Are you planning to go camping in California but aren’t sure where to go yet? Let me share some of the best camping spots in California with you!
California, The Golden State, boasts excellent natural features that include Yosemite National Park, an endless number of stunning beaches, the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains, the dramatic Mojave Desert, the iconic Big Sur Coast and more.
There are countless opportunities for hiking, surfing, and many other outdoor activities in California.
Camping in California is particularly popular because it offers a unique opportunity to experience the best this state has to offer.
Whether you are planning your next family camping trip or are looking for the best campgrounds in California to visit with a group of friends, let me share with you my recommendations for some of the best camping spots in California.
Tip: would you rather rent an RV than pack a tent? I recommend using RVshare because they have the largest selection of RV rentals and have a great reputation.
7 Of the Best Camping Spots in California
1. Yosemite National Park
How else can you experience the best of Yosemite National Park than by camping in it?
Known for its amazing geological wonders, this UNESCO World Heritage Site covers an area of over 1189 square miles of wilderness, hiking trails, streams, ponds, and lakes.
The area receives over 3.7 million visitors every year!
Camping in Yosemite allows you to enjoy the picturesque views of Half Dome and El Capitan looming over the valley and take part in sightseeing, climbing, hiking and more.
The Yosemite high country boasts of Tuolumne Meadows which has spectacular views of the glacial carved valley.
There are 13 highly popular campgrounds in the Yosemite National Park. These campgrounds are perfect for groups, families, RV camping and horse camping.
You can find more information about the 13 campgrounds on this page of the National Park Service’s website.
2. Lake Tahoe
Being the largest alpine lake in the country, Lake Tahoe is another of the more popular camping spots in California.
The West Shore is close to many historic sites and is perfect for hiking and biking. The east shore is good for beach camping as it boasts some beautiful beaches.
The south shore is suitable for families and RV camping, and the north shore is best for fishing and hiking.
In short, camping around Lake Tahoe allows you a long range of activities to take part in.
There is a wide range of campgrounds to choose from around Lake Tahoe, which you can all find on Google Maps. I’d recommend checking reviews before you make your choice!
3. California’s Big Sur
The Big Sur in California is one of the top places for adventurous campers.
A road trip along the Pacific Coast of California is a once in a lifetime experience for many campers.
The rugged coastline of Big Sur and stunning sandy beaches in Santa Barbara offers you many scenic spots to pitch your tent. You can go hiking, sightseeing, and enjoy many other outdoor activities in this area.
Don’t miss the cute towns on Carmel-by-the-Sea and Monterey.
There are a good number of private RV parks and state park campgrounds around Big Sur for you to choose from.
If you are visiting this area, also read:
4. San Diego
If you are looking for a place with a perfect climate to go camping in California, San Diego is it.
Known for its warm weather and pleasing sunshine, San Diego has many great campsites. Coronado, La Jolla, Cardiff, and Carlsbad are among the top spots in the region.
Setting up your tent or camper and enjoying the stars is the perfect way to end a sun-filled day.
From top ocean-front spots where you can sleep to the sound of crashing waves, to spending a night inside the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
5. Death Valley National Park
This location is for avid adventurers only as beyond the sea level basin in Death Valley National Park is a land of snowy winter peaks and record summer heat.
Its diverse wildlife and spring wildflowers make it one of the top seasonal camping spots in California.
Winter is perhaps the best time to go camping in Death Valley. But if you are interested in feeling the heat, you can check it out in the summer.
For more information about campgrounds inside Death Valley National Park, visit this page of the National Park Services’ website.
6. Napa Valley Wine Country Camping
Everybody knows about the fame of Napa Valley as a beautiful wine region.
And yes, you can go wine country camping in Napa Valley.
In addition to tasting the best Napa Valley wines on a budget, there are fantastic culinary tours, historic sites, bird watching opportunities, fishing, cycling, mountain biking and hiking in Napa Valley.
Additionally, Napa Valley is one of the best places for hot air balloon rides in the world.
You can find more information about campgrounds and RV parks in Napa Valley on this page.
7. Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National park is known for its giant sequoia trees.
But this diverse national park is also known for arguably the largest living organism on earth which is the General Sherman tree. The Sherman tree is considered the largest tree found in the entire world.
This national park is best for backcountry camping.
You can find more information about the different campgrounds inside Sequoia National Park here.
Tip: if you love hiking and camping surrounded by giant trees, also read this article about camping in Redwood National Park.
Enjoy Camping in California!
I hope you enjoyed these tips for some of the best camping spots in California.
Are you thinking about traveling to California? Then also check out this overview of articles about California.
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