Hipcamp host Mackenzie O.
Hosted by
Mackenzie has self-certified that Hipcamp’s COVID-19 Safety Standards have been implemented at this listing. See what’s being done here.

***COVID-19 Guidelines & Protocols***We have set these policies to ensure an enjoyable and safe camping season:

  • Please be prepared for longer wait times at the front gate as we review new protocol and onboarding procedures on site with individual guests. Upon entry at our front gate, please pull over where instructed, and wait
  •

    ***COVID-19 Guidelines & Protocols***We have set these policies to ensure an enjoyable and safe camping season:

  • Please be prepared for longer wait times at the front gate as we review new protocol and onboarding procedures on site with individual guests. Upon entry at our front gate, please pull over where instructed, and wait in your car to be checked in. In compliance with CDC guidelines, all campers will have their temperature taken remotely from outside the car, and asked a few questions clarifying origin and locations visited that day. We will also record your driver’s license and plate number. Thank you for your patience as we evolve together. 
  • Please plan for a completely self-sufficient campout, and BYO EVERYTHING!This includes food, stove, cookware, cups/plates/utensils, ice, napkins, and toilet paper! Please contact us before you arrive if you would like to rent a cooler, and remember that Mendocino Magic does not allow styrofoam anywhere on the property.
  • To minimize contact within Mendocino County, we request that you prepare groceries and supplies within your home county before traveling to the Magic.
  • Maintain a minimum of 10 feet from people outside of your group at all times, especially with use of any commons such as hiking our pathways, swimming in the reservoir, or while playing sports (please bring your own games and floaties-we will not be supplying them this season). 
  • Wear a mask when you are not at your campsite.
  • Use the hand wash stations located outside of the portapotties.
  • As always, please pack out all of your waste and dispose of your trash at home. Prepare in advance with cardboard burnable or compostable packaging to minimize waste, as well as a garbage bag to pack out your waste. 
  • Any persons seen not complying with these updated guidelines will be asked to leave without a refund. We are not kidding about this!

    We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. 


    ***Please note: In partnership with California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife , we empty the Mill Pond every 5-7 years to eradicate invasive bullfrogs. This spring's quarantine provided an opportunity to empty the pond in advance of our deadline, while fewer campers were around. Please pardon our dust while we perform routine maintenance this summer to improve the health of the pond once again. Mill Pond is completely drained right now, but will be back to normal by late summer. 

    Want the camping experience but don’t have the extra time to hike into your site? Car Camping is the choice for you!  If you are passing through town on your road trip (we are located 3.5 miles off Highway 101 in the town of Laytonville), you can park your car and have the convenience of camping right next to your vehicle.  Set up your tent on fresh grass at the side of the Mill Pond under the shade of a line of Cottonwood trees. It’s an easy in and out and a relatively quiet overnight stay, so long as you don't mind the songs of the frogs in Mill Pond.  Our car camping sites are located across the way from the Central Camper's Kitchen (communal outdoor kitchen) and the Stage. Although no fires are allowed at the car camping sites, you can still enjoy the communal fire pit at the Camper's Kitchen and charcoal grills about 50 feet away. If you have the time, hike up to the Reservoir and take a dip! Portapotties and hot showers are available about 150 feet away.

    Currently reservation requests for this campsite are set for 3 campers. Each site is able to host 4 campers max (with a maximum of 3 tents allowed per site).  When booking the site for more than 4 guests please edit your request to reflect accurate headcount information by booking additional car camping sites (can't find two sites adjacent to each other online? Don't worry, we will help you on site to park multiple car campsites together!).  

    ***A NOTE ABOUT CAR SIZES: Our car camping sites are limited to 12' length vehicles maximum. If your vehicle is longer, please let us know as there are separate spaces for parking larger RVs and trailersPlease note we do not offer RV hookups or water for these vehicle spaces, just longer spots for folks with a little more junk in the trunk!

    ***A NOTE ABOUT FIRES: Some campsites at Mendocino Magic have a firepit, but occasionally during the summer months the state bans fires for campers. There are no firepits at individual car campsites but there is a large communal firepit approximately 50 feet from the car campsites. We will keep you posted about the status of fires on the property when you book your reservation. Since we would hate to take campfires out of the camping experience, we have started the #onefire campaign to keep campers happy with a fire at our communal cooking area at the Central Camper's Kitchen, where on Friday and Saturday nights there will be a fire for all to enjoy. During a fire ban, please do not start a fire up at any camp's fire ring - guests who do so will be asked to leave without a refund.

    Campsite area
    Bring your own tents, vans and truck campers, trailers, RVs
    15 sites
    Up to 5 guests per site
    Park at listing
    ADA access
    Toilet available
    Pets allowed
    No campfires
    Potable water available
    Kitchen available
    Showers available
    No picnic table
    No wifi
    Pack it out
    Camping vehicle details
    No electrical hookup
    No water hookup
    No sewage hookup
    No TV hookup
    Generators not allowed
    Pull-in site
    Max length 25ft
    Surface type: grass or field
    Surface levelness: flat
    Doesn't accommodate slideouts
    Have a question? Send Mackenzie a message!
    • Check in: After 2PM
    • Check out: Before 12PM
    • Cancellation policy: Super Strict
    • On arrival: Meet and greet
    • Minimum nights: 2
    • Accepts bookings: 6 months out
    • Weeknight discount: 30% off

    You know what would make this trip even better?

    Take advantage of these offers available to add to your trip to Car Camping


    5 LB ICE

    Filtered frozen bagged and ready to go. Pick up at the Lanai Kitchen or at ...Read more

    Add to trip

    16 oz Propane Canister

    16 oz Coleman brand propane cylinders for optimal use of propane cookstoves....Read more

    Add to trip

    5 lb Charcoal

    1 chimney's worth of charcoal for a meal .

    Add to trip

    Ice Chest + 10 lbs ice

    Big weekend, big cooler. Comes with two 5 lb bags of ice.

    Add to trip

    Propane 2 Burner Camping Stove

    Cooking while camping should be safe and a snap. With a propane stove yo...Read more

    Add to trip


    Offered on the Host's property or nearby.

    Wildlife watching


    Natural features you'll find at Car Camping in California.

    Swimming hole

    The vibe at Car Camping

    56 Reviews

    This listing has no reviews yet.
    If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
    Hipcamper Manel
    Manel S.
    didn't provide a recommendation.
    August 8th, 2016

    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 with easy access to the lanai common area. Pond behind car camping spotsLanai common area in front of car camping spots. Grills, stoves and picnic tables for you to use. There are gills at the common area to use.
    Hipcamper Bryce
    Bryce P.
    recommends this listing.
    (Dispersed site)
    June 2nd, 2017

    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.

    Hipcamper Lindsay
    Lindsay W.
    recommends this listing.
    (Dispersed site)
    May 28th, 2018

    We had a great time car camping at Mendocino Magic! The property is gorgeous, dog friendly, and spacious. There were many different camp sites all over the property, and we talked about how it would be great to try some different sites another time. The lake was beautiful, scenic, and very warm. Even though it was early in the season (Memorial Weekend), the lake was already warm enough to swim in!

    A couple things to note would be:
    - The spots we booked online were not officially booked upon arrival. Upon arrival, we were told that all of the car camping spots were first come, first serve. We had booked spots 3 and 4 with another couple, but there were not two spots open upon arrival. We were lucky to have arrived when we did, because we ended up taking the one large spot left at the end of the row of car camping sites. This was surprising, but did not end up affecting our time because there was a nice spot left that could accommodate a group of 5. I would recommend that campers get the car site they tried to book, however, in the event they are coming with another group, like us. Just a thought for the future!
    - There are kayaks at various points around the lake when we arrived Saturday afternoon. This was so great and we were excited to use them, but we couldn't find paddles anywhere, including the marked locations! It appears that some groups may have taken the paddles to their campsites to use the next day (Sunday), because multiple groups walked out of their campsites with paddles on Sunday morning. This was a slight bummer, but we had a wonderful day anyway. We hung out on one of the docks and swam and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Maybe the paddles could be attached to the kayaks with longlines, to ensure they stay with the kayaks? Just another thought!

    Overall, we loved our stay and would definitely come again! Thank you so much for a wonderful weekend!

    Hipcamper Shawn
    Shawn W.
    recommends this listing.
    (Dispersed site)
    June 1st, 2017

    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.

    View of the Mill Pond from our siteCar CampingTent at campsite
    Hipcamper Christiana
    Christiana W.
    recommends this listing.
    (Dispersed site)
    June 20th, 2017

    There is a really beautiful lake to swim in and the area is very peaceful!

    Hipcamper andrea
    Andrea F.
    recommends this listing.
    (Dispersed site)
    August 10th, 2017

    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 :)

    Hipcamper Josh
    Josh L.
    recommends this listing.
    (Dispersed site)
    September 5th, 2017

    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!

    Hipcamper Raba
    Raba A.
    recommends this listing.
    (Dispersed site)
    October 1st, 2017

    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!

    Hipcamper Julie
    Julie M.
    recommends this listing.
    (Dispersed site)
    March 13th, 2018

    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. :)

    Mendocino Magic
    United States
    15 Sites

    Safety at Hipcamp

    Inclusion Policy

    We have a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination at Hipcamp and are committed to helping our Host and Hipcamper community be inclusive.

    Learn More
    Hipcamp Hand

    Hosting Standards

    All Hosts should review and adhere to these standards around providing a positive Hipcamp experience, being a thoughtful neighbor, and serving as a responsible citizen.

    Learn More

    Hipcamper Standards

    All Hipcampers should review and adhere to these standards for safety, trip preparation, and respect in order to uphold Hipcamp’s most important value: “leave it better.”

    Learn More

    Safety partners

    Recreate Responsibly

    1. Know before you go
    2. Practice physical distancing
    3. Plan ahead
    4. Play it safe
    5. Explore locally
    6. Leave no trace
    7. Build an inclusive outdoors
    Learn More

    Leave No Trace

    1. Plan ahead and prepare
    2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
    3. Dispose of waste properly
    4. Leave what you find
    5. Minimize campfire impacts
    6. Respect wildlife
    7. Be considerate of other visitors
    Learn More

    National Weather Service

    We integrate with the National Weather Service to provide valuable fire advisories to Hosts and Hipcampers. Real-time Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watch Warnings help keep our community safe.

    Learn More
    Hipcamp is created with ❤️ and hope for our future