near Fort Bragg and then stop in town for dinner.
    • Point Arena Lighthouse stands on a rugged point of land. Take a lighthouse tour.
    • Mountain bike along dirt roads.
    • Hike around the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Land.
    • Take a trip to Africa at the B. Bryan Preserve near Point Arena. See Africa’s hoofed animals such as Greater Kudu, zebras, and giraffes.
    • Take an adventurous hike down to Bowling Ball Beach to see the amazing spheres of rock in the surf at low tide.
    • Mendocino coast beaches are generally considered too dangerous for wading and swimming, but some sheltered beaches and inlets can be safe under favorable conditions. Always check with park rangers about the safety of a particular beach before entering the water.

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    One Park Two Campgrounds Choose From Cabins Yurts And Rv Sites Operated By Dons Cab

    PLEASE NOTE: The Blue Ridge Parkway is currently Closed from Milepost 135 to Milepost 121 due to the road damage. The Blue Ridge Parkway is OPEN and Explore Park can be accessed on the Parkway at Milepost 121 from US Route 220 headed North, at Milepost 112 from VA 24 headed South, Mill Mountain Parkway at Milepost 120, or our alternate entrance at 3900 Rutrough Road, 24014. .

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