Most beautiful camping places in California: travel guide

Most beautiful camping places in California: travel guide
Pavlo Lysyy January 10, 2023 5 mins read time


What is a campground?

A campground is a properly designed place to go camping in California or elsewhere. Here you can pitch a tent or use a campervan and spend several days away from home.

Campgrounds include campsites – pieces of land where campers can set up a tent and/or to which they can drive a van and enjoy their outdoor stay. Today, campgrounds provide high-quality services that cater to travelers’ needs. You can choose what you think is the best place to go camping in California and enjoy basic amenities like water supply, electricity, bathrooms, etc., while staying away from the city and office.

Types of campgrounds

Campgrounds differ in types and may cater to campers’ specific desires and interests. For instance, there are family (front-country) campgrounds, which provide large campsites for families with various types of hook-ups, with or without (tent-only) RV parking areas. Glampers can find good things to go for as well, as the campground offers a broad spectrum of services, including Wi-Fi.

Equestrian campgrounds offer facilities to accommodate horse-riding campers. Apart from the amenities mentioned above, they provide parking lots for horse-driven trailers, horse shelters, tie-outs, horse washing stations, as well as facilities for activities like racing, roping, etc. Most such areas are located in the vicinity of popular riding trails.

Most campgrounds are situated in beautiful areas – beaches, mountain ranges, near lakes and rivers, etc. Particularly, there are tons of places to go camping in California, so you can feel free to decide where to go regardless of your experience.

Sonoma Coast State Park

Sonoma Coast State Park is a brilliant mix of the rage of the Pacific Ocean and diverse views of coastal cliffs and rocky islands, beaches, woodlands, and the boundless expanse of water. The park extends for 17 miles along the coast, and you can contemplate and evaluate every part of it as you move along Highway 1. There is a good number of parking lots and campsites, so you can come around and put up at any time. It takes more than one day to estimate the beauty of the landscape, as just one location looks different at a particular time of the day and in a particular type of weather. Sonoma Coast State Park is a paradise for hikers, backpackers, tent-, car-, van campers, glampers, fishermen, wildlife lovers, and anyone who would like to spend a while in harmony with nature. There are hiking trails – Bodega Head, Kortum Trail, and Vista Point, – with well-equipped parking and picnic areas, where you can enjoy a memorable trip across this divine spot. Bodega Dunes Campground provides all basic blessings of civilization with camp sites worth $35 a night, and hiker/biker sites worth $5 a night.

Cold Springs Campground

It is part of Sequoia National Park – another place to go camping in California for hikers and campers. It offers a brilliant palette of options for campers who appreciate various outdoor activities. The area abounds in lakes and rivers and boasts a diverse flora and fauna. There are tons of opportunities for fishermen, who can bring a tent and spend several days on the bank of a river (e.g., the Kaweah River) or lake and cook whatever meal they can handle with the use of fish. Located in Mineral King (part of Sequoia National Park), the campground offers 31 campsites, nine of which are walk-in sites. They are hidden amidst beautiful sequoia, aspen, and other trees, and are located close to the most famous and scenic trails.

It should be noted that Cold Springs is a tents-only campground, so it is not for RVs and trailers. Generators are not allowed, so please check regulations and be sure it is the best place to go camping in California for you. Store your food in bear lockers which are available at the campground and take steps to protect your vehicle against marmots, as they often crawl into vehicles and damage wiring and hoses.

Ventana Campground

Ventana is located in the Big Sir community. It is a wonderful destination to go in California, as it combines the natural beauty of the Redwood Canyon and the proximity of basic amenities. You can come around and camp with comfort, as the campground offers bathhouses, picnic tables, fire rings, and convenient camp sites. Besides, there are numerous dining options. Being a tent-only campground, Ventana does not permit RVs, trailers, trucks, or other vehicles.

The area boasts a scenic landscape with an abundance of gullies and canyons overgrown with very tall redwood trees. Also, it is home to California condor – the largest land bird in North America that nests in large trees and rocks. There are exciting hiking trails across the area, which leave life-long memories in visitors. Last but not least, it is an attraction for archaeologists, who have found numerous pieces and evidence signifying a rich history and depicting the life and habits of old-time Native Americans’ life.

North Grove Campground

Located in the middle of Calaveras Big Trees State Park, the campground is renowned for its lush coniferous forests with beautiful meadows. It includes 58 campsites, some of them tent-only, but there are ones that allow RVs and trailers. Some campsites are located near Highway 4 and therefore are easy to get to. This campground has tons of features that make it an ideal camping place in California. Flush toilet and hot shower cabins are available.

There are small group (for up to 16 people and four vehicles) and large group campsites (for up to 60 people and 20 vehicles). The location offers a variety of sights. There are picturesque hiking trails meandering amidst beautiful sequoia trees and reaching the park’s remote corners. There are services that organize nature walks for visitors and programs for children.

The administration does its uttermost to preserve the park’s divinity, so wood collection is not permitted. Also, they advise you to be cautious and store food in bear-proof lockers, as the park is home to a good population of bears.

Lake Casitas Campground

This one is among the biggest camping places in California in terms of the number of campsites (400) concentrated on the north shore of Lake Casitas. The facility is divided into 13 camping areas. Most of them have flush or chemical toilets, electricity, water faucets, dirt pads for tents and/or RVs, and other amenities. The complex offers boundless opportunities for fishing, hunting, recreation, hiking, etc. Here you can enjoy tons of things like surfing, pier fishing, hang gliding, volleyball, golf, and other activities. Boat rentals are available. However, bodily contact with water is not permitted, so Lake Casitas Campground is not the right place to go bathing or water skiing.

Wawona Campground

It is located in Southern Yosemite National Park near Highway 41 and includes a large number of regular camping areas, including the Wawona Group Camp and the Wawona Horse Camp. The latter offers two camp sites, each accommodating two vehicles/stock trailers, six persons, and six horses. There is a year-round non-equestrian camp as well, with a parking lot for up to five vehicles. It can accommodate up to 30 persons.

Located close to some unique historic sights (the historic Wawona Hotel, Pioneer History Center, etc.), the Group Wawona Campground can be a great place to go for history lovers. You can go hiking, ride a bus to the renowned Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, or enjoy a 45-minute drive to Yosemite Valley.


🏕  What is a campground?

A campground is a facility that provides pieces of land, where campers can pitch a tent and stay outdoor for several days. Campgrounds in California are increasingly popular places to go, and they provide at least basic amenities (water faucets, toilets, electricity, etc.) that make camping comfortable.

📦  Do campgrounds differ in types?

Yes, they do. For example, some campgrounds provide parking areas for RVs and trailers, while other campgrounds are tent-only. Some campgrounds in California are intended for specific camping styles, e.g., family- and equestrian camping. Campers are free to choose the best place to go for themselves.

💡  Are there lots of campgrounds in California?

Yes, there are. Here campgrounds are excellent places to go, as they are rich in beautiful trees (e.g., sequoias), scenic views, near rivers and lakes, as well as entertainment and recreation facilities.


Anish Bruce

Anish Bruce said:

California is very beautiful

Axel Campbell

Axel Campbell said:

I’ve only been to Lake Casitas , it’s a wonderful place

Phoenix Bonilla

Phoenix Bonilla said:

These suggestions are very helpful

Kiran Hardin

Kiran Hardin said:

Ventana campground has all the amentities you need for an enjoyable camping experience, highly recommend

Kacper Gilbert

Kacper Gilbert said:

Camping in other states can be fun too! Try looking into Virginia!

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