Camping in California

      What you need to know to enjoy camping in California.

      Your Go-To California Camping Guide

      California dreaming? Swap sandy beaches for towering redwoods and crackling campfires under starry skies. From rugged mountains to sun-drenched deserts, California’s diverse landscape offers a campsite for every kind of adventurer.

      Imagine waking up to the smell of pine needles in Yosemite, roasting marshmallows by the ocean in Pfeiffer Big Sur, or gazing at the Milky Way in Joshua Tree National Park. Hike, bike, kayak, or just relax and soak in the sunshine. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoorsman or a first-timer, California’s camping scene promises unforgettable experiences. So, pitch your tent, breathe in the fresh air, and discover the magic of the Golden State under the wide-open sky.

      Best Places To Camp In California

      Yosemite National Park

      Hike amidst towering granite cliffs, witness the power of Yosemite Falls, wander through ancient Sequoia groves, and lose yourself on diverse trails. Campgrounds range from rustic backcountry sites to family-friendly options near amenities, offering a basecamp for exploring this natural wonderland.

      Yosemite National Park California

      Lake Tahoe

      Want to enjoy the stunning alpine beauty of Lake Tahoe? Hike or bike scenic trails, kayak on the crystal-clear waters, or simply relax on the shore soaking in the sun. Campgrounds range from lakeside havens with stunning views to more secluded options nestled in the forest, offering something for every adventurer.

      Lake Tahoe California

      Mendocino Coast

      Rugged coastline, charming towns, and opportunities for tidepooling, kayaking, and wildlife watching make the Mendocino Coast a unique camping experience. Campgrounds offer ocean views and access to scenic trails.

      Mendocino Coast California

      Big Sur

      This dramatic coastline offers iconic views, crashing waves, secluded beaches, and redwood forests. Campgrounds provide access to hiking trails, beaches, and stunning vistas.

      Big Sur California

      Joshua Tree National Park

      Step into an otherworldly desert landscape dotted with the spiky silhouettes of Joshua trees. Hike amongst unique rock formations, marvel at the Milky Way’s brilliance in the clear night sky, and discover hidden desert oases. Campgrounds range from basic, stargazing-perfect sites to RV parks with amenities, catering to diverse camping styles.

      Joshua Tree National Park California

      Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

      Stand in awe beneath the towering giants of the Sequoia groves, hike amidst ancient wonders, and camp surrounded by these natural marvels. Explore granite canyons, cascading waterfalls, and diverse ecosystems, choosing from developed campgrounds with amenities or more remote options for a wilderness experience.

      Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Parks California

      Things To Do In California

      Golden Gate Bridge

      Cycle or walk across this iconic suspension bridge, marveling at the panoramic views of San Francisco Bay and the city skyline. Explore vibrant Fisherman's Wharf, visit Alcatraz Island, or ride the historic cable cars for a truly San Francisco experience.


      Tread the star-studded Walk of Fame, peek behind the scenes at Warner Bros. Studios, or catch a glimpse of celebrities in Beverly Hills. Immerse yourself in the captivating world of film, music, and fame.

      Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

      Mount San Jacinto boasts the world's largest rotating tram, allowing you to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the Coachella Valley and beyond. Hike amidst alpine meadows, explore desert ecosystems, and experience a dramatic shift in climate within minutes.

      Death Valley National Park

      A desolate landscape painted with otherworldly salt flats, towering sand dunes, and vibrant wildflower blooms, hike through dramatic canyons, explore abandoned mines, and discover the stark, yet captivating beauty of this desert wonderland.

      Wine Tasting in Napa Valley

      Embark on a luxurious journey through rolling vineyards, indulging in world-renowned Californian wines. Explore charming wineries, savor gourmet pairings, and learn about the art of winemaking.

      Monterey Bay's Marine

      Monterey Bay is where majestic giants breach the surface. Explore the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, teeming with diverse marine life, or stroll along Cannery Row, steeped in historical charm.

      La Jolla Shores

      In La Jolla Shores, legendary waves meet dramatic cliffs. Witness graceful seals basking on the shore, explore tide pools teeming with marine life, or simply soak in the sun-drenched serenity.

      Channel Islands National Park

      The Channel Islands are five islands teeming with diverse wildlife. Hike amidst volcanic landscapes, kayak through kelp forests, and witness playful dolphins and majestic whales in their natural habitat.

      Mono Lake

      Picture the otherworldly beauty of Mono Lake, where ancient tufa towers rise from the water's surface. Hike amidst volcanic landscapes, photograph the unique geological formations, and experience the stark beauty of this high-altitude lake.

      Trinity Alps

      The Trinity Alps Wilderness is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike amidst alpine meadows and granite peaks, kayak on pristine lakes, and immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of this remote wilderness.

      Sacramento Delta

      Glide through the Sacramento Delta's intricate waterways, lined with vibrant farmland and charming towns. Canoe or kayak through serene canals, explore historic towns like Isleton, and savor fresh farm-to-table cuisine.

      Salton Sea

      The Salton Sea is a shrinking saltwater lake painted in vibrant hues. Witness abandoned resorts reclaimed by desert sands, kayak on the otherworldly waters, and capture the unique beauty of this enigmatic landscape.

      Featured California Parks

      Inspiration From Our Nearby States

      Book an RV in California

      California's sunshine beckons - ditch the rigid itineraries and crowded hotels! Embrace freedom and flexibility with an RV rental. Imagine waking up to ocean views, stargazing in Redwood forests, or exploring Yosemite at your own pace. Your home on wheels becomes an adventure.

      Don't just visit California, live it. Book your RV today and turn your dream trip into reality!

      Frequently Asked Questions

      California offers diverse climates across the state, so the best time depends on your preference. Generally, spring (March-May) and fall (September-November) offer mild temperatures and fewer crowds.

      Summer (June-August) is the peak season with hot weather in inland areas, while coastal regions stay cooler. Winter (December-February) can be wet in some areas but offers opportunities for snow camping in the mountains.

      California boasts a wealth of camping options! National parks like Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and Sequoia offer iconic landscapes. State parks provide diverse choices from beaches (Pfeiffer Big Sur) to forests (Redwood National Park). Consider your desired activities, amenities, and budget when choosing.

      Absolutely! California boasts diverse landscapes, from majestic mountains and redwood forests to sun-drenched beaches and deserts. This variety offers unique camping experiences year-round, with moderate temperatures in many areas even during winter.

      No, unfortunately. Camping is only allowed in designated campgrounds or specific areas with written permission. It's illegal to camp on private property or public lands without authorization. Penalties can include fines and potential damage fees.

      Several options exist for budget-conscious campers:

      • Dispersed camping: Allowed on specific BLM and National Forest lands, following regulations like 14-day limits and distance restrictions from water sources. Check with land management agencies for details and restrictions.
      • National Forests: Some offer free dispersed camping outside developed areas.
      • Harvest Hosts: Boondock on participating farms and wineries by volunteering a few hours.
      • Bureau of Reclamation campgrounds: Some offer free or low-cost camping near lakes and reservoirs.

      Reservations are highly recommended, especially during peak season and at popular locations. National and state park campsites can be reserved online months in advance. Private campgrounds and dispersed camping areas often operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

      Essentials include a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and cooking supplies. Additional gear depends on your location and time of year. Research weather conditions and consider items like sun protection, warm layers, insect repellent, and a headlamp.

      Fire restrictions vary greatly based on location and season. Always check current restrictions before your trip. Many areas have fire bans during dry periods, limiting or prohibiting campfires. Pack a camp stove as a backup cooking option.

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