Camp under the stars in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. (RV's/trailers - see below.) This 50 acre family-owned property is located in the heart of Apple Hill. There are two streams that run through it, with a hill that separates them. It is a working Christmas Trees farm that was started in the 1960's and now has many trees that are too big to fit in anyone's home, but provide an unbelievable canopy for some of our camp sites. Half the property is covered in a pine forest (with some secluded camp sites) with the balance being Christmas trees, Manzanita brush, Madrone trees, and open areas (for larger group campers). There are trails throughout the property for visitors to enjoy. There is an Apple Farm across the street that makes the best donuts in Apple Hill! Less than a mile away is a farm brewery and there are wineries throughout the area. There is also a large lake nearby that is a favorite for local kayak and canoe enthusiasts (and some who enjoy fishing) since most non-locals don't know it exists.
Campsites 1 - 10 are centrally located at the top of the hill, sites 11 - 15 are more remote (& quieter) but are also farther from the bathrooms & water supplies. (Site 15 is in a tight forest where slender pine trees rub against each other if there's any wind, they make sounds akin to wooden ships rubbing up against the docks in a harbor. This was formerly site 14.) If you are traveling in a group, we suggest getting two sites next to each other rather than trying to squeeze everyone into a single site - it's actually less expensive to rent two sites rather than putting 10 people into a single site. Site pairs that work well together are 1&2, 4&6, 3&5 and 9&10, (We also have areas specifically for larger groups. Please see our Hipcamp group site listing.)
RV's & TRAILERs- Please note, there are currently only a few furnished campsites that can accommodate these - sites 3, 4, 11 and site 14. Please let me know how large an RV/trailer you have so that we can make sure that we can get you to fit. Please note, there NO HOOKUPS. However, potable water is accessible when you arrive - please bring a long hose to make filling easier. (If you don't need/want the campsite amenities, please check out out RV Hilltop listing for a more economical stay.)
CAMPFIRE NOTE: Fire pits with a grill & mesh cover are provided at every site. All fires must be contained in the fire pit. Open campfires (on the ground) are prohibited. Please keep the fire pit covered when in use and always fully extinguish your fire when you leave the campsite.
Be sure to bring flashlights and lanterns, it does get dark at night!
- Check in: After 4PM
- Check out: Before 2PM
- Cancellation policy: Moderate
- On arrival: Meet and greet
- Minimum nights: None
- Accepts bookings: 4 months out Weeknight discount: 15% off
The vibe at Madrone Tree Hill
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Madrone Tree Hill is a great place to camp. Gordon was very thoughtful and made sure I was able to make it to the property. He greeted us on time and made sure that I was aware of the property. We stayed at campsite 2 which offered great privacy as it was tucked away in the trees. The view of the night sky from the open field is spectacular! We were fortunate enough to catch the Milky Way. The property is less than one mile from Jack Russell Brewery where you can try the local beer or play games such a cornhole. The property is also fairly close to Highway 50 which makes it fairly quick and easy to get to from Sacramento if you are looking to escape to the Foothills! There are numerous recreational activities nearby and from what I understand, visiting during the apple season is a must! Thanks. Gordon!
Campsites here are absurdly close. I was hoping for more of a private camping experience but our neighbors next to us had multiple cars and 4-6 tents set-up so we were subjected to loud talking, music, a general partying atmosphere. No privacy at all. I'd say their site was about 20 feet away from ours. It was nice that they set-up a contained fire at the bottom of the property so we could grill a little though (as fires were banned due to dry conditions and the heat.) Overall, a beautiful area and close to amenities but very little privacy or sense of remoteness. If you're looking for more of an outdoor hostel vibe, this is up your alley.
I booked Madrone Tree Hill because I was looking to camp near Apple Hill since I wanted to take in all that Apple Hill has to offer, but didn't want to drive 6 hours in one day. Instead we drove up Saturday afternoon, grabbed dinner at Smith Flat Hill. (Highly recommend this restaurant!)
We stayed at camp 7. The campsite was well marked and a decent way away from other campsites. You can still see other sites and hear them but they aren't right on top of you. The site itself was really nice with a picnic table, fire pit, water bucket, and flat well maintained ground. The bathroom was just a campsite over and also had a wash table with a sink.
Overall I really enjoyed this campsite. Just enough privacy where you could enjoy your own space and yet enough people around not to feel frightened since the sites are down a pretty long road. Pro tip for those traveling during the fall season: This campsite is within walking distance (10 minutes) to Rainbow Orchards where the best apple cider doughnuts and hot/cold apple cider is sold. Walk over in the morning and grab some freshly made treats.
Gordon was a great host even though we didn't get to meet and was quick to respond to messages and left a packet of Apple Hill information.
My recommendation for the camp would be some sort of grate to put over the fire to cook since that was the only thing we couldn't do. Granted we ate outside the camp, but would have liked the option. If you need to cook, just ensure it's things that you can cook on a skewer.
Nice campsite, great location for activities in elderardo hills. Sly park lake is 15 min away and was great. Campsites are quite close together, but your are in the trees so you don't feel on top of each other. Campsite 1 is the most sechluded. Campsite 3 4 and 5 were very near to the toilet. Toilet was super clean when we arrived. Over all good camping spot and usually will be able to have campfires but it was too hot for us.
Great place to spend a weekend and explore the surrounding area. Gordon is a very communicative host and answered all our questions.
Our small group booked two sites next to each other. We spent most of our days exploring the local swimming holes and hiking around. Evenings we spent at camp cooking over the fire and enjoying the stars.
The other guests were friendly and it felt very much like an oasis. The Christmas tree farm is really conducive for hammocks!
I would def come back here in the future.
Great place to camp. We loved the area and stopped at a couple of wineries on Carson road — the campground is basically just surrounded by wineries!
We didn't meet Gordon but Tina was there to greet us and was very nice. Directions were perfect. The grounds are well kept and it's neat camping under huge Christmas trees. At night, the stars were incredible — that was probably my favorite part. We picked up some produce at 24Carrot Farm Stand down the road for cooking dinner on the fire (though you can probably find a much cheaper farm stand) and a bottle of wine and ginger cider from Bumgarner Winery. We also took a walk to Jack Russell Brewery after setting up camp — it's about a mile walk (you have to walk in the road, so be careful) — nothing to write home about in terms of beers there but it's fun to have a brewery near your campsite!
You'll have a fire ring with grate for cooking and a picnic table at your site. Close by there's running water / handwashing stations and clean portopotties. The sites aren't super secluded but they're also not on top of one another at all — plenty of room and privacy.
As a few other reviews mention, you can hear cars on the 50 throughout the night. It wasn't bad though and with all of the wineries located on Carson road, it's too be expected. It also gets pretty dusty.
We'll be back and hopefully for more than one night with plans to drink wine and eat food.