Mendocino Magic is located 3.5 miles off Highway 101 in the town of Laytonville. If you are passing through town on your road trip and are car camping, choosing to park in a location where you can tent right next to your vehicle, we have the answer for you.
Park on fresh grass at the side of the Mill Pond under the shade of a line of Alder trees. Easy in and out and quiet overnight stay, so long as you don't mind the songs of frogs.
A NOTE ON CAR SIZES: Our car camping sites are limited to 18' length vehicles maximum. If your vehicle is longer, please let us know. We do not offer RV hookups or water though.
- Check in: After 12PM
- Check out: Before 12PM
- Cancellation policy: Super Strict
- On arrival: Go straight to camp
- Minimum nights: 1 night
- Accepts bookings: 6 months out
- Response time: Within 12 hours
- Response rate: 100%
The vibe at Car Camping
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
A series of car camping spots in front of the pond. Plenty of shade on summer hot days. It is located across the lanai common area for cooking, camp fire and toilets. Great spot to be near your car and enjoy the common area.
Car camping at Mendocino Magic was a blast! We arrived on Friday night of Memorial Day Weekend and were greeted by one of the staff members, Dan, who got us situated, telling us where to park and set up our tents. They had a fire going in the big pit by the lanai, which was a warm welcome.
Mackenzie the owner was more than accommodating, explaining where we could find everything we might need during our stay and imploring us to ask for anything not obvious and to make suggestions as they get set up for the summer season.
There was a recently built structure on the back of the lanai with an commercial range with six burners and an oven -- an unexpected surprise that made our cooking way easier throughout the weekend. There was also a common fridge.
My group of six had initially planned to get out and hike and possibly trip up to Humboldt to see the redwoods or over to the coast for the ocean air, but after getting set up and checking out the reservoir (more of a lake), we decided to stay put and lounge for the whole weekend. There were a few kayaks and a couple canoes and a couple docks for a superb chill factor. It was just the vacation we all needed -- great food, great beers and smores.
One of the best things about this location is that it is dog-friendly. Our friends' dog (who can be kinda bossy) had the best time romping around with about 5 other dogs that came and went throughout our stay. She got all the exercise she needed with her new friends.
Mendocino Magic reminded me of summer camp, only for adults. There were a handful of kids running around, but most folks were between the ages of 20 and 50. There was even a couple bands that played some tunes on Sunday night on the stage near the lanai.
I will say that $60 / night for car camping seemed a bit steep at first, given most state and national parks charge less than $35 / night, but considering all the bonus amenities we discovered upon our arrival, I'd say the price was worth it. The whole vibe was down-to-earth. Lots of heart at this place. I loved our stay at Mendocino Magic and my friends and I will likely return.
The car camp sites at Mendocino Magic are awesome. We had 3 of them booked right next to each other. They are all right beside the beautiful mill pond, and a short walk to the lanai where every one cooks and eats together. While there are not individual fire rings at the site, there is a nice communal fire pit that you can share. We didn't miss having our own fire at all.
Our weekend at Mendocino Magic was very nice. We stayed at the Car Campsite #3 by the pond and near the Lanai area where there are picnic tables, grills and a camp kitchen to cook and prepare food. There's also a huge grill and a couple of big hammocks which are great for hanging out, relax and and admire the stars. In the lanai area there are also two porta potties. The pond had several ducks and frogs but little water. The campsite itself is pretty basic is ideal for a small tent 3-4 people or if you sleep in the car/van. Bigger tents might be tricky to fit in the trees. There's no firepit or picnic table at the campsite, but as said above there is the Lanai common area very nearby which works well for preparing and consuming food.
Reception is spotty onVerizon and non existent on AT&T. Great for going offline a little bit :)
What a wonderful place! This is more than just a campsite. You have access to a full kitchen (stove, fridge, pots, pans, etc), fire pit with plenty of wood, picnic tables, a reservoir with boats and kayaks that you are free to use, and an incredible and friendly host. Beyond that, this spot seems to attract cool people and the central kitchen and eating area made for a good communal space to meet new people.
We will definitely be coming back!
This was my first Hipcamp experience and it was great! Mendocino Magic had everything we needed (grill, stove, kitchen, water, etc.). We also had the chance to take the kayaks out in the lake, which was amazing.
To top it off, Mackenzie was a great communicator and answered the (many) questions I had prior to the trip.
Would definitely come back here again and try other camping spots!
So convenient! This area is not for you if you're looking for a private, exclusive experience as the car camping spots are separated by trees along the main road through the property.
It is a great home base if you want to enjoy the amenities of the property like a large, communal kitchen, the lake, and hiking all around. Beautiful view of the lake from these sites as well. :)