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Where To Go Camping In Northern California

Channel Islands National Park

Best Places to Camp for Free in California

What makes Channel Islands National Park one of the best camping places in Northern California? For one, this Northern CA camping ground is home to San Miguel Island, one of the worlds most incredible abandoned islands. That and the other four islands that encompass this offshore national park is a perfect example of primeval California, circa hundreds of years ago. They can be reached via a 1.5-hour ferry ride from Los Angeles. Since none of them are connected to the mainland, they have a wondrous fauna populace. So, theres everything from dolphin spotting and whale watching to kayaking and hiking the trails. Birdwatchers will especially love the islands, as theyre home to at least 10 land bird species that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth! Fishing is a popular pastime, so do bring your fishing backpacks and fishing sunglasses.

Every isle boasts a small campground, but Scorpion Canyon campground on Santa Cruz island is the easiest to reach. While youll have to lug your gear for around half a mile from the dock, rewards are aplenty. Think a night sky that twinkles with thousands of stars and a serenity that can be found in very few places in the world. There are 31 tent-only walk/hike-in primitive sites, of which 25 are individual sites and 6 are group ones. However, all sites require reservations. Moreover, the campground even has pit toilets, potable water, food storage, and picnic table.

Yogi Bears Jellystone Park

Yogi Bears Jellystone Park is the best RV park for families in California. They are very family-oriented and one of the best places to go RVing with a baby. You dont need to leave to have a wonderful time but the surrounding is also great.

They have some of the best family amenities an RV park can offer. They have water slides, splash pads, hot tub, pools, and even a lazy river. If you want to add some outdoor adventure you can spend plenty of time in Lodis historic downtown. You can hike, bike, swim, or fish in Lodi Lake. There are also more than 85 Lodi wineries.

Camp Edison On Shaver Lake

Camp Edison was built in 1963 on Shaver Lake and is a favorite vacation spot for many RV travelers in Northern California. The campground is large with over 250 campsites available. You can find everything you are looking for here from a romantic adventure to a family getaway they have a campsite that is going to fit what you are looking for.

This area is great for horseback riding, fishing, and water sports. You will enjoy Camp Edison and the surrounding areas.

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Camp Richardson Historic Resort & marina

Camp Richardson Campground charges $45 per night for tent sites and $60 for RV sites during the week, and $65 at weekends with water and electricity hook-ups. For full hook-ups, it is $65 and $70.

There isnt a maximum vehicle length stated, but there is a limit of 6 people per site.

Tent sites include bear-proof food lockers, and all sites have a picnic table and fire ring. The camp also boasts flush toilets, tap water, and hot showers. There is also a snack bar, dining marina, ice cream parlor, coffee shop, and grill.

Visitors will have lots to do with beaches and tide pools, hiking and biking trails, boating, and paddleboarding.

Yes You Can Find Last

Huntington Lake Campgrounds..My favorite campground....located in ...

Heres a hypothetical: its Memorial Day weekend and you want to go camping. Youre scrolling through the online reservation system for camping options in northern California, and growing increasingly frustrated as you see your top choices are completely full. Its a situation all too familiar when trying to go camping in California. Campgrounds in iconic locations like Yosemite National Park or along the Central Coast often fill up within minutes when reservations are opened six months or more in advance. If youre a last-minute planner like me, this can be dispiriting and difficult. If youre in a pinch you can use the offline maps and campgrounds of The Dyrt PRO to find the free public lands near you.

Luckily, theres an abundance of camping options in northern California that take no advance reservations, if you know where to look. Some of these campgrounds have policies in place to cater specifically to last-minute planners. Some of them are just off the beaten path, and all of them offer an equivalent, if not better, nature experience to the more iconic locations.

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Burlington Campground Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Humboldt Redwoods State Park is a defining natural space in California’s Redwood Country, 30 miles south of Eureka. It’s a place of big proportions, and among the lofty redwood trees that reach over 350 feet in length, the park also features over 100 miles of hiking trails and 250 standard campsites spread throughout three different campgrounds.

The Burlington Campground is the only year-round spot to pitch a tent or park an RV at Humboldt Redwoods State Park. It has 57 sites surrounded by big trees with a mystical forest appeal. Flushing toilets and coin-operated showers are available throughout the year.

The campground is accessible via the 32-mile Avenue of the Giants. This slow speed-limit road connects to other signature areas of the park including the Founders Grove and the Women’s Federation Grove. And across the Avenue of the Giants from the campground, a scattering of hiking paths lead to the South Fork of the Eel River.

Other seasonal campgrounds at Humboldt Redwoods include the southern Hidden Springs Campground and the Albee Creek Campground with less traffic driving by.

Address: Avenue of the Giants, Weott, California

Best Tent Camping Spots In Northern California

Published July 8th, 2022 by Allen Campbell

Wondering where to go camping in Northern California? If you are planning a camping trip to Northern California, you have a lot of choices when it comes to finding the perfect campsite. With beautiful views of the old-growth forests of Redwood National and State Parks is a great choice for those who want to appreciate natures beauty.

Here are some of the best tent camping spots in Northern California, packed with all the information that will help you in planning the perfect camping trip. From scenic spots with great views to secluded locations that offer privacy, youll find everything you need to enjoy your time in nature.

Best Tent Camping Spots in Northern California: Summary

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Best Beach Camping Spots On The Northern California Coast

With over 400 miles of coastal land to explore, Californias Northern coast has tons of amazing camping spots you can stay at, which are right by the beach too and in this post, Ill show you 7 of them.

Ive explored a chunk of the Northern California Coastline and in addition to:

Theres also a lot of opportunities to camp there and Ill be sharing the best spots, that are by the beach and near my favorite locations in this region. Ive narrowed it down to 7 which are very positively reviewed and near some of the most beautiful spots on the California Coast.


Big Pine Creek Campground

BEST Northern California Campgrounds (MUST VISIT!)

Another popular place where you can make camp is the Big Pine Creek Campground in Inyo National Forest. There are 30 campsites available in this area which you can reserve before heading here to ensure that you will have a spot. Five sites are for walk-ins while four areas are for tents only. Aside from that, the rest of the campsites are suitable for RVs, cars, and more.

Hiking is a popular activity here as well as fishing.The beautiful lakes here are home to a variety of fishes plus the environment is quite stunning too. You can also bring your bike here to take on the challenging bike trails. Especially if you are feeling adventurous. What better way to immerse yourself in nature than choosing a campground surrounded by stunning landscapes and plenty of adventures?

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The Best Camping In California

To see the Golden State in all its glory, follow our guide to the best camping in California.

From the mountains to the desert and sea, California is home to some of the most majestic and stunning landscapes in the country. It’s a gold mine of 110 state parks and glittering beaches where you can spend the night in the ancient redwood forest, alongside crashing waves, next to panoramic vistas and massive boulders. Along the length of the Golden State you’ll find 19 national forests, each with its own set of natural wonders and entirely different climates lush woodlands, shimmering desertscapes and everything in between.

Whether its a traditional tent and smores experience, or glamping with the option of fine dining, here are the best places to camp in California.

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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.

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Best Time To Camp In Northern California

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.

Graham Hill Campground Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Tent Camping Northern California / 10 Best Glamping Spots In Northern ...

The Graham Hill Campground at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is one of the best campgrounds near Santa Cruz. Its 100-plus campsites are five miles from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and surrounded by a lush forest and towering trees. And these big surroundings lend to the feeling of spending the night in a forested wonderland.

RVs and tents all find sites at Graham Hill. No hookups are available, and RVs are limited to a maximum length of 31 feet. Overnight guests have access to potable water and coin-operated showers, as well as a bicycle path that navigates near all the sites. Campers can also hop on the nearby Eagle Creek Trail to hike to the park’s signature Redwood Grove Loop Trail.

Less than 20 miles northwest of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, more redwood camping can be found at Big Basin Redwoods State Park – the oldest state park in California. Big Basin has nearly 150 standard campsites spread across four different campgrounds. Backcountry camping is also popular in Big Basin, and many hikers utilize these primitive spots while trekking the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail.

Address: 2591 Graham Hill Road, Scotts Valley, California

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Indian Well Campground Lava Beds National Monument

Lava Beds National Monument is in far northern California, less than 15 miles south of the Oregon border. It encompasses a scarred landscape filled with eruptive history and lava tubes. Whether you’re interested in unique geology or not, Lava Beds offers adventure experiences found in few other places in the state.

The national monument has a single campground, Indian Well Campground, with 43 sites available. The sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis and accommodate primarily tents, SUVs, and small camper vehicles. A few sites can accommodate motorhomes up to 30 feet in length.

Each campsite offers a stark landscape to appreciate. A big appeal of visiting is also nearby, found mostly on Cave Loop Road. Here, visitors can take self-guided tours of underground lava tubes. Interested cavers must check in with the visitor center before venturing underground.

Address: Lava Beds Campground Road, Tulelake, California

Best Time To Go Rv Camping In Northern California

When it comes to deciding when to visit northern California, its a good idea to let the weather be your guide.

Many of the summer tourists have gone back home in the fall, and the days are often warm enough to enjoy lots of outdoor activities. And when night falls, it should be nice around the campfire.

Spring is another great time to experience northern California because, again, its not too hot and not too cold.

Keep in mind that you can see extreme drops in temperature from day to night in many areas of northern California, so always be prepared. It can get surprisingly cold, especially at night. So its a good idea to bring not only extra layers of clothing but bedding, too.

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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.

Angels Camp Rv Resort

A Favorite Camping Spot in Northern California – Inn Town Campground

Another great home base for those looking to check out Sacramento, Angels Camp RV Resort is a lovely place to go RV camping. The campground features full-hookup gravel sites for RVs, as well as some well-manicured tent camping sites. The nearby Calaveras Big Trees State Park is a must-see attraction, and the local caves, wineries, and Gold Rush historic sites are sure to keep you busy.

Located at:

Learn more about Almond Tree RV Park on Good Sam!

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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 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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Kamp Klamath Rv Park & Campground

Looking for a camping spot that gives a little bit of everything Northern California has to offer? Kamp Klamath RV Park & Campground might be the best pick for you and is close to Crescent City. This campground offers all of the usual amenities such as hot showers and picnic areas and is set right on the river, with trails that take you to the water. With tent sites and full RV hookups, this place has it all. Additionally, the campground is just a short drive from the beach as well as the redwood forests. Be sure to see Trees of Mystery!

Located at:

1661 W Klamath Beach RdKlamath, CA 95548

Learn more about Kamp Klamath RV Park & Campground on Good Sam!

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