best campgrounds northern califonia coast

The best campgrounds on Northern California Coast showcase the wide range of ecosystems present in this adventurous region. Redwood forests and attractive, volcanically active places are both suitable locations to set up a tent. Sand beaches, fern canyons, and breathtaking vistas of the Golden Gate Bridge are some of the other scenery that can be seen when camping in Northern California. State or national parks in Northern California offer some of the greatest camping opportunities. This contains the magnificent Redwoods National and State Parks, which are home to some of the world’s last old-growth coastal forests. Together with miles of breathtaking, undeveloped coastline, the Redwoods National and State Parks also provide camping by the sea.

Some notable locations to travel in an RV are Lassen Volcanic National Park, Lake Tahoe, and Mount Shasta. Campsites along the Mendocino coastline are also consistently good choices. Visit one of the many natural or man-made reservoirs in the state’s north for lake camping.

This list of the best campgrounds in Northern California might help you plan your next outdoor excursion.

#1. Jedediah Smith Redwoods National and State Park Campground

best campgrounds northern califonia coast
Image Source: TripSavvy

Jedediah Smith State Park is one of the best campgrounds on the Northern California coast. It is also one of three state parks run in conjunction with Redwoods National Park in California’s Redwood Country. It is the furthest north and is situated less than 10 miles from Crescent City. There are 89 tent and RV campsites, and the campsite has year-round popularity due to its closeness to multiple stands of tall trees. All overnight visitors have access to showers with running water and coin-operated faucets. Finally, the Redwoods National and State Parks include four established campsites, including Prairie Creek’s Gold Bluffs Beach Campsite Tent camping is available at Redwoods State Park along a remote stretch of shoreline, and RV camping is possible near some substantial trees at Mill Creek Campground at Del Norte Coast.

Read Also: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CAMPING: Top 12 Camping Spots

#2. D.L. Bliss State Park Campground, South Lake Tahoe 

best campgrounds northern california coast
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On Lake Tahoe’s southwest shore sits this lakefront campsite. Meanwhile, popular surrounding activities include swimming, hiking, SCUBA diving, fishing, and going to the beach. It’s popular for more laid-back excursions as well, like taking some time to gaze out from Inspiration Point, which is close by. The best place to camp close to South Lake Tahoe is D.L. Bliss. It is less than 20 miles south of Tahoe City and a 13-minute drive from South Lake Tahoe. D.L. Bliss is a well-known destination because of its prime position, but there are lots of other fantastic places to visit nearby, like Meeks Bay Resort and Emerald Bay State Park.

in conclusion, almost 250 family campsites are available at D.L. Bliss, and they are often reserved throughout the summer. Campsites typically offer enough for one car. Each campground has a fire ring, a picnic table, access to water, and coin-operated showers.

#3. Manzanita Lake Campground, Lassen Volcanic National Park

best campground northern california coast
Image Source: TripAdvisor

This is also one of the campgrounds on the Northern California coast. Lassen Volcanic National Park offers seven campsites, ranging in size and amenities, with 20 sites available all year round. One of the busiest and most extensive campsites, Manzanita Lake has more than 175 sites accessible. The campsite is frequently full in the summer because of its convenient location close to Manzanita Lake’s shoreline and easy access. The camp allows tent and RV camping, however, there are no hookups available. Lassen Volcanic National Park has more campgrounds such as Butte Lake Campground and Warner Valley Campground. Access to distinctive park features like Bumpass Hell and Lassen Peak is available from each campsite.

#4. Burlington Campground, Humboldt Redwood State Park

best campground northern califonia coast
Image Source: TripAdvisor

Humboldt Redwoods State Park is a key natural area 30 miles south of Eureka in California’s Redwood Land. As a matter of fact, it has 250 conventional campsites dispersed across three distinct campgrounds, over 100 miles of hiking trails, and towering redwood trees that can grow to over 350 feet in length. The only location in the park where visitors can set up a tent or an RV is the Burlington Campground, which features 57 sites with a mysterious woodland charm and flushing restrooms, and coin-operated showers. The Boulevard of the Giants leads to the Founders Grove and the Women’s Federation Grove, and hiking trails connect the campsite to the South Fork of the Eel River. Also, the Hidden Springs Campsite and the Albee Creek Campground are two more summer campgrounds in the park. 

#5. Russian Gulch State Park Campground, Mendocino Coast

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At Russian Gulch State Park, two miles north of Mendocino, one of California’s nicest little towns, the Russian River makes quite a splash. This coastal state park contains 26 conventional sites close to the Russian River before it meets the ocean, in addition to distinctive trail-lined bluffs and tidal phenomena like the Devil’s Punchbowl. The locations are across Highway 1 from the coast. The sites are shared by RVs and tent campers, however, there are no connections available. At the campsite in Russian Gulch, the well-known Fern Canyon Trail leads six miles roundtrip to a 36-foot waterfall and returns.

Furthermore, natural landmarks and various camping options border the whole Mendocino Coast. Mendocino Headlands State Park, which surrounds the settlement, offers day visitors only but lots of bluff-side ocean vistas. Van Damme State Park, located less than two miles south of the hamlet, has more than 70 camping spots accessible along the Northern California coast.

#6. Indian Well Campground, Lava Beds National Monument

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Less than 15 miles south of the Oregon border, in extreme northern California, sits the Lava Beds National Monument. It includes a lava-filled terrain that has been damaged by past eruptions. Lava Beds offers adventure opportunities that are rare in other parts of the state, whether or not you are interested in unusual geology. Indian Well Campground, the only campsite in the national monument, contains 43 sites. First-come, first-served access to the spots, which can accommodate mostly tents, SUVs, and small camper vans. Also, there are a few locations that can fit RVs up to 30 feet long. A stark landscape is available at each campground. Nearby attractions, mostly on Cave Loop Road, are another major draw for tourists. Visitors can explore the subterranean lava tubes on their own. Before going down, curious cavers must register at the tourist center.

#7. Castle Crags State Park Campground

mage Source: TripAdvisor

Castle Crags State Park is a popular state park close to Mount Shasta and surrounded by the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. It offers 60 standard sites with access to running water and showers, as well as an additional dozen sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, located an hour east of Castle Crags, features a fanning waterfall feature and comparable camping attractiveness. More than 100 family campsites for tents or RVs are offered at the park, and hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail use the hiker/biker sites in both state parks and associated campsites.

#8. MacKerricher Sate Park

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Just north of Fort Bragg lies the lovely seaside park known as MacKerricher. There are several ecosystems to discover along its nine-mile stretch of Mendocino coastline. The state park offers around 140 campsites in addition to the grandeur of the sea. In MacKerricher, the campsites are dispersed across many campgrounds that are all close to the Pacific Coast and Lake Cleone in Northern California. The Main Beach of the park is close by and offers some of the region’s most breathtaking sunset views. The park allows walk-in campers and big group bookings in addition to RV and tent camping. The southern portion of the park is anchored by Glass Beach and the Pudding Creek Trestle. Explore the ever-changing environment of Inglenook Fen – Ten Mile Dune Nature Park to the north. These two beautiful park areas are linked by the MacKerricher Coastal Path, also called Old Haul Road.

#9. Gold Bluffs Beach, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

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Gold Bluffs Beach is however a unique location along the coast of Northern California, offering breathtaking ocean views and the legendary Fern Canyon climb. Fern Canyon, located at the extreme northern end of the beach, features 50-foot cliffs covered with ferns. Water shoes are helpful for navigating the log-strewn creek bed that leads to this natural hanging garden. Also, the dirt road that leads to Gold Bluff Beach and Campsite is winding, muddy, and has abrupt elevation changes. After six plodding kilometers, you arrive at the campground, where there are 26 sites available and anyone can hear the ocean.

#10. Lakes Basin Campground, Plumas National Forest

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This woodland campsite in the Plumas National Forest is close to the meandering banks of Gray Eagle Creek and is surrounded by glacier lakes. A network of trails leading from the campsite link at least 20 lakes, including the spectacular Gold Lake, which is only a short distance away. Trail hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders frequently use the 22 sites in Lakes Basin. While only half of the sites are accessible for reservations, the other half are first-come, first-served. While no connections are available, the park can accommodate trailers up to 26 feet in length. Every overnight visitor has access to potable water and vault toilets. On Gold Lake, a public boat ramp is well-liked by both boat owners and day trippers. The rivers’ thriving brown and rainbow trout are frequently the target of anglers.

How Much Do Campsites Cost in California?

The cost of a campground in California can range from $40 to $90 per night, depending on the place and kind of campervan. Often, a site in a national park is less expensive than a private property. The supplier KOA also has special deals available (Kampgrounds of America).

How Long Can You Stay at Campgrounds in Northern California?

There is a 30-night maximum stay cap per customer for the majority of our parks; please verify specific park regulation limits. It is unacceptable to utilize several user IDs to get around the 30-night restriction. Reservation requests made using distinct individual multiple-user IDs won’t be granted.

What Are the 3 Types of Campgrounds?

Three Styles of Camping That Campsite Owners Should Be Aware Of


RV camping.

Camping in the front country.

Why is it So Hard to Find Campsites in California?

The 6-month rotational registration window makes it much more challenging because there are significantly more people who want campsites than there are available. This is another reason why we created the well-known software CAMPSITE ASSIST, which notifies you through text and email when a campsite opens up for the dates you wish to camp.

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