Top 55 Best Campgrounds in California

Top 55 Best Campgrounds in California

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California is filled with beautiful campgrounds, state forests, national forests, state parks, national parks, and giant mountains, making it a paradise for those who love camping.

The state has some of the tallest trees in the world and is home to creeks, trails, natural wonders, beaches, and so much more.

No wonder many people are attracted to camp here and discover its natural treasures.

So, here are the top 55 best California campgrounds where you can go camping with your RVs or tents:

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Top 55 Best Places to go Camping in California:

Jumbo Rocks Campground is located in the center along Park Boulevard, nearly 12 miles off Twentynine Palms. It sits at an elevation of 4300 feet.

It is a popular campground with 124 individual RV and tent sites, but there are no utility hook-ups or drinking water. Per the site, only two vehicles and 6 people are allowed. There is NO dump station nearby.

Pets are welcomed in the campground, but not on trails. And, they must be on a leash at all times no more than 6 feet. The maximum length permitted for RVs is 35 feet.

The camping fee is $15, and the entrance fee is $30 per vehicle.

Attractions:

  • ​Joshua Tree National Park
  • ​Black Rock Canyon
  • ​Covington Flats

South Carlsbad State Beach is one of the campgrounds by the beach, nearly 3 miles south of Carlsbad, on Carlsbad BI.

To reach the campground, take Interstate 5, exit Poinsettia Ln. and go west to Carlsbad BI. Turn north and make a legal U-turn at Breakwater Road. Carry on south on Carlsbad BI, and you’ll see campground entrance on the right.

This campground near San Diego is quite large and sits high above on a bluff-top. There are RV sites with hook-ups, family campsites, RV access as well as a dump station provided here. Long stairs will lead you to the beach from campsites.

Leashed pets are allowed here.

Attractions:

  • ​3-mile long South Carlsbad State Beach
  • ​Batiquitos Lagoon
  • ​Los Rios Historic District

Upper Pines Campground is located right in the beautiful Yosemite National Park of the rugged Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Central California. It sits at an elevation of 4000 feet. Yosemite National Park is popularly known for its breath-taking landscape viz. Yosemite Valley.

You can enjoy the view of sheer granite cliffs, giant sequoias, waterfalls, deep valleys, and so much more.

Upper Pines has over 238 sites for trailers up to 24 feet, tents, and RVs up to 35 feet. There are no hook-ups, but there is a dump station for RVs.

Pets are permitted in Upper Pines but must be leashed at all times.

The camping fee is $26 per night.

Attractions:

  • ​Yosemite Valley
  • ​Merced River
  • ​Hetch Hetchy Reservoir
  • ​Nevada Falls

Wawona Campground is one of the beautiful California campgrounds in Yosemite National Park within Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

It is located at the southern end of this national park, 27 miles from Yosemite Valley. If you take Highway 41 north from Fresno, the campground is 8 miles inside of the park.

There are 93 campsites here for RVs and trailers up to 35 feet; 1 group site and 2 horse sites with space for caravans up to 25’.

No hook-ups in the campground, but there is a dump station. And, the area is dog-friendly.

The fee is $26 per night.

Attractions:

  • ​Yosemite Valley
  • ​Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
  • ​Merced River

Indian Cove Campground offers the best camping in California for avid climbers, as it lies within massive, steep rock formations of Joshua Tree National Park. It is elevated at 3200 feet.

The campground is situated off of Highway 62, nearly 13 miles east of Joshua Tree Village. It has over 101 campsites, out of which 13 are group sites. Individual sites only allow up to 6 people, two cars, and three tents.

Group sites can accommodate small trailers or RVs up to 25 feet. But there are no hook-ups or drinking water at the campground.

Leashed dogs are allowed here.

The camping fee is $20, and the group site costs $50.

Attractions:

  • ​Joshua Tree National Park
  • ​Joshua Tree Ranch
  • ​49 Palms Canyon Trail

San Simeon State Park is one of the oldest California campgrounds with scenic views of the rocky shore and ocean. The park is located on Highway 1, around 35 miles north of San Luis Obispo.

You will get to see northern elephant seals at the Elephant Seal Boardwalk of this State Park. It is one of the best California state parks where you can see marine mammals.

The campground has over 115 campsites for RVs (up to 35 feet) and tents. Campsites have picnic tables, fire rings, flush toilets, and shower facilities.

Dogs are allowed but must be leashed, but dogs are NOT permitted on trails and beach.

Attractions:

  • ​Santa Rosa Creek Natural Preserve
  • ​San Simeon Natural Preserve
  • ​13.7-acre Pa-nu Cultural Preserve
  • ​Elephant Seal Boardwalk

Furnace Creek Campground is centrally located in Death Valley National Park. On State Highway 190, the campground is ½ mile north of Furnace Creek Visitor Centre.

It is a popular destination for RV, tent and group camping. There are over 136 sites with a dump station, flush toilets, picnic tables, and drinking water.

Camping fee ranges from $22 to $60. Pets are most welcome.

Attractions:

  • ​Death Valley
  • ​Golden Canyon
  • ​Borax Museum

McArthur-Burney Falls State Park is located northeast of Redding, around 6 miles north of Highway 299 onto Highway 89, Burney.

It lies within the Cascade Range and Modoc Plateau natural region. The park features beautiful waterfalls viz — 129-Foot Burney Falls, for which it's popularly known. There are many campsites located here for RVs and tents. The maximum length for RVs is up to 32 feet.

Pets are allowed in the campground, but NOT on the trails, on the beach, nor they should be left unattended in your vehicle.

Attractions:

  • ​Lake Britton
  • ​129-foot Burney Falls
  • ​Pacific Crest Trail

Kirk Creek Campground California is a camper’s paradise for those who’d love to camp oceanside. That’s because the campground sits on a bluff and provides the breath-taking Pacific Ocean overlooks. To reach here, take Highway 1, around 80 miles north of San Luis Obispo.

Only a 5-mile ride will lead you to the largest sandy beach viz — Sand Dollar Beach in Big Sur.

There are over 40 campsites here for tents as well as RVs. The maximum length for RVs is up to 30 feet. But there are no utility hook-ups provided.

The camping fee is $35.

Attractions:

  • ​Los Padres National Forest
  • ​The Pacific Ocean overlooks
  • ​Sand Dollar Beach

El Capitan State Beach is located off Highway 101, nearly 17 miles west of Santa Barbara.

The large campground has over 142 sites, including 6 RV sites and 5 group sites. Campsites can accommodate tents, motorhomes (up to 42 feet) as well as trailers. But there are no hookups provided.

From the bluffs, a stairway will lead you to the beach area. Along the El Capitan Creek, you can enjoy rocky tidepools, beach, and oaks.

Attractions:

  • ​El Capitan Creek
  • ​Coronado Butterfly Preserve
  • ​Refugio State Beach

Limekiln is one of the best California state parks where you can enjoy the scenic view of Big Sur Coast. The park is nearly 56 miles south of Carmel, off Highway 1. And, it is 2 miles south of Lucia.

The small campground in Limekiln State Park has over 29 camping sites spread across two main areas- some are near the highway; others are within shaded redwoods upslope. These small campsites can accommodate RVs up to 24 feet and trailers up to 15 feet. Sites are equipped with fire rings, picnic tables, showers, restrooms, and drinking water.

Dogs are allowed but must remain leashed all the time.

The camping fee is $35 per night.

Attractions:

  • ​Big Sur Coast
  • ​100-foot Limekiln Falls
  • ​Bixby Bridge

Patrick’s Point State Park is located 25 miles north of Eureka and 56 miles south of Crescent City, within lush forested promontory alongside the Pacific Ocean.

The Penn Creek, Abalone, and Agate Beach campgrounds have over 124 campsites, each equipped with a fire pit and picnic table. There are also water faucets, bathrooms, and shower facilities provided on the sites. From these campgrounds, beach is nearly ¼ miles downhill.

RVs up to 31’ length are allowed here.

Leashed pets are allowed in campgrounds, but NOT on the beaches or trails.

Attractions:

  • ​Trinidad State Beach
  • ​Camel Rock
  • ​Yurok Plank-house Village

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is one gem of a campground, and it is located 26 miles south of Carmel, near mile marker 47.2 on Highway 1. The campground can accommodate RVs, cars, bikers, and hikers. Most of the campsites are spread along the Big Sur River. The maximum length of trailers is 27 feet, and motorhomes/campers are 32 feet.

Pets must be leashed at all times.

Attractions:

  • ​Big Sur River
  • ​Santa Lucia Mountains
  • ​Pfeiffer Beach

Pinnacles Campground is located 32 miles south of Hollister in the scenic Pinnacles National Park, California.

It features beautiful 26000-acres of rock formations and remnants of a historic volcano that got extinct 23-million years ago.

The campground is at the eastern side of the park, and it has tent sites, group sites as well as RV sites with electric hook-ups (30 amp). Flush toilets, showers, and drinking water are provided at the sites. But group and tent sites do not have any utility hook-ups.

Camping fee for tent sites is $30 and RV sites are $40.

A group site costs $75 for 10 people and $120 for 20 people.

Attractions:

  • ​Pinnacles National Park
  • ​Bear Gulch Reservoir
  • ​High Peaks and Balconies Cave

Tuolumne Meadows Campground is on the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park, within rugged Sierra Nevada Mountain Range of Central California. It is elevated at 8600 feet so that you can see granite cliffs, waterfalls, giant sequoias, deep valleys, meadows, and so much more.

In the campground, there are over 304 campsites for tents and RVs up to 35 feet. And, there are also 7 group sites for $50 per night. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, and food locker. There are no hook-ups.

Pets are permitted in the campground, as long as they’re leashed.

The camping fee is $26 per night.

Attractions:

  • ​Elizabeth Lake
  • ​Tenaya Lake
  • ​Tuolumne River

Serrano Campground provides the best tent camping in California, especially for families, right within San Bernardino Mountains. It is located north of Big Bear Lake, around 2 miles east of Fawnskin.

The family campground consists of 93 single sites and 16 double sites for tents and RVs. There are basic amenities provided, such as fire rings, dump station, picnic tables, showers, etc. Some of the sites provide full hookups for RVs.

Camping fee ranges from $34.50 to $71.50, depending on site type.

Attractions:

  • ​Big Bear Lake
  • ​Pacific Crest Trail
  • ​San Bernardino Mountains

Samuel Taylor State Park is a large 2882-acre protected campground located 15 miles west of San Rafael on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. This landscape is in central California and is a heaven for campers, given the towering Redwoods, beautiful viewpoints, and myriads of trails.

The park has various sites for tents (learn more about the different types of tent) and RVs. Pets are permitted in the campground, but not on the hike and bike campsites. Trailers up to 27 feet and motorhomes up to 31 feet are allowed in the park.

The camping fee is $35.

Attractions:

  • ​Lagunitas Creek
  • ​Barnabe Peak
  • ​Point Reyes National Seashore

Morro Bay State Park is scattered across Morro Bay’s eastern shore. Campers can enjoy various activities around this famous coastal Morro Bay town.

To reach here, you need to take Highway 1 from San Luis Obispo- north to the Los Osos-Baywood Park offramp. Take a left and continue for 1 mile, turn right, and there’s your park.

It has over 120 campsites, including five tent-only sites and 28 RV sites (up to 35 feet) with water and electric hook-ups. And, 87 of the sites are standard ones that can accommodate tents, RVs as well as trailers.

Leashed dogs are welcomed. Camping here costs $35 for standard sites and $50 for hook-up sites.

Attractions:

  • ​Morro Bay beaches
  • ​Morro Bay Aquarium
  • ​Museum of Natural History
  • ​Black Hill Trail

Whitney Portal Campground is a significant part of the Whitney Portal Recreation area. From Highway 395 in Lone Pine town, CA, you need to turn west onto Whitney Portal Road and carry on for about 12.5 miles to reach the campground. It lies at the base of Mount Whitney, which is the highest peak in the continental U.S.

It has over 43 single sites, with some sites having space for 35’ long RVs. Paved roads, drinking water, and vault toilets are provided here.

Camping here can cost $24 to $80 per night.

Attractions:

  • ​Sierra Nevada Mountains
  • ​John Muir Wilderness
  • ​Meysan Lake

Elevated at 4200 feet above sea level, the William Heise County park is nestled within pine forests and oaks at the northern extremity of the Laguna Mountain Range.

This 929-acre park is one of the popular San Diego county parks where it snows each year. There are individual tent sites, trailer sites, and a group-tent camping area at William Heise. Some of them have utility hook-ups, as well.

William Heise is a pet-friendly campground.

Attractions:

  • ​Laguna Mountain Range
  • ​Julian town
  • ​California Wolf Center

Carpinteria State Beach offers various opportunities for camping, surf fishing, swimming, and tidepool exploring with a 1-mile long beach. It is located 12 miles south of Santa Barbara on Highway 224, off U.S. 101. The campground is pet-friendly.

The campground has sites for RVs, tents as well as for group camping. Trailers, motorhomes for campers up to 35 feet are permitted.

Attractions:

  • ​Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve
  • ​Carpinteria Valley Museum of History
  • ​Tomol Interpretive Play Area

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is situated in Santa Cruz County, nearly 22 miles northwest of Santa Cruz.

It has over four campgrounds with 142 campsites, all of which are nestled within the redwoods. Few sites can accommodate trailers and RVs with the facility of a dump station. The maximum length for a trailer is 24 feet, and motorhomes is 27 feet.

Pets are allowed in campsites but must be leashed at all times.

The camping fee is $35 per night.

Attractions:

  • ​Santa Cruz mountains
  • ​Rancho del Oso
  • ​History Center

Burlington Campground is centrally located on the Avenue of the Giants, nearly 2 miles south of Weott, besides Visitor Center. It is one of the most popular campgrounds of Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

It has over 57 sites, out of which 23 are tent-only sites, and remaining can accommodate RVs, tents as well as trailers. Besides, there are three hike and bike sites, as well. The maximum length for RVs is 33 feet, and trailers is 24 feet. There are no utility hook-ups in Burlington.

Dogs must always be on a leash and attended.

Camping fee is $35 per night with $8 reservation fee.

Attractions:

  • ​Eel River
  • ​Avenue of the Redwoods
  • ​Gould Grove
  • ​Visitor Center

Anza-Borrego Desert Park features large rugged landscape with Borrego Palm Canyon campground for you to enjoy overnight camping.

There are a few full hook-up sites for RVs, whereas some are tent-only sites. The maximum length of RVs or trailers can be 35 feet.

Pets/dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Vicious and noisy dogs are not permitted in the campground.

Attractions:

  • ​Coyote Canyon
  • ​Hellhole Canyon Trail
  • ​Borrego Palm Canyon Nature Trail

Manzanita Lake Campground is elevated at 5900 ft. And is known as the largest campground in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Manzanita Lake is within walking distance from the campsite, where you can enjoy scenic views of Lassen Peak. The campground is 1 mile east of Manzanita Lake entrance.

The campground has over 179 sites that can accommodate tents, RVs, and trailers. The maximum length for RVs and trailers is up to 40 ft.

Pets are welcomed on most sites.

The camping fee is $26.

Attractions:

  • ​Manzanita Lake
  • ​Lassen Peak
  • ​Loomis Museum
  • ​Cascade Mountains

MacKerricher State Park is home to a myriad of habitats viz. Dune, wetland, beach, bluff, forests, and tide pools along the shore. You can spot seals on the rocks off the coastline. The campground is on Highway 1, nearly 3 miles north of Fort Bragg, close to the Cleone town.

Here you’ll find around 114 sites, including 75 standard sites, 37 tent-only sites, 2 group sites, and one hike and bike campsite. Basic amenities such as a dump station, restrooms, showers, and amphitheatre are provided here. Trailers and RVs up to 35’ are permitted, but there are no hook-ups.

Fee is $35 for standard sites; $25 for walk-in tent sites and $200-$260 for group sites.

Attractions:

  • ​Cleone Lake
  • ​Laguna Point
  • ​Coastal Multi-use trail

Elk Prairie campground sits centrally within Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, around 6 miles north of Orick, California.

It has over 75 campsites, out of which one is for RV/trailer, and 21 sites are for only tents (learn more). Remaining 44 sites can accommodate tents, trailers as well as RVs. The maximum length for RVs is 27 ft. and for trailers is 24 ft. There are NO utility hook-ups at sites.

Hike and bike sites are also available here.

Pets must be leashed and always attended.

The camping fee is $35 per night.

Attractions:

  • ​Elk Prairie Trail
  • ​Fern Canyon
  • ​Gold Bluff Beach

Cottonwood is one of the beautiful California campgrounds in Joshua Tree National Park, especially for wildflower viewing and stargazing. The campground sits at an elevation of 3000 ft. and is slightly shaded by vegetation.

If you want to go camping in southern California, Cottonwood is your ultimate option.

It has over 62 sites for tents and RVs (up to 35 ft.). Few campsites can accommodate longer RVs as well. But there are no hook-ups provided at any campsite.

Fee for individual campsites is $20, and group sites is $40.

Attractions:

  • ​Cottonwood Visitor Center
  • ​Colorado Desert
  • ​General Patton Memorial Museum

Lopez Lake Recreation area is located along the Lopez Lake shore and is 13 miles east of Pismo Beach. The lake is popular for hiking, swimming, boating, fishing and many more activities.

There are over 350 campsites here, some are full hook-up sites, while others are primitive electrical sites. Sites with electricity are for cabin tents only, NO RVs are allowed here.

Full hook-up sites are for RVs up to 40 feet.

Pets must be leashed at all times, and charge for pets is $3 per night.

Camping fee is $28 per night for primitive sites; $42 for electricity and full hook-up sites.

Plus, there is $10 reservation fee.

Attractions:

  • ​Pismo Beach
  • ​Lopez Lake
  • ​Vista Lago Adventure Park

New Brighton State Beach is known for its beautiful forested bluffs and beach. It is located in the Capitola town, south of Santa Cruz, California. You can reach the campground by taking the New Brighton exit off Highway 1.

The beach park has over 100 tent and RV campsites with showers, restrooms, picnic areas, fire pits, and a dump station. The maximum length for RVs is 36 ft.

Dogs are permitted as long as they are on a leash no longer than 6 ft.

Attractions:

  • ​Monterey Bay
  • ​Soquel Cove
  • ​Pacific Migrations Visitor Center

Malibu Creek State Park is a hidden gem of the Santa Monica Mountains, with 8000-acres of beautiful peaks, tallgrass plains, and oak savannas. Which is why it is also popularly known as “The Yosemite of Southern California.”

The park is located on Malibu Canyon Road, 4 miles south of Highway 101.

Tent camping in southern California gets better in Malibu Creek, as it has over 62 tent campsites, showers, flush toilets, and 4 RV campsites. But there are no hook-ups.

Pets are only allowed in the campground and parking areas, NOT on the trails.

Attractions:

  • ​14-mile Malibu Creek
  • ​Santa Monica Mountains
  • ​Las Virgenes Valley

June Lake Campground is around 150 miles south of Reno, Nevada, and 350 miles north of Los Angeles. Campers can get access to boat rentals, a marina, and fishing here.

This average-sized campground has campsites scattered within forest above the eastern shoreline of June Lake. The campground is elevated at 7600 ft. and provides scenic views of 11000 and 12000 giant peaks. Sites here can accommodate RVs as well as tents with flush toilets, bear-proof lockers, and drinking water facilities.

The camping fee is $20.54.

Attractions:

  • ​Sierra Nevada Mountains
  • ​Ansel Adams Wilderness
  • ​257-acre June Lake
  • ​Yosemite National Park
  • ​Mono Lake

The Gold Bluffs Beach Campground is within the dunes along the mesmeric 10-mile long golden beach, northwest California. It is located 6 miles off Highway 101 at the end of Davison Road and is a part of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

The campground has over 24 RV and tent-only sites, with maximum length for RV being 24 ft. Trailers are not allowed, and there are no utility hook-ups provided.

Pets are allowed on the campground and beach, as long as they’re leashed.

Attractions:

  • ​Gold Bluff Beach
  • ​Fern Canyon Trail
  • ​Trillium Falls Hike

Dogwood Campground sits at the heart of the beautiful San Bernardino National Forest, 20 miles northeast of San Bernardino, California.

There are over 87 reservable sites with basic amenities such as fire rings, RV hook-ups, dump station, camp host, picnic tables, restrooms, and showers. Most sites are for tents, but some can accommodate RVs as well.

Single site costs $34.50; Double site is for $67.50.

A single site with hook-up is for $44.50.

Pets must be leashed at all times in the campground.

Attractions:

  • ​San Bernardino National Forest
  • ​Lake Gregory
  • ​Lake Arrowhead Village
  • ​Dogwood Trail

Lodgepole Campground is nearly 3km from the Giant Forest sequoia grove and 21 miles away from the entrance of Sequoia National Park.

This large campground sits along the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River, up to ¼ mile off Lodgepole Village. The campground is elevated at 6700 ft. within a lodgepole pine forest.

It has over 214 sites for trailers, RVs, and tents. The fee is $22 per night.

RVs up to 42 feet are allowed on sites, with a water station and dump station provided. But there are no hook-ups.

Pets are welcomed here but must be leashed.

Attractions:

  • ​Kaweah River
  • ​Giant Forest
  • ​Lakes Trail in Sequoia National Park

Jalama Beach is a 1-hour drive from Santa Barbara. Go 4.5 miles south of Highway 1 of Lompoc and a sign will lead you to the Jalama Road. Continue on the scenic 14.5-mile road, and the park will be at the end of the road.

The county park has over 107 campsites that overlook the beachfront and the ocean. Out of these, 31 sites have electrical hook-ups and dump stations. Each site is equipped with a BBQ pit, picnic tables, restrooms, showers, and water nearby.

Dogs are welcome here, but are required to be on a leash of 6 ft. or less.

Attractions:

  • ​Jalama Beach
  • ​Jalama Beach County Park
  • ​America Wild Horse Sanctuary

The Hidden Valley Campground is nearly 14 miles from the town of Joshua Tree off of Park Boulevard.

The campground has over 44 sites, surrounded by Joshua Trees and large boulders. Here you will find pit toilets and no water. Pets must be leashed at all times. RVs and trailers up to 25 ft. are permitted.

Camping fee $15.

Attractions:

  • ​Hidden Valley Nature Trail
  • ​Barker Dam
  • ​Arch Rock

Agua Caliente Park is nestled within Anza Borrego Desert State Park in the Carrizo Valley Region, known for rugged desert hiking and heated springs. It is located on the Great Southern Overland Stage Route, southeast of Julian.

There are a total of 140 sites here, including tent sites, full hook-up sites and partial hookup sites. There’s also a caravan area for larger groups. The maximum length of RVs permitted is 40 ft. in full hook-up sites and 30 feet in partial hook-up sites.

Pets are allowed at $1 per night, and they must be leashed.

Camping fee is $33 for the full hook-up site, $29 for partial hook-up site, and $24 for tent-only site.

Attractions:

  • ​Agua Caliente County Park
  • ​Anza-Borrego Desert Park
  • ​Moonlight Canyon Trail

Crystal Cove State Park features open bluffs, wooded canyons, and 3.2 miles of Pacific coastline.

At Moro campground, there are over 58 campsites with picnic tables. Out of these, 28 sites are for RVs and trailers; whereas 30 of them are for tents, van conversions, and soft-sided trailers.

Dogs are allowed on paved roads, campgrounds, and parking areas, but must be leashed at all times.

Attractions:

  • ​Crystal Cove state park
  • ​Laguna Beach
  • ​Corona del Mar

Kumeyaay Lake campground is 12 miles northeast of San Diego and is a vital part of Mission Trails Regional Park.

The 7220-acre park features Kumeyaay Lake Campground having 46 campsites for $24 per night.

Only two tents per site are permitted here.

Out of these, 18 sites are for tents only, and other sites can accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs. The maximum length for RVs/trailers is 43 feet. There are no hook-ups provided here.

Pets are welcomed but must be leashed ($1 per night).

Attractions:

  • ​Lake Murray
  • ​Visitor and Interpretive Centre
  • ​Old Mission Dam
  • ​Kumeyaay Nature Trail

San Elijo State Beach is located on the San Diego Coast and is a perfect place to go camping, surfing, swimming, and picnicking.

The campground is perched atop a bluff and has RV sites with hook-ups, family campsites, and a dump station. Necessary facilities such as drinking water, restrooms, showers, etc. are all provided here.

Attractions:

  • ​San Elijo State Beach
  • ​Cardiff town center
  • ​Magic Carpet Ride Sculpture

Lake Hemet is nestled within the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains, near the Idyllwild mountain town. It is a 1-hour drive from Palm Springs, elevated at 4500 feet.

The campsites at Lake Hemet are accessible and come with vault toilets and picnic tables.

Attractions:

  • ​San Jacinto Mountains
  • ​Lake Hemet
  • ​Cahuilla Tewanet Scenic Overlook

Butano State Park’s hiking trails are stretched up to 40 miles, winding through 4000-acres of uplands and canyons.

The park provides 21 drive-in campsites, a backcountry trail camp with eight sites, and 18 walk-in sites. The main campground has restrooms with running water, food lockers, tables, and fire rings. The maximum trailer and motorhome length permitted is 24 feet. There are no showers.

Dogs are permitted in the campground, must be leashed.

Attractions:

  • ​Little Butano Creek Trail
  • ​Jackson Flats Loop
  • ​9.5-mile Canyon Loop

Mill Creek Campground is 5 miles southeast of Crescent City off Highway 101, right within the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park.

Mill Creek campground has over 145 sites nestled in lush redwoods, including 22 tent-only sites. Remaining sites can accommodate trailers, RVs (up to 31 feet), and tents. There is a dump station and water station provided here, but no hook-ups.

Dogs must remain on a leash at all times.

Camping costs $35 per night.

Attractions:

  • ​False Klamath Cove
  • ​Wilson Beach
  • ​Damnation Creek Trail

North Pines Campground is located in Central California’s Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in beautiful Yosemite National Park. It is elevated at 4000 feet and provides awe-inspiring views of Yosemite Valley, waterfalls, granite cliffs, grand meadows, and much more.

Take Highway 41 north from Fresno and follow signs to Yosemite Valley to reach campgrounds.

North Pines has 81 campsites with space for trailers up to 35’, tents and RVs up to 40’. There are no hook-ups available at individual campsites, but there’s a dump station nearby.

Leashed pets are permitted.

Attractions:

  • ​Half Dome Village
  • ​Yosemite Valley
  • ​Merced River
  • ​Mirror Lake

Buckhorn campground is where you can get fresh air and enjoy nearby waterfalls and trails. To reach here, from Interstate 210 of La Canada city, take the exit at Angeles Crest Highway (Highway 2) and go northeast for 36 miles. The campground is at a 6300 ft. Elevation.

The tent-based campground has over are 38 single sites with fire rings, vault toilets, potable water, and picnic tables. The maximum RV length permitted is 18 feet.

Camping fee is $14/night for tent-only sites and $32 for electric sites.

Attractions:

  • ​Burkhart Trail, Silver Moccasin, and Pacific Crest Trail
  • ​Buckhorn Lake
  • ​Appalachian Mountain Range
  • ​Carr Creek Lake

Palomar Mountain State Park features beautiful mountain meadows and forests in northern San Diego County, high atop the west part of Palomar Mountain.

Doane Valley campground has over 31 sites located in northern San Diego County. These sites can accommodate vans, trailers (up to 24 feet), tents and RVs (up to 27 feet).

On the other hand, the Palomar Observatory campground has 28 sites with tenting areas, electric outlets and RV parking stations. There are sewage hook-ups available here as well.

Pets are allowed in both these campgrounds.

Attractions:

  • ​Palomar Mountain
  • ​Doane Pond
  • ​Boucher Hill Summit

Sunset Campground is in central California’s rugged Sierra Nevada mountain range, right in Grant Grove area of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. It is 3 miles from the entrance of the park on Highway 180.

Sitting at an elevation of 6500 feet, here you can enjoy camping and hiking, especially the 1-mile trail to the General Grant Tree.

The campground has over 157 single sites and 2 group sites. Most sites are open to trailers, RVs, and tents, but there are NO hookups or dump stations.

Pets must be leashed in the campground.

Attractions:

  • ​Sequoia Grove
  • ​Ella Falls
  • ​Panoramic Point
  • ​Hume Lake

Falls are located in North Fork, just past the Whiskey falls Campground. To reach the campground, from North Fork, go north on CA 233 and Forest Road 8S70.

The area is quite remote with 14 campsites, with no showers and no RV hook-ups.

No camping fees required.

Attractions:

  • ​Bass Lake
  • ​Sierra Nevada Mountain range
  • ​Minarets Ranger District

Campsites are all settled within large Monterey Pines, located at a walking distance to Willet hiking Trail and Sand Dollar Beach.

From Monterey, go south on Highway 1 for 50 miles to reach the campground. And, from San Luis Obispo, go north on Highway 1 for 65 miles to reach the campsite.

Plaskett Creek campground has over 44 single-family sites and 3 group sites for RV and tent camping with fire rings, grills, and picnic tables. There are no utility hook-ups provided. Throughout the campground, there are facilities like drinking water, flush toilets, and sinks provided.

Camping fee ranges from $35 to $150/night.

Attractions:

  • ​Los Padres National Forest
  • ​Sand Dollar Beach
  • ​Willet Trail

51. Fossil Falls Dry Lake Bed

Fossil Falls Dry Lake Bed is another remote area where you can enjoy camping with tents and RVs for FREE.

It is located in the Little Lake-town in the eastern Sierra Mountains, nearly 45-minutes from Ridgecrest.

The campground is 1 mile from the “Fossil Falls”- a large canyon filled with volcanic rocks.

Attractions:

  • ​Fossil Falls
  • ​Sierra Mountains

Glass Creek campground has over 66 campsites nestled in pine forest, north of Mammoth Lakes. The sites are quite large and can accommodate RVs up to 45 feet of length. But there are no hookups provided.

To reach the campground, go west of US 395 north of Mammoth Lakes.

Vault toilets are available.

Camping here is free of cost.

Attractions:

  • ​Glass Creek
  • ​Owens River Headwater
  • ​Obsidian Dome

Nestled within San Bernardino Mountains at Big Bear Lake, the Pineknot campground is a gem for outdoor enthusiasts and avid campers. It is elevated at 6900 feet in an oak, fir, and pine forest setting.

It offers the best tent camping in California, but it can also accommodate RVs up to 26 feet. Each site is equipped with campfire ring with grill and a table. No hook-ups are provided, but there are flush toilets and drinking water facilities.

The fee is $29 per night per site.

Attractions:

  • ​San Bernardino Mountains
  • ​Big Bear Lake

Twin Lakes campground is near Mammoth Lakes town, nestled right in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. This pine forest campground is elevated at 8600 feet.

From US 395, take State Highway 203 and go 5 miles through the Mammoth Lakes town. Continue on the Lake Mary Road to the cut-off of Twin Lakes campground.

You will enjoy lakeside camping here with mesmeric scenery and many outdoor activities to indulge in.

There are 92 campsites here with fire rings, tables, and bear boxes provided at each site. Flush toilets and water spigots are available throughout the campground.

The camping fee is $24 per night per site.

Attractions:

  • ​Mammoth Lakes Basin
  • ​Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort
  • ​John Muir Wilderness

At Lake Francis Resort, you can explore the natural beauty of Lake Francis in Northern California and enjoy camping along the Tahoe National Forest.

The resort is surrounded by the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills, and sits under a canopy of pine trees to give lake overlooks.

Shaded RV sites have partial or full hook-ups, and there a few tent-only sites as well with picnic table, sink, and cooking hearth facilities.

The fee is $55 per night for full hook-up sites, $50 per night for water and electric only sites,  $45 per night for tent sites, and $40 per night for small tent sites.

Attractions:

  • ​Lake Francis
  • ​Tahoe National Forest
  • ​Sierra Nevada mountains

Conclusion

We have rounded up the top 55 best California campgrounds in Central, Northern, and Southern California in this post to get the best out of the California wilderness. At these campgrounds, you can enjoy RV camping, tent camping, and even group camping.                                                                                                                          

About the Author Tim Fox

Since the age of 10, Tim, a writer at Outdoor With J, has enjoyed camping in the great outdoors. Although he loves the peace and quiet of the outdoors, he also likes his creature comforts. Tim’s mission is to make camping a fun and comfortable experience for all. You can find more about him here

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