California’s 5 best Camping Destinations

Here is a list of the best places to camp in California.  

With the 4th of July just days away and the calendar bursting into the summer months, its time to dust off thee ol’ sleeping bag and head out for a weekend of camping.  With so many places to camp, and only a few weekends in the year to do it, finding the best campgrounds in California is essential.  Here is our list of favorite camping sites to visit this year.

California offers year round camping, in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.  You can camp in the desert, forest, mountains, the snow, grasslands, or along the magnificent pacific coastline.  And, most importantly, there are no mosquitos!

5th Best Camping Spot in California: Joshua Tree

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Camping in Death Valley, the driest, hottest region of the Majave Desert, might make you pause for concern.  I mean its not even “nicknamed” Death Valley, that’s its official name!

Sure temperatures soar past 115 degrees during the summer, but in the winter and spring months, Joshua Tree National Park is just right.   This desert camp oasis is ideal for hikes, novice rock climbing and wide-open desert, as far as the eye can see.  In most deserts, it’s the sun itself that is the star of the show, and the sun rises and sunsets in Joshua Tree National Park are breathtaking.  Be sure to pack good shoes, plenty of water and warm sleeping gear.

If you are considering a trip to Joshua Tree National park I highly recommend this extensive guide by Live Once Love Wild

3rd Best Camping Spot in California: California’s Big Sur

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As the Pacific Coast Highway hugs the shore from Carmel in Northern California down to Central California’s San Simeon near Hearst Castle, there’s more magnificent coastline camping on California’s Big Sur than almost anywhere else in the state.  Camp streamside in the Big Sur Valley or camp ocean view bluff-side in the southern end of Big Sur. It’s a stretch of California camping that you won’t want to miss.  It’s a great evening stop for anyone driving from one end of the state to the other.

And, don’t forget to pay a visit to the Hearst Castle.

Here’s a list of Big Sur campsites:

2nd Best Camping Spot in California:  Sequoa National Forest

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The Sequoia National Forest, in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains of California, covers a whopping 1,193,315 acres and ranges in elevation from 1,000 to 12,000 feet. It has the highest concentration of giant sequoia groves in the world, covering 196,000 acres and some of the most diverse camping landscapes and offerings, with over 2,500 miles of roadways and 850 miles of trails. There are 14 national campgrounds in both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.


Best Camping Spot in California: Yosemite National Park


With mile high waterfalls, towering Sequoia trees, slabs of granite and majestic mountains, Yosemite National Park will give your neck a workout.   Most of the parks landmarks can be seen by car, however each turn of the road reveals so many mammoth natural wonders that you might run out of time trying to track down the ones you set out to see.   This is a spectacular place for families and groups to vacation together.  You’re also a short drive from San Francisco too!

Yosemite National Park is huge!  There are so many cabins, hotels, motels, RV hookups, and primitive tent sites that it can be overwhelming when choosing a spot to claim as your home base on your visit.   One place we recommend is Curry Village; nestled in the heart of the park, it’s a prime location to be immersed.

Thee Best Camping Destination in California: Redwood National Park

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Of all the places one should camp in California, the Redwood National Park is the grand champion.  Located in northern California, the unbelievable and rare Giant Sequoia trees soar into the sky like a 30-floor skyscraper and a reach as old as 3,500 years.  It is unworldly.  If you’ve ever wanted to drive your car through the trunk of a living tree, you’re in luck!  This is the place.

Camping in the Redwoods National Park is by far my most memorable camping experience.  It’s just unreal.  Camping at the foot of a tree so large that you can’t see your car parked on the other side, and laying back and looking up as its top disappears from sight, are things you have to experience first hand.   You’re camping amongst history.  It’s the perfect getaway camping destination for you and that someone special.

Redwood National and State Parks have 4 campgrounds to choose from; 3 campgrounds in the redwood forest and one on the Pacific coastline at Golds Bluff Beach.

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