Best Campgrounds in California


1. Big Basin Redwoods State Park, North of Boulder Creek
Big Basin Redwoods State Park is California's oldest State Park, established in 1902. Home to the largest continuous stand of Ancient Coast Redwoods south of San Francisco, the park consists of Old Growth and recovering Redwood Forest, with mixed conifer, oaks, chaparral, and riparian habitats. Elevations in the park vary from sea level to over 2,000 feet. The park has over 80 miles of trails. Some of these trails link Big Basin to Castle Rock State Park and the eastern reaches of the Santa Cruz range. The Skyline to the Sea Trail threads its way through the park along Waddell Creek to the beach and adjacent Theodore J. Hoover Natural Preserve, a freshwater marsh.



2. Benbow Lake SRA Garberville, California
To provide power for the new development in the valley , a concrete dam was constructed across the south fork of the Eel River in 1928. The dam not only provided power but also created Benbow Lake.
The Benbow family, interested in preserving the natural scene around the Hotel and along the river, made efforts to place the land under State protection. In 1956 funds were approved for the Benbow Project was purchased in 1958. Today the park consists of campsites and a large day-use picnic area. Hiking, picnicking and camping are popular summer time activities, while salmon and steelhead fishing are popular in the winter.
 

3. Camp Edison, Shaver Lake, Northeast of Fresno
Shaver is one of the Sierra lakes created as part of a Southern California Edison hydroelectric project, and Camp Edison’s 252 campsites have electricity, and Internet. This camp has great lake access and mountain views. There are so many things to do close to Camp Edison Campgrounds; it is a good campground with fishing, hiking, swimming, and whitewater paddling.

4. Hendy Woods State Park Point Arena, California
The park features two virgin redwood groves; Big Hendy with a self-guided discovery trail and Little Hendy. The Navarro River runs the length of the park. Located in the middle of the Anderson Valley wine district, this park is warmer and less foggy than redwood parks along the coast. The park is well known for a fallen redwood stump that was home for a man known locally as the Hendy Woods Hermit.

5. Cold Springs Campground, Sequoia National Park, East of Three Rivers
The campground consists of 40 individual sites at an elevation of 7,500 feet. No trailers or RVs are permitted in this camping area due to the winding and rough nature of Mineral King Road. Each campsite includes a picnic table and fire pit with grill. Amenities located in the campground include pit toilets and drinking water. Other amenities located nearby include: ranger programs, a pay phone and a riding stable.

6. D.L. Bliss State Park, Lake Tahoe
The grandeur of the parks and their setting is a product of successive upheavals of the mountain-building processes that raised the Sierra Nevada. From promontories such as Rubicon Point in D.L. Bliss State Park you can see over one hundred feet into the depths of Lake Tahoe. On the crest of Eagle Falls in Emerald Bay State Park, you can see a brilliant panorama of Emerald Bay, Fannette Island, Lake Tahoe, and the distant Nevada shore. The park is named for a pioneering lumberman, railroad owner, and banker of the region. The D.L. Bliss family donated 744 acres to the State Park system in 1929.

7. Kirk Creek Campground, Los Padres National Forest, Big Sur
Located on the west side of Hwy. 1 overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this campground is situated on bluff with fantastic views of the Big Sur coastline. The sites are spacious and have a picnic table, fire ring and pedestal barbeque. The campground elevation is aprox. 100ft. above sea level in the Los Padres National Forest. There is one trail providing beach access or you can drive 4 miles to Sand Dollar Beach, the largest sandy beach in the Big Sur area.

8. Refugio State Beach, Northwest of Santa Barbara
Refugio State Beach offers excellent coastal fishing as well as trails and picnic sites. Palm trees planted near Refugio Creek give a distinctive look to the beach and camping area. A bike trail along the beach bluff connects the beach with El Capitan State Beach 2.5 miles east.

9. Morro Bay State Park, San Luis Obispo
Morro Bay State Park features lagoon and natural bay habitat. The bay’s most prominent landmark is Morro Rock. The park has opportunities for sailing, fishing, hiking, and bird watching. The park museum has exhibits that cover natural features and cultural history, Native American life, geology, and oceanography. The park also has a colorful marina and an 18-hole public golf course. On the bay’s northeast edge is a pristine saltwater marsh that supports a thriving bird population.

10. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Northeast of Crescent City
Established in 1929, this predominately old growth coast redwoods park is bisected by the last major free flowing river in California, the Smith River. Almost all of the park land is water shed for the Smith River and Mill Creek, a major tributary. The park has about 20 miles of hiking and nature trails, river access, a visitor center with exhibits and a nature store. Drive Howland Hill Road (gravel-not recommended for trailers) and stroll in the Stout Grove. 

  
Other Campground Sites

ReserveAmerica - Directory of campsites in the United States

ons can be made by Internet or phone.

KOA Campgrounds

Go Camping America - National Association of RV Parks and

Campgrounds with a directory listing of over 3000 RV parks and campgrounds.

Ventura Beach Camping - Campgrounds on the beach in Ventura County, CA.

Beaches in California - Info on all the beaches in California with hotels and restaurants near each beach.


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This listing of the Top Ten Campgrounds in California is constantly being revised as we experience and visit new campgrounds all around the United States. So, if you feel we are missing one, please email us and let us know!