Top 7 Camping Locations To Visit in California
California is the home of numerous charming destinations that will leave a lasting impression. The tricky part is to narrow down your list of potential locales to visit and set up camp at. Our list of the top seven camping locations to visit in California can guide you in finding the spot that best speaks to you.
1) Joshua Tree
Of all the camping destinations in California, Joshua Tree National Park has the most mainstream appeal. It’s been the filming location for several movies over the years and a destination when characters need to find themselves—right, Johnny Drama? And even if it weren’t for the film industry, you’d assuredly have heard about Joshua Tree if you’re familiar with U2, as one of their most successful albums shares the same name.
Aside from its pop culture influences on the world, Joshua Tree Natural Park is an immaculate location known for its unearthly trees. Joshua Tree has the sense of both a foreign world and the quintessential American environment due to its vast desert, spectacular rock formations, and unique flora.
Its closeness to the city of Los Angeles makes it a popular weekend destination for Angelenos. Still, tourists from all over the globe visit the park each year and seek a spiritual awakening or a break from the stresses of daily life.
Best Spot: Hidden Valley Campground
If you’re looking for a campground in the middle of Joshua Tree National Park to spend the night under the stars, consider Hidden Valley Campground. This campground is just off Park Boulevard and has nine campsites with several amenities.
The campsite has a picturesque desert setting, making it a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts. However, there is no clean water to drink, so fill up your medium tactical backpack before taking off.
2) Yosemite National Park
You can spend weeks touring Yosemite National Park and still not see everything it offers. The park is famous for its gorgeous waterfalls, gigantic sequoia trees, high granite cliffs, and more. Exploring the park during shoulder season means fewer people and a chance to observe the park’s splendor from a new aspect, but the area is always appealing no matter the season.
Waterfalls roar in the spring, you can do anything outside in the summer, the autumn has beautiful foliage and fewer people, and in the winter, you can go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in a winter wonderland.
Best Spot: Tuolumne Meadows Campground
The Tuolumne Meadows Campground has a high elevation of 8,600 feet. Camping here puts you far from the maddening crowds of Yosemite Valley, yet close enough to explore the Sierra Nevada Mountains and its glacially-fed lakes, valleys, and meadows.
3) Sonoma Coast State Park
Sonoma Coast State Park is one of California’s most beautiful destinations due to its long stretches of sandy beach below rocky headlands, its rocky coastline with natural arches, and its hidden coves.
Accessible between dawn and dusk, several beaches connected by cliffs and headlands are along Bodega Head to the Vista Trail. Over a dozen places along Route 1 provide beach access for beachgoers, fishermen, sunbathers, and picnickers.
Best Spot: Pomo Canyon from Shell Beach
Try out this 6.5-mile circular track close to Jenner, CA. It takes around 3 hours and 32 minutes to complete, making it difficult. Since this is a popular spot for outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and jogging, you should expect to run across other people. The track is accessible all year and is lovely at any time. The downside is that you cannot bring pets on this route, so please leave your furry friends at home.
4) Redwood State Park
Redwood State Park is home to some of the largest trees on Earth. It preserves over half of the world’s remaining old-growth redwoods, including some champion examples that tower over 370 feet.
You may hike, cycle, camp, and ride horseback through 200 miles of trails in the three state parks that comprise the park system. You can spot many species that thrive in the park’s woods, hills, rivers, and shoreline. The vast park system offers a variety of picturesque driving routes.
Best Spot: Prairie Creek
Explore the wild and magnificent old-growth forest that served as a setting for the film Jurassic Park. A big herd of Roosevelt Elk is often grazing or relaxing at the neighboring Gold Bluffs Beach in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. The park is open all year, although the summer months see the most visitors. Because of the high humidity at the seaside, you should bring a raincoat.
5) Lake Tahoe
About two million years ago, as part of the Lake Tahoe Basin, the often visited lake formed from glaciers. The water is very clear, and there are mountains in every direction. The lake’s English name, “Tahoe,” derives from the Washo term “Dáaw.”
Nevada and California benefit greatly from Lake Tahoe’s popularity as a vacation hotspot. Thanks to its snowy winters, warm summers, and breathtaking landscapes, it’s a year-round destination.
Best Spot: Nevada Beach Campground
Located only a short distance from South Lake Tahoe, this campsite offers stunning views of the azure waters of Tahoe and the rugged Sierra Nevada range in the background. From May to October, campers may enjoy the area, which is perfect for families, novice campers, and explorers of all stripes—particularly those interested in water activities.
6) Big Sur
It’s worth going to Big Sur, as visitor memories will forever have images of the region’s craggy coastline, shrouded in mist and elephant seals basking in the sun in their mind. Camping opportunities in Big Sur are many and breathtaking, especially if you enjoy coastal views.
Best Spot: Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is home to various creatures and features, such as coastal redwoods and a stunning river valley. The park’s river winds through it, providing several opportunities to stroll along its banks in the cool shadow of towering redwoods. Hiking routes of varying difficulty and proximity to Carmel’s conveniences make this a fantastic destination for families.
7) Lassen Volcanic National Park
The American national park, Lassen Volcanic, is in the far northeastern corner of California. Lassen Peak, the park’s most prominent landmark, is the southernmost volcano in the Cascade Range and the biggest plug dome volcano in the world.
The four different kinds of volcanoes—plug domes, shield volcanoes, cinder cones, and stratovolcanoes—are all represented in Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Volcanic activity in the Lassen region is still brewing by the subduction of the Gorda Plate under the North American Plate off the coast of Northern California. Mud pots, fumaroles, and hot springs are all still active in the region around Lassen Peak.
Best Spot: Butte Lake Campground
This campsite is in Lassen Volcanic National Park’s remote northeast corner and borders the Caribou Wilderness. Set a camp by an alpine lake at an altitude of 6,000 feet among the pine trees. This location is ideal for solitary hikers since it is far from the main campsites and near several trails. See the Painted Dunes, climb Prospect Peak, swim at Bathtub Lake, and hike Cinder Cone.
The top seven camping locations in California offer a little bit of everything to appease the avid outdoor enthusiast. WOLFpak also wants to make the frequent hiker happy with our fantastic array of hiking backpacks. From a one-day trip to a weekend stay, we have the backpack for you!