Camping Sites Northern California: 26 Best Sites To Visit

Camping Sites Northern California: 26 Spots you can choose from for your next Trip

Northern California is well-known for the hundreds of kilometers of lovely and clean beaches, picturesque sequoias, breathtaking views on mountains and various camping spots! So, there are a thousand and one reasons why you and your family should visit Northern California at least once in a lifetime.

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Do you want to spend a night on the beach, wake up early in the morning to the sound of the waves and enjoy the first rays of sunshine, or try lake camping, but can not choose the one from the campgrounds? Don’t worry!

In this article, we will share with you the best spots, which are suitable both for tent camping and RV camping, and review the pros and cons of each of them to facilitate the process of searching and make it easy and stress-free!

1. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park Campground, Redwoods National and State Parks

If you want to take a photo and be amazed at how tall the redwoods are – we recommend you choose Redwoods National and State Parks! There is a unique ecosystem, which provides suitable conditions for different species, but you can be sure that your weekends would be comfortable too!

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There are all opportunities to rest in a tent or RV, including restrooms and hot showers – choose one of the four campgrounds, bring family or friends with you and take a break from the bustle of the city.

One of the popular places to visit here is Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park Campground. It is situated along the scenic Smith River, and offers 86 sites and excellent campground amenities (fire grills, food storage lockers, picnic tables, and tap water)Unfortunatelyyou won’t find any hookups in this state park.

If you are the owner of a four-legged friend, we have good news for you! You can bring your dog with you to this campground, but it must be kept on a leash and be constantly attended.

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park Campground, Redwoods National and State Parks are excellent places to meet with the tallest trees and spend your holidays with pleasure!

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2. Summit Lake South Campground

This picturesque campground is heaven for hikers and backpackers! Summit Lake South Campground is situated in Lassen Volcanic National Park, but you also have an opportunity to get your feet wet and admire the sun rays reflected in the water of Summit Lake or stroll along the hiking trails.

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You can be not worried about your yummy meals due to the food lockers provided by this campground as well as vault toilets and drinking water.

Even judging by the name of Lassen Volcanic National Park you can guess that tourists can also visit active volcanoes and hydrothermal features, so everyone will find something that they enjoy, even if you are not into hiking!

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Explore the spectacular world of nature at Lassen Volcanic National Park in Summit Lake South Campground!

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3. D.L. Bliss State Park Campground

If you are an artist or a photographer, you definitely should capture the beauty of Lake Tahoe in the D.L. Bliss State Park Campground! Green tall pines, hills and the water with reflected sun rays will remain in your memory.

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There are all needed for comfortable rest – 150 small campsites for tent, RV or trailers. In peak seasons, especially when it is warm, this place can be crowded due to picturesque landscapes and convenient location, so it is advisable to book in advance.

If you want to explore Lake Tahoe, but do not love crowded places, such as D.L. Bliss State Park Campground, Emerald Bay State Park and Meeks Bay Resort can be considered as options for your vacation too!

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4. Peninsula Campground

Peninsula Campground is another good place to spend a vacation with friends or family near Folsom Lake! This place will be the best option for fans of quiet holidays because this campground is the most secluded one among other ones located at this lake.

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Also, you can chant beside the fire or enjoy yummy meals in Peninsula Campground, due to all campsites being provided with picnic tables and campfires. There is no problem with flush toilets and potable water too.

So, to sum up, Peninsula Campgrounds in Northern California is a good choice for family night!

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5. Shasta Trinity National Forest

Shasta Trinity National Forest is the largest National Forest in California, with 21 campgrounds and a lot of dispersed camping. No matter what place you choose for camping, it will be comfortable due to the wide range of campground amenities and recreational opportunities.

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The most well-known but at the same time, the most crowded place here is Shasta Lake. If you are not a fan of crowds, give preference to the secluded McBride Springs Campground.

Pay attention that this campground offers only a limited number of first-come, first-serve sites, so make sure you arrive early enough.

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6. Kirby Cove Campground

This campground is a part of the Golden Gate National Park Recreation Area. Kirby Cove Campground is a great place for a romantic evening or watching the sunset due to the breathtaking view of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco’s city lights reflected in the water.

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We recommend you to book as early as possible because this small place is really popular among tourists and lovers of romance. Kirby Cove campground offers only 5 campsites with a picnic tables, food locker, campfire ring, and tent pads for your comfort.

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7. Russian Gulch State Park Campground

If you want to not only relax in your tent, but also try new activities, such as swimming, SCUBA diving and fishing, pay attention to the Russian Gulch State Park Campground! Look at the cascading waterfall, rocky coastline, watch birds flying overhead and do not forget to take some photos!

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This popular campground is distinguished by not only its picturesque landscape, convenient location (two miles north of Mendocino), and interesting water activities to try, but also ideal conditions for recreation. Russian Gulch State Park campground has 26 regular campsites near the Russian Gulch Creek.

You can be calm about your comfort – picnic table, campfire ring, restrooms, showers, and drinking water – all included.

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8. Big Basin Redwoods State Park

In order to enjoy the atmosphere of the oldest coast redwoods and cascading waterfalls, Big Basin Redwoods State Park is absolutely your type! There are opportunities to spend your weekends in regular campsites (a few of them are suitable for RV), group camps, horse camps, or tent cabins.

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Big Basin Redwoods State Park includes 4 campgrounds. They are Upper and Lower Blooms Creek Campground, Sempervirens Campground, Huckleberry Campground, and Wastahi Campground. So there will be no problem selecting a suitable one. All the campgrounds offer amenities, such as campfire rings, picnic tables, and lockers for food.

If you are searching for interesting and long hiking trails, you are in the right place! Put your hiking shoes in your backpack to enjoy the view of Santa Cruz Mountains and explore the nature of this state park!

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9. Gerstle Cove Campground

Beach vacations in Northern California can also be interesting and comfortable! Gerstle Cove Campground is a precious place located along the Northern California Coast.

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Despite the fact that the hilly terrain is not the best option for tent camping, you will stay with maximum comfort, because this campground provides 30 campsites on flat bluffs. Also, picnic tables, campfire rings, food lockers, drinking water, and restrooms are available for tourists.

If you want to make your vacation at times more memorable, do not be lazy to get down to the beach and enjoy the ecosystem of the State Marine Reserve.

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10. Oh Ridge Campground

In case you are planning a family vacation or looking forward to finding new friends while camping, Oh Ridge Campground will be the best choice! It is located near June Lake in the Eastern Sierras.

You and the kids can walk to the lake and get your feet wet or play in the water. The recreational conditions here are convenient due to the cool breeze of paradise under the shade of pines and aspen trees.

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Oh Ridge Campground is one of the popular family campgrounds. It offers roomy campsites with picnic tables, fire rings, and grills. You can easily make a grill-party or enjoy yummy meals with a view of the lake and the surrounding area.

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11. Minaret Falls Campground

You may face some problems with the road down to Minaret Falls Campground, but you would not be disappointed! This secluded place is situated in Red Meadows Valley is a favorite among hikers and anglers.

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Minaret Falls Campground offers first-come, first-serve tent and RV sites with campground amenities, like vault toilets, water for all your needs, picnic tables, and campfire rings. This place is well-known for predator activity, so make sure you put your tasty meals in food lockers!

Everyone will find something that they enjoy. Fishers can go fishing with pleasure in the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River, campers can take a few photos of the picturesque Sierra Nevada landscape and views of Minaret Falls, hikers can explore Devil’s Postpile and Rainbow Falls..

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12. Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground

Imagine how magnificent the coastal redwoods and river are in Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground! This campground is trust-worthy and popular, so you can find a lot of tour prints and visitors here, especially in the peak season, so we recommend you to book it in advance!

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Pfeiffer Big Sur Campgrounds provides RV, hike-in, bike-in, and tent sites, so everyone will have an opportunity to spend holidays here with maximum comfort, due to restrooms, showers, and drinking water.

Also, you can bring a dog with you, but it must be kept on a leash and attended to constantly.

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13. Francis Beach Campground

If you want to greet the morning on a top of a bluff with an ocean view – Francis Beach Campground in Half Moon Bay is definitely your choice! The good news is you can stay here at any time of the year!

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There are 52 convenient campsites with all necessary campground amenities, such as drinking water, flush toilets, showers, and RV hookups.

We recommend you to have breakfast and then stroll down to sandy beach for sunbathing and sandcastle building or test yourself in new water activities like surfing or boogie boarding.

In comparison with other campgrounds, you will not find a lot of trees here, so keep in mind, that you can face strong wind, which can affect on your vacation.

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14. Point Reyes National Seashore

Vacation in the one of the 5 campsites located in Point Reyes National Seashore is a good way to relax from the city noise, spend some time with yourself and enjoy the spectacular view of marine landscape.

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If you want to walk or sunbath on the beach, set up your tent at one of the 12 spacious campsites at Coast Camp.

If you are a lover of ocean views, give preference to Sky Camp or Wildcat Camp.

In case you want to explore the nature of Northern California, choose Glen Camp as a place for your vacation.

And the last, fifth campground, Tomales Bay, is reserved for the boat-in crowd only.

Keep in mind, you can face the lack of campground amenities here (there are only vault toilets and water). We recommend you to take care of your comfort and bring potable water with

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15. Lake Alpine Campground

This beautiful campground has 25 campsites with a picnic table and firering in each site. Also, you have access to tap water and restrooms with flush toilets, so you can not worry about comfort while camping.

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Lake Alpine Campground is a good option for family holidays with numerous hiking trails, walking access to Bear Valley, and fun water activities, such as boating, swimming, and fishing, so you and the kids will not be bored! Bikers will also like this campground.

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16. Anthony Chabot Regional Park Campground

If you are searching for excellent hiking and biking trails – you are in the right place! In Anthony Chabot Regional Park Campground you will find 75 campsites, 12 of which are equipped for RV camping.

In order to provide comfort, this campground has accessible showers with hot water, drinking water and a picnic table on all sites.

You will not get bored there! Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking – that is not a complete list of activities to try!

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17. Wrights Lake Campground

Wrights Lake Campground is situated within the picturesque Eldorado National Forest and offers 67 campsites with a maximum capacity of 6 people. All campground amenities for convenient vacations, except showers, are included: a picnic table, vault toilets, fire ring and lockers to protect your yummy meals from predators, especially bears.

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Thanks to Wrights Lake, this campground suggests different activities to choose from boating, swimming, and fishing. If you are not into water sports, you can immerse yourself in the world of wild nature!

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18. Bodega Dunes Sonoma Coast State Park

Bodega Dunes Campground in Sonoma Coast State Park provides almost 100 campsites at any time of the year (it is a significant advantage of this place). Bring your pet with you, but remember that it must be kept on a leash and attended constantly.

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You can find everything needed in this campground – a picnic table, fire rings, protective lockers for food, flush toilets, and showers with hot water.

If you think that there is nothing to do in Sonoma Coast State Park, you are mistaken. Historic sites with the natural ecosystem, sandy beaches and hiking trails are must-try here!

Surrounding areas also give some opportunities for tourists and visitors. In Bodega Head you can try whale watching. Trust us – it is really interesting!

In case you are a lover of windsurfing, head to Bodega Bay. A Russian river is an excellent place for kayaking and fishing, and Bodega Harbour is well-known by its golf course.

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19. Pinecrest Campground

Pinecrest Campground is a beautiful and peaceful place for camping in Northern California. It can be crowded, and this is not surprising – this campground is located close to Pinecrest Lake.

Here you can find 196 campsites (enough space for everyone) with picnic tables, fire rings, flush toilets and tap water. When planning the vacation, keep in mind that there is no access to the shower with hot water.

There is a lot to do at Pinecrest Campground! When it is summer, the tourists have an opportunity to visit the amphitheater in the evenings for Ranger talks and movies. And when the sun is shining, you can swim or go fishing in Pinecrest Lake.

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20. Casini Ranch Family Campground 

If you are searching for a place to spend holidays with friends or family in Northern California – pay closer attention to Casini Ranch Family Campground! This experience will definitely remain in your memory for long time!

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Visitors can take a few photos or just enjoy beautiful landscape views, try different recreational activities or rest with maximum comfort and pleasure in a tent, RV, cabin, cottage, and bunkhouse.

There is a swimming beach located on a river bend. Here you can try fishing and boating. In case you have not proper equipment for these water activities, you can rent it with no issues.

One of the distinguished advantages of Casini Ranch Family Campground is Wi-Fi access in some places, so you can post photos of the picturesque views in your social media.

In Casini Ranch Family Campground you can play basketball, soccer, volleyball, and softball, spend time with your kids in playgrounds or go for a walk with your four-legged friend in fenced-in dog parks.

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21. Camp Richardson Historic Resort & Marina

Camp Richardson Campground is located by the south shore of Lake Tahoe, so this lake is within walking distance, and you can play in the water or get your feet wet.

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The campground amenities include a picnic table, a fire ring, a flush toilet, tap water, a shower with hot water, and protective lockers for your meals – everything is made for your comfort! You can taste new delicious dishes in a snack bar, dining marina, ice cream parlor, coffee shop, and grill.

Thanks to beaches and tide pools, you have opportunities to enjoy hiking and biking trails, boating, and paddleboarding.

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22. Woodside & Gerstle Cove Campgrounds

Between these two popular campgrounds located along Sonoma County Coast, you will find 109 campsites for tents and RVs.

There are no hot showers, but amenities include a picnic table, fire ring, flush toilet and tap water in all sites.

There is also a wide range of different activities, such as horseback riding, trail hiking, mountain biking, and scuba diving.

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23. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Campground is situated near the ocean in 8 kilometers north of Santa Cruz. This campground is a great place to explore nature or sunbathe in Santa Cruz Beach, especially during summer.

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This campground offers sites for RVs, tents, and trailers with protective lockers for your food, tables, fire rings, flush toilets, tap water, and showers.

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24. McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park

If you want to see impressive waterfalls or enjoy hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail, McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial StatePark will be a great choice for you!

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Here you will find 102 campsites, that are opened at all seasons of the year. To make your vacation at times more comfortable, McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial StatePark offers showers, flush toilets, tap water, a general store, food lockers, fire rings, and picnic tables.

Thanks to Lake Britton, there are a lot of opportunities of water activities, like swimming, fishing, and canoeing. Lovers of hiking and biking will also find something interesting here too.

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25. Silver Lake West Campground

If you take a look at the north shore of Silver Lake, you will find Silver Lake West Campground, with 42 campsites available for tourists. The vacation here is not that cheap, but there are few discounts for certain categories of citizens – seniors, military personnel, and the disabled.

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Keep in mind, that there are no showers here, but this campground is distinguished by other amenities, such as boxes to store your yummy meals in food lockers, fire rings and grills, and a picnic table.

There are a lot of to do in Silver Lake West Campground, starting from boating and fishing at Silver Lake and Caples Lake and finishing with mountain biking in Kirkwood.

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26. Joshua Tree National Park

In Joshua Tree National Park you can find 500 campsites (Cottonwood, Black Rock, Indian Cove, Ryan, Jumbo Rocks campgrounds) for tents and RVs with all necessary campground amenities.

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Here you can explore the world of wild nature of the desert with Joshua Tree National Park programs given by park rangers and volunteers.

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Conclusion

Vacation with your family members or friends in Northern California can be memorable and exciting! There a lot of popular and secluded campgrounds with all the necessary amenities for your maximum comfort during camping!

Test yourself in numerous water activities, such as kayaking or swimming, sing songs around the campfire, take photos of spectacular views of mountains and explore the nature of wild life!

Hope our article will help you to choose the best campground in Northern California to relax from the city bustle or spend your holidays!

If you have any questions about camping spots in Northern California – please contact us, we will be happy to help you!

Wish you a great vacation at one or more Camping Sites Northern California!

If You are interested in Camping in the following regions, read my other articles:

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Andrew

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